model railway layout with loco on tracks

Market Deeping Model Railway Club Thriving Despite National Decline

The Market Deeping Model Railway Club says it has 80 members, more than a dozen of whom are under 18.

It comes after one of the UK’s biggest online model railway retailers announced it was shutting down.

Cheshire-based Hattons Model Railways said the closure was down to “declining customer numbers”.

The annual Warley National Model Railway Exhibition at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC) has also been suspended.

Exhibition manager Nigel Smith said: “We are an ageing membership and we have to be realistic about what we can deliver in the future.

“Many of our existing team have been involved for over 30 years and would like to retire gracefully.”

‘Loads of fun’

However, Market Deeping club chairman Peter Davies said it was great to see the younger generation getting involved with the group.

Youth member Alfie said he really enjoyed the hobby.

“We just have loads of fun together,” he said.

Club member David Ashwood said it was also possible to take part on a limited budget, after claims young people were being priced out, with some trains costing hundreds of pounds.

“There is a thriving second-hand market out there to get started and build up over time,” he said.

The Market Deeping club is enjoying a revival after vandals destroyed a model railway display worth thousands of pounds in 2019.

It was rebuilt thanks to generous donations from well-wishers, including Sir Rod Stewart.

Sir Rod, who revealed he had loved model railways since childhood, was later presented with an honorary membership to the club.

Written by By Jessica Lane & PA Media with credit to BBC News. Photo by Jessica Lane / BBC

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