08:15 Monday 16th May 2011
Peterborough Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
PAUL STAINTON: A mystery for you this morning, as the search continues for whoever’s behind Peterborough’s very own Great Train Robbery, model trains that is, 29 of them, irreplaceable miniature ones, stolen from Railworld in Peterborough. Total value, £2000. Taken overnight on the 5th of May or during the day on the 6th.Dottie McLeaod is on the case. (TAPE)
DOTTIE MCLEOD: Full size trains rattle and rumble every day under Peterborough’s Crescent Bridge. If 29 of these went missing, people would certainly take it seriously. These train’s little brothers, down the tracks at Railworld, might seem trivial to most. But for the people who look after them, they have huge value.
JOHN TURNER: My heart sunk when I got the phone call saying we’ve had a break-in. Trains have gone.
DOTTIE MCLEOD: John Turner’s the manager of Railworld. He’s been working here since he was still at school. While working model train sets whizz round, he told me how he felt about the break-in.
JOHN TURNER: It’s not about the money. I don’t care how much they cost. The amount of hours and donations, and the time and effort spent putting them in the case and getting the infomation together about the locomotive, it’s heartbreaking.
DOTTIE MCLEOD: So can we go and have a look at where the crime happened?
JOHN TURNER: Yes of course.
DOTTIE MCLEOD: So we’re now standing in a fairly small room. There’s quite a large display case, now completely empty. What was this display?
JOHN TURNER: It was the development of the locomotive. So it would take us from the early years, and through the different engineering types, all the way to the diesels and electrics. The collection has been built over a ten year period.
DOTTIE MCLEOD: Who’s done this John? Is this just a mindless crime, or is this some rogue model train enthusiast who’s come in and taken what they want?
JOHN TURNER: I have no idea. It’s broken people’s hearts.
DOTTIE MCLEOD: Back outside, we looked round some of the larger exhibits, all surrounded by a 7ft spiked metal fence. And I had one more question for John. You’ve had nearly 200 crimes reported on this site in less than 20 years. That works out at nearly a crime a month. What’s going wrong?
JOHN TURNER: We’d .. you know we just don’t know. We’ve tried all our best to secure the site. Criminals, you know, are determined they would get in. We improve every day, trying to make the place more and more secure. These trains may be minor to some people, but to the people that work here and look at and enjoy the heydays of steam, and look at a small model and remind themselves that, I used to work on that. You can’t replace that. You know, it’s a memory. (LIVE)
PAUL STAINTON: Dottie McLeod investigating the disappearance of those miniature trains. And if you do have any information, get on to CrimeStoppers, or the police.