Mother fights miniature railway theft in memory of disabled daughter

DM17734418a.jpg Break-in at Littlehampton Miniature railway. Chairman Chris Shanks and volunteers. Photo by Derek Martin. SUS-171107-170349008
DM17734418a.jpg Break-in at Littlehampton Miniature railway. Chairman Chris Shanks and volunteers. Photo by Derek Martin. SUS-171107-170349008
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A miniature railway which was broken into by thieves has been thrown a lifeline by a mother with a special place in her heart for it.

Stephanie Nimmo’s disabled daughter Daisy loved visiting Littlehampton Miniature Railway – and her passion convinced volunteers to get a wheelchair-accessible carriage for her.

Daisy at the Littlehampton Miniature Railway

Daisy at the Littlehampton Miniature Railway

Sadly, the 12-year-old never had the chance to ride the train as she died on January 31. In her memory, the railway decided to name its new train after Daisy.

But plans for the new carriage and train have been pushed back due to the break-in. In their hour of need, Stephanie, 49, has started a fundraising campaign to repay the railway for the joy they gave her daughter.

She said: “I just feel really upset for them. They are so enthusiastic and they are all volunteers who give up their spare time to bring something lovely to Littlehampton.”

The incident happened on the evening of Tuesday, July 4, while volunteers were at a quiz night to raise money for the railway.

The station building in Mewsbrook Park was broken into and many items were stolen, including three walkie-talkie radios, an alcatel mobile phone, cash, a pair of boots, tools, a microwave and a kettle.

Funds set aside for the new train and wheelchair carriage will now have to be spent on bumping up security – but railway chairman Chris Shanks still hoped they would be ready before the end of the summer holidays.

He said the incident had been ‘demoralising’ for volunteers, including Daisy’s grandmother Julie Thomas.

Daisy was born with a rare genetic condition called Costello Syndrome which meant she needed a wheelchair, suffered from epilepsy and had learning difficulties. When she came down from London to visit her grandmother, she loved to wave the green flag to send the trains off.

To donate, visit gofundme.com/security-to-prevent-more-breakins.