An outpouring of love following a Valentines Day burglary

Helping Gravesends model railway, Gravesend Model Marine & Engineering Society, following the devastating theft of £25,000 of locomotives and equipment.

Grab your tickets and support our fundraising!

By Aaron Elliott, candidate for Riverview in the 2019 Local Elections.


On Valentines Day of this year residents across Riverview Park and Gravesham more widely woke to the devastating news that the model railway located on the grounds of Cascades Leisure Centre had been burgled. Four out of five locomotives on site had been stolen. Many of us have visited the railway as children, and have brought our kids back and many have brought their grandchildren back. It's a place that has fond memories for many and a place that receives very little recognition for all the joy it brings. We almost take it for granted that it is there.

Then we had this theft and suddenly the people stood up and realised we can not take this treasure for granted, we must step in and help them. We must show them that we appreciate everything they do and we must do whatever it takes to help them to continue to delight our children - all for a small 50p a ride!

So while members of Gravesend Model Marine & Engineering Society were rightly dealing with the raw and shocking aspects of the theft, I took it upon myself to set up a fundraising page on their behalf. The reaction from the public was incredible and made me feel so proud to be part of this community. We raised £1000 in less than 48 hours and are at the time of writing at 50% of target towards £5000. In addition to these funds, I was also contacted by Cllr Diane Marsh about providing a £500 grant towards improved security for them. Equally shocked by the theft and with her own fond memories Diane was keen to help where she could.

To help bring our fundraising to target I have organised a racenight at Cascades Leisure Centre on Friday 12th April with the hope of raising £1500 towards our total. This will be a great opportunity for the community to come together, a rarity for a part of Gravesham that doesn't benefit from being a Parish like our neighbours Shorne or Chalk - and all while supporting a very good cause!

Calling local businesses

Local businesses have been very generous in supporting the event and thus far we have raised nearly £600 in pre-event sponsorship. I still have a few advertising slots available on the back page of some race programmes to be given free to all attendees. If you would like to support we are only looking for a minimum donation of £20 made via our fundraising page at Logos and promotional blurb for the ads can be sent to me at

If you would like to support you can make a donation via our fundraising page or sign up for tickets to come to our racenight online: EventBrite Tickets

Never been to a racenight? Find out more about racenights from our host:


For further information please feel free to email Aaron at

Please click for more about Aaron Elliott.