High hopes for visit from Who star to new mu­seum

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Model Rail Plans On Track - By Sam Len­non

Roger Dal­trey may visit Ash­ford when he re­cov­ers from ill­ness and a new model rail­way mu­seum he is back­ing takes off.

The rock star, who is co-pa­tron of the or­gan­is­ers AIMREC (Ash­ford In­ter­na­tional Model Rail­way Cen­tre), has been struck by menin­gi­tis.

AIMREC chief ex­ec­u­tive Cliff Par­sons said that he had met the Who singer in Lon­don last week and saw that he was much bet­ter.

Mr Par­sons said: “I saw Roger re­cently.

“He’s now home and made a full re­cov­ery from the symp­toms that he had a cou­ple of weeks ago, so he’s now rest­ing.”

When asked whether Mr Dal­trey would even­tu­ally come to Ash­ford for the mu­seum, Mr Par­sons added: “He’s al­ready been and met the coun­cil of­fi­cers on more than one oc­ca­sion and, should all the plans go through, I’m sure he’ll make more ap­pear­ances.”

Mr Par­sons was speak­ing on Satur­day at the start of a two-day public con­sul­ta­tion ex­hi­bi­tion at Ash­ford De­signer Out­let for the £4 mil­lion rail mu­seum.

The mu­seum is planned for the old Klondyke Rail­way Works site in New­town.

Plans in­clude a 30,000 sq ft build­ing with a huge dis­plays area, lec­ture and demon­stra­tion theatre, spe­cial­ist model shop, cafe, and an ob­ser­va­tion deck for visi­tors to watch Eurostar trains travel over a viaduct. The Who were meant to be in Las Ve­gas on Satur­day as part of their North Amer­i­can tour, but all the shows had to be can­celled be­cause of Mr Dal­trey’s ill­ness.

A state­ment on the band web­site said: “Doc­tors di­ag­nosed Roger as hav­ing vi­ral menin­gi­tis and pre­scribed a pe­riod of rest.

“The band apol­o­gise to fans and re­alise that the post­pone­ment will cause an in­con­ve­nience for ticket hold­ers.

“It wasn’t a de­ci­sion taken lightly – ul­ti­mately the band had no al­ter­na­tive but to post­pone the tour.

“Thank­fully he is al­ready get­ting bet­ter.”

A state­ment di­rectly from the 71-year-old star on the web­site said: “For the last four weeks, I have been in and out of the hospi- tal and have been di­ag­nosed with vi­ral menin­gi­tis. I am now on the mend and feel­ing a lot bet­ter but I am go­ing to need a con­sid­er­able time to re­cover.

“The doc­tors tell me I will make a com­plete re­cov­ery, but that I should not do any tour­ing this year.”

Mr Dal­trey is co-pa­tron of AIMREC, along­side mil­lion­aire busi­ness­man Sir Wil­liam McAlpine.

Pic­ture: Wayne McCabe FM4019797

Peo­ple view­ing the plans for a model rail­way mu­seum and ex­hi­bi­tion cen­tre

AIMREC chief ex­ec­u­tive Cliff Par­sons

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