A bomb squad descended on a posh spa town after the “largest ever” haul of wartime weapons discovered by magnet fishers was pulled out of a river.
Streets were sealed off and police rushed to the scene after the group found a massive cache of WW2 munitions in the River Leam in Leamington Spa, Warks.
The hoard included shells, grenades and guns – all believed to have been dumped by Dad’s Army-style Home Guard teams at the end of the Second World War.
Streets were sealed off and police rushed to the scene after the magnet fishermen found a massive cache of WW2 munitions.
It sparked a huge emergency response before Army bomb disposal experts carried out a controlled explosion on a police force’s football pitch.
Magnet fishing group the Peaky Dippers said the find of more than 25 weapons was the largest ever known in the history of their hobby.
Their members told how they pulled out grenades, swords, bombs, anti-aircraft bullets and guns as they fished with magnets from The Mill Suspension Bridge.
Marie Collins, of the Peaky Dippers, said: “Our team consists of six people who travel all over the UK searching the waterways for history and we have done so for seven years.
“We have never known in the history of magnet fishing for this amount of weapons to be pulled out of any river.
“The haul range from guns and swords to grenades, 18-pound bombs, anti-aircraft bullets and much more.
“We have items in museums and have also reunited people with their lost items. We also recently pulled up a cannon.”
A police cordon and road closures were put in place in Willes Road, between Mill Road and Newbold Terrace, and Mill Gardens at 4pm on Sunday (5/11).
A bomb disposal team from 11 EOD & Search Regiment (Royal Logistic Corps) attended the scene before safely taking the munitions away.
They then carried out a controlled explosion on one the 18-pound shells in the six yard box of Warwickshire Police’s football pitch at their HQ in Leek Wootton.
Posting footage of the explosion on social media a police spokesman said: “Here’s a little piece of history, originally built to defend Britain in a time of great peril, making a right old mess of our sports field.
“Magnet fishers found this WW2 era British 18-pounder artillery shell in Leamington yesterday (hence the closures).
“With the help of experts from 11 EOD & Search Regiment (Royal Logistic Corps) the shell was transported to our HQ in Leek Wootton and they have carried out a controlled explosion.
“The 18-pounder was a heavy hitter in its day, and this ~80-year-old shell was clearly very well made – still having the power to produce one almighty boom and shake the ground after decades under water.
“As an aside, the Warwickshire Police goal keeper won’t be happy… it was blown up in the six yard box of the pitch.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
“What’s the latest with Florida Man?”
Get news, handpicked just for you, in your box.