14th Dec, 2018

Man from Redditch discovers a live World War II hand grenade in his back garden

Harry Leach 2nd Jul, 2018 Updated: 2nd Jul, 2018

A BRAVE man from Redditch put a bucket over a World War II hand grenade to stop the sun’s heat from causing it to explode.

Cliff Potter, who lives at 68 Lea Croft Road in Crabbs Cross, was cleaning out the back garden of his new house when he found the explosive with the pin still in it.

He said: “I’ve only just moved into the property and this is one of my first discoveries.

“The previous owner repaired bikes for a living and so he had left lots of odd bits lying around.

“He had left loads of bike repair gear in the back garden.

“I was cleaning it all up today and that’s when I saw the grenade – among the spanners and rubbish.

“Strangely enough I was feeling quite calm about the situation, even though I was aware the bomb was still probably live.

“To start with – I put a bucket over the grenade to stop the sun’s heat getting to it.

“The police later told me this was an excellent idea because it’s best that a grenade remains cool in this kind of situation.

“Afterwards I moved the grenade to the grass and then began to evacuate the property.

“I rang the police and then alerted some of my neighbours so we could get as far away as we could.

“The police lady who was on the other end of the line when I called sounded completely shocked about what I was saying.”

Later on the Police arrived and put a 50m cordon around the area.

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit arrived at the scene – 1.35pm on July 2 – to deal with the device.

A nearby school was also evacuated and “given advice”, according to the West Mercia Police force.

Jules Stokes, a Lea Croft Road resident, saw the police arrive and immediately left her house.

She said: “It’s crazy that something like that can be so close to your home and you not know about it!

“I’m supposed to be helping with work experience today but I think that will have to wait.

“Even though it’s a real scare – it’s exciting from a historic point of view.

“I’m just glad no one has been hurt.”

UPDATE:

Inspector Nicola Slough said: “The EOD team have confirmed that the device did not contain any explosives, and it has been disposed of appropriately.

“Officers liaised with the nearby school throughout the incident and I hope our response has reassured residents that we take the necessary precautions in scenarios like this.

“The cordon has now been removed and officers will be carrying out patrols in the area to further reassure the local community.”

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