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Bomb disposal unit sent to field after metal detectorists find live hand grenade

PUBLISHED: 06:00 21 November 2019 | UPDATED: 13:19 21 November 2019

Adrian Dawes has 30 years experience in metal detecting but has never come across a grenade before. Picture: Cheryl Dawes

Adrian Dawes has 30 years experience in metal detecting but has never come across a grenade before. Picture: Cheryl Dawes

Archant

Metal detectorists thought a hand grenade in a Norfolk field was a 'dummy' - until the police called a bomb disposal unit.

The hand grenade was live and is believed to be from the Second World War. Picture: Cheryl DawesThe hand grenade was live and is believed to be from the Second World War. Picture: Cheryl Dawes

Seasoned metal detectorists Cheryl and Adrian Dawes from Deopham and friend Steve Mobbs were in a field in Reymerston when they discovered a live hand grenade within 10 minutes.

The hand grenade, thought to be from the Second World War, was found just one to two inches deep in a field owned by a local farmer.

Mrs Dawes, 53, said: "Steve picked it up and put it in my hand until I told him to get rid of it. I initially thought he was messing about. He thought it was a dummy but I realised and knew they were unpredictable and could go off at any minute. He only held it for a few seconds and then quickly put it somewhere far away."

After informing the farmer, who thought it was a joke, Mrs Dawes, a self-employed massage therapist, contacted Norfolk Police who sent an officer from Dereham.

A bomb disposal unit was dispatched from Nottingham to safely detonate the grenade. Picture: Cheryl DawesA bomb disposal unit was dispatched from Nottingham to safely detonate the grenade. Picture: Cheryl Dawes

She said: "We had to send them a photograph first and they said it was definitely a hand grenade and definitely dangerous. They said they thought it looked live."

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The officer arrived at around 3pm and after inspecting the grenade, informed a bomb disposal unit in Nottingham.

Mrs Dawes said: "But the unit wasn't able to attend the scene that evening because it was dark so the field was secured by police tape and the grenade placed 70 yards away from the road. Otherwise they would have had to shut down the road completely."

Cheryl and Adrian Dawes are part of a metal detecting group which meet every weekend. Picture: Cheryl DawesCheryl and Adrian Dawes are part of a metal detecting group which meet every weekend. Picture: Cheryl Dawes

The unit arrived the following morning at 9.30am, on Sunday, November 17, and successfully detonated the hand grenade.

Mrs Dawes said: "All you heard was a boom and there was lots of smoke. The field went up like a fountain as it was so waterlogged."

"It was good fun." she added.

Mrs Dawes, who has been a metal detectorist for 30 years and goes metal detecting every weekend across Norfolk, said: "I have never come across a live hand grenade before. Just a few dead bullets. And to be honest, I wouldn't want to do it again."

But the experience has not deterred Mrs Dawes from metal detecting again and she said: "It's probably just encouraged us to be more careful and if you do find something dangerous to make sure you follow the proper procedure."

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