Welwyn street evacuated after suspected WW1 explosive found in garden

PUBLISHED: 13:33 16 July 2018 | UPDATED: 13:36 16 July 2018

The suspected landmine found by Derek in his back garden. Picture: Shirley Thomas

The suspected landmine found by Derek in his back garden. Picture: Shirley Thomas

Shirley Thomas

Residents are back in their homes after a bomb disposal team was sent to Welwyn.

Shirley Thomas and Derek Witton. Picture: suppliedShirley Thomas and Derek Witton. Picture: supplied

Shirley Thomas and Derek Witton of The Drive, just north of Welwyn near Woolmer Green, were amazed when Derek dug up an unexpected object while gardening.

“I was digging up a plant and making a hole when I found something hard and metal shaped,” said Derek.

“I was a little bit excited to tell you the truth, I thought it might be an Anglo Saxon hoard!

“It was very close to the surface, about two inches down.”

The suspected landmine found by Derek in his back garden. Picture: Shirley ThomasThe suspected landmine found by Derek in his back garden. Picture: Shirley Thomas

He said he thought the flat circular object it looked like a landmine, and notified police at 9.40am today (July 16).

Police evacuated the street and closed the road, putting up a 100-metre cordon.

“What a landmine would be doing in the back of this garden I don’t have a clue,” added Derek.

A specialist Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team have established that the object is a metal wheel.

A police spokesperson said: “The EOD attended and established that it was not a viable device.”

Shirley and Derek, having decamped to friends in Stevenage, have now been allowed back into their home.

“We were blown away!” joked Shirley, thankfully only metaphorically.

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