Unexploded shell dug up in Romford garden

�A man dug up an unexploded Second World War shell while working in his garden.

The discovery was made on Monday at about 9am in Mawney Road, Romford.

Kevin Keane first noticed it after hitting something hard with his garden fork.

“I didn’t realise what it was at first,” he said. “I thought it was a chunk of metal.

“But then when I dug it up, I realised that it wasn’t something you would normally find in your garden.

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“When I cleaned it up, I realised that it was a shell and it was still live because the rear end of the cartridge was still attached.”


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Builder Godfrey Hutton was working on the house next door when Kevin came out with the shell in his hands.

He said: “It wasn’t very big – and he was really calm about it.

“I told him that he should call the police because it looked like it still hadn’t gone off and my first thought was that it could still be dangerous.”

When police arrived, Mawney Road, at the junction with the A12, was sealed off up to Birch Road.

Residents were warned to stay indoors and advised to move away from windows.

Bomb disposal experts then took the device away and it was exploded.

Godfrey said: “It was really interesting – it’s not something that you would expect to see every day.

“The police were really efficient – they were here within 15 minutes of him calling.”

Godfrey says it isn’t the first time that unexploded shells have been found in the area.

A few years ago, another neighbour found a handful of bullets in her garden.

During the war, Forest Road, which backs on to Mawney Road, was used to fire aircraft guns and residents believe that many shells may still be in their gardens.

Mawney Road was also heavily bombed during the war.

But it was Essex Road that suffered most in Romford during the war. During the night on April 19 and 20, eight parachute mines and three high explosive bombs were dropped in the area. A number of houses were destroyed and 127 people were injured, 44 fatally.

Godfrey said: “It’s probably not a surprise to those who lived through the war.

“But for the younger generation, it gives them a good insight into what people went through in those days.”

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