Army defuses gift to thrift shop

by
02 September 2009

by Ed Beavan

In the bunker: left to right: Shirley Richardson, the Revd Linda Dodds, and Vera Barber in the scheme store

In the bunker: left to right: Shirley Richardson, the Revd Linda Dodds, and Vera Barber in the scheme store

BOMB-DISPOSAL experts carried out a controlled explosion near a church in County Durham after a live hand grenade was found in a card­board box.

The box of kitchen utensils had been donated to Woodhouse Close Church in Bishop Auckland, an Anglican-Methodist LEP, for its twice-weekly furniture scheme and thrift shop for local residents.

The Revd Linda Dodds, OLM at the church, called the police after two volunteers, Vera Barber and Shirley Richard­son, found the grenade. “The ladies were sorting through the items when they came across the grenade in the box. Ironically, Vera used to be an ‘Aycliffe angel’, working in the munitions factory in Newton Aycliffe during the Second World War,” Ms Dodds said.

“She thought the grenade was decommissioned, and showed it to me for a second opinion, and I told her to put it down, as it still had a pin and a fuse at the bottom. I called the police, who then evacuated the building and cordoned off the estate.

“Army bomb-disposal experts then were called in from Catterick, who carried out a controlled explo­sion in a field. It made a really loud bang.”

Ms Dodds believed that the person who had handed it in was probably “not aware it was there. It all ended well in the end.”

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