Town centre shell shock

BOMB disposal experts hurried to Steyning after a Word War Two shell was unearthed in the back garden of a town centre house.

Friday, 9th February 2007, 7:19 am
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 11:47 pm

What appeared to be an old mortar bomb was dug up, after being buried around a foot deep and between 20 and 30ft from the house.

Daniel Rutland, owner of the Charlton Street house, said a workman uncovered the bomb while digging in the garden, last Wednesday.

"They were digging a trench and this shell just rolled out. You have never seen a labourer jump so high. We called the police because we didn't know what to do with it. We weren't going to touch it," he said.

Police arrived shortly before 9am and called in an Army bomb disposal team. They identified the shell as a practice mortar, which did not contain any explosives, and removed it.

It was thought the shell dates back to around 1944, when Canadian troops based across the area practiced on the South Downs.

Mr Rutland told the Herald: "Apparently 12 or 13 of these shells were over-fired and they landed in Steyning. They found 12 and didn't think there were any more '“ hopefully now there aren't."

PC Mike Dowling, of Steyning police, confirmed shells being found in Steyning hasn't been uncommon in the past.

He said: "I can safely say the vast majority of rounds that have been found have been practice rounds and are not dangerous."

"However, if anyone finds one, still call police '“ do not try to remove it yourself. Do not, under any circumstances, bring one to the police station if you have removed it."