Couple renovating Shipdham home found Second World War bomb in garden

A WWII bomb was found in the garden of Paula and Matthew Oram's house in Shipdham while work as bein

A WWII bomb was found in the garden of Paula and Matthew Oram's house in Shipdham while work as being done with a digger, with the RAF Bomb disposal Team having to remove shell, after finding out it was safe. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Archant

They moved up to Norfolk for a quiet life but Paula and Matthew Oram caused quite a commotion in the usually peaceful village of Shipdham today when they unearthed a Second World War bomb head.

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The couple had hired a mini-digger for the day to dig out the drains on the home they are renovating in Shipdham when Mrs Oram noticed a suspicious object just before 9am.

'I shouted to my husband to stop digging and picked it up,' she said. 'It was a metal shell about eight inches long and weighing about seven pounds.

'I thought we should phone the police and they asked us to take photos and send them to them. Then all this happened.'

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Within minutes police were on the scene to close the road and put a 200-metre cordon in place around the property on Market Street, the main A1075 through the village, and Swan Lane.

Three fire crews and an ambulance were also called to the scene to assist the police who evacuated around 25 homes as a precaution while specialists from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team, based in Colchester, were called.

They arrived at around 11.30am and after just minutes confirmed to the couple that the device was not active, and had previously exploded as there was no detonator to be found.

A WWII shell was found in the garden of a house in Shipdham while work as being done with a digger,

A WWII shell was found in the garden of a house in Shipdham while work as being done with a digger, with the RAF Bomb disposal Team having to remove shell, after finding out it was safe. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Archant

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They removed it from the garden.

The village began returning to normal at 11.45am and the road re-opened just before midday.

Inspector Jo Walmsley, from Norfolk Police, said the EOD suspected it to be a British Second World War practice bomb head, and, although it had already been exploded and was not a danger to the public, the Orams had done the right thing in calling the police.

A WWII shell was found in a garden of Matthew and Paula Oram's house in Shipdham while work as being

A WWII shell was found in a garden of Matthew and Paula Oram's house in Shipdham while work as being done with a digger, with the RAF Bomb disposal Team having to remove shell, after finding out it was safe. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Archant

'Because of old airfields around here we had to take precautions just in case it was still live,' she said. 'We are satisfied it is no longer active.

'We employed the Jesip principle (Joint emergency service interoperability principle) which sees all the senior commanders coming together and working together to make a co-ordinated plan.

'The message is to call the police as the lady has done because, although they may feel now that they have taken a lot of resources, no-one should take the risk because none of us are trained to know what it was.'

A WWII shell was found in a garden of Matthew and Paula Oram's house in Shipdham while work as being

A WWII shell was found in a garden of Matthew and Paula Oram's house in Shipdham while work as being done with a digger, with the RAF Bomb disposal Team having to remove shell, after finding out it was safe. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Archant

Mrs Oram said she was very relieved to know it was not a live bomb but had been very shaken by the experience.

'It could have been live and we could have thrown it in the skip,' she said.

'We only moved here in January and we are doing a total renovation on the house which is 150 years old. We are slightly wary of doing any more digging in the garden.

'But we have met a lot more people in the village today and everyone has been so friendly even though we put so many out of their homes for the morning.

'We only wanted a quiet life.'

•Have you unearthed anything unusual in your garden? Email kathryn.cross@archant.co.uk.

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