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Fisherman’s explosive catch leads to trio of bomb squad and police call-outs

PUBLISHED: 13:49 05 November 2020 | UPDATED: 08:45 06 November 2020

Jonathan Puttock found ammunition in a river at Methwold on three separate occasions. Picture: Jonathan Puttock

Jonathan Puttock found ammunition in a river at Methwold on three separate occasions. Picture: Jonathan Puttock

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A fisherman whose recent catch led to a bomb disposal unit being called has revealed there is plenty more to be found in the region’s waters.

A bomb disposal team was called after a fisherman found ammunition in a river off Thornham Road, Methwold. Picture: Norfolk ConstabularyA bomb disposal team was called after a fisherman found ammunition in a river off Thornham Road, Methwold. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Jonathan Puttock was magnet fishing in a channel of river off Thornham Road, Methwold, on Saturday (October 31) morning, when his rod made contact with what felt like a heavy object.

He pulled from the water what resembled a small metal torch but, upon closer inspection, read the words “high explosive” on its casing and immediately alerted police.

A bomb disposal team was called in and identified the ammunition as a target charge, before carrying out a controlled explosion.

Jonathan Puttock, with his son, Hayden, and daughter, Imani, found ammunition in a Methwold river with a fishing magnet. Picture: Courtesy of Puttock familyJonathan Puttock, with his son, Hayden, and daughter, Imani, found ammunition in a Methwold river with a fishing magnet. Picture: Courtesy of Puttock family

But for Mr Puttock it was a case of lightning striking not twice, but three times, as only days prior he had found live Second World War bullets - again necessitating the bomb squad’s assistance.

“This all actually started with my little girl, who saw a video about magnet fishing and asked give it a try,” explained Mr Puttock, 47.

“We went out on the Sunday (October 25) and pulled out 24 of these wartime bullets, dated 1941, and armed response had to come and take them away.

Jonathan Puttock found ammunition in a river at Methwold on three separate occasions. Picture: Jonathan PuttockJonathan Puttock found ammunition in a river at Methwold on three separate occasions. Picture: Jonathan Puttock

“On the Wednesday (October 28), my son and I found eight more bullets, dated 1942, which police came and collected from my house that evening.

“Then, on Saturday, we were about to head home but felt something heavy. It looked like a child’s torch, but when I turned it round and saw it was explosive I couldn’t believe our luck - I had to ring the police again!”

The saga made for an eventful return to fishing for Mr Puttock who, until last month, had not held a rod since he was 16 years old.

Jonathan Puttock found ammunition in a river at Methwold on three separate occasions. Picture: Jonathan PuttockJonathan Puttock found ammunition in a river at Methwold on three separate occasions. Picture: Jonathan Puttock

But, having made a trio of fascinating discoveries on his doorstep, he is intrigued as to what other treasures lie hidden beneath the surface of the region’s rivers.

“When we started, we just wanted to see whether we could find something weird and wonderful,” added Mr Puttock.

“It just shows you never know what you will find, and whether it’s going to be something historical.

A bomb disposal team was called after a fisherman found ammunition in a river off Thornham Road, Methwold. Picture: Norfolk ConstabularyA bomb disposal team was called after a fisherman found ammunition in a river off Thornham Road, Methwold. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

“These bullets have probably been in the river for 80 years and we’d love to know how they got there.”

Jonathan Puttock found ammunition in a river at Methwold on three separate occasions. Picture: Jonathan PuttockJonathan Puttock found ammunition in a river at Methwold on three separate occasions. Picture: Jonathan Puttock

Jonathan Puttock found ammunition in a river at Methwold on three separate occasions. Picture: Jonathan PuttockJonathan Puttock found ammunition in a river at Methwold on three separate occasions. Picture: Jonathan Puttock

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