A couple who kept an unexploded missile as a garden ornament for decades were ready to “go out with our home and everything in it” after a bomb disposal unit told them it needed to be detonated.
Jeffrey and Sian Edwards had kept the 19th-century relic outside their home after moving in back in 1982.
Mr Edwards, who’s lived in the same street in Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, for 74 years, said he was told by the property’s original occupants it had been there for more than a century.
But he was forced to bid an emotional farewell to the old armament this week after police knocked on the door on Wednesday evening and said it would need to be investigated by the Ministry of Defence.
Later that night he got the call to say a bomb squad would arrive the next day – and the street could be evacuated.
“We didn’t sleep a wink that night,” the 77-year-old told Sky News.
“We’ve lived in this house for 41 years, have known it all these years, and I told the bomb squad ‘if you evacuate the street the wife and I are not leaving our home – we’re staying here’.”
‘We’ll go out with our home’
Mr Edwards had long assumed the bomb had no charge, and was thought it was a dummy missile used during navy training exercises before the First World War.
He told the bomb disposal unit “if it’s live and does go off”, the couple would lose their home and possessions.
“We’ll go out with our home and everything with it,” he told them.
Mr Edwards said he even kept his “very kind and caring” GP “fully briefed” on the drama.
Fortunately, the squad discovered while it had a “light charge”, it was unlikely to go off and could be moved without evacuating anyone.
It was detonated at a disused quarry nearby on Thursday night.
‘It’s like an old friend going’
Mr Edwards was pleased to hear it had split into two pieces, with closer examination confirming it dated back to between 1880 and 1890 and came from a British warship.
He hopes it ends up in a museum, but said he’s still sad to lose it from the garden.
“It’s like an old friend going,” he added.
The couple painted it the same colour as their window ledges, and Mrs Edwards would tap it with her trowel while gardening.
Bomb’s old spot awaits ‘special shrub’
Mr Edwards also enjoyed telling the story of its history, as told by the Morris family who used to own the house.
He said he’d been told one of the original occupants had found it on a nearby beach while delivering lemonade on a horse and cart, and taken it on a “very bumpy ride” back home to display in the garden.
“I spent so much time with the Morris family, we used to play and knock the missile with sticks,” he said. “Other youngsters in the street apparently used to throw hoops over it!”
Mr Edwards said the hole the bomb was nestled in had now been filled in, with flower pots rearranged to cover it.
The plan is to find a “special shrub” to mark the spot when spring comes, he added.
#Pembrokeshire #Unexploded #bomb #detonated #spending #decades #couples #garden #ornament #News,