All clear as ‘First World War landmine’ near Stevenage turns out to be wheel

PUBLISHED: 13:56 16 July 2018 | UPDATED: 14:07 16 July 2018

The suspected landmine found by Derek in his back garden. Picture: Shirley Thomas

The suspected landmine found by Derek in his back garden. Picture: Shirley Thomas

Shirley Thomas

Residents are back in their homes after a bomb disposal team sent to deal with a suspected landmine south of Stevenage found it was only a metal wheel.

Shirley Thomas and Derek Witton. Picture: suppliedShirley Thomas and Derek Witton. Picture: supplied

Shirley Thomas and Derek Witton of The Drive, on the south-western edge of Woolmer Green, were amazed when Derek dug up the unexpected object while gardening.

“I was digging up a plant and making a hole when I found something hard and metal-shaped,” said Derek.

“I was a little bit excited to tell you the truth, I thought it might be an Anglo-Saxon hoard!

“It was very close to the surface, about two inches down.”

The suspected landmine found by Derek in his back garden. Picture: Shirley ThomasThe suspected landmine found by Derek in his back garden. Picture: Shirley Thomas

He said he thought the flat circular object looked like a landmine, and notified police at 9.40am.

Police evacuated the street and closed the road, putting up a 100-metre cordon.

“What a landmine would be doing in the back of this garden I don’t have a clue,” added Derek.

A specialist Explosive Ordnance Disposal team have established that the object is a metal wheel.

A police spokesperson said: “The EOD attended and established that it was not a viable device.”

Shirley and Derek, who decamped to friends in Stevenage, have now been allowed back into their home.

“We were blown away!” joked Shirley – thankfully only metaphorically.

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