'We used to play hoopla with it': Couple shocked as 'garden ornament' found packed with explosives

4 December 2023, 11:57

The 'garden ornament' was actually a live bomb
The 'garden ornament' was actually a live bomb. Picture: Facebook

By Emma Soteriou

A couple have shared their devastation after discovering their 'garden ornament' was actually packed full of explosives.

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Jeffrey Edwards and his friends grew up playing hoopla with the 'garden ornament' a few houses down from where he lived.

He later went on to move into the house with the bomb in Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire.

A police officer visited Mr Edwards and his wife asking if it was live.

“Before the First World War, warships of the Royal Navy used to drop anchor in St Bride’s Bay and point their guns at the beautiful seaside resort of Broad Haven and use the sands for target practice,” Mr Edwards told the Times.

He was certain that the bomb was not live, saying: “They’re not likely to fire a live shell in case they miss and hit the village!”

But police still wanted to check, leaving the couple concerned - not about it going off but about being unpopular with the locals.

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Jeffrey Edwards
Jeffrey Edwards. Picture: Facebook

"We didn’t sleep a wink that night," the couple said. "Not because we were worried about it going up. But what if they had to evacuate the street? Oh my God, I thought. I won’t be popular."

The bomb disposal team examined the ornament, confirming there were explosives inside.

"The wife and I had a long talk. We resolved, we’re not budging from our house," Mr Edwards said.

"If it went off, our house would be ruined along with all our possessions. We wouldn’t even have a cup and saucer."

"We’re not starting again at our age. I said, ‘If the bomb goes off, Sian and I will be going up with it’. We will all go up together."

Jeffrey and Sian Edwards
Jeffrey and Sian Edwards. Picture: Facebook

Speaking about the moment the bomb was taken away, he said he did not want to see it in the van as he wanted to "remember it as it was".

The couple said they had lost an "old friend" after the navy shell was blown up in a controlled explosion.

"It’s the end of an old friend," Mr Edwards said. "Gone."

"The poor thing, it got splattered."

Mr Edwards added: "We do miss it. It’s part of our house."

"Come the spring, in the hole where it used to be, the wife’s going to plant a special shrub."

Posting on Facebook, Mr Edwards said: "Our very grateful thanks to the Bomb Disposal Team along with the Milford Haven Police and Milford Haven Fire Brigade for their kindness and very swift action."