A group of surprised (and probably rather unnerved) builders unearthed a cache of phosphorous bombs from the 1940s in Wiltshire last week.
- Tradesmen warned as tool thieves use new ‘peel and steal’ technique to break into vans
- 98% of tradesmen worry about stolen tools and van theft
- How tradespeople are fighting back against rising tool theft
- Is public liability insurance tax deductible?
Explosives from the ’40s
Builders working at a site in Trowbridge, Wiltshire had the shock of their lives when they uncovered a cache of explosives from the 1940s.
The phosphorous bombs were of the type given out to the Home Guard during the Second World War. They were designed to be thrown at tanks and would burn white-hot upon impact.
Of course, Axis tanks never made it to the UK, so the Home Guard never needed to use the bombs. They were presumably forgotten about after the end of the war and lay hidden for 70 years, until the builders stumbled across them.
(Dad’s) Army to the rescue
But don’t panic! The builders recognised that what they’d found could be dangerous and alerted the authorities before anyone was hurt.
When the firefighters who initially responded realised this was beyond their realm of expertise, the army were called in to detonate the explosives.
Unfortunately, local residents weren’t able to enjoy the impromptu fireworks, as they were advised to stay inside while the army safely handled the situation.
Strange things found on building sites
Although the bombs were some of the most potentially deadly items ever found on a building site, they might not be the strangest.
In 2015, builders in America came across a time capsule from 1957 that had been buried by students from MIT. The boffins had worried about how their paper would hold up over the years, so created a vacuum sealed glass tube, which lasted the 50 years until it was found.
Rather more low-tech was a piece of paper builders found wedged in a chimney they were about to demolish. On closer inspection it turned out to be a letter to Santa that had been there for nearly 70 years - no special glass chamber required.
But not all strange finds are as interesting or charming as the two above. In 2010, construction workers fixing up a road in Dorset found themselves standing on a Viking burial site, where more than 50 executed men had been thrown into a pit. Archeologists estimated that the bones had been there for over 1,000 years.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve found while working on site? Let us know in the comments