A suspected World War II bomb has been found by builders in a house in Central Drive, St Albans. The property is home to Mr & Mrs Secker. The device was spotted by eagle-eyed builder Piers Bamforth, son of the owner of Abbey Building Services & Maintenance, Richard Bamforth.
Abbey’s Richard Bamforth said, “I’m sure it gave the Secker family a fright, knowing that they had been living with a bomb under their house all this time. I’m glad that the actions of our team in identifying the risk and alerting the police, meant that a potentially dangerous situation was dealt with swiftly, so that we could get back to work.”
The surprising discovery came to light when Mr & Mrs Secker called in builders to extend their home. Abbey Building were in the process of building a single storey wrap-around extension to the Secker’s Central Drive home. The building project will add an open plan kitchen and living area, refurbish the utility and cloakroom and create a new patio and driveway.
As work was underway to take up the existing dining room floor, Piers spotted a strange metal object under the floor. He showed it to his workmate who as an ex reservist soldier immediately recognised the danger and calmly told Piers to move away from the device. One quick call from Abbey to the police brought in the Ministry of Defence’s bomb squad, officially known as the ordnance disposal team. The property and neighbouring houses were evacuated whilst Central Drive was cordoned off between Woodland Drive and Hazelwood Drive. Nearby flats were told to shut their windows as the device was X-rayed and removed.
The first Mr & Mrs Secker knew about the bomb was a phone call from Abbey builders to say a device had been found in their house and the bomb disposal unit were on their way to deal with it. According to Mrs Secker, the house had been built after WWII in 1948, which was a time when rubble from blitz sites was used as hardcore beneath concrete floors.
The quick actions of Abbey builders and the bomb squad meant that no one was hurt or injured, and the suspected WWII bomb was dealt with safely and quickly. After their shocking discovery it was back to work as usual for Abbey the following day.