“Terribly sorry to bother you, old chap, but there seems to be a bomb in my basement . . . “

That’s the approach taken by this British family, anyway.

A father who found an unexploded German bomb in his cellar waited until the next morning to call the police because he “did not want to wake up the neighbours”.

Stephen Sin, 44, was mid-way through a clean when he stumbled across the 1930s incendiary device.

He and his wife, Janice, eventually reported the discovery to the police – but only after a night’s sleep and a morning of errands.

Mr Sin, a civil servant from Crystal Palace, south London, said: “We knew that this was going to happen, where literally everything stands still, so because I had to see some Scouts off to Brussels this morning I thought, it’s been down there for 50 years, another couple of hours isn’t going to matter.”

A bomb expert later identified the explosive as being from 1936. It was originally made for use in the Spanish Civil War, but was dropped on London during the Blitz.

There’s more at the link.

A better example of sang-froid would be hard to find, but I’d love to have been a fly on the wall in the police station when he finally got around to reporting it!  Talk about consternation and monkeyhouse . . .



  1. Really can't argue with him, bomb has been there 80 years odd are pretty high it won't go off in the next 12 hrs.

  2. Still better than the guy who, on finding some unexploded ordnance, popped it in the back of the car and drove it to the police station.

  3. Long ago when the world was new, I was a hard rock miner. As in drill holes in rock while several hundred feet underground, pack them with explosives, and with the proper use of time delays for the different charges, make a hole in the rock of a desired shape and size and have all the loose rock in a nice neat pile in front of the hole.

    I had to become familiar with various types of explosives, detonators, etc. Some years later, my wife and I were on a back road to Cripple Creek, Colorado [this is before the casinos opened] and in an area where they had been blasting rock overhangs away from the road I saw what looked like an oversized chub of hamburger laying in the middle of the road. Cursing, because I recognized it, I stopped and picked it up. It was Tovex, a jellied explosive I had used before. No one likes it, because it will not always go bang when you tell it to. Dealing with it AFTER the rest of the charges have gone off is . . . tense. The charge had probably fallen off the back of a truck.

    OK, it will not go off without a detonator, and half the time not even then. Did not want to leave it there in case some stupid kid came down the road. So I picked it up, put it in the back of the car, and we continued to Cripple Creek. The next morning we were back home, so I drove to the county sheriff's office to turn it in. Back in those days, we did not have that bright a Sheriff.

    I go in, explain what had happened, what it was, that it was perfectly safe but they may want to see that it gets properly disposed of. Watched the Sheriff and a couple of deputies do a credible imitation of a fart in a whirlwind.

    When they calmed down enough to go outside, they had me take it out of the back of the car and lay it on the blacktop in the parking lot, and "carefully drive away" [!!!???!!!]. In my rear view mirror, I saw the Sheriff and a deputy sneaking up on it on tiptoes like a couple of Warner Bros. cartoon characters.

    Like I expected, they called EOD at Fort Carson, who picked it up and took it to a range and detonated it.

    I do wonder at his rationale for sneaking up on it.

    We have a much better County Sheriff nowadays.

    Subotai Bahadur

  4. m4,

    some years ago, in Spain, a guy drove a tractor, one of the smallish ones, with a Civil War unexploded shell in the flat of the trailer, dinging all the way. Brought it to the nearby army installation, the NCO academy…

    The day they did the end of course celebration, promotions and such. With the king attending.

    Take care.


  5. @shugyosha There's always that school that used a live hand grenade as a schoolbell… They'd literally beat this grenade with a stick.

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