Bomb squad detonates First World War bomb in Knaresborough


Last updated May 16, 2022
Knaresborough bomb
Simon Briscombe and the unexploded bomb he found.

The bomb squad was called to Knaresborough this evening when an unexploded First World War bomb was found in the River Nidd.

Simon Briscombe, whose partner Rachel Wills owns the Watermill cafe, found what he initially thought to be a gas canister during a weekly litter pick.

But when he got home and cleaned the gunk off the item, which he found beneath Grimbald Bridge, he became suspicious.

The couple dialled 101 and after sending a photo, the bomb squad, police and firefighters rushed to their home at The Chase.

Rachel Wills and Simon Briscombe

Rachel Wills and Simon Briscombe

Their house, along with about 30 others on the estate, was immediately evacuated while the bomb was taken away and a controlled explosion carried out nearby. The A59 was closed for about two hours.

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Ms Wills said:

“We’re still in shock. If Simon had known what it was he wouldn’t have moved it.

“The police were horrified because he brought it home in the car and there are a lot of speed bumps in Knaresborough. But we didn’t know what it was.”

The bomb was wrapped in sandbags at the couple’s home for about an hour until the bomb squad arrived.

Knaresborough bomb

The bomb wrapped in sandbags at the couple’s home.

Ms Wills said:

“We do litter picks on our own every week and have found some really strange things — last week we found a sewing machine from 1898. But we’ve never found a bomb.

“In a way I’m relieved that we found it rather than a group of kids.”

Knaresborough bomb road closure

Police close the road.





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