The mundane task of clearing out a garden shed yielded a potentially deadly find for a builder in Cardiff earlier this week.
A World War II grenade was found by Stephen Pemberton while getting ready to demolish a shed in the back garden of a student house in Cathays on Monday evening.
Mr Pemberton, who immediately called the police, described the moment he found the grenade.
He said: “I was just clearing a load of old junk out of the it and it just dropped out. I don’t think you can print the words that went through my head.
“I thought, that’s it, I’m gone. I just called the police straight away and then told the girls to get out of the house.”
The house on Lisvane Street was evacuated, along with their next-door neighbours, as officers from South Wales Police moved in to secure the area.
One of the students Hannah Birkett said they were scared initially when Mr Pemberton told them about the grenade.
She said: “I didn’t know what to think, I thought it was a wind up. We got out of the house and the police came really quickly to close the road off.
“You just never expect to be told by a builder he’s just found a grenade. One of my housemates was using the shed for homebrewing cider, but had never noticed the grenade before.”
Army bomb disposal officers from Gloucester were called and the students were forced to take refuge in a nearby pub.
Miss Birkett said: “The unexpected consequence was we got to know our neighbours a lot better. We’d hardly spoken to them but finding this grenade we were all in it together.”
Miss Birkett said two of the students had to do their revision in the pub as they had to sit medical exams the next day.
The students had complained to their landlord about the shed being unsafe and Mr Pemberton was in the process of demolishing it the next day, when he found rounds of shotgun shells. Police officers attended and removed the shells and destroyed them.
Rosanna Amour, 21, studying religion and theology at Cardiff University, lives next door.
She said: “My housemate came up and said a grenade had been found next door. I didn’t believe them at first but then the police came and we were turfed out.”
Miss Amour said it had unexpectedly brought the row of houses together.
She said: “We’d never really spoken to our neighbours but we all went to the pub together and had a chat about it. It turned out to be quite a fun evening in the end.”