A BUILDER who found an unexploded Second World War bomb says he has “never seen anything like it” in all his 20 years in the job.

Oliver Leonard started work at a house in Monkham’s Lane, Woodford Green as normal on Tuesday, October 11.

But by midday, things had taken an unexpected turn - when he discovered an shell which had probably been dropped Nazis during the Second World War.

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East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Mr Leonard, from Chingford, said: “We were digging the basement of a house in Monkham’s Lane when I saw something in the ground.

“I thought it didn’t look right and it had black all around it, so I called my boss, who called the site owners and the police.

“I wasn’t scared, but you certainly don’t expect that when you have your breakfast in the morning.”

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Police officers were called to the scene just after midday, blocking off Monkham’s Lane at both ends, as well as Knighton Drive.

Confused bystanders waited anxiously as bomb disposal officers looked for the suspicious object.

Annabel Hobbs, who has lived in nearby Monkham’s Drive for 20 years, said: “We’ve never had anything as exciting as this happen.

“What a scary find.”

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Leigh Harris, who was working as a nanny in one of the houses blocked off by police tape, said she noticed something strange when police officers started walking passed.

The 24-year-old said: “You don’t get foot patrols much round here, so I thought something serious must have happened.”

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

After nearly three hours, police removed the cordons blocking Monkham’s Lane just before 3pm.

Speaking to the Guardian Series, the bomb disposal officer at the scene confirmed the suspicious object was a five inch field gun shell.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

He said: “It has got markings on it, but they don’t like look military ones, because the stamps would have to be perfectly aligned.

“It looks like someone has had it as a collectors’ item, got bored with it, and then buried it in the garden.

“It’s a pretty big shell, but there aren’t any explosives inside.

“It’s going to be safely disposed of elsewhere, where it won’t cause any hassle in the future.”

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Mr Leonard said he has “never come across anything like it before” and usually just finds “boring” items like clay bottles and lend drains.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police confirmed the bomb shell threat was “over and dealt with” by 3.20pm.