A WORLD War II hand grenade, which was detonated in a controlled explosion earlier this week, was a potentially deadly live grenade which had sat gathering dust in a Bournemouth garage for more than 35 years.

The grenade, which had a live detonator and the pin still in it, was dealt with by bomb disposal officers at playing fields next to a sports centre.

It had been wrongly assumed the grenade, that had sat on a shelf in a garage at Doveshill Road, East Howe, was a dummy for more than three decades.

Bournemouth Echo:

Yesterday, the Daily Echo spoke to Stuart Palmer, the man who first raised the alarm.

He explained: "My father passed away two years ago and my mother passed away a couple of weeks ago, we have her funeral coming up a week on Friday.

"I'm one of four siblings, and we had started to clear the house.

"We were going through the garage, we knew there was a hand grenade in the garage but we always assumed it was a dummy.

"But as we were clearing out we thought it would be best to make sure."

Bournemouth Echo:

So a quick call to Dorset Police led to a referral to bomb disposal, who were based in Plymouth.

"It took them a few hours to get here," said Mr Palmer. "When they arrived they confirmed there was still a detonator in it, and it was a live grenade.

The army bomb disposal team taped it up, sealed it in a box and then, under police escort, headed for playing fields next to the Sir David English sports centre, East Way, for the controlled explosion.

Bournemouth Echo:

Officers cleared the field shortly before the device was detonated around 2.30pm on Wednesday.

Mr Palmer's father, Douglas, had discovered the device in a relative's garage at Draycott Road, Bournemouth, with other World War II memorabilia.

Bournemouth Echo:

"So it went from Draycott Road to Doveshill Crescent, where it has sat for at least 35 years," said Mr Palmer. "The bomb disposal guys said they normally deal with dummy grenades, and to get a live one was quite unusual.

"It had the detonator in it, it was still live – it had the pin still in it."

While Mr Palmer shudders to think what could have happened with the device over the years, he also said he "could see the funny side."

But he stressed: "It is a good job that we made the decision to call the police."