Published: 15:00, 24 July 2014
A neighbours’ misunderstanding led to the army being drafted in to blow up bombs at a nature reserve near Faversham.
A fisherman’s collection of live explosives he calls his “souvenirs” were taken by police when they were called to a disturbance at Goldfinch Close.
Mark Hamilton, 43, called the police after he had an argument with his next-door neighbours, but when the police arrived at his house, they noticed a number of bombs on the mantelpiece of his living room.
Within an hour, the army had been drafted in to take the bombs to Harty Ferry nature reserve in Oare to be blown up.
Mark said: “I was having a bit of a misunderstanding with my neighbours and instead of being violent or making more of a problem of it, I called the police to make sure things didn’t get out of hand.
“The police came into my living room where I have bombs on the mantelpiece. They are souvenirs I picked up from the sea and I’ve had them about eight or nine years.
“I guess they could be dangerous, but so could everything – knives in your kitchen drawers, but you don’t see the police taking them away.
“They were just souvenirs. I was a bit annoyed, but I respect the fact that I had live bombs in the house so the police have got to do their job.”
Mr Hamilton works for Bluey’s fisheries and is out at sea most days. He says he picked the bombs up from the Swale where there are still “hundreds of them if you know where to find them”.
Residents of Harty Ferry Cottages, just up the road from the reserve, were startled to hear the loud bangs.
"I was a bit annoyed, but I respect the fact that I had live bombs in the house so the police have got to do their job" - Mark Hamilton
Pete Bingley, who lives at the cottages said: “I was inside doing some typing and there was a big loud bang. When I looked out the window there was this big puff of smoke.
“Then a squaddy was running along the outside. About five or 10 minutes later it all happened again.”
Police spokesman Carly Wymark said: “The MOD’s explosive ordnance disposal team arrived at a property in Goldfinch Close where the owner had items suspected to be unexploded shells.
“They identified the items and recovered them.”