Bomb drama shuts down stately home

An East Yorkshire stately home had to be evacuated yesterday following the discovery of a number of explosive devices.

The alarm was raised at Sewerby Hall, near Bridlington, just after 9am when an unexploded bomb was found in the garden.

The area was taped off and Army bomb disposal experts were called. A decision to evacuate the entire site was taken shortly afterwards when a box of “nine or 10” other devices were discovered inside the hall in a store room.

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The discoveries forced the British Red Cross to quickly look for another venue to host a presentation about its work, although many of its 54 guests had already started to arrive.

After discussions with East Riding Council the party was accommodated at Bridlington Spa.

Karen Jones, legacy manager for British Red Cross in the North, said: “Sewerby were really good and we got together and transferred all our stuff to the Spa. A taxi driver even offered to take people there for no charge.”

She added: “That’s what we do – we are pretty good in a crisis.”

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A spokeswoman for Humberside Police said they were called at 9 am.

She added: “A large cordon was been set up around the area and at around 1.30pm the EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) unit carried out a controlled explosion on the live charges that were of the type used to fire a rescue line. They were found whilst clearing out old archival equipment.

“Police were called as a matter of course and there was no threat to the public identified.”

A spokeswoman for East Riding Council said: “A controlled detonation process took place at an area on the estate away from the general public. Prior to their exposure, the devices were being stored in the hall in a room separate to the exhibition.”