A man excavating his back garden in Darlington on Friday uncovered what he thought to be a flask, only for a neighbour to inform him that what he had actually found was a WWII shell.
The Police were duly contacted and an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team from Catterick arrived to deal with the situation. Ultimately, the shell turned out to be inert and was removed without hassle after a brief evacuation of surrounding properties.
The chance find is a reminder that if a suspect item is uncovered it is always prudent to expect the worst and get a second opinion rather than handling it. More often than not such items will be inert but this needs confirmation from professionals to ensure that no undue risk is placed on people and property.