A COUPLE had the shock of their lives when they discovered a bomb during a metal detecting trip.

David Lovey, 48, of Warren Drive, Basildon, was on a treasure hunting expedition with his wife, Kat, in a field in Pitsea.

As they were searching, the metal detector picked up signals of a mysterious object hidden underneath the surface.

David, thinking he had found a good haul, dug the ground up and discovered a worn-out looking object which he thought was an was an old pipe.

He said: “I dug about seven inches into the ground and I saw the metal object. I dug around it, and further into the ground and the object looked very familiar to me.”

But actually David had found a Second World War 1kg bomb just inches away from him.

He added: “I’ve been doing metal detecting for almost three years.

“I’ve uncovered bomb fragments and shells before but I’ve never found a whole one until last Sunday.

“It was an eventful day for Kat and I. I must admit I wasn’t frightened but once we knew it was a bomb we were very cautious.

“I called police who came in 20 minutes. And then they contacted the bomb squad who came from the Ministry of Defence. The bomb squad came and the bomb was detonated at around 4pm.

“We went 200 yards away from the bomb and hid behind the MoD vans. The explosion was a lot louder than expected, it’s a lot louder than if you’re sitting near fireworks going off.

“The bomb squad told me they had to detonate it because you can’t leave it sitting in the middle of a field where it’s about 50 yards from residential homes. And especially because it was exposed to air, which could make the metals active. It could have exploded at any moment.

“Police had informed and reassured residents that the bomb has been disposed of.”

The incendiary bombs carry magnesium-based explosives which were designed to start fires, and were hard to extinguish.

David said: “It was such a surreal feeling when I found the bomb. You hear stories about people discovering unexploded old bombs but you would never think it will happen to you. I hadn’t thought about the dangers of it until the bomb squad told me a story of how a man discovered a timing device.

“They said the man found a timing device and took it home to wipe it and clean it. The bomb went off and he lost the use of both his arms. It was very tragic.

“After hearing that story it made me realise how important it was to dispose of old bombs, even though they don’t look threatening at all. And blimey, I even touched and wiggled the bomb.”

David, who is also a member of the The Essex Detectorists (T.E.D), says he looks forward to more adventuresand added: “I admit, it was a very exciting discovery. It was very eventful.”