A DAD has has spoken of the moment his daughter's friend discovered a live Second World War grenade underneath a slide.

The grenade was found by teenagers playing in the Sidmouth Avenue play area who took it home to their family who then alerted the bomb squad. 

Residents reported a huge explosion as the grenade was detonated at the Westcliff Rugby Club in Aviation Way, Southend, hours later.

The discovery, at 6.30pm on Saturday, saw the park evacuated, along with several homes nearby, for around three hours.


Chris Jarvis (pictured below), who’s daughters 13-year-old friend, Sophie Jackson, discovered the grenade under the slide, believes badgers dislodged the grenade while digging tunnels next to the play area.

The 41-year-old, who was forced to evacuate his home on Saturday evening, said: “It was quite fortunate Sophie was sensible and I knew what it was.

“It was really heavy, almost a kilogram.

"The pin had corroded and only half of it was left inside.

“It was so strange.


"I don’t think the police believed me when I called them.

“I had to shout at a man to stop mowing the grass in the park on Sunday. It’s knee-high grass in there and you wouldn’t be able to see anything.

“It’s really dangerous. He did stop once I told him about what had happened.”

Residents reported hearing a huge explosion at around 9.30pm.

Daniel Cowan, Labour councillor for St Laurence ward, said the children “did the right thing” and told their parents.

SEE ALSO: Bomb squad blows up live grenade found by children in play area

He said: “It was too dangerous to take elsewhere to detonate.

“I’m pleased at the speed the incident was dealt with and nobody was hurt.

“It’s worrisome that a volatile and deadly weapon was found in the open but I’m assured that such incidents are rare.”

Essex Police confirmed officers attended on Saturday evening, before a military unit disposed of the grenade.