A bomb in Wanstead? Er… no. Not quite

Workmen thought they had uncovered a bomb when they discovered bottles of gas attached by hosepipes to a pump in a cupboard at Oak Hall Court , the Wanstead Guardian reports. A bomb scare and evacuation followed on Tuesday morning.

However. The bottles were just part of an air monitoring kit installed in 1960 – and it took a 90-year-old resident to work out what they were. Joan Brown told the paper:

“We were evacuated and someone said something suspect had been found in one of the maintenance cupboards. Well, I have been here since the flats were opened in 1948 and I knew immediately what it was. It’s a device that was put in to monitor air quality when this was a clean air zone in the 1950s. It was just stuck there and forgotten about.

“I went up and told the police sergeant and everything went calm again.”

So no biggie in the end, but it was alarming when it happened, including for Wansteadium reader @lornamedia, who had tweeted:

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/lornamedia/status/27392771635544064″]


• While we’re talking about bombs, though, let’s take the opportunity to mention the ongoing Wansteadium Blitz Project.

This is a “real-time-plus-70-years” re-reporting of when bombs fell on Wanstead from German planes, what kind of bombs they were, and what the result was.

As of 19 January 1941, 70 years ago today, there had been nearly 80 incidents of bombs falling on Wanstead. The time around Christmas and winter was, as it turned out, relatively quiet for the people of Wanstead – the last bomb recorded before 19 January was on Snaresbrook Road and Eagle Lane, on 4 December 1940. But the Blitz was certainly not finished – the next bomb to fall was… well, you’ll have to wait and find out, since that was all our forerunners could do.