WAYNE Elson started off his metal detecting hobby with a huge bang after discovering an unexploded bomb.
The 49-year-old, of Hambledon Road, in Waterlooville, found the German Second World War incendiary just a week after buying his £180 kit.
He was scouring the woods a mile away from his home when he found the bomb, jutting six inches out of the ground on Friday.
Wayne, who works in property maintenance, did not realise what it was and pulled it from the ground before popping it in his van and driving home.
But he quickly called the police and searched online after his wife Julie, 42, suggested it may be a bomb.
He said: ‘I was looking for coins and any old bits of metal stuck in the ground.
‘I came across the bomb and it was in the ground at about a 45-degree angle.
‘So I dug it up thinking it was a bit of aluminium and thought I’d just flog it.’
Police arrived and closed off the road as an army bomb disposal unit from Aldershot was called.
They X-rayed the device four times and discovered the bomb was still live on Friday night
The Royal Logistics Corps team cut a hole in the hedge outside Wayne’s home and took the bomb to a field across the road, covering it with 20 sandbags.
At 6am on Saturday morning the team returned and detonated the bomb.
Wayne added: ‘A policeman had to stay here all night to make sure no-one was tampering with it.
‘The explosion blew the bags up in the air.
‘It was done safely – very professional the army was.’
Two fire service appliances also attended the detonation.
But this experience, and the stern telling-off he received from the police and army, have not made Wayne hang up his metal detector for good.
He said: ‘I’ll carry on metal detecting, I won’t stop.
‘I enjoy it. It gives me a bit of fresh air and I might find a bigger bomb in the end.’
‘I’m doing a public service.
‘Kids could have played with it or put it on a fire and it could have killed a few people.’
An MoD spokeswoman confirmed a team from Aldershot attended and disposed of the bomb on Saturday morning.
Hampshire police did not comment over the weekend when contacted by The News.