Tyneham & Worbarrow

… where time stopped in 1943

Dorset ONLINE

Parish Clerks Network

This is the moment two men each casually carried a 2ft-long unexploded bomb each after finding them washed up on a beach.

The pair were pictured with the two potentially deadly rusty 120mm tank shells slung over the shoulders.

Onlookers watched as the men strolled past them with the explosives that date back to the Cold War.

It is believed the unidentified pair may have seized the bombs to try and later cash in as scrap metal.

Now the MoD is urgently appealing for them to make contact with them so the ordnance can be safely removed before it blows up.

The shells were found washed up at Warbarrow Bay, Dorset.  The area is part of the 7,000-acre Lulworth Military Range used by the Army for tank firing practice.

A woman who took the picture of the pair on her mobile phone, said: 'I thought they were carrying rugs at first but as they walked past I saw they were enormous shells.

'I was with somebody who used to be in the Army and he said that because their ends were intact, they were unexploded.

'I was really scared. As they were walking past, my little girl was alongside them.

'I just think they're a pair of idiots.'

Another person said: 'What a couple of twits. If you see anything like this you should always call the police, not cart it on home.'

A member of the public posted on a local internet message board that the men were candidates for the Darwin Awards, a tongue-in-cheek term for people who take themselves out of the gene pool via death.

However, another poster commented: 'What's the problem? One man's scrap is another's treasure.'

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said the shells would have probably been fired from a Chieftain tank or a Wombat anti-tank rifle used by the Army in the 70s and 80s.

He said: 'The MoD takes the safety of the public extremely seriously and all pathways at Lulworth Ranges that are open to the public are cleared of military debris, including shells, before access is permitted.

'A number of signs have been placed on-site warning members of the public of the dangers of venturing from authorised pathways and removing shells.

'Unfortunately there are instances where these warnings are ignored.

'The MoD urges public using the ranges to keep to the designated pathways and be advised that it is extremely dangerous to touch any military material they may find.

'These shells are not something anyone should be picking up.'

The MoD is appealing for the two men, or anyone who knows their identity, to contact them as a matter of urgency.


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Daily Echo - Saturday 11 May 2013

Do you recognise men carrying unexploded tank shells?

Do you recognise men carrying unexploded tank shells they'd picked up from Dorset beauty spot?

By Joanna Codd

News from 2013


Daily Mail - Wednesday 15 May 2013

Idiotic pair pick up unexploded 2ft bombs

'Idiotic' pair pick up unexploded 2ft bombs that washed ashore - to 'sell them for scrap metal'

By Anna Edwards

TWO men were pictured strolling through a Dorset beauty spot while each was shouldering a potentially lethal 120 millimetre tank shell.

The unbelievable scene took place between Worbarrow Bay and Tyneham, where hundreds of local people and visitors were out enjoying Monday afternoon’s fine spring weather.

It was captured by a woman on her mobile phone’s camera at around 2.30pm while she and her family were walking from the beach to the car park. The area is used by the Army for firing practice.

“I thought they were carrying rugs, but as they walked past, I saw they were enormous shells.

“I was with somebody who used to be in the Army and he said that because their ends were intact, they were unexploded,” she said.

“I was really scared. As they were walking past, my little girl was alongside them. They could have gone on the Sandbanks Ferry or on the motorway. I just think they’re idiots.”

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence said it was impossible to tell from the photograph whether the shells were live or practice rounds.

“The men should immediately contact the police who will arrange for bomb disposal experts to examine the shells. There is no guarantee these items are free from explosive and they could therefore be extremely dangerous.

“The MOD takes the safety of the public extremely seriously and all pathways at Lulworth Ranges that are open to the public are cleared of military objects, including shells, before access is permitted.

“The MOD urges members of the public using the ranges to keep to the designated pathways and be advised that it is extremely dangerous to touch any military material they may find.”

South Dorset MP and former soldier Richard Drax said: “Unexploded shells can be very unstable. If they are picked up or dropped, it can set them off.”

The MOD is appealing for the individuals in the photograph, or anybody who knows their identity, to contact the Ministry of Defence Police Central Control Room on 01371 854500 quoting Incident Number 63 10-03-2013, as a matter of urgency.


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Dorset Echo - Friday 26 April 2013

Our ghost story









HISTORIC SHOW: Geoff King and Vince Jones

The melancholy tale of the village of Tyneham, Dorset’s famous ‘ghost village’ is being told once again – this time in musical form.

Generations Apart, a new theatrical production company based in Weymouth, are in the process of putting the show together and will be staging it in the town’s college theatre in October.

Auditions for the lead roles are taking place next month and an initial meeting is also planned for anyone interested in taking part in the project.

The words for Tyneham have been penned by lyricist Vince Jones, based on an idea by Weymouth Operatic Society president Geoff Tizzard-King.

Jordan Clark, the prodigious former All Saints School pupil who is now studying at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, has written the music.

Geoff said: “I have dreamed of writing a musical about Tyneham for years. I spoke to Vince about it and also to Major General Mark Bond, a descendant of the family who owned the land at Tyneham, and he was keen as mustard so we decided to do it.

“The initial idea was to stage it in Hope Church but as it grew and grew and we found ourselves looking at things like lighting and back projections and we realised we needed somewhere bigger.

“So we thought it would be a good idea to do it at the theatre in Weymouth College. Otherwise, we would have needed to hire a lot of technical equipment.”

Tyneham was a village in Purbeck that was evacuated during the Second World War to make way for military manoeuvres and was never repopulated. Local legend says that the inhabitants were given just 32 days to leave their homes, but in fact many had already left to go to war or find work in Swanage and Wareham.

“We want to present it as it actually was and not over-romanticise what happened,” said Vince.

Tyneham School closed in the early 1930s and when the end finally came only 40 people were still living in the village.

One of the most poignant living memories of the village was told to Geoff by Major General Bond, who fought in the Second World War and is now in his 90s.

Geoff said: “He fought in the war and was captured. When he eventually returned home, after the village had been evacuated, his father had to tell him that there was no Tyneham any more.”

The initial meeting to discuss the musical is taking place in Hope Church in Trinity Street, Weymouth, on May 4 at 7pm, with auditions taking place in the church on May 25 at 7pm.

Rehearsals will start this summer and Tyneham will be performed at the Bay Theatre, Weymouth College, from October 22 to 26.

For further details contact Geoff Tizzard-King on 01305 775383 or 07435 969246.


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