A stash of pre-World War II wine found in a garden was destroyed by the British army bomb squad, a reader recounts in this month’s issue of Decanter magazine.
Mr Tim Woodall from Suffolk, describes how he found a metal cylinder ‘rather like a model airship’ while gardening.
Thinking it might be an unexploded World War II mortar, he ‘stepped away from the flower bed’ he proceeded to pick up the Dog-and-Bone and call the Ducks-and-Geese (NB: Sorry, sometimes my Cockney rhyming slang gets away from me! “Dog-and-Bone” = phone. “Ducks-and-Geese” = Police.)
A bomb disposal unit duly arrived, and a controlled explosion was set off. This revealed a bomb shelter, a common feature of war-time gardens in Britain (NB: My Grandma had one in her back garden).
“Within the shelter,” Woodall writes, “the bomb squad found a wine rack holding a large number of full French bottles, the dates ranging from 1931 to 1937. This information was communicated to us via radio by one of the heavily armored soldiers who, throughout the exercise, provided a running commentary.” Unfortunately, two more unexploded bombs were found, which also had to be destroyed, collapsing the shelter.
These are the kind of wine stories I like to read! I wish there was a happier ending though…