20th Sep, 2018

Magnet fishers pull Tommy guns out of canal in haul of Second World War weapons

Laura Kearns 12th Jul, 2018

MAGNET fishers were ‘blown away’ after they pulled a haul of Second World War weapons including Tommy guns and rifles out of a canal in Warwick.

Paul Price, along with wife Marie and mother-in-law Carol Brown have spent the past year magnet fishing along Coventry and Warwickshire’s canals.

But the trio say their best find to date – and they believe possibly ever in the magnet fishing world – was discovered by them along the Grand Union Canal under the Birmingham Road Bridge at the start of July.

The family from Rugby found eight guns which had been cut into bits. After piecing together the haul they found most were rifles and revolvers but they also discovered two American-made Thompson submachine guns – also known as Tommy guns – and ammunition.

Forklift truck driver Paul said: “We are so happy we found them. It was a very exciting afternoon, we were blown away.

“Some of the guns we have kept which were never going to fire. The rest have been handed in to police.

“We believe the weapons may have belonged to someone’s dad or grandad and when they died they have been cut apart and thrown in the canal by whoever has cleared out the house.”

The family say they got hooked on magnet fishing after stumbling across a video of the sport online.

It involves a strong magnet tied to a piece of rope which is then thrown in to a river, lake of canal in the hope of attracting metal treasures.

The family bought a magnet – which costs up to £90 – and now spend nearly every weekend at a different spot across the county, sometimes even joined by Paul and Marie’s ten-year-old son Ben.

One of their most dramatic finds to date was a hand grenade in Rugby which needed the expert skills of a bomb squad from Slough.

Paul said: “On New Year’s Day this year we pulled a hand grenade out of a canal in Rugby and had to call police. They then called the bomb squad to blow it up.

“We were there for around six hours.”

Past discoveries also include two shotguns in leather cases, which they found in Coventry, swords, a Vespa scooter, a Rolex watch and even safes.

The family say they throw some of the smaller items away, some things they take home, and any big finds they call the Canal and River Trust to come and dispose of.

To keep people updated with their discoveries they run a Facebook page called Blazing Magnets, posting regular videos showcasing their finds.

Visit www.facebook.com/blazingmagnets to find out more.

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