Brondesbury Park bomb safely removed bringing end to disruption
PUBLISHED: 08:48 06 March 2017 | UPDATED: 08:48 06 March 2017
Blitz spirit alive and well as residents, schools and businesses battled through evacuation and closures before the huge device was diffused.
The 500lb Second World War bomb was safely removed by Army experts on Friday evening.
Hundreds of residents then returned to their homes after the 300 metre exclusion zone was lifted.
Police and colleagues from the London Fire Brigade had been called to The Avenue, close to the junction with Willesden Lane, shortly before midday on Wednesday after builders unearthed the device while digging a basement car park for a new block of flats.
Army bomb disposal officers were quickly scrambled to the scene as hundreds of residents and schoolchildren were evacuated.
Some were briefly allowed back home to collect clothes and emergency supplies.
A total of 78 people unable to stay with relatives were put up in a nearby hotel overnight by Brent Council.
The council also organised a rest centre at St Martin’s Church on Mortimer Road, in Kensal Green, where evacuees were cared for by council officers and volunteers from the Red Cross.
Carole Hutchinson, a resident who attended the rest centre, said: “My husband was evacuated during the war and was telling me to hurry up all the time to get out, as he knows how much damage a bomb can do.
“He came back for the blitz.
“He was evacuated at the start of the war and they thought it was all quiet and calm and they all came back and then he stayed in London.
“I actually met three or four neighbours who I’ve never met before which has been really nice. It’s been a blitz spirit definitely.
“Everyone has been very kind and generous with food and lots of cups of tea from the Red Cross, so it’s been wonderful from that point of view.”
Leader of Brent Council, Muhammed Butt, said: “The blitz spirit of the community is alive and well in Brent and my thanks go to all of the residents who showed such great patience and humour in the face of adversity while the Army experts did their job.
“I would also like to thank our partners in the Army, police, Fire Brigade and Red Cross, as well as council colleagues who worked tirelessly throughout the night to help sort this out.
“We’re a resilient lot in Brent and I am immensely proud of how everyone responded.”
Unexploded bombs are still being unearthed across the capital in the aftermath of the Blitz – which was the most intense bombing campaign Britain has ever seen.
London was bombed 71 times between September 1940 and May 1941 with more than one million homes destroyed or damaged.