Incredible haul of antique weapon, including a cache of unexploded grenades, recovered from River Nene near Peterborough

Two of the antique guns pulled from the River Nene. Photo: SWNS
Two of the antique guns pulled from the River Nene. Photo: SWNS

A magnet fisherman has pulled up an incredible haul of antique weapons -- including a cache of live grenades and guns.

Dad-of-three, Nigel Lamford, 47, has recovered more than 20 guns and grenades - as well as wartime bullets - from a ten mile stretch of the river Nene.

Nigel Lamford, 47, has recovered more than 20 guns and grenades - as well as wartime bullets - from a ten mile stretch of the River Nene. Photo: SWNS

Nigel Lamford, 47, has recovered more than 20 guns and grenades - as well as wartime bullets - from a ten mile stretch of the River Nene. Photo: SWNS

Over the last three months his £140 magnet has pulled up a 1918 German Mauser hand gun, a Colt Service Revolver from 1917 and a 1914 Browning high power 9mm handgun.

He's also found a Second World War Spigot mortar, 1980s sawn-off shotguns, a Mills no.5 grenade from 1917 and a fully loaded gun magazine.

Whilst the weapons and explosives are amazing to admire, David's finds have led to five police road closures and an armed police response to his home.

On at least five occasions a bomb disposal squad has been called to the river bank to carry out controlled explosions to safely detonate deadly and unstable explosives.

Nigel Lamford, 47, has recovered more than 20 guns and grenades - as well as wartime bullets - from a ten mile stretch of the River Nene. Photo: SWNS

Nigel Lamford, 47, has recovered more than 20 guns and grenades - as well as wartime bullets - from a ten mile stretch of the River Nene. Photo: SWNS

Nigel from Thrapston, Northamptonshire, said: "It's shocking how many dangerous weapons are just laying on the river bed. They are ticking time bombs under water", said Nigel, a magnet fisherman since October.

He said: "They are better off out of the water than in there. I've found some grenades under bridges. You never know what could happen."

"I've got to be so cautious because they are just as dangerous now as they were 100 years ago.

"I get quite a buzz out of it and it's incredibly addictive. You definitely get a kick out of it and a real adrenaline rush when you find live explosives.

Nigel Lamford, 47, has recovered more than 20 guns and grenades - as well as wartime bullets - from a ten mile stretch of the River Nene. Photo: SWNS

Nigel Lamford, 47, has recovered more than 20 guns and grenades - as well as wartime bullets - from a ten mile stretch of the River Nene. Photo: SWNS

"Whenever you find something you want to push yourself to go one further.

"I have been told that I have found more guns that anyone in the UK. For some reason this spot is a hot spot. It has so much potential."

Nigel is a magnet fisherman, and rather than baiting a hook with a maggot, he sends a mega magnet to the bottom of the river to fish for metallic antiques.

The magnet is capable of hooking metals that weigh up to 500kg.

Whenever Nigel pulls a live explosive from the riverbed, he handles them with extreme care, before calling the Ministry of Defence's bomb squad.

And each time David pulls up a gun, he has had to hand them over to the police within around 24 hours, or risk being in breach of the law for weapons possession offences.

But not each trip to the river bank is successful and he admitted he can sometimes can spend hours searching, but go home empty handed.

Nigel first got into magnet fishing after being encouraged to give it a go by old friends at his local pub.

His trips have turned into a family affair and his eldest son, Ethan, 19 and his wife, Kim 44, often join in the fun.

Nigel, who is also dad to Riley, 12 and Willow, 16, said: "I can never keep any of them for very long.

"I can give them a quick clean and take my photos before I have to phone the police.

"I do the responsible thing because they can't be left on the side of the river or thrown back in.

"They could endanger a life. I've had the armed response vehicle come to collect some of the guns. When it's anything explosive they come within a few minutes.

"I'm not proud of closing roads but it is the responsible thing to do. They are better off being blown up safely than just left there."

Almost all of Nigel's finds have virtually no or very little value due to how rotten or rusted they have become underwater.

Nigel has also reeled in old bikes, tools and scrap metal and he gets a kick out of clearing the local waterways and recycling of tonnes of scrap metal.

Nigel added: "I'm hooked on it now. It's too addictive.

"Anyone could start doing this if they wanted to with a cheap £20 magnet to get started.

"I get a lot of enjoyment out of it."