Leeds nostalgia: Denby Dale had biggest bomb dump in UK in 1947

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An advertisement appeared in the Yorkshire Evening Post, urging cyclists not to tailgate vehicles while riding. It ran with a picture of a cyclist riding but holding onto the back of a vehicle with one hand.

The advert said there were more than 160,000 road accidents in 1946 which resulted in death or maiming. The caption said: “This lad will long regret that he broke Paragraph 66 of the Highway Code (“Do not hold onto another vehicle”). He got five weeks in hospital and a wrecked bicycle. And it might have been much worse than that.” It urged pedestrians, cyclists and motorists to know their Highway Code.

Meanwhile, Denby Dale were preparing to throw 20,000 poison gas bombs into the sea. The munitions had been “dumped” by American forces the previous year.

For 12 months, villagers complained of leakages, some of which made the wearing of gas masks necessary.

The Ministry of Supply had already moved 2,000 bombs, most of them thousand pounders, which were filled with poisoned gas.

Our YEP reporter back in 1947 observed a crane lifting some of the massive bombs onto a lorry, after which they were taken to Denby Dale Station to be put on wagons and from there taken to the coast.

The Government intended to despatch three train loads (about 400 bombs) per week, sending them to Cumberland.

However, there were more bombs to get rid of, including some high explosive bombs, stacks of bomb fins, ammunition and small arms, all of which had been left by the Americans before they left the area.

A Government spokesman said it was one of the biggest ammunition dumps in the whole of the country.

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