Trowbridge doesn’t seem like a likely target for terrorists. But yesterday, the centre of the town became ‘locked down’ as bomb disposal squads investigated a ‘suspect bag’.
I like the place, but a lot of people don’t. It’s the official county town of Wiltshire, a beautiful and historic region, yet Charles Moore from The Spectator described Trowbridge as a town lacking any “sign of talent, originality, workmanship, beauty or local pride”. He said the locals are “tattooed people shuffling round”. Even former front man of The Stranglers wrote a disparaging (but rather amusing) song “Don’t put me on a slow boat to Trowbridge”.
So it was with some surprise that yesterday, my afternoon shuffle to Asda was rudely interrupted by a police cordon and bomb disposal squad…
Modern Day Bomb Disposal
When ‘I arrived, a camouflaged Explosive Ordnance Disposal Expert fiddled with a remote control as he piloted a bomb disposal robot; a futuristic-looking machine that looked like a squashed version of the robot from Short Circuit.
These bomb disposal robots are endearingly called ‘Wheelbarrows’ as the first prototypes were built from a wheelbarrow and a lawnmower! But years of bomb threats in Northern Ireland and more recently, Iraq and Afghanistan have propelled these bits of kit from glorified remote controlled cars to sophisticated 21st Century toys.
A peruse through a bomb disposal robot brochure will have any techno-geek drooling with excitement: Wheelbarrows’ now feature grippers, infrared cameras, microphones; they can climb stairs, fold up into a backpack and even be fitted with water cannons!
If you’re wondering how to get your hands on one of these, you might have to do some saving of your pocket money: They have a standard price tag of around US$200,000!
Thankfully, no-one came to harm in Trowbridge’s brush with possible catastrophe: an abandoned suitcase was exploded by Army personnel and the hoards of anxious (and tattooed) shoppers were allowed to return to their shuffling…
You can find out more about a variety of bomb disposal robots at QinetiQ’s website.
Get the latest news reports from The Wiltshire Times
12 responses to “Breaking News: Bomb Threat to Trowbridge, Wiltshire!”
Wow that must have been an exciting moment for all the “shufflers” of Trowbridge!
You know that was my job before I worked in a lab..
What’s that? A bomb disposal expert or a Trowbridge shuffler? 🙂
Haha! Certainly no expert, but a technician. It’s all about the wheelbarrows!
Ooh, that sounds like an interesting job! Although I’m sure it’s nothing like in the movies…
haha that is me on the wheelbarrow 🙂
I’m sorry, come again?
Thats me oparating the wheel barrow (robot)
Brilliant! Thanks for getting in touch! You’re a local hero…
haha thanx we just doing our job was nice to get out and about was diffrent having an audience lol
[…] few days ago, I wrote about the Trowbridge bomb scare. It was a pretty exciting event for us simple Wiltshire-folk. The centre of town […]
Blimey, not the sort of thing you expect to see everyday! I wonder what poor person lost their suitcase and ended up having it blown up by the army? That’s got to be annoying!
Haha! Yes hadn’t thought of that. Maybe they were too embarrassed to own up it was theirs.