Police were called in and performed controlled explosions on the grenades after workmen discovered them during excavations at Roughwood Drive, Kirkby. The AW Bombs (manufactured by Albright and Wilson) were judged to unstable to move, and were originally designed to explode on impact.
The nature of Liverpool’s landscape influenced even this bit of history. The grenades were probably made at the Royal Ordnance Factory (ROF) located in Kirkby, on the site which later became the Kirkby Industrial Estate. A similar factory was sited in Speke, as well as other loations around the country. In the 1930s and 40s the outskirts of Liverpool were popular for this kind of development, as the flat landscape provided room for expansion, and the rapidly increasing population, of unemployed men and women relocated from the city centre slum clearances, provided the workforce needed by the factories. Also, the areas were judged to be relatively ‘safe’, a definition applied to an area across the north and west of the country from Bristol to Linlithgow in Scotland. The areas were also relatively far from centres of population, while maintaining good transport links (roads and trains).
UPDATE: This morning the Liverpool Echo reported that another two A.W. grenades have been found in the grounds of the same school.