This is the astonishing moment a cache of guns was pulled out of a canal by a family of magnet-fishers. The Price family couldn’t believe it when they pulled a rusting revolver from the water in Warwick but they had a bigger shock coming.
When they dipped their magnets back in, they were amazed to see the trigger of an old submachine gun emerge. They then found more pieces of the historic weapon – a Thompson M1A1 that had been submerged in the water for years.
The family – who post their amazing finds on YouTube and Facebook under the name Blazing Magnets – first started magnet fishing around a year ago in the canals across Coventry and Warwickshire. The hobby involves using a powerful magnet to see what metal items can be fished out of areas of water and usually magnet fishers spend hours at a spot and may turn up an old shopping trolley or two.
However, Paul Price said it was their first magnet of the day which proved golden. He said: “We went down there and started throwing the magnets in, and the first magnet we threw in pulled out a revolver. I had literally turned my camera on for about 30 or 40 seconds and Carol pulled a revolver out. We just started pulling out more bits of various different guns out.”
Carol added: “It was an amazing day. I threw my magnet in and out came this revolver bit. We were really excited but we never knew it would lead to finding all these other pieces of guns.”
The family had no idea when they first pulled the trigger out that it belonged to such a historic weapon. They returned home with the pieces in a bucket and eventually unraveled the mystery with the help of Google.
Paul Price who helped find the guns said “We can only imagine the weapons may have been taken home by someone serving in World War II as souvenirs. I think they may have ended up in the canal after those who emptied their home following their death decided to cut them up and dispose of them to stop them “getting into the wrong hands”.
The Price family, from Rugby, first started magnet fishing around a year ago but it has slowly taken over their life. Almost every weekend you’ll find dad Paul, his wife Marie and their son Ben, as well as other family members, seeing what they can fish out of the canals of Coventry and Warwickshire with their trusty magnet.
“On New Year’s Eve we found a WW2 hand grenade,” Paul revealed. “I called the police and they called the bomb squad, who came all the way from Slough and blew it up. That was quite a surreal day. It had been in there for a number of years.”
Paul listed some of their other “weird and wonderful” finds as a Lee Enfield rifle, German MP40 and various rounds of ammunition. The discovery of a pair of shotguns also ended in a meeting with police and some unexpected news. Paul said: “CID rang my wife a short time after to say they (shotguns) were used in a burglary and they had probably put them in the canal.”
Joe Harvey who made the film said, “After seeing the social media coverage surrounding the haul, as a WW2 military enthusiast I had to reach out to Mr. Price to see if I could visit him with a crew from Infinite Pixel to make a short video for War History Online.”
Harvey added, “It was amazing to see the relatively good condition of the weapons. I would love to know the circumstances surrounding them being disposed of in the canal but unfortunately, it will never be known exactly. I took along my deactivated Thompson M1A1 to show the family exactly what they looked and felt like and they were astonished.”
Harvey was able to identify that one of their Thompsons was an earlier model M1A1 as it didn’t have the triangular rear sight protector. It was also interesting to note one of them was inscribed with the phrase “THE GUN THAT MADE THE TWENTIES ROAR”.
Not being an expert on the revolvers, Harvey confessed, “I couldn’t give him details about them. One is made by Smith and Wesson and the other two are made by Webley. I would be interested to find out more about them if anyone can identify them.”