Explosive railway detonator dating back to 1945 found in Morecambe charity shop

The explosive device, which was handed into police in Morecambe, dates back to 1945. Credit: British Transport Police

A railway detonator dating back to 1945 has been handed in to police after it was found in a charity shop in Lancashire.

British Transport Police said the potentially dangerous explosive device was spotted for sale in Morecambe before being handed in to the local police station on 27 January.

National Rail's Incident Response team were called to collect the detonator from the police station, which had an accompanying warning saying 'do not touch'.

The coin-sized devices are used on the railway as an emergency warning signal for train drivers not to proceed on a line which has been closed due to hazard.

When the wheel of the train passes over, it explodes, emitting a loud bang and alerting the driver.

They can be very dangerous if handled in the wrong way.

British Transport Police say they did a bit of research and from the markings on it established this one was probably made around 1945.

The detonators have a five-year expiry date for use, and this one had July 1950 on it.