How has Exeter recovered one year on from Second World War bomb detonation?

  • Watch Richard Lawrence's report

People in Exeter are still feeling ‘emotionally affected’ by the detonation of a Second World War bomb in the city one year ago.

Many residents have faced a year of upheaval as more than 55 homes required repairs from the device’s controlled explosion in February 2021.

Alice Knight’s home was just 25 yards away from the blast and the events from last year are still being felt today.

She said: "It brought the community together in some ways but in some ways it split us apart.

The bomb was detonated in a controlled explosion last year Credit: Devon and Cornwall Police

"It’s been good in some ways because we got to know each other better but in other ways it does feel like we’re fractured."

The 1000kg German bomb was discovered on a building site for the private development of student accommodation.

The houses opposite the site were worst affected – although nobody was injured from the blast.

"You couldn’t even see the house from all the dust. You felt it and then you heard it.

"Of course all I could think of was the hamster’s still in the house. I was a bit upset because I was worried".

More than 50 properties were damaged by the blast which was bigger than expected Credit: ITV West Country

A mass evacuation was ordered in February 2021 but Alice was allowed back 36 hours after the blast to collect her hamster.

However some residents are still not back in their homes.

James Reseigh, the director of Neighbourhoods at Livewest - who own many of the adjacent properties of the blast – said some of the major works on the homes are still ongoing.

He said: "I think it’s been really difficult for our customers.

"We’ve had a number that have been emotionally impacted and we’ve had to support them over the last few months.”