A?NEGLECTED and unwanted World War II mine used as a charity collecting box on Dawlish Lawn, has been ‘rescued’ by a Teignmouth trader and councillor.
Robert Phipps is giving the wartime relic a new lease of life on Teignmouth seafront, where it will raise funds for a maritime charity and become a tourist attraction. It will replace a similar mine which has stood on the prom for many years, but is now rusting badly and beyond repair.
Cllr Phipps said he was contacted by The Shipwreck Mariners’ Society chairman, which receives the money dropped into the mines. They had been trying to find out from Dawlish town Council whether it would be willing to take on the responsibility of maintaining and emptying their mine.
‘I contacted a Dawlish councillor about it, and then had an email from the town clerk asking for the mine to be removed as soon as possible. I thought it would look good on Teignmouth seafront. It is in excellent condition considering it is over 70 years old, and I will be carrying out a complete overhaul before it goes on the seafront.
‘The plan is to replace the one we have in Teignmouth which has rusted out over the years. It looks ok, but is full of car body filler.
‘It is a great pity that no one in Dawlish could be found to look after this iconic landmark.
‘It was a bit sad to unceremoniously yank this piece of British history from its resting place. But at least it will now be restored to it former glory and help raise funds for the families of those lost at sea.
The mine at Teignmouth is a talking point,and many visitors take photos of it. It is also a history lesson, and a reminder lest we forget those who lost their lives at sea, many of them in defence of our country.’