Magnet fisherman finds six WW2 submachine guns in canal

A magnet fisherman was surprised to find six WWII submachine guns in a canal.

Nigel Lamford, 50, found the Sten guns using his custom-made magnet, which was capable of lifting over a ton of metal out of the water.

He threw the magnet indiscriminately into the canal and was thrilled to pull out a magazine – followed by the gun and stock, which they reassembled on shore.

The dirt-covered gun was the first of six discovered by Nigel and friends in Weedon Bec, Northamptonshire.

He and his fellow magnet fishers posed with the guns before they were taken to a local military museum.

Dad-of-three Nigel, who runs the UK’s biggest magnet fishing YouTube channel, said this was his best find ever.

The weapons were found in a body of water near the site of the former Royal Ordnance Depot.

Nigel believes the guns are worth around £1,000 each and could be fired if cleaned.

The auto electrician, from Kettering, Northamptonshire, said: “A find like this was, in my opinion, quite simply the best find ever.

“You can find amazing things, but I’ve never found so many guns together in such good condition.

“They are such iconic weapons, we all had great fun posing with them and putting them all back together after I pulled them out.”

Nigel pulled the Stens out of the channel during a 10 hour fishing session on January 9th.

The famous submachine gun was one of the most widely used weapons in World War II, with over two million units made.

With the largest YouTube channel on magnet fishing in the UK, this is just one of many discoveries Nigel has made on UK rivers.

He has previously uncovered artillery shells, grenades, knives and flintlock muskets from the 18th century.

He pulled the guns from a canal on private property near Weedon bec, Northamptonshire and has now handed the guns over to the local military museum for cleaning.

He has discovered all sorts of historical relics across the country and even accidentally briefly closed part of Reading after spotting an artillery shell in the Thames.

Nigel said: “I have now recovered a total of about 61 guns.

“You don’t get many very often, but the site we excavated was the largest ordination depot in Britain for 150 years, so it goes right back to Napoleonic times.

“Obviously you’re not allowed to have guns in Britain, so they’re always handed over to the police for destruction or given away to museums to be cleaned.

“We have special permission to be there because it’s private land.”

Nigel runs the UK’s largest magnet fishing YouTube channel, Northantsmagnetfishing, with viewers and sponsors from all over the world.

He said: “[Magnet fishing] is getting really big in the UK now. When I started three years ago there were maybe 10 YouTube channels for it, now there are over 100 in the UK.

“It’s also a great community. Usually there are five of us in a group and we go searching together and have some fun, that’s the main thing.”

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