BOMB disposal experts blew up a high calibre mortar on fields near a Little Hulton estate after it was discovered in a back garden.

The Emergency Ordinance Detonation (EOD) team detonated the mortar on wasteland off Kenyon Way at 8.10am yesterday.

The previous evening, families were evacuated from their homes in Rigby Grove and Kenyon Way after the unexploded shell was found at 5.20pm on Tuesday.

Police sealed off the area after the bomb was found at a semi-detatched house at the bottom end of the culde- sac in Rigby Grove.

They confirmed the shell had been discovered in the garden.

Bomb disposal experts checked the mortar and made the scene safe, but were unable to detonate it in the darkness. As soon as it was light, the EOD team, from Chester Garrison, moved the device to wasteland and made a controlled explosion.

No residents were evacuated during the explosion, although 15 homes were evacuated for a time on Tuesday night.

It is not known why the mortar, which was post- Second World War, was in the garden.

An Army spokesman said: “Whoever found this did the right thing. We always say leave it where it is and call the emergency services and we will come along.

“We won’t detonate at night because of the darkness, which is why we waited until daylight.”

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police added: “Shortly after 5.20pm on Tuesday, we were called to Rigby Grove in Little Hulton after what appears to be a mortar shell was found.

“EOD have attended and the device has been safely moved and detonated.”