Copper Bomb

Growing up In Mount Merrion in the mid 50’s, I was part of a gang that lived around the area where the The Rise meets Trees Road. Some of our gang members had older brothers that got up things that we younger lads either didn’t have the nerve for or the knowledge to try to imitate. One such carry on was the manufacture of a copper bomb. To make one, you take a length of copper tube, hammer one end till flat, drill a small hole to take the Jetex fuse, fill with explosive (weed killer plus 2 other ingredients I don’t recall) and hammer down the open end. This was not a job for the faint hearted as the act of hammering could cause the bomb to explode as it did to one of my friend’s older brother which resulted in him losing some of his fingers.
One night when it was dark, one of the older gang members produced a copper bomb and told us he was going to set it off. The excitement amongst us juniors was immense as we had heard of these bombs but never seen one go off. The place picked to set off the bomb, was at the foot of a large sycamore tree at the junction of the Rise and Trees Road. We were all told to keep back and the fuse was duly lit. The bang was immense but instead of just blowing to pieces, the copper bomb took off like a rocket and went through the top floor window of the corner house that the Petrie’s lived in. The bomb landed on a bed and nearly set the bed clothes alight. We all heard the crash of glass but had no idea of where it came from until Mr Petrie came roaring out of the house to find out who had nearly set fire to his house. If you knew Mr Petrie you would have been as frightened as we were! We ran in every direction and miraculously, none of us were caught. That was my one and only involvement with copper bombs and naturally, my mother never got to hear about it.