12:24PM, Wednesday 28 August 2013
A historic military compass donated to Windsor's hospice sparked a chemical alert on Tuesday.
Passers-by and neighbours watched in amazement as firefighters from Slough and Windsor went to the Thames Hospice Homestore and Donation Centre in Tinkers Lane, accompanied by a chemical incident vehicle.
The 1945 compass had been donated to fund raisers by a wellwisher - so they could sell the historic artefact and raise funds to help patients with life threatening illnesses based at the hospice's Pine Lodge home in Hatch Lane.
But the hospice's head of marketing Juliette Gillard explained that when they offered it for sale on e-bay, they received a warning message from browsers telling them that old military compasses contained radioactive material.
The worried hospice team immediately called the emergency services who converged on Tinkers Lane just before 3pm.
The compass was put in a special drum while it was checked out but returned to the hospice team after an hour when it was found to be safe. A firefighter said the amount of radioactive material found was too tiny to be a risk.
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