THE evacuation of a street in Ulverston for the arrival of a bomb squad left residents in 'shock'. 

A major incident was declared on December 6 after a multi-agency response to a suspicious item in a house led to 53 homes being evacuated on Steel Street.

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team carefully assessed the item until they declared that it was safe.

A 46-year-old man remains in police custody after he was arrested in connection with this incident.

Enquiries are ongoing and a police presence will remain in place at the house in question on Steel Street.

Residents were given shelter at the Premier Inn and Ulverston Leisure Centre until the morning of Thursday, December 7, when they could safely return home.

The Mail: Sue Mallinson, resident of Steel Street.Sue Mallinson, resident of Steel Street. (Image: Filipa Gaspar, Newsquest)Sue Mallinson, who has been living on that street for over 20 years, said it was the first time she had witnessed an incident like this.

Ms Mallinson came home from work to find both ends of the street cordoned off. She described this as 'quite a shock.' 

"We were told to evacuate the house and went to the Premier Inn, who were amazing and looked after us. Later on, we got moved on to the leisure centre and all the staff down there looked after us really well and supplied us with nice warm drinks.

"It went on a lot longer than what everybody expected, but I think they met up with obstacles and problems that they weren't prepared for, thankfully, it all ended well. 

"The street is so quiet. Neighbours are nice and friendly, and we don't normally have anything like this - it is mind-blowing, really."

The Mail: Police on Steel Street.Police on Steel Street. (Image: Filipa Gaspar, Newsquest)

Abby Briscle, resident at door number 20, said the incident was 'quite surprising.'

She said: "I was a bit scared when I was messaged to say that the Police had cordoned off the street - I was in Walney at the time.

"We didn't know if the threat was real or if they were just being cautious. 

"Ulverston is not that sort of town. You can imagine it in bigger cities."

The Mail: Steel street.Steel street. (Image: Filipa Gaspar, Newsquest)

Shirley Fine, also living on Steel Street said she was 'worried sick' and she had not slept much the night before. 

Ms Fine said: "My daughter was scared, so we just made the decision to go about half past 6 last night; it was voluntary at that point."

After initially heading to the Premier Inn, Ms Fine was told to go to the leisure centre. She said the staff provided yoga mats and blankets for people there.

Eventually, she went to her friend's house as Ms Fine knew that she had a spare bed.

The Mail: Jon Press, resident of Steel Street. Jon Press, resident of Steel Street. (Image: Daniel Pye, Newsquest)"We were quite fortunate," said Jon Press. His family stayed at a relative's house for the night

"We were one of the lucky ones we had a place to stay for the night, in comparison to a lot of the folk who had been at the leisure centre.

"I was thinking it only happens to other people but sometimes you’re the other people."

The Mail: Dennis Jones, resident of Steel Street.Dennis Jones, resident of Steel Street. (Image: Daniel Pye, Newsquest)

Dennis Jones said that the Premier Inn was 'chock-a-block' with people so they stayed at his sister-in-law's.

His family did not evacuate until late as they had not heard the initial order.

"It was the neighbours that telephoned us. They said we had to get out of the house. We didn’t really want to go. Missus was in bed when she rang."

Ben Lambert, owner of Bardsea Cafe, said: "This morning (Thursday, December 7), we have provided free-of-charge breakfast to the people who have been asked to leave their homes.

"We are doing it for the rest of today and tomorrow if anybody needs it. Tomorrow, Friday, if anybody is struggling, just give us a call."

Ruth Duckworth, Regional Operations Manager for Premier Inn Ulverston said: "We are very proud of our Premier Inn Ulverston team for providing the local residents with somewhere warm to shelter and refreshments and entertainment for any children. It was a scary time for everyone, but our teams are trained to always expect the unexpected and this is a prime example of thinking quick on your feet."

A spokesperson for the Better Ulverston Leisure Centre said: “Staff at Ulverston Leisure Centre were able to support officers from Westmorland and Furness Council in providing emergency overnight refuge for people affected by the incident on Wednesday evening.

“Better work in partnership with the authorities – as we did in the recent snowfall – to ensure the safety and wellbeing of local residents.”