AROUND 24 police officers, some of them armed, surrounded a house in Colne on March 5 1980, in what turned into a six-hour siege.

The incident was sparked when a woman flagged down a passing police car in fear of her husband, who had a shotgun in the house.

When the police arrived at 3.20am, the woman, Norma Lunney, had been taken to a neighbour's house and other residents were told to stay indoors.

At 9.30am, six hours later, Chief Superintendent, Joseph Henderson, was invited into the house by Joe Lunney, who handed over an unloaded shotgun that was still in its case.

CS Henderson later dismissed the incident as 'purely a domestic matter' and said: "There was no ammunition in the house but because of information we had received we had to take precautionary measures which later proved to be unnecessary.

"We didn't see Mr Lunney with the gun in his hand when we were outside the house. The gun is now in our possession and it's up to the chief constable to decide whether he can have it back or not."

Shortly after Mr Lunney had handed over the gun, Mrs Lunney went back into the house to be reunited with her husband.