Airport security work might be pretty routine most of the time,but occasionally security guards at希斯罗机场遇到一些很奇怪的东西。

Items like a 15-inch rubber,ahem,"marital aid".

As part of a campaign by the GMB union to ensure all airport staff are paid at least the London Living Wage of £10.55 per hour,two security guards have revealed some of the weirder moments from their jobs,as well as a few terrifying brushes with high explosives.

The union hopes the stories will highlight the important work airport security guards do,with national officer Nadine Houghton saying: "It is all too easy to forget the terminal cleaners,the security guards and the ticket agents but these roles are just as important as the pilots and cabin crew staff to a passenger's journey.As such,these roles deserve to be paid accordingly."

Smuggling sex toys

What's the most awkward encounter you've had with your boss?

Whatever it is,it probably wasn't as uncomfortable as the time one security guard's supervisor came through Heathrow to go on holiday.

They said: "A while ago we had a supervisor - she wasn't very popular.A real stickler for procedure who would never ask you nicely.She had this script for asking people about electrical items in people's luggage,and woe betide you if you didn't stick to it.

"A few months after she left,she came back to the airport on her holidays.We asked her 'Have you got any electrical items in your bag?'

Maybe keep it in your hold luggage

"Her face fell.So we took her to one side and asked her what it was.Very reluctantly,she reached in her bag and pulled out this huge rubber penis.

"It was huge.It must have been 15 inches long,ribbed and it's wobbling around everywhere.She looked like she wanted the ground to swallow her up.

"But we did what she's always taught us - stick to the script.Is this yours?Yes.Have you maintained it yourself?Yes.Have you lent it to anyone?

"At least she said no to that one."

Chasing a £10,000 cat

Sometimes,people bring their pets on holiday.Expensive pets.And sometimes,those pets decide they might not want to get on an aeroplane.

"My second day on the job I was dealing with pet transfers.One of the pets we were moving was a £10,000 Siamese cat that had just won a cat show.

"Suddenly,the box flew open and this cat was out like a shot.I tried to grab it but it was off.I ran after it and some of my colleagues joined in.

"Before long there were 25 of us racing round the airport trying to get this cat.It took us three hours hunting it down across the terminal before someone tempted it with some milk and we could grab it."

Imagine chasing one of these round Heathrow

But sadly,flying with animals doesn't always end well.

"But it's a shame because a lot of people send their pets in boxes in the hold.Many,many people forget to put air holes in and the pet dies.The pilot is supposed to put the heating on but they don't always remember.You end up with a dog lollipop because it's so cold."

Live hand grenades and high-powered rifles

It's not all fun and games at Heathrow security,however - sometimes things can get pretty dangerous.

Do not send these in the post

"I used to work in military and diplomatic post,which goes in the hold of passenger planes.

"People used to send a lot of spoils of war from Iraq.You wouldn't believe it;Iraqi handguns,bags of C4 explosives,that kind of thing.Someone even sent a belt of live grenades - I mean a full belt,Rambo style,where all the pins are attached to one string.

"One of them was very,very loose - it could have gone off at any minute.And these were meant to go in the hold of a civilian plane.

"It was pretty tense.We had to evacuate the entire building while the bomb squad came.Terminal Three was shut for about three hours.SO18 [Heathrow's specialist police] and the bomb squad turned up,but they make you go back into the building to show them what you've seen.I was terrified.

"Another time we found parts of a long-range sniper rifle that was being sent to Karachi.This was a custom-made,high velocity deadly bit of kit.

"We got in touch with US Homeland Security and they decided to let the weapon travel.They wanted to track where it was going and try to shut down the terrorist cell.It was all hushed up at the time but it was a long while ago now so hopefully we are allowed to talk about it."

Septuagenarian strippers and drunken pranksters

Sometimes,it's the passengers themselves that cause problems,rather than just their luggage.

"I was working at the scanners,asking people to put their belongings in a tray.A woman,who must have been in her 70s,turned up at security in a big jacket,so I asked her to put her shoes and jacket in the tray before walking through the scanner.

"Looking back,I don't think she can have spoken much English,because when I turned around she was stark naked.She'd literally taken everything off.Not a stitch on her - it was all in her tray.

"One chap was putting things in the tray,but when he put his shoes up he said,'Be careful,my shoes will explode'.

"Obviously we went into full security mode,the police came and this guy was arrested and handcuffed,but there was nothing wrong with the shoes,they were just normal.

"We asked him,'Why did you say that?' He told us he had been sent by Scotland Yard to test out how tight our security was.

"It wasn't true.He was drunk as a skunk."