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Historian Dave Barter has been speaking about Tommy Goodwin, the man who cycled 75,065 miles in a single year. Goodwin, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year, cycled for around 18 hours a day, covering 200 miles, in his attempt to set the endurance riding record in 1939. He continued cycling until 14 May 1940, setting the record for the fastest time taken to ride 100,000 miles – the equivalent of three times around the world in a single year, or riding from John O'Groats to Land's End and back every week. Goodwin achieved the record, sometimes surviving on just four hours sleep and napping in fields en route. He also had to learn to walk normally again after the challenge, and uncurl his hands. Barter is currently writing a book about the record holder.
Bronze Age objects, including a 3,000-year-old socketed axe, have been discovered in a boggy field in Flintshire. The items, which are thought to have been buried between 1050 BC and 800 BC were found less than 20cm apart and may have been buried together in a pit. The bronze axe is of a style known as Type Gillespie and still has part of its wooden shaft, while a hook-shaped artifact may have been an attachment or a handle to a larger object.
The government's communications headquarters (GCHQ) has released two papers by Second World War codebreaker Alan Turing. The 70-year-old documents, thought to have been written by Turing while he was working on the German Enigma codes at Bletchley Park, discuss mathematical approaches to code breaking. The letters can be approximately dated thanks to a reference made in one to Hitler’s age. The papers, are entitled The Applications of Probability to Crypt, and Paper on the Statistics of Repetitions.
The British Library has bought the oldest intact European book after its largest-ever fundraising campaign. The St Cuthbert Gospel, which dates to the 7th century AD, was produced in north-east England and buried with St Cuthbert on Lindisfarne in about 698. The work was rediscovered at Durham Cathedral in 1104 when the saint's coffin was moved. The British Library raised the required £9 million through charitable foundations, trusts and public donations, as well as a £4.5 million grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund.
Experts are to examine the wreck of a possible Second World War submarine recently discovered near the Foyle Bridge in Derry/Londonderry. Sources state that the wreck is unlikely to be that of a full-sized submarine, saying that a German U-boat would sit almost 10 metres high and would be visible in the water. One theory is that the wreck is a Second World War mini or midget submarine, which would have stood at around two metres tall.
The original cheque used to buy the Superman comic character from its original creators has sold in an online auction for £101,000. The cheque paid Jerome Siegel and Joe Shuster from Cleveland just £82 for all the rights to Superman by Detective Comics (later DC Comics). The pair later tried, unsuccessfully, to win back the rights to Superman in court.