Wizard’s Wilson beats Rover’s Alf | Brief letters

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Rob Canon’s assertion (Letters, 14 March) that Alf Tupper of the Rover had “the odd fag” is wrong. Alf never smoked. Furthermore, John O Machin’s point (Letters, 13 March) that Alf was the first to do the four-minute mile is also wrong because William Wilson of the Wizard ran the mile in exactly three minutes in 1943, running four metronomic laps of 45 seconds. In the amended repeat of The Truth About Wilson in 1949, Wilson’s time was changed to 3:48, presumably to make the time more realistic, but still impossible to achieve. However, Seb Coe beat it in 1981, and El Guerrouj ran 3.43 in 1999.
Derek Marsden
Maghull, Merseyside

• The residents of Gillingham might have something to say about being referred to as villagers (Villagers told to stay indoors during search, 15 March [print headline only]. Gillingham has been a town since the late 18th century with small industries, a former cattle market and, most importantly, a railway station on the Waterloo to Exeter line which still serves this corner of north Dorset. The population has grown significantly in recent years and the town now even boasts a Waitrose. How many villages have those?
Jane Mathieson
Stockport, Greater Manchester

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