SPECTATOR has to doff his cap for Diane Brown of Thirsk who has done what so many of us would like to do.

Depressed and overweight, she decided to do something about it and went on to do just that.

The 40-year-old mum changed her appearance by losing three stones in ten months, dropping four dress sizes in the process.

If that wasn’t achievement enough she went on to to complete a gruelling half Ironman triathlon - swimming 900 metres in the sea, riding 56 miles on a bike and then running 13 miles.

But she’s not stopping there and is now preparing to take part in an even more exhausting ultramarathon- 33-miles - next March.

Impressive and inspiring stuff. Well done Diane.

WE all like stories about the little man taking on the big guys and winning, especially when the giant-killer is on our own doorstep.

So it was marvellous to read about the success of the tiny - but very vibrant - railway museum at the once-derelict Scruton Station on the Wensleydale heritage line not far from Northallerton.

Its heritage education programme has brought history to life for countless youngsters over the past three years and now it has won a top national award for its work, which judges described as "exceptional."

Others who were in the running for the Marsh Trust Volunteers in Learning Award included such international museum juggernauts as the Victoria and Albert and the Imperial War Museum but they were left in the wake of tiny Scruton Station.

So many congratulations are due. An excellent effort all round and one worthy of all the acclaim.