Teenage magnet fisher trawling Somerset river stumbles across hidden cache of 40 ‘IRA’ weapons

Trawling through the water with a magnet, schoolboy James Cork had only expected a modest haul of scrap metal.

But, last week, the 16-year-old from Somerset stumbled across a rather more shocking discovery – a hidden cache of 40 deadly weapons.

The arsenal of rusting and grubby guns dating back to the Second World War included a Browning .50 machine gun, which could take down a helicopter, and an M16 assault rifle.

An expert has suggested the guns may have belonged to the IRA and could have been dumped when they were meant to be declaring their arms in 2001.

The teenager from Street had taken up the unusual hobby of magnet fishing six months ago, but had only managed to salvage the odd bit of scrap metal.

But while combing Greylake on the Somerset Levels with a rope and a strong magnet tied to the end, he and a friend suddenly came across a 40-strong haul of terrifying weapons.

Teenage metal detector trawling Somerset river stumbles across hidden cache of 40 ‘IRA’ weapons – including ‘Widow Maker’ rifle and Nazi machine gun

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Civil War soldier’s wages found in Taunton

Almost six month’s pay earned by a soldier fighting in the English Civil War will provide a windfall its finder.

The 18 silver and gold coins uncovered in a garden in Nerrols Farm, Taunton, totalled £5 5s 3¾d – 5½ months’ wages for a common soldier in the 17th Century and £450 in today’s value.

But the hoard, probably belonging to a Royalist soldier and left during the siege of Taunton in 1645, could fetch thousands of pounds when it is bought by the town’s Museum of Somerset.

Civil War soldier’s wages found in Taunton

It’s also possible that these were someone’s life savings, hidden before he went off to fight or simply for safekeeping in uncertain times.