Fame without a First Place; Answers to Correspondents

Daily Mail (London), November 8, 1996 | Go to article overview

Fame without a First Place; Answers to Correspondents


Jimmy White has been world snooker runner-up six times, and Plymouth Argyle were runners-up in the Football League's old Third Division South six years running. Has anyone come second more often?

IN THE Fifties and Sixties, there was a racehorse called Parcel Post, which always finished second. Maybe your racing correspondent can verify this for your readers. I think it held the record for second place.

J. J. Thomas, Newton Abbot, Devon.

How many aircraft did the RAF have at the beginning of World War II, and how many at the end? How many does it have now?

AT THE start of World War II, in September 1939, the RAF had 3,555 aircraft available, 2,600 of which were front-line planes, organised into 196 squadrons. Types involved included 760 Ansons, 1,089 Blenheims, 1,014 Battles, 400 Hurricanes, 270 Spitfires and 172 Wellingtons.

As World War II came to an end in May 1945, the number of aircraft available to the RAF was 55,469 - of which 9,200 were front-line planes - in 504 squadrons. Included were 3,403 Ansons, 1,784 Hurricanes, 5,864 Spitfires, 3,601 Wellingtons, 3,408 Mosquitos, 2,379 Lancasters, 1,514 Halifaxes, 1,621 Liberators, 1,420 Beaufighters, 1,255 Mustangs and 1,166 Typhoons

In 1995, the RAF had 1,230 planes, of which 660 were front-line aircraft, arranged in 58 squadrons.

I. Anderson, Capel St Mary, Suffolk.

When I wear a wristwatch, it loses time. Why do certain people affect watches this way?

CONTRARY to the earlier answer, the idea that watches can gain or lose time due to static electricity in the body is a myth.

Static electricity is electric current which is unable to run away. Any electricity will leak away in the presence of moisture, and the human body consists largely of moisture, so it's impossible for static electricity to be generated in the body.

A body might acquire a static charge from, for instance, nylon clothing, but unless the wearer was separated from the ground by insulating soles, it would soon leak away. And the watch, in close contact with the body, would acquire the same charge as the body, so there would be no electrostatic influence on the watch mechanism.

The human body is devoid of magnetism which might affect a watch.

Application of a simple magnetic compass to any part of the body will show no deflection, nor is there any clinical evidence that it responds to nearby magnets.

R. E. Bazin, Falmouth, Cornwall.

Among the credits in the film Jude, I noticed a footsteps editor. What does he or she do? …

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