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Bennett & The Pathfinders
The Sector Clock at Wyton

Dennis Yates emailed just before Christmas 2007 to say that he did not think that the sector clock in the photos of Bennett and the one which hangs on the wall today at RAF Wyton are the same clock. Have a look yourself and see if you agree. 

The sector clock at Wyton

Oh dear. Another piece of romantic history gone west?

Here are the various email exchanges:

Hello Jennie, Whilst researching an old RAF sector clock which I have recently acquired I noticed the one shown on your website which is reputed to be from RAF Wyton. However, I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news but if you look very closely at the photograph it is NOT the one shown in the ops room at PFF HQ because most obvious is the fact that most of the numerals are written differently, ie: the 'tail' on number 6 is not at the same angle, the 8 is more squat, the 2's are not as rounded and the RAF crest is much closer down to where the hands come through the dial. I am certain if the original photograph can be compared more closely to the one you have, other differences would become apparant too, nevertheless, for all of that it is a nice example.
Regards,Dennis A Yates.

Dear Dennis
Thank you very much for your email. I will compare the two clocks more closely when I have a moment, but I am not sure that I entirely agree with you at first glance.
The clock in colour is definitely on the wall at RAF Wyton because I took the photo myself in July this year, so unless the RAF have done a switch they ought to be the same clock. I also think that the differences in the numerals may be due to different angles of camera shot and lens, however perhaps when I enlarge both photos considerably I may be converted to your opinion - I am always glad to get the correct information, even if it is at times rather disappointing!!.
Best wishes - Jennie

Hello Jennie,Thankyou for getting back to me. I accept that the clock is on the wall at Wyton but am certain it is not the one pictured in the ops room photograph. Unless they are inspected closely all sector clocks look the same and furthermore all RAF stations had more than one example because they had to be exchanged quickly in case of damage or needing repair. The only way to be certain it is the same clock would be if a record of the serial number of the one hanging at Wyton exists and it could then be checked against that in the photograph, in the absence of which it can only be hearsay. Meanwhile I wait with interest the results of the closer examination you mention. Finally, please find attached an image of my sector clock which is by Potts of Leeds dated 1929 and the oldest recorded example known to exist.
Regards, Dennis Yates.

Your clock is fabulous, Dennis. I am very envious!
All best wishes for 2008 - Jennie

New email posted 12th January 2008:
I've been reading the emails regarding the sector clock at Wyton which you have added to the site. I blew up the photos of both clocks and smoothed out the pixels. The point the chap makes about the number 8 being squat is incorrect, its proximity to the triangle and the bold line denoting the forty minute/second mark is identical in both pictures. The point he makes about the RAF crest being closer to the spindle is most probably attributable to the hands in one photo being below the 3 o'clock - 9 o'clock level. The point he makes about the 'tail' of the 6 is the only point he has, but I guess unless you've actually seen it, its a bit subjective.
Steven Hanglands