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PROJECTS and FUNDING:
In the July Newsletter, I raised the issue of projects and funding. For a
reminder of the contents of that discussion, please refer to the July
We received only seven replies to our request for input, out of over 500
newsletter recipients. Although the response has been a bit disappointing,
it was not too much of a surprise. I suspect that many of our readers are up
to their unmentionables in other projects, and turn to Uncle Nevil for
relaxation and diversion, rather than for any more requirements.
We did receive a very generous offer from an Aussie Shutist, who happens to
run a web hosting service, to provide the Foundation web site with free web
hosting, thus significantly reducing our annual administrative expenses.
Webmeister Jack Calaway is now working with said web host, arranging a
transfer of our web site to their service. Hopefully, this will be a
seamless transition that no one will even notice. Once the changes are made,
we will recognize and thank our new web host for their generosity.
We also received several helpful suggestions and offers of modest financial
assistance from a half dozen other Shutists. To provide for the easiest
donation service possible, we have added a PayPal link to the bottom of the
Home Page and the Foundation Page on the web site. Those wishing to make a
donation to the Foundation with a credit card, and those who do not have US
bank accounts, may find using the PayPal button to be convenient.
Those Shutists preferring to send a check drawn on a US bank may write to
One of the suggestions from several of those who did respond was to charge a
small fee for access to the newsletter, use of the lending library, etc.
Although this is a logical and reasonable suggestion, we decided when we
first started the Foundation, the library, the web site, and the newsletter,
that they would be for, of and by Shutists everywhere, without any charge or
fee. We want to reach the greatest number of Shutists possible, and certainly
do not want our numbers reduced by requiring any payment for membership or
services. Unless someone comes up with a very convincing argument to the
contrary, I think that is the way will keep it. It does place a somewhat
unfair burden on those who contribute voluntarily, but that seems preferable
to thinning our ranks by requiring any sort of membership dues.
Since we have not received an overwhelming response indicating interest in
additional Foundation projects, we have decided on the following:
1. Our efforts and finances for the time being will be expended on those
areas that reach the greatest number of Shutists at the least expense; the
web site, the newsletter, and the library.
2. Notwithstanding the above, we will furnish the Alice Springs Library with
a complete set of hardbound Nevil Shute books, including the latest addition
- The Seafarers, to go along with the complete set of recorded Nevil Shute
books that we have already given to them. All but two of the books will be
donated from extra copies in private collections, so that there will be no
great expense involved. Acquiring the two books that are needed
(Kindling/Ruined City and Round the Bend), and shipping should cost under
3. Unfortunately, I spoke too soon regarding Penny Morton's narration of
Vinland The Good, and potential narrations of other Nevil Shute books that
have not been professionally recorded. We have been advised by A. P. Watt,
the Literary agents for the Nevil Shute Norway estate, that making these
tapes available through our lending library would be a violation of copyright
law, even though all library loans are made without charge. Therefore, there
are no plans to have additional books recorded, nor to make the Vinland The
Good tape available through the library.
4. Other proposed projects: All other projects, such as assistance in
funding for a Nevil Shute memorial at the Alice Springs Library, and
making video tapes available for either the Alice Springs Library or the
Foundation Library branch in Australia, have been put on indefinite hold.
5. We still have dreams of one day making Nevil Shute educational
scholarships available to aspiring young writers, pilots and aviation
engineers. However, any such projects will depend on whether or not there is
a sufficient response in terms of legacies for that purpose.
There you have it. We can certainly continue our present activity level for
the foreseeable future, particularly in light of free web hosting, and offers
of modest donations from a small number of Shutists. That is all we can do
in a fiscally responsible matter, and that is all we should do.
The Time Line is a living document that will be expanded indefinitely by
Richard and by other Shutists who discover interesting data relating to Uncle
Nevil. Richard, who also authored the OZ2001 photo album and numerous
newsletters from Down Under, has outdone himself this time. He is hereby
awarded the highly prestigious, if unpaid, position of Foundation Historian!
Richard is now working on an illustrated version of the Time Line, which will
include appropriate pictures and photographs of as many of the events listed
in the Time Line as possible. Because of the complexities involved,
including the desire to get permission from all concerned to post the
pictures and photos on the web site, it may be a few months before we have it
up and running. I have seen the preview though, and can assure everyone that
it will be well worth waiting for.
Business continues to boom for the US branch of the Foundation Library under
the management of Librarian Ed Yess. Requests for loans or other information
may be directed to Ed at email@example.com.
Remember, there are never any fees, fines or charges, other than postage, for library loans. All
services are gratis courtesy of The Nevil Shute Norway Foundation.
HREM Steph Gallagher has returned from her vacation/sabbatical and is back at
work on UK 2003. This from Steph:
UK 2003 Planning Update
As Dan mentioned in the last newsletter, July was a month of relaxation for
me, as I took time out with my husband to do some travelling.
However, it's now back to the grindstone. As mentioned in a previous update,
I have found, what I think is the perfect venue to stage the NSN Gathering
in 2003. I will be meeting with the venue manager early August. At which
time I hope to be able to further discuss dates and costs. If all goes to
plan, I will be able to release confirmed dates by Mid August.
A separate e-mail list has been set up for those of you interested in
receiving more detailed information about the event. To be added to the
list, please send me an e-mail. Also, if you have any questions about the
gathering, please also feel free to drop me a line at
I do reply to all e-mails received.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
I noted with some interest the comments about the similarities between
"No Highway" and the tragic problems of the Comet jet airliners. I made
the same connection when I first read the book many years ago. Having
spent over thirty years teaching fatigue design, I have a reasonable
knowledge of the subject. I would agree the test procedures describe in
"No Highway" are representative of actual practice. However, I would
also agree with the narrator of the story-I'm not sure if he ever
identifies himself-that testing an entire tailplane is a rather
expensive way to gather data for theoretical studies. Concerning the
theory stated in story, I've never come across anything even close to
the Honey approach. There may have been something in the literature at
the time NSN wrote the story but if it did exist it is long lost. I
suspect the reference to work by Schiltgrtad and Koestlinger is pure
fiction. In reality, fatigue failures are still not well understood in
terms of theory. Much of the design of machine parts is based on the
correlation of experimental data with no real supporting theory.
Aircraft designers use more complex statistical analyses of the data
but in the end their designs are largely empirical. Finally, I would
agree that "No Highway" is a bit prophetic of future events but I feel
sure the designers of the Comet airliners used the best techniques
available at the time.
I was delighted to find the nevilshute.org site a couple of weeks ago. I
have been an avid reader and collector of Nevil Shute books for 20 years or
so. There are 18 titles in my collection now. I can read the newsletters
off of the website archive file, so I don't really need to be on the
newsletter E-mail group.
I read your account of your and your wife's flying trip to Australia with
great interest. I own and fly a 182 based in Keokuk, Iowa. In 1983 I took
a vacation trip to Victoria for two weeks with my wife and two young
children. While we were there I attempted to get a certificate of
validation for my PPL to fly in Australia. The rules were considerably less
friendly to foreign pilots then and despite several days of study I failed
the flight rules and procedures test which was required then. I did meet a
number of pleasant aviators there and generally enjoyed the experience. I
was a low time pilot then with only 300 hours or so.
We rented a camper Van in Melbourne and found that a good way to get around.
That was just after the major drought and fires in the area and the pastures
were recovering but weedy.
We do get to southern Colorado every few years in the 182, usually staying
around Wolf Creek Pass. Maybe we can get together for a $100 hamburger
I read your article in the July newsletter on the subject of the finances of
the Foundation. I appreciate your efforts. I do enjoy rereading the gentle
dialog of one of the Nevil Shute stories every so often. I am formulating a
commentary on NS's anti-Americanism that may be of interest to readers of
the newsletter. I promise not to make it a diatribe!
Thanks to all of you for making Nevil Shute's "Seafarers" available. I have
certainly enjoyed reading it. (Please pass this note of appreciation on to
others who were involved.)
The Foreword and Introduction relate "The Seafarers" to several other Shute
novels, but fail to mention "A Town Like Alice". I find several similarities
between Jean Porter and Jean Paget (besides the first name!): their attitude
towards work, leaving behind a (possible) career in secretarial work,
developing a new business/businesses, the female as a source of capital
(father / legacy), the first (negative) post-war meeting (Savoy / Cairns airport),
and the subsequent (positive) response to the "war time appearance" ("dirty
WREN" when Jean Porter comes to tow the Mary / Jean Paget's donning the
sarong on Green Island).
W. Mills Dyer, Jr.
Was delighted to receive The Seafarers from Fred yesterday, and even more
delighted to be up at the crack of dawn this morning to read it. Sincere
thanks for all the work that has gone into this production, and I urge you to
continue with any other unpublished manuscripts. Nevil may have been quite
particular about what he did and did not publish, but I'd rather read one of
his 'rejects' than almost all the junk that seems to be published these days.
An exception to the above is 'First Light' by Geoffrey Wellum, which has just
been published in the UK. It tells of a boy who joined the RAF and flew in
(and survived) the Battle of Britain. It is drawn by Wellum from his diaries
at the time.
Once picked up, this book is difficult to put down.
Keep up the good work.
What an informative web site!
Although I'd heard of A Town Like Alice as a child, I only came to Nevil
Shute relatively recently through the marvellous medium of talking books. No
Highway was the first; I was transfixed. I've listened to all of the other
books I could find, perhaps enjoying The Trustee from the Toolroom most
because of the many points of contact with my life.
I was at a garden fete at Pond Head in about 1962 without knowing of its
famous former owner!
Please advise me of the UK 2003 details. Thank you.
I trust that things are well with you and that you will remember me from
your brief visit to Auckland last year. My reason for getting in touch again
is that a colleague has recently acquired a very significant letter by Nevil
Shute. It is a reply to a letter, of which we have the carbon copy, pointing
out an error in the first edition of Slide Rule. Nevil's reply acknowledges
the error and advises that he had already received similar information and
was arranging with the publisher to correct the text before too many more
copies were printed.
The error concerns the death of former test pilot George Stainforth in the
Gulf of Suez during WW2. Nevil's letter is one and a half pages in length
and is on his personal letterhead. It is clean and well looked after and
even has the envelope it came in. It was tucked in the front of a first
edition copy of Slide Rule. The new owner of this book and letter wishes to
market them together and is thinking of trying a UK auction. When I told him
about your society and possible American interest in the letter he agreed to
let me inform you about it. The letter is absolutely genuine and is signed
Nevil Shute Norway in blue ink. Please let me know if any of you contacts in
the US would be interested in making an offer for the letter and book.
That's it for this month. Please keep those cards and letters coming!
Regards from TLOE,