Any recipient not wishing to receive this newsletter should reply with the
word REMOVE in either the subject line or the text.
HIGHEST LEVEL VIRUS ALERT
The new DOOM WORM that is causing so much trouble has the ability to read
the address book on an infected computer and fake sending e-mail FROM
addresses in the address book as well as sending them TO those addresses.
Apparently, one of our readers with the firstname.lastname@example.org address in
his address book has allowed his computer to become infected. As a result,
a number of worm/virus laden messages are going out with
email@example.com shown as the FROM address.
REMINDER: The Foundation seldom sends e-mail from any of the nevilshute.org
addresses and NEVER sends e-mail with attachments. If anyone receives an
e-mail purportedly from a Foundation address that contains an attachment, WE
DID NOT SEND IT. DELETE it immediately. DO NOT OPEN THE ATTACHMENT.
Microsoft has just offered a $250,000 reward for information leading to the
arrest of the DOOM WORM perpetrator. I would add that conviction should
result in capital punishment, or at least public flogging.
A virus is also currently using the address Letters@NevilShute with an
attachment. We send NO ATTACHMENTS.
Newsletters are only sent as e-mail text. With some servers the newsletter
may be truncated. In that case the entire text of all newsletters can be
read on our Newsletter Page at: http://www.nevilshute.org/newsletter.php
I have been expertly rearranging my emailing addresses using my own fabulous
system and so may have lost some recent additions to the list. If you have
had to find your newsletter on the website after recently subscribing I
sincerely apologize. It wasn't personal. Please subscribe again.
NEW DISCUSSION BOARD
As you were all recently emailed, Steph Gallagher has created the new Nevil
Shute Discussion Board.
You can access the discussion board by clicking onto www.nevilshute.org.
then click on Discussions on the left hand side menu.
NEW R100-RELATED BOOK
Kenneth Deacon of The UK writes:
I have just had published a book on the history of Howden's airship station
from 1915 to the present day, including the construction of the R100 with
NSN involvement. The book retails at £3.95 and I wondered if any of your
members would be interested? There is information on the book and its
contents on my web site which is already linked to your site the url is
PS the book should be available from Amazon.com in the next few weeks.
RAINBOW COUNTRY REVISITED
Further to their report on Shute in Tasmania and location in The Rainbow and
write: Nevil Shute did visit the King family (at Port Davey) on several occasions.
He sailed in at least once, including in Feb. 1953 aboard a yacht called
"Saona". Later, as a gesture of appreciation, he sent oil lanterns for the
two daughters, Mary and Janet, to use aboard their family boat "Melaleuca".
We've met Mary (she was a guest at a meeting of the Wooden Boat Guild in
Hobart) and she remembers Shute's visit and still has the lantern! Janet
and her husband live about half an hour from us but we've yet to meet them.
We asked Heather (Mayfield - Shute's daughter) if she thought her father
used Melaleuca as his inspiration for the book and she said, "Most
definitely...he loved the Port Davey area".
The Lewis River (the location of the sick child in The Rainbow and The Rose)
is about 70 klms. north of Melaleuca (Port Davey) and is even more remote.
According to a member of the Wooden Boat Guild (a fellow Shute fan) his
former home, Sheffield, IS 'Buxton' (the town in Northern Tasmania where
Johnnie Pasco has his airfield). He described the small airfield and the
surrounding area. Sheffield is easy to access by road. It's about 95 klms.
west of Launceston. Shute said 50 miles (80 kms).
Editor's Comment: In following this up I have discovered that the yacht
Saona, built in 1936, is still afloat and well.
of The UK writes:
UK Shutists had such a good time at the UK 2003 gathering that everyone
thought it would be a good idea to have a re-union in 2004. Foolishly I
stuck my head over the parapet just before Christmas and e-mailed UK
Shutists with some initial thoughts on what format the gathering might take
and where we might meet. So now, for my sins, I have the task of organising
it! Fortunately HREM Steph Gallagher (who did such a brilliant job of
arranging UK2003) has kindly agreed to help me and act in the role of
adviser and general eminence grise.
At this stage we envisage a weekend meeting Saturday lunchtime to Sunday
lunchtime probably in late May or early June with perhaps a brief visit on
Saturday afternoon, a re-union dinner, and discussions/presentations/chat on
the Sunday morning. The likeliest venues are either Oxford or York, with
Oxford having a slight lead in popularity.
What we need now is input from Shutists as to what they would like from the
event given the above timescale and bearing in mind that the event has to be
self-financing. To this end Steph has started a new thread on our excellent
new Discussion Board so all helpful input will be most welcome (this is what
it's for isn't it?). Updates for the event will be posted on the Discussion
Any non UK-resident Shutists who might just happen to be in England around
that time will be most welcome of course.
WHAT A WONDERFUL MAN
I think I fell in love with the writing of Nevil Shute when I saw A Town
Like Alice - cried buckets and then read the book - even worse.
I have collected a lot of his works in the old paperbacks and, you know how
it is, you never get round to reading them, and then, I was off work with
knee surgery and I read Slide Rule.
Can I just say, what a wonderful man, what a wonderful story and I wish that
I had had the opportunity to meet him.
TASWEGIAN BOOK FIND
of Tasmania, Australia writes:
Hello from Tasmania. Hinkler Books, the Australian publisher of discount
books, seem to be reprinting some or all of the House of Stratus titles by
Nevil Shute. This week I picked up quite a nicely printed paperback of
Round The Bend for $4-95 at a newsagency in North Hobart. Australian
readers might like to scan the discount paperback bin next time they buy a
newspaper or a magazine. Regards to all Shutists.
SHUTE AND COMPUTERS
Joe Beranek of Tucson, Arizona USA writes:
Worthy of comment ...... is the efficiency of GOOGLE and its ability to scan
the billions of words on the internet. ...
I often wonder what Nevil Shute would think of the Internet and how he would
I think Shute would have loved computers and the internet as he was
obviously curious and loved his typewriter.
Shute credited having a decent typewriter as one reason his 3rd novel
attempt, Marazan, was publishable.
Strangely, Shute only mentions 1 computer in his novels and that is in the
unfinished and unpublished last novel, Incident at Eucla. As this was
written in 1959-60 it may be that computers were only really then getting
into the collective consciousness. However, as an engineer, I don't doubt
that Shute was well aware of computers from the time of WW2. It becomes even
stranger that he didn't mention them earlier when you consider that in the
1920s Shute headed a team of human computers doing all the stress
calculations for R100 by hand.
YANK ENTHUSIASTS CONSIDER GATECRASHING POMMY PARTY
writes: My wife and I were disappointed not to be able to attend the 2003 gathering
but business demands kept me at the office. We would be most interested if
the Brits would accept a couple of Yank enthusiasts this year, in Oxford or
York, both superb choices.
On another note, I did not tell my wife what a Piper Cub cost in the 30s.
Mine; built up fresh from new and old parts a year and a half ago was just a
bit more. Nevil would have loved it, though, and it would have been such a
joy to share the pleasure of the air with the man.
LES DIRIGEABLES R-100 ET R-101
of The USA writes:
To follow up on Andy Banta's letter about R-100 books, a new book on the
R-100 and R-101 has just appeared -- in French. The author is Michel Pratt,
the title is Les DIRIGEABLES dirigeable R-100 et R-101, and the publisher is
Societe historique du Marigot, Longueuil, QC, Canada.
It may be purchased online from www.abebooks.com. This book is chock full of
photos of both dirigibles, and as a free bonus a CD-ROM is included which
contains both video footage of R-100 and R-101 and audio versions of two
French songs written for the R-100.
Editor's Comment: Thinking that Beall might have made a typo with the
spelling of Dirigeable, I checked with my mother who was a teacher of
French. She confirmed that those independent-minded French do insist on
using their very own spelling for Dirigible. Their recalcitrant stubbornness
in this regard may be absurdly and unreasonably based in the fact that the
French invented and pioneered balloon flight.
THE CRAFTY TRICKS OF WAR
of The UK writes:
Here in the UK the BBC have run a series of 1 hour programmes entitled The
Crafty Tricks of War presented by a retired army guy who re-created some of
the devices used in the Second World War. The first programme was on the
work of the DMWD and inevitably featured the Great Panjandrum. Original
footage from the WW2 trials was interspersed into the programme (featuring
the footage from the Imperial War Museum with Shute at the controls)
together with the making of a modern day Panjandrum complete with rocket
propulsion which actually succeeded in knocking down an obstacle, albeit on
nice flat tarmac and without a payload.
In the programme 2 people who worked in DMWD during the war were interviewed
and I am following this up to see if we can get in touch with them since
they would have known Shute and no doubt would have recollections of him.
Recently UK Shutist John Anderson visited the British National Archive and
reviewed a series of Technical Histories for the DMWD, and material relating
to both the R100 and R101 airships.
Several items reviewed are directly related to the work of Nevil Shute
Details of his visit can be found on the updated website Etcetera page.
Here you will find a list of the projects undertaken by the DMWD including
those on which Shute was personally involved.
John also gives detailed information on how the archive works.
CAPE COD CHAPTER MEETING INCLUDES MUCH DEBATED CHERRY CAKE
of Cape Cod, USA writes:
Hurray, I finally have the third Nevil Shute Chapter up and running. It is
the Cape Cod Chapter in Massachusetts.
On January 4 we met at our house in Osterville and seven members
attended-six others who are interested could not attend. Three of those
attending had responded to an inquiry I made in the Cape Cod Times about
Shute's visit to Cape Cod in 1939 when he was gathering information for his
books An Old Captivity and Vinland the Good. None of them could remember
Shute's visit but wanted to join the Cape Cod Chapter. They thought they
were the only readers of Nevil Shute.
At our meeting each person talked about how they were introduced to Shute
and what was their favorite book. I told how I liked people who read Nevil
Shute books and I think they all had the same belief. Everyone had such a
good feeling that they scheduled another meeting in April with Chequer Board
as the novel to discuss.
An English tea was served. We had tea sandwiches of butter and cucumber;
shrimp with horseradish cream cheese; and duck and apples with a curry
spread. We also had scones that were brought by members and a cherry cake
that my wife, Joan had made. I told everyone that Shute had written about a
cherry cake in three of his novels. One was Ruined City but only Richard,
the newsletter editor, knows where the other two are mentioned.
The Chapter already has a web site designed by member Pat Skelly. You can
visit it on: http://home.earthlink.net/~nevilshute/index.html. Please note
our impressive logo.
Joan and I will be leaving Cape Cod for Colorado for six months on January
11 so that we can attend the Colorado Chapter meeting on January 24.
Editor's Comment: Cherry cake first appears in Ruined City (1938) and then
reappears in The Chequer Board (1947) and Trustee From the Toolroom (1960).
The Great Cherry Cake Debate rages because it is not quite clear if the
repeated appearance of cherry cake is because it defined, in Shute's mind, a
typical working class delicacy or just because it may have been Shute's
favourite cake. Enthusiastic Literary History Gourmets can see a period
illustration of a Lyons Tea Shop Cherry Cake in the 1948 section of the
website photo album at:
TELEGRAM FROM EUCLA
writes: My wife, Linda and I made a pilgrimage to one of the more obscure Nevil
Shute location, Eucla, Western Australia. Apparently this town was going to
be the location of much of the action in the novel, Incident at Eucla, that
Nevil was working on when he died. In the actual typescript the protagonist,
William Spear, does arrive in Eucla but the story stops shortly afterwards.
Eucla is the site of the telegraph station that relayed messages between
Western Australia and South Australia. As I understand things, they couldn't
agree on the exact coding of messages. Thus the messages came in to one end
of the building, were written out, passed across the counter and re-sent
from the other end of the building. At one time they had operators working
24 hours per day doing these tasks. Automated relaying finally was
installed sometime in the early 1900s.
As I'm sure many of you know, it isn't easy to get to Eucla. In our case we
took the coach from Perth to Eucla, stayed a day, and then went on to
Adelaide. The first problem was convincing an American travel agent to make
the coach reservations. Airplanes, trains, rental cars, hotels they could
do but the coach from Perth to Adelaide; are you really sure you want to do
that? When they finally did do it they got us to Eucla but failed to make
the second reservation from Eucla to Adelaide. The coach agents at Perth
were most helpful in taking care of this problem; the coach was nearly
completely booked but they did find room. The original bookers laughed aloud
when we inquired about a rental car for this venture.
The coach left Perth at something between 8:00 and 9:00 AM; it arrived in
Kalgoorlie in the early afternoon and finally reached Eucla at about 1:00
AM. We had made reservations at the only motel in town. Well, in fact, the
motel, caravan park, restaurant and petrol station are the town. We were
told our room was next to the museum and it would be unlocked. After a
short night we got up, had breakfast, and then checked in and out of the
As we had requested, the motel did provide us with a driver to show us
around town. The first stop was the telegraph station, scene of the action
in Nevil's book. When we got there all, that we could see was the top bit
of the telegraph station; the rest is buried under sand. In Incident at
Eucla there is mention of sand pushing against one side of the building; I
presume this was the case in the 1959/1960 when the book was being written.
From there we went on to the beach and the old pier (shown below) that was
used to supply the town and, I believe, to export lumber. In California a
beautiful beach on a beautiful summer day is completely covered with people.
In Eucla it was white sand beach as far as we could see in both directions
and the three of us were the only people there. We went on to see the
original highway, a gravel road. After lunch we visited the entrance to a
cavern, chased a big red kangaroo with the 4wd utility vehicle we were in,
enticed an emu to come closer for a good look ( both ways), and visited the
pile of rocks that marks the border between Western Australia and South
Australia. We also visited the small museum which had numerous pictures and
artifacts from the glory days of Eucla. One interesting item was the
printing press used to print the 6 x 8 weekly newspaper.
After dinner we sat around until about 2:00 AM waiting for the coach to
Adelaide under the most magnificent night sky imaginable. We had breakfast
somewhere on the eastern null arbor and finally arrived at Adelaide about
Needless to say this was one of our more memorable adventures
Shute collected the information for Incident at Eucla in mid 1954 at the
same time as he was researching for Beyond The Black Stump. He used some
rare geographical poetic license in Incident at Eucla and invented a large
set of doors into the Telegraph Station. These doors never actually existed.
Shute populated one of the trucks entering through his doors with Landrace
pigs. In 2001 Shute's farm manager, Fred Greenwood, confirmed that Shute
raised Landrace pigs. It has always struck me that, in the most perfect way,
Nevil Shute was one of the most unimaginative writers possible as he filled
his novels only with what he knew well. He only diverted from the factual
world when he really needed to for literary purposes.
His genius was to have an interesting life and then to recognize what in it
was interesting and write about it well.
You can see a photo of The Telegraph Station at Eucla by going to:
FROM HAYLING ISLAND TO NEW ZEALAND
writes: I first visited Hayling (Island, location of Shute's home, Pond Head) in
1933 and then every year up to the War, went down to Hayling from Godalming
during the War (illegally) a few times, caught in one bad raid and then
spent Army leaves there until demob in 48. Malayan Police 51 to 62 and
bought a house in Woodgason Lane in 62 to70.
I am a great Shute fan, have all his novels and Slide Rule and a book called
Flight of Fancy by James Riddell describing Shutes flight from UK to
Australia after the war. My copy of Lonely Road is inscribed 'PJ Heaton from
NS Norway'. Until I read the article I was unaware that Shute had lived on
Hayling. I know all of the locations in Malaya described in A Town like
Alice and believe that Trustee from the Toolroom comes from a voyage made by
Miles Smeeton described in his book Once is Enough foreword by Nevil Shute.
I still regularly read all of the books he wrote, I think What happened to
the Corbetts was a real foretaste of what happened to Southampton. I used to
sail a Folkboat in the Solent.
By coincidence NZ television showed a Town like Alice as one of their Xmas
films this year.
I now live at 105 Wright Road, Katikati RD2, New Zealand, any Shute fans
will be welcome here!
MONTREAL IN 2005 ???
No decision has been made on the exact location for the 2005 conference. At
UK 2003 it was decided that the 2005 conference should be in North America.
The Pacific Northwest and Cape Cod have been suggested as locations.
Andy Banta has now suggested Montreal for NSN2005 because it will be the
75th anniversary of R-100 trip.
Does anyone have any thoughts on this ?
MARAZAN AND MARAZION
writes Having just discovered the excellent Nevil Shute Foundation website, I have
a few questions that you may be able to help me with:
1. Someone once told me that the title of Nevil Shute's book 'Marazan' was
based on a place called Marazion in Cornwall, UK. Unfortunately, I have
never been able to discover if this is true or not. Please let me know any
information about this unusual book title.
2. My favourite book of Nevil Shute is 'On The Beach.' Please inform me
whether the film is available on DVD and if so is there a version compatible
for the UK? I have searched high and low but I can't find a copy anywhere!
3. Are there any local gatherings of The Nevil Shute Foundation in the UK (I
live in Birmingham) as I would like to meet other people who share my
interest in the work of Nevil Shute.
1. I have heard this explanation of Marazan before. It seems likely as not
only did Shute sail a lot but also I believe he had family in Cornwall and
is thought to have holidayed in that area when he was young. I have never
been able to find a large-scale map of The Scillie Islands to see which
islands in Marazan were made up and how much really exists.
2. I have referred the question of the availability of DVD or PAL videotapes
of On The Beach to Steph Gallagher in The UK.
I would like to point out to owners of newer PAL VCRs that many of them will
play NTSC tapes.
NTSC is the American system and PAL is the UK, Australian, New Zealand
system. So, in desperation, you might be able to buy a US tape and play it
on a PAL machine if it is newer and the instructions indicate definitely
that you can play NTSC tapes.
3. A UK 2004 mini conference is being planned. Please contact Steph
Gallagher Steph.Gallagher@btopenworld.com for details.
A TRULY GREAT BOOKSHOP
writes: Some of your readers may be interested to know that a book shop at The
Entrance (NSW, North of Sydney, Australia) has quite a collection of Nevil
Shute books, 14 of them in hard cover with dust jackets , & in pretty good
condition despite their age.
There are 6 which are First Editions They are ...The Far Country, Requiem
For a Wren, On The Beach, Stephen Morris, The Rainbow & the Rose and Trustee
From The Toolroom.
The name of the shop is Richard's Old Bookshop 130a The Entrance Road, The
Entrance. NSW 2261 Australia.
Phone: +61 (2) 4332-2743. (No Email)
I'm not a collector but I know someone who is .. Art Cornell from USA. And
in looking for a copy of So Disdained for him, I discovered these other
books. Wish you all well. Evelyn Gualtieri.
Editor's Comment: Richard's is a truly great second hand bookshop. I go
there at least once a month. Sadly Richard died suddenly in the prime of his
life at the age of 58 in 2003. He is missed terribly. With an encyclopaedic
knowledge and a great sense of humour, Richard was truly lovely man.
Richard's widow, a charming and friendly woman who shares his great
knowledge and love of books, now runs the shop to the same perfect standard.
US LIBRARY REOPENS
Bruce McKenzie, our new US Librarian, has announced that the US Branch of
the Nevil Shute Norway Foundation Lending Library is back up, running, and
open for business. Bruce has cautioned that there may be some slight delays
at first as he is still setting up his system, and all the materials have
not yet been received. Loans may be arranged by writing to
visit the Web Site Lending Library Page for more information.
DONATIONS AND BEQUESTS
Donations to the Nevil Shute Norway Foundation, either through the PayPal
button on the web site home page, or through firstname.lastname@example.org are
Also, anyone interested in leaving a bequest to the Nevil Shute Norway
Foundation is encouraged to contact the Foundation Secretary at
LANDING AT 100 MPH
Richard Waller writes:
In your general quest to keep track of links to Nevil Shute you may be
interested in the brief appearance of Shute in Harald Penrose's
autobiography Adventure with Fate (Airlife Publishing).
Penrose, for many years through the 30's,40's and 50's, was a renowned Test
Pilot for Westland Aircraft.
Penrose writes that with Westland's future looking doubtful in 1935
he......answered an advertisement for a pilot to take charge of prototype
flying at Airspeed and was summoned to this burgeoning company's new
premises on the edge of Portsmouth's grassy aerodrome. Ushered to the
Managing Director N.S.Norway, not yet famed as Nevil Shute the author, I was
astonished to find that he stuttered badly.
P-P-Penrose....I n-n-know you've h-h-had some years of test flying b-b-but
let me p-p-probe you a little. W-W-What do you say to landing at 100mph?
Fifty years later Harald Penrose recounted this story to me and added that
Shute was very disinclined to believe Penrose's assertion that it would be
no problem with a proper length of runway.
Shute was strongly of the opinion that the speed would make judgment of the
height too confusing.
Penrose added rather cautiously that Norway's reputation as a pilot was not
terribly strong. (but find me a Test Pilot who admires a part timer's
For the record Penrose adds (in the autobiography) that Shute's stutter was
less when the talk turned to sailing.
(Penrose was offered the job, but turned it down. Tall and confidently
capable George Errington was taken on)
There is an echo here of the discussions recently on the site around the
design of the AS31 and other comments about how to judge the landing of an
Editor's Comment: I am very grateful to Richard Waller for this extra piece
of information to add to the Shute puzzle. As we all know, Shute was
fascinated with excellent pilots and remained in touch with Test Pilots
George Errington and Harry Worrall both of whom he met again in Australian
in the 1950s.
Perhaps it was precisely because Shute knew he was an indifferent and
relatively inexperienced pilot (he said as much when writing of his flight
to Australia) that he was able maintain the writers perspective and still
remember with clarity the feelings and sensations that the expert soon takes
for granted and would fail to comment on. I believe some of Shute's appeal
is that he makes flying seem accessible, easy and yet challenging all at the
same time. Certainly in The Rainbow and The Rose he is engrossing in his
theme of an experienced and confident airline pilot who suddenly finds
himself a little out of his depth in a small light plane. I also seem to
remember Shute remarking that there was no point building a plane that only
an experts could fly as it would inevitably be average people who would be
at the controls. Then again my memory might be failing me and he may have
been talking about special weapons in WW2 but the principle and the comment
remain the same.
That completes this month's newsletter.
All the best from AUTFOD
Nevil Shute Foundation Historian and Newsletter Editor
Please write to: email@example.com