Nevil Shute Norway Foundation

Photo TimeLine

1951 - 1960 page 5

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1956 : Shute writes a foreword for Gerald Pawle's The Secret War. It is published in 1956 and is about the DMWD.

Elizabeth Tobias
Elizabeth Tobias in 2001. Elizabeth was a nurse in Mornington and attended to Shute in the 1950s. She tells that, while a patient, Shute repaired several pieces of hospital equipment. This has echoes of Henry Warren in Ruined City. (Photo: RM 2001)

October 05 1956 : Shute corresponds with Major General F Kingsley Norris CB CBE DSO ED MD QHP FCNA asking for and getting corrections for the draft of On The Beach. Kingsley is a prominent writer and lecturer on many subjects including the effects of atomic war and radiation on health.
November 06 1956 : Shute drives the Jaguar in his first recorded race.
Late 1956 : On The Beach is completed.
1956 : Shute's income exceeds 40,000 Australian Pounds.

Shute driving a caterpillar tread mini tractor on his Langwarrin farm. This may have been a "fun" photo as Shute is wearing a suit and tie. It is said that Shute ran the farm with engineer-like precision and perfection. "The cattle and pigs", a friend of Shute's recalled, "always looked as if they'd just been washed." ( FGC ) Shute driving a mini tractor
Click for larger image


Shute racing Jaguar XK140
Click for larger image
In 1956 Shute buys a Jaguar XK140 and races competitively. He justifies the purchase as research for On The Beach. The photo is from May 05 1957. As Shute is not wearing a helmet he may not have been actually racing when this photo was taken. (Photo: PD / KDLR )

Jeremy Lee in 2001. As a 16 year old motor enthusiast in the 1950s, Jeremy accompanies Shute to many motor racing events. (Photo: RM 2001) Jeremy Lee

Frances racing the Jaguar
Frances racing the Jaguar. This photo is probably from 1957. (Photo: PD / KDLR )
Read about Nevil Shute Norway's hobby as a racing driver at: See the details of his car racing history with more photos at:

1957 : Shute completes a Stuart Turner Double 10 model steam engine, again with his own modifications.
1957 : On The Beach is published.
July 15 1957 : Shute and Frances go on a "writing holiday" to Fiji. Details gained are used in The Rainbow and the Rose.
July 17 1957 : Shute is reported meeting friend and Airspeed test pilot George Errington who is delivering Airspeed planes to Australia. This probably happened in Sydney airport on Shute's way to Fiji.

4 August 1957

Harry Worrall (1888 - August 4th 1957) dies, aged 69, not long after visiting Shute in Melbourne. Harry was Shute's favourite pilot-instructor at the Yorkshire Flying Club in 1929. To Shute Harry was an archetypal and ideal pilot. The writing of The Rainbow and The Rose seem to have been the rapid result of Shute's meeting with test pilots Harry Worrall and George Errington, Harry Worrall's death and Shute's "writing holiday" in Fiji. Shute appears to have begun writing the book almost immediately after Harry Worrall's death and The Rainbow and The Rose appears to be a tribute to Harry and pilots like him.
( EK / YP)

Harry Worrall


Photo of Douglas DC-6B

The Douglas DC6B featured in The Rainbow and The Rose and Trustee From The Toolroom. In Rainbow the DC6b was presented as the apex of the propeller driven airliners that were about to be superseded by jets while Johnnie Pascoe epitomized the now aging first generation of propeller pilots whose careers stretched back to the wood, wire and fabric planes of WW1. In Trustee the DC6b is clearly Shute's aero engineering dream: a well designed, stripped down workhorse freighter with every frill of luxury removed. (OU)

1957 -1958 : Shute corresponds with Harry Rigby, Australian WW1 pilot and Test Pilot about flying Sopwith Camels with Clerget engines. This is research for The Rainbow and The Rose.

Test Pilot Harry Rigby
Australian WW1 Pilot and later Test Pilot Harry Rigby (1896 - ?) who Shute consulted for flying details for The Rainbow and the Rose. ( OU )

Shute's 1956 model Ford Station Wagon. Shute bought a similar, earlier model, custom built, automatic Ford Station Wagon for his 1954 drive around the West Australian oil fields. His research became Beyond The Black Stump and Incident At Eucla. ( FGC ) Shute Ford Station Wagon
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