Nevil Shute Norway Foundation

Photo TimeLine

1951 - 1960 page 6

<< Previous  |  Back to Photoline Home  |  Next >>

November 07 1957 : "The Rainbow and The Rose" is in progress.
1957 : Shute's income exceeds 40,000 Australian Pounds.

Stuart Double Ten model steam engine
Shute's Stuart Double Ten model steam engine that he completed in 1957. ( AB )

1958 : "The Rainbow and the Rose" is published.

Shute at Phillip Island Circuit. ( BNC ) Shute at Phillip Island Circuit
Click for larger image

April 20 1958 : Shute drives in his last recorded race.
April 25 1958 : Shute makes a will leaving the remainder, after caring for his family, to Balliol College Oxford and Shrewsbury School for the benefit of Commonwealth students. His next novel deals with the execution of a will.

Click for larger image
This Auster is shown here flying with the door removed. Ronnie Clarke, in "The Rainbow and The Rose", forgets that you can fly an Auster safely with the door removed and, because of this lapse, may have failed to save his old friend Johnnie Pascoe's life. The source website for this photo also has sound bytes of an Auster and other aircraft. (Photo: Gerry Estrada )

August 24 1958 : Shute travels to England for the Model Engineer Exhibition. This becomes inspiration for "Trustee From The Toolroom".

Edgar Westbury, who Shute probably met when he visited the 1958 London Model Engineering Exhibition, was a columnist for Model Engineer magazine. Shute's own handwritten notes show that Westbury was the primary inspiration for Keith Stewart in "Trustee From The Toolroom". With a dense technical background and a clear and patient writing style Westbury was very popular with his readers. (Photo: ME / MEM / AB ) Edgar Westbury
Click for larger image

The following article apppeared in the Australian Post magazine on 10 October 1957 and was sent to us by Ian Jackson, of Drouin, about 100km east of Melbourne.

If you would like to read this at a larger scale, please click here

Ian also sent the following picture, of Mrs Norway and father of Ian's friend Alan Pearson with pig !

September 14 1958 : Shute and Mrs Norway appear in The Sydney Morning Herald returning from England and the USA. Shute emphatically says he's "not going into paperbacks". Heather has been travelling with them.

Frances and Nevil
An unavoidably poor copy of a newspaper photo of Frances and Nevil laughing on arrival back from London on September 14 1958. Shute wears another quirky hat. ( SMH )

1958 : Shute writes a foreword to Miles and Beryl Smeeton's story of their yachts repeated capsizing and dismasting. This story was inspiration for "Trustee From The Toolroom".
November 11 1958 : "Trustee From The Toolroom" is in progress.

A Congreve Clock is based on a steel ball taking 30 seconds to roll down the zig-zag track. In "Trustee From The Toolroom" Keith Stewart is showing other modellers how to build this picturesque, if quite inaccurate, clock. ( OU ) Congreve Clock
Click for larger image

November 28 1958 : Item Willie, Shute's plane which he had sold around 1952, is scrapped. Due to the effect of extreme desert heat on her English glue, her engine comes loose from its mounts on a landing approach. The owner, Keith Singh, lands safely with one hand on the controls and the other restraining a panicking policeman from jumping out while they are still in the air. Only her compass now survives.
December 1958 : Shute appears in a list of entrants for a race, driving as Number 10, but does not appear to have competed.
December 22 1958 : Shute is reported as being in a Melbourne hospital having suffered a heart attack. Other sources say Shute has had a major stroke. In a personal letter, Shute later describes it as a minor stroke. Shirley returns to Langwarrin from Vienna where she was studying German.
1958 : Shute's income exceeds 40,000 Australian Pounds.

January 15, 16, 17 1959 : The filming of On Beach begins at the Wilson farm in Harkaway Road., Berwick. Each day the temperatures were 110° F (43° C) and the flies were terrible. Shute Avenue and Kramer Drive in Berwick were built over the former property, which was sub-divided and built on in 1970.
The filming of On The Beach.
Long time friend of Shute and inspiration for Donald Wolfe in The Seafarers, Alec Menhinick, is driving the distorted, blurring car in the foreground as it hurtles past the camera at 100mph during the filming of On The Beach in early 1959. The director, Stanley Kramer is standing on the ladder at the left with his chin in his hand.
(Photo: Courtesy of The Menhinick Family 2006)

Shute test-drives the prototype Repco Record
Shute test-drives the prototype Repco Record
Shute test-drives the prototype Repco Record. In the wide shot he is being driven by Charlie Dean of Repco Research. Only 3 Repco Records were made. The photo is probably from January 22 1959. (Photo: PD / KDLR )
Read about Nevil Shute Norway's career as a racing driver at: See the details of his car racing history with more photos at:

1959 : Shute commences work on a 30 c.c. Seal Major four-cylinder petrol engine designed by Edgar T. Westbury. Shute died before the model's completion and the parts were passed to his friend L R East who completed it and wrote about Shute in the Model Engineer magazine in December 1963.
March 02 1959 : Shute writes to Flora Twort. He says his heart trouble was a light stroke and he finds a stroke "more of an indignity than a disease". Shute can drive in the country but not in traffic. Shirley is chauffering Shute around. Shute remarks that they don't yet have a television. TV only started in Australia in 1957. He thinks English TV would be worth it but has doubts about Australian TV.
May 1959 : Shirley returns to England to help Frances' parents settle into the Cambridge home Shute has renovated for them.
Mid May 1959 : Shute has a small recurrence of his stroke after reducing his medication. This leaves him cross-eyed and affects his wrting.
May 29 1959 : Shute writes to Flora Twort. Shute now writes using a tape recorder. Heather has taken over as his secretary. Shute recommends Flora meet Australian, later expatriate, artist and author Russell Foreman (1921-2000). Shute says that in the mornings he writes, in the afternoons he works on the farm and he spends the evenings in the workshop. Shute and Frances plan to go to Europe in the middle of 1960.
September 1959 : Shirley returns to Vienna to study German.

Shirley looking imp-ish in Italy in 1959. ( BNC ) Shirley in Italy
Back to top