Nevil Shute Norway Foundation

Newsletter dated July 2015

Letters to the Editor

FROM John Anderson

Oxford 2015.

We have two new speakers lined up for the Conference. In fact they are a double act, that is they do a joint presentation. I've heard them before, and very good they are too. Their topic is perhaps controversial but certainly relevant to Nevil Shute's work. I won't reveal any more. You'll just have to sign up, come along and find out!
Many of you will have seen the movie "The Imitation Game". Well, on our Thursday excursion you'll get the chance to visit Bletchley Park and discover the real story behind the breaking of the wartime Enigma code. I've never been there and can't wait to go. Add to that a visit to the Shuttleworth Collection, probably the finest collection of vintage aircraft anywhere, and it'll be a great day out. 

Not signed up yet? What are you waiting for?  Just go to

I look forward to seeing you there.

FROM Alison Jenner

The next UK Nevil Shute book group meeting is scheduled for Saturday 11 July, when we shall be discussing "What Happened to the Corbetts".
I have booked the upstairs private dining room at The Bugle, Hamble, for lunch at 12:00 and suggest we meet at 11:30 there.

Location for satnav:  1 HighStreet, Hamble, Southampton, Hampshire, SO31 4HA there is a limit on the number of participants.
Do let me know whether you will be attending, or not, so that I can adjust our booking if necessary. Let me know whether stairs would be a problem for you.
See the website for further details:  

FROM Grady Jensen

I have had the original A Town Like Alice on VHS cassette for many years and recently purchased it from Amazon on DVD. Copies are still availabe for c. $24.00. It's the Bryan Brown version, so don't worry about substitutions.

FROM J.B. Robert

 A Rare TV Mini-series with Bryan Brown and Helen Morse. The story concerns on the oppression exercised upon the female British citizens of Malaya by the Japanese troops, including the infamous "death march" through the jungles for six weeks. The story begins just prior to the invasion, when the British citizens find it hard to believe that they're in danger. The horrors are seen through the eyes of two POWS.  Co-starring Gordon Jackson. 3 Disc set. 

FROM Dan Telfair

I have not been keeping up with the discussions re a DVD of the ATLA series, and have just realized that a conclusion has been drawn that no such DVD exists, or is possible to be made.  That is not correct.

A DVD set in Region I and IV formats was produced by Mariner Films in association with The Seven Network, Australian Film Commission, Victoria Film Corporation.  I do not know when it was released, but it is currently available from a number of sources.  It is a three-DVD set covering the entire (501) minutes of the miniseries.  I just had my copy out for a review, and it is in excellent condition - none of the burn or fade that have crept into the aging VHS edition.  To the best of my knowledge, there are no Region II sets available, but either the Region I or IV versions will play on a “region-free” DVD player.

Currently, ATLA DVD sets are available for under $30 USD at the following vendors, as a minimum:
I hope this is helpful.  If there is any problem with ordering from the UK or elsewhere, I would be happy to assist with ordering here and forwarding as needed.

FROM Keith de la Rue

I have just stumbled on an art installation in Melbourne that reflects Shute's "On the Beach" (and the movie). It is in Docklands, the newly-developed extension of Melbourne's CBD. Thought the newsletter readers may be interested.

Here's my photo of it:
You can read more about it in number 24 on the eighth page of this guide book to the art installations in Docklands:

Interesting to note that this catalogue refers to the old myth that Ava Gardner referred to Melbourne as "an appropriate place to locate a film about the end of the world". This myth was actually debunked some time ago. Ava Gardner never said it - it was a statement attributed to her by a frustrated movie reviewer from a Sydney newspaper. Read more on the On the Beach page on my website at:

FROM Paul Spoff




Wild West Aircraft SuperSTOL Can Short Land Anywhere

Aviation Quote of the Day

"Flying is the second greatest thrill known to man.... Landing is the first!"


From visit to 'Smithsonian Air Museum' 


FROM  Curt Chambers

Those who got a kick out of Paul Spoff’s pictures and descriptions of the pre-war Pan Am Clipper would enjoy Ken Follet’s book Night Over Water. 

FROM Andy Banta

I have just finished reading “The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough and found it a must read for anyone interested in the first few year of heavier than air aviation.  The author gives a good insight into how the Wright brothers were successful where others had failed.  In bried, they figured out the existing data on airfoils was inaccurate and built a very small wind-tunnel to obtain correct data.
The Wright brothers (particularly Wilbur) were real life Shute protagonists.  They came from very ordinary backgrounds and went on to do marvelous things.  Neither of them had a formal education beyond high school.  Both were very meticulous in their work paying close attention to details.  They had only one major accident which did seriously injure Orville.   In addition to being the first to actually build a working airplane capable of carrying a person, they went on to become a leading force in the early days of aviation and not incidentally somewhat wealthy. 



June went by much quicker than I thought. That’s why this newsletter is late (again). I’ll do my best to get you your next newsletter on August 1.
From the Netherlands, where it is extremely hot, (37 C, 98 F), See you all next month.