Nevil Shute Norway Foundation

Newsletter dated April 2010


From John Anderson

On 30th March this exhibition was formally opened to the public at the Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington. It celebrates the life and work of five aviation pioneers with a local Yorkshire connection. These are Nevil Shute Norway, Sir Barnes Wallis, Sir George Cayley, Amy Johnson and Robert Blackburn. Those readers who were at the York Conference last July will remember that we were given a preview when it was very much a work in progress. Now it is complete, beautifully laid out and illuminated, with impressive display boards, audio/visual screens, a large model of R.100 and a number of artifacts. It has been designed and produced to the highest standards.

Five of the displays tell the story of Nevil Shute both as a writer and of his aviation work on R.100, the founding of Airspeed, and his work for the D.M.W.D. during the Second World War. It is, I believe, the only exhibition in the world that gives so comprehensive a picture of Nevil Shute's life and work. It is a "must" for a visit if you are in the Yorkshire area. A full report with photographs will be posted on the website as soon as possible.

Editor: What John, modest as he is, didn't mention is, that there is one display in the exhibition that mentions photo credits etcetera.
Under the Special Thanks is written:
The Nevil Shute Foundation - Vice President John Anderson

From Edward Farrow

I have just finished reading No Highway, possibly for the fifth or sixth time, I like the story but it raised a number of points for me. For example, what seems to be a sense on anti-Semitism in the novel; certainly there are a number of references to Jews in the story and they all seem unfavourable. I was wondering if this attitude to Jewish people is repeated elsewhere in Nevil Shute's novels. I was also worried and concerned about the repeated "put down" of Mr Honey, who was frequently referred to as being "uncouth", and at times, "a dirty little man". Now this may have been necessitated by the need to make a contrast with a socially "insignificant" person over against the brilliant scientist who lurked beneath the exterior of this lowly man; someone who later not only is proved right in his scientific field, but acts like a magnet to two attractive women. To me, the contrast makes for a poor illustration of the character Nevil Shute is trying to create. Am I wrong to highlight such things, or are there others who might feel the same ?

From Kirstin McDonald

Tonight my group discussed The Chequerboard. I've been trying to get this group to read Shute for the last four years. After reading Paris Trout last month (a rather heavy, depressing read) I pushed again for Shute and the group agreed. I choose Chequerboard as I thought this novel, with its themes of religious and racial tolerance, would appeal the most to my friends. It was so amazing to hear their reactions.

As a group they were of the same mind that the novel was written in a simplistic style, but that it worked well with the theme and characters of the novel. They were amazed to learn the Shute was an engineer first and a novelist second. Some of them felt the technical aspects were a little over done, but when they learned of Shute's background that put things in a better perspective. While we typically talk about the current book for 20-30 minutes during our meetings, tonight's discussion ranged on for over an hour.

Several of my friends had been compelled to read another of his works after finishing Chequerboard (A Town Like Alice, A Far Country and On the Beach) and were captivated by his characters. The same qualities that have been dear to my heart all these years (and those of others fans of Shute's work) were echoed in their comments tonight. Many of them talked about passing on their copies to their parents and their children. I was tickled pink to think that after all these years, I've finally been able to get others to see what we have known for decades.

From John Anderson


This re-union weekend will take place from Friday 25th to Sunday 27th June. There will be an opportunity to meet other Shutists and visit Shrewsbury School where Nevil was a pupil in the First World War. Our re-union dinner will be held there on the Saturday evening and we will visit RAF Cosford Museum on Sunday. If you are interested in coming to this event contact John Anderson for more information.

Editor: I'll be there


After the visit that Mike Meehan, John Anderson and I made to Runagate in January 2007, Mike became the contact between Barry Pitman, the owner of Runagate and the Nevil Shute Norway Foundation. Last month I have send Barry an email, to inform him about Mike, and ask him how he was. He replied two days later, and here is part of his email:

"I am very sorry to hear about Mike, I had not heard from him for quite a while.

I have begun further work in the last few days as the weather has begun to improve at last ! I am hoping to give the work my full attention this year, I have been working mainly on the coach roof and decks, I have removed the fibreglass from the coach roof which is not a pleasant job and made some repairs and the coach roof is currently oiled. I have also built a new front hatch. I have had to strengthen and push up the coach roof after removing the spray screen structure which was not original and not pretty.

I will try to get organised and send a few pictures when I can take the covers off"

So work is going on. When Barry sends me the pictures I will send them to David, so that they can maybe be put on the website.

I will stay in contact with Barry and inform you if there are developments.

One more thing, although there are some people who are regularly emailing me with copy for the newsletter, the majority of you don't. I know that this is always the case, but copy for the newsletter is very welcome. So if you have anything Shute related, questions, remarks, whatever, don't hesitate to email me. The newsletter is there for everybody who loves the books of Nevil Shute.

From the Netherlands where Spring finally seems to have started, I'm wishing you all Happy Easter and until next month.


Write in if you want your name listed and would like to get together with other Shutists in your vicinity.


Jim Wells Lindfield, Sydney
Richard Michalak Paddington, Sydney
Ruth Pearson Adelaide
Neil Wynes Morse Canberra
James Fricker Melbourne
Tommy and Polly Thomas Tumbi Umbi, NSW
Jane Lowe Berridale, NSW


Mike Marsh Chepelare


Harvey Fetterly Winnipeg, Manitoba


Joost Meulenbroek Enschede


Julian Stargardt


Gadepalli Subrahmanyam Vizianagaram


Robert Davis


Håkan Larsson lives in Löberöd


Bruce A Clarke lives in Bangkok


Jim & Kristi Woodward Broken Arrow (east of Tulsa), Oklahoma, USA.
Priscilla Pruitt Bellingham, Washington State
Bill McCandless Joliet near Chicago.
Joy Hogg, Harrietta Michigan, Northern lower Michigan, near Traverse City and Cadillac
David B. Horvath, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
Al Benkelman Warrenton, Virginia
Mary L Barnich St Petersburg, Florida
Art Cornell Cape Cod
Bob King Stanwood, WA
Dave Penniman Newtonville, NY
Jim MacDougald St Petersburg, Florida
Alan Gornik Western Springs, IL
Bob Schwalbaum Honolulu
Mike Miller Chariton, IA
Sally M Chetwynd Wakefield, Massachusetts
John Cooper San Antonio, Texas
Barry Barnes Reno NV
Jim Sterling Modesto, California
Kit Lauen Edina Mn (Minneapolis)
Steve King 30 miles north of Seattle
George Norcross New Mexico
Merle Bedell Buford, Georgia
LauraSchneider New Jersey, Eastern PA, New York
Ray Wilder Jamestown Kentucky
Nate Benedict Friday Harbor, Washington
Jim Tierney Simi Valley, CA
Jim Janelle Hermon, Maine
Russell C. Coile Pacific Grove (140m south of San Francisco, CA)
Rev. Fr. Daniel Beegan Rumford ME