Nevil Shute Norway Foundation

Newsletter dated April 2013

Letters to the Editor

From Chris and Penny Morton

Even though TAS 2013 "The Rainbow Connection" is well and truly in the past now, there have been a few changes to the report on the website, thanks to the unstinting patience and expertise of our Webmaster, David Dawson-Taylor.

Anyone interested in checking it out will find additional photos, plus some changes in the text. The major correction was to my inexcusable error in describing John Anderson's after dinner speech/toast to Nevil Shute Norway. It is a literary masterpiece, cleverly describing the insidious condition we're all afflicted with...a MUST for all Shutists to read!

I would like to thank those delegates who took considerable time and trouble to send hundreds of terrific photos in the months following the Conference. Thank you all, Julie (O'Brien), Alison (Jenner), Sandra (Beckett) and John (Anderson).

There were so many great shots it was a real challenge to narrow them down to a reasonable number, but we simply couldn't overload the website!

Thanks again, from Chris and me, to all delegates who helped make TAS 2013 the fun and memorable week it became.

PS: If anyone would like a copy of the TAS 2013 group photo, we'd be happy to e-mail

From Alison Jenner

The next chapter meeting of the Nevil Shute Book group will start with a tour of the Petersfield Museum, Sussex, on 31st May. We shall be reading "So Disdained" and discussion will take place at a local hostelry. All welcome! Any queries to

From Linda Shaughnessy

May I correct Ralph Nickerson? He refers to the new editions of Shute titles published as “Vintage Shute”, saying “The ambiguous term “vintage” meaning in this context, old, early-production and long difficult-to-obtain, rather than rare, special or extra-fine; at least, that’s how I interpret it.” That’s not at all the case. Vintage is the name of the quality paperback imprint of Random House (in both the UK and the US). Shute is, I’m very happy to say, part of their classics list in the UK, all of which have on the front covers “Vintage” plus the author’s name. Shute is published in this series alongside authors such as major names Maugham, Hemingway, Woolf, Roth, Fowles, Amis, Dostoevsky, Winterson and many more.


Linda Shaughnessy

united agents and A P Watt at united agents

From Alan Parmet

Notes on the newsletter, always an interesting read for me. You’re welcome to our snow. We had another 6 inches (15 cm) today and I kept warm shoveling it although it was –6F (-21C). We had just cleared a snowfall last week of 13” (32cm). For Mr. Wenham, he might find the author Ernest K. Gann interesting. Gann was an airline pilot who wrote from experience: Fate is the Hunter. Richard Bach, a USAF fighter pilot, wrote Stranger to the Ground, Biplane and Nothing By Chance. Finally, the ultimate stories are from Antoine St. Exupery-Wind Sand and Stars is my favorite.

From Mike Marsh

Response to Mr Fricker:

I am not an engineer, but I am a humanist and a well read, widely informed citizen. As Shutists we are of course all well aware of "On The Beach" and therefore are, like it or not, involved to a degree in the nuclear debate. To the best of my knowledge however, the lesson Shute was at pains to promulgate was about nuclear weapons; I do not know if he has a position on nuclear energy and if he did it would be of marginal relevance to this newsletter.

I was therefore interested to see James Fricker's item in last month's issue, as it seems to have little to do with nuclear weapons and less with Shute - and moreover the links provided seem misleading as to the facts. Perhaps to balance the debate and consider the proposition that Fukushima, far from illustrating the dangers of nuclear power, clearly highlight its safety, readers may wish to look at the following links: ("The World Health Organization indicated that evacuees were exposed to so little radiation that radiation-induced health impacts are likely to be below detectable levels, and that any additional cancer risk from radiation was small, ­extremely small, for the most part ­and chiefly limited to those living closest to the plant")

And there are many explaining the *relative* safety of nuclear over fossil fuel and renewable energy sources. This one is a bit simplified but I'm aware people's time is limited:

Finally from a biologist, showing how most of what you read about Fukushima is hyperbole "the Fukushima disaster released approximately one ten-thousandth of the total radiation produce by the world’s coal power plants annually".

Perhaps in memory of the 15,000 killed by the actual earthquake and tsunami, those who drowned when a hydroelectric dam ruptured due to the earthquake and destroyed 1800 homes (did you even hear about that ?) or maybe the two who actually died - drowned - at Fukushima, we should be a little more pragmatic about the 0.7 lives (yes, 70% chance of one person) risk of dying prematurely from nuclear exposure from Fukushima.

From Paul Spoff

Takes about 11 minutes--a really neat story.

Aid and comfort for the wounded

This really brings the human side of war to the forefront..... I'm glad to see these stories are being preserved.

From Shirish Joshi

I am a long time NSN fan and have something interesting to share.

While waiting for a flight at the Dubai International Airport, I was wandering around Terminal 3 and came upon a mural depicting the recent history of Dubai. There was one section that referenced a ‘Freddie Bosworth’ who started an air taxi service based in Bahrain in the late 1940s. That got me interested, because Tom Cutter (Round The Bend) had done something very similar, right around the same time.

So I did a web-search on Freddie Bosworth, and came up with this: “The 1950’s saw the growth of the development of Bahrain as an international transport hub. The Gulf aviation company was formed by Freddie Bosworth, acting as an air charter company (a story wonderfully retold by Nevil Shute in his novel Round the Bend).” (

This link is now giving other information. I did find some information here: See the period 1949-1973
Further digging produced some more corroborating evidence, as well as a notation from 2006 on the website (, which reads:

Julian Stargardt of Hong Kong writes:
I've been reading Alexander Frater's whimsical account of his 1986(?) re-tracing of Imperial Airway's UK - Australia route. It should appeal to Shutists and I thoroughly recommend it. Shutists might be interested in pages 107 - 108 (Penguin edition) where Frater tells the tale of Freddy Bosworth and the beginnings of Gulf Air based in Bahrain, a remarkably similar story to the tale in Round the Bend with the development of the fictional Bahrain based airline.”
Other Freddie Bosworth references (this one), seem to indicate that Tom Cutter’s character was loosely based on Mr. Bosworth, but of that I am not too sure.
Another reference ( , in the third section of that page, mentions that “…probably few readers of Nevil Shute’s novel ‘Round the bend’ know that some of his material was founded on fact and that an enterprising Irishman, Freddie Bosworth, did succeed – entirely by his own efforts and in the face of discouraging difficulties – in establishing a healthy charter company at Bahrein. …”
Much of this information, though not all, I have posted on the NSN Facebook page, and I thought it will be of interest to those who are on email but not on FB.
As an aside, Freddie Bosworth died in 1951 in an air crash in the UK.

What a great find from Shirish Joshi.

From the Netherlands where we have wonderful weather at the moment.

See you next month