Nevil Shute Norway Foundation

Newsletter August 2016

Letters to the Editor

FROM Alison Jenner

  I have booked at the Queens Hotel for lunch and /or afternoon tea on 03 September, meeting at 12 o clock. At the moment there are seven of us going; please let me know if you want to join us. We will be discussing "Landfall", the next book in the list. Much of the action of the novel takes place in the area.

NB The Queen's Hotel was also mentioned in Trustee. 

FROM Mary Jane Meyer

  Hallo, I’m new to the NSN Foundation and wonder, if there are local chapters in the Washington DC and/or Northern Virginia area?

FROM Paul Spoff

This is what you call  magnificient  flying and a helicopter pilot who knows what he's doing!!  WOW!!!


I can imagine the pilots praying, "No wind God, please no wind!"

Hire the right people if you want a complicated job done. I can't imagine that helicopter pilot having that level of control.

FROM Sally Rossetti

   Reading this delightful book by Alexander McCall Smith, on page 135  one of the leading characters is reading a letter from an Australian  young woman, a pen pal, thinking he may ask her to marry him.  In reply to questions she writes  her 2 favorite authors are Nevil Shute and Charles Dickens, action takes place in the early  50s  located in Alice Springs.  The author tells us Alec's response.   "He had heard about A Town like Alice-everybody had  as it had just been published  and was much discussed in the papers; he could talk about that he supposed, even if he had not yet read it. But Charles Dickens was another matter. I was just delighted to come across this so unexpectedly.  And he did marry her too although Shute was never mentioned again. Thought you folks would enjoy this too!

FROM Gadepalli Subramanyam

   One of the threads running in all Shutists' eulogies for the great story teller, is the recurring mention of 'Re-reading'. Hardly any other author rates this high in repeated readability. How I wish some of the enthusiasts try to write sequels to some of the novels.

FROM Mike Blamey

  Cedric's comment (and the linked story0 about Mr Honey and his professional responsibilities to both his profession and his employer! touched a chord.
  I had the good fortune to gain early knowledge of carbon-fibre processing (particularly the so-called pre-oxidised version-based upon PAN: polyacrylionitrile chemistry) and subsequently became some what of a guru in this area.  Creating the fibre was the easy part [simply burn it in  a controlled atmosphere so that it does not 'ignite' but the 'extras' H,O, N in the molecule are driven-off leaving pure carbon. It is processing this material to usable textiles which is the clever part!   The so-called stretch-breaking process is the key.  I then was asked to assist a US firm-Polycarbon Inc which was 'carbonizing' viscose based fabrics to form the nozzles on the boosters for the Space Shuttle. [layers of carbon fabric literally stacked upon each other, glued together and then shaped to the venturi effect required to direct the rocket exhause. The scrap-rate was horrific, and I was able to suggest successful amendments to the process. This work was directly for Morton Thiocol. My link at Polycarbon [Ken Marnock] became a close friend: we skied, drove off-road motor-cycles in the desert together. As a pivotal supplier, ken was invited to witness several launches: and he of course knew the Engineers at MT very well. I recall his description of the terrible episode the loss of Challenger - and the deep depression and concerns of his links, that they had failed.  I used to use the episode in a lecture "EngineerIng in Society" to students at several Universities: about their professional responsibilities. [I recall well as a young Engineer being similarly encouraged by my seniors at ICI after the Aberfan disaster. [a coal tip slid down engulfing a primary school 100+ children and teachers were killed] -that as an Engineer one had responsibilities more than just passing a concern up the chain of command. "break Nature's laws and detection and punishment are immediate".  

FROM Mills Dyer

I was intrigued by the name Mary Stopes-Roe and wondered if she were related to A. V. Roe.  I’m sure that you know all this, but I checked on the internet and found that A.V. Roe was her husband’s uncle.  There are several Internet entries for Mary Stopes-Roe;  I liked the May 2013 RAF one the best:


Not a very long newsletter this time, but with some interesting reads is it. If you have anything to share with your fellow Shutists, please don’t hesitate and send it to me.

From the Netherlands, where it was very hot last week, but very rainy this week, see you all next month.