Nevil Shute Norway Foundation

Newsletter August 2017

Letters to the Editor

FROM John Anderson

Julie O'Brien and Gene Crenshaw.

Those who went to the Tasmania conference in 2013 will remember Julie and her brother Michael who helped Chris and Penny Morton throughout the Conference. Gene, from Raleigh, N.C., also attended the conference - I first met Gene at Seattle in 2011. Romance blossomed and Gene and Julie were married in November last year.

However Gene emailed me the devastating news that Julie had suffered a major cerebral haemorrhage and was in intensive care in hospital in Hobart with only a few days to live. She passed away on 25th July. I'm sure all readers of the Newsletter will join me in sending heartfelt sympathy to both Gene and Michael on their tragic loss. 

FROM Neil Gaunt

Reference this entry:

FROM Mills Dyer 

This sentence caught my eye: "In addition to two side doors, the amphibian has a door in the nose, which enables a copilot to stand and snag a buoy and offers passengers easy egress to docks.”  It made me think immediately of Alix Lockwood in “An Old Captivity” and her difficulty snaring the buoy when they landed in Cromarty Firth.


In an Old Captivity they use a float plane with the propeller on the nose. The Seabee is a small flying boat (unusual configuration, which I rather like) with pusher propeller (and limited range). Very different.


FROM Tom Wenham

Whilst perusing copies of Flight International magazine for the nineteen-sixties (as you do) I came across this short obituary for Sir Dennistoun Burney in the edition for 21st November 1968 which might be of interest:

"Responsible for the design and construction of the R.100 in the 1924-28 period, Commander Sir Dennistoun Burney, Bt., CMG, RN (Ret), died last week in Bermuda at the age of 79.   In August 1930 he represented the builders of the airship (the Airship Guarantee Co) on her acceptance flight from England to Canada and back.  He invented paravanes, for the protection of ships against floating mines, and was Unionist MP for Uxbridge from 1922 to 1929.   In the latter year he published a book called The World, the Air and the Future." 


FROM Andrew Banta

I recently came across the book “To Engineer Is Human” by Henry Petroski, (1992).  It’s a text on engineering failures and is primarily intended for engineering  design classes. The chapter titled 'Forensic Engineering and Engineering Fiction’ devotes about four pages to “No Highway”.  While not really including any new facts, the author does a reasonable job of relating Shute’s novel to the Comet airliner failures. The pages of interest are shown in the attached PDF.

Editor: See the PDF version of the newsletter. 

FROM John Anderson

UK Nevil Shute weekend in September.
This is planned for the weekend of 23rd/24th September based on the beautiful River Beaulieu in the New Forest, Hampshire. The proposed schedule is as follows:

Saturday 23rd September. Meet at Exbury House - home of HMS Mastodon in World War II. Lunch followed by John Stanley's guided walk about the wartime Exbury bomber which is a central feature of Requiem for a Wren.

Sunday 24th September. Meet at Bucklers Hard where Nelson's ships were built. Visit to the museum there. Then a 30 minute boat trip on the river, followed by a cream tea. Shute used the river as a base for his some of his wartime DMWD work.

All welcome. If you would like further details please email me.







This was my first attempt to make the newsletter a bit more attractive. I’m not a graphics designer. Any comments, advice and specially copy for the newsletter are more than welcome. For you all, but for Phil Nixon in particular:  the weather in the Netherlands is lovely.

See you all next month.