Nevil Shute Norway Foundation

Newsletter dated February 2010


From John Anderson


In 1927 Shute was at Howden working on the R100 airship. Marazan had just been published and in the evenings he was writing his next novel. In a letter to a friend about the book he wrote:

It's not a bad book in its way, and it's different to Marazan, which is the main thing. It's different, although I've used all the same ingredients. It is told in the first person, and it's all about aeroplanes, but it's turned out a tragedy. My, that's a new departure, isn't it ? You'd hardly have believed it possible. But there it is, and it's going to be quite a good one, too. It's about a young man, a pilot, who was down and out in England, and went to Russia to train the Red Army in aerial fighting, and eventually he comes over to take photographs from the air of a very secret bit of Portsmouth, for the Russians. And finally gets himself killed in a brawl. There's a bit of blood and thunder for you, but it's come out quite well. I'd like to call it "Renegade" but to my intense irritation I see that the House of Cassell published a book called Renegade only a month or two ago. And I can't think of anything else to call it. The fun of the book lies in working out how perfectly ordinary people behave when they are brought into contact with a renegade spy, and what a very ordinary young man a renegade spy can be. Quite a good book - and not having touched wood when writing that, it probably won't find a publisher.

It did find a publisher - Cassell - who published it in 1929 with the title "So Disdained"

From Babette Hills


I am compiling a KIT of reading copies of Trustee From the Toolroom for a High School teacher in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Anyone with an extra copy of Trustee is asked to please consider donating it to become part of the kit. I will place a bookplate with your name in your book to share with future readers. Please email me, Babette Hills, at so I can determine if we have enough copies to set up this KIT. I would like to have at least a dozen books, any unabridged edition. This is a special opportunity to introduce younger readers to Nevil Shute's books! I will offer the KIT on the Foundation website to teachers for a sememster. Thank you all very much. If Keith Stewart could get all the way to Papete with the help of friends and strangers, I think we can get his story to St. Croix and other high schools around the world.

From Laura Schneider

Good news about the Airspeed Factory in York, England

Those who attended last summer's conference in York may have seen the shuttered Bus Garage, which used to be the Airspeed Factory. I am so pleased to be able to share the good news that the building will be saved and preserved. The following is a note from Ian Reed, Director of The Yorkshire Air Museum, who has graciously allowed me to share it.

"Work progresses on the proposed project at Nevil Shute's Airspeed Factory in York, but is necessarily slow. I attach some design details for your information. York City Council are very much on board. We are looking for funding now, with an initial aim of at least £250K to refurbish the building. I note Nevil Shute's office is still there in situ, so we are anxious to preserve it whilst it still stands" ! Ian Reed

Back story: In January 2008, John Anderson, Mike Meehan, Phil Nixon and I were able to get into the Airspeed Factory, which is now the old Bus Garage. We managed to slip in because of Mike's insatiable curiosity and sleuthing skills. As Ian pointed out, you can still see the office. There wasn't any access to that level but had there been any way to get up there, we'd have done it!

You can see photographs of the bus garage in 2008 on the PhotoTimeline


From John Anderson

I have done some more planning for a reunion weekend so here is a tentative outline schedule:-

Date:- Friday 25th to Sunday 26th June.

Venue:- Shrewsbury. I have been in touch with Dr Mike Morrogh who is Head of History at Shrewsbury School and their part-time archivist. He is also a Shutist and has been trawling through School records of Shute's time there.

He has kindly agreed to give us a tour of the School and describe what it was like in Shute's time there. Hopefully he will also be able to show us what records there are from that time. This is a period in Shute's life that we know little about.

Arrive Friday afternoon - I will need to find a suitable hotel in town for our base. I have been given some names but need to check them out.

Saturday evening - Dinner at the School in the Petersen room. The School do catering for dinners etc. Again I have been in contact with their Facilities Manager.

Saturday:- Visit to the school and guided tour. Possibly presentation/discussion at the hotel afterwards

Sunday:- Trip to RAF Museum at Cosford (about 20 miles from Shrewsbury). I am told that this is a very worthwhile visit.

The above date is really fixed by the School schedule/facilities & staff availability.

This is as far as I've got. Can you please let me know ASAP if you would like to come to this event. I would like to get some idea of numbers so I can plan accordingly.


Rather a short newsletter this month. Maybe it is the time of year, but copy for the newsletter is always welcome, so share you're thoughts and ideas with us.

From Holland where it is still white and cold, see you 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