Nevil Shute Norway Foundation

Newsletter dated January 2013

Letters to the Editor

From Chris & Penny Morton

Nothing new to report, except we continue working on "The Rainbow Connection", TAS 2013, in Hobart. Keep an eye on the website for further info; we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in October.

A safe and Happy New Year to all Shutists !

From Joe Coles

I am currently researching the Planet Satellite light aircraft for a magazine article and am very curious as to the type's relationship with Shute's Satellite Torpedo-Bomber-Fighter, 4. Was Major Dundas Heenan involved in the earlier concept, did he know Shute?

Both aircraft are small pusher aircraft, of a similar configuration sharing the same name, surely there is some connection?

Please reply to

I look forward to your reply,


Joe Coles

From John Anderson

Some facts and figures for 2012 about the Nevil Shute Norway Foundation

  1. US Library.
    Materials borrowed
    • Total - 44 items
    • Books - 2
    • CDs - 36
    • DVDs - 5
    • Audio Tapes - 2
    • Replaced Materials - Book - Ruined City (patron replaced lost book)
    The current need is for large print books. My concern is the looming obsolescence of the hardback and paperback books. The U.S. Branch has many copies of certain titles and very poor or no copies of others. I will replace or add to the collection as needed.

  2. UK Library Number of loans made since 1 January 2012 = 43, comprising books, tapes, CD's and DVD's . No replacements needed

  3. Australian Library
    • LOANS printed novels -3 ; CDs - 4
    • PREVIOUS ACQUISITIONS during 2010 and 2011; video tapes - 4, DVDs - 2
  4. My thanks to Laura, Nancy and David for their efficient running of their respective branches during the year.

  5. TAS 2013 Chris and Penny Morton have preparations well in hand. They have chosen a venue, have a draft schedule, excursions in planning, and speakers lined up, including the daughters of Denny King whom NSN met on his trip to Tasmania. I have set up a Conference website which will be developed as plans are finalised and we will use Regonline, as before, for registration and payment.

  6. FALLOUT When I was contacted earlier this year by Lawrence Johnston of RTP films I had forgotten that he had been in touch about 2 years ago in relation to making a film about Nevil Shute. Only recently has he gathered the finance together for this project. As I write he has a "fine cut" of the film and is embarking on post-production editing. For this he asked for good high-resolution photographs that can be inserted, and I have sent him a disc with a selection to choose from. I repeat Lawrence's notes on the film:- Just some general info on FALLOUT. I first read the novel in high school in the 1970's and was pretty terrified by it's concept. As I got further into filmaking I thought there was some kind of film in it as a documentary, mainly from the point of view of the making of the Kramer film. The film we have made is much more than that and traces Nevil Shute's life as much as we can from birth to his death. The main focus is his writing of ON THE BEACH and the Kramer Film. It also explores Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the nuclear testing which was being conducted in the 1950's which influenced Nevil Shute along with his previous experience with the Miscellaneous Weapons Development. We also explore the resonance of Shute's vision in regard to the contemporary proliferation of nuclear arms by smaller countries which he foresaw. In 1997 I interviewed Gregory Peck when he was out here doing the remake of MOBY DICK. He was really great and just like Atticus Finch. I was only allowed to do an audio interview, but some of this is in FALLOUT. Him talking about getting involved in the film because of it's subject matter, his work with Ava Gardner and the reception of the film of ON THE BEACH in Russia. The financing of the film has come from Screen Australia, Film Victoria, Antidote Films, who are our national distributor and we have an international Sales Agent called Melimedias who will represent the film internationally. We have had to make the film on a reduced budget and things are pretty tight as we have had to pay MGM a rather large fee to use the clips for of the film of ON THE BEACH. Lawrence has indicated that he will definitely be at TAS 2013 to introduce and show the film. I am very excited about this film and am glad to have been able to help Lawrence with photographs and background information

  7. White Waltham weekend. Thanks to Phil and Jill Nixon who organised an excellent UK re-union weekend in May. These "in-betweenies" have become an established part of the Shutists calendar. Alison's report on the weekend is on the Foundation website .

  8. Book groups The UK is catching on to the idea of book groups which meet locally to read and discuss a particular book. Alison has arranged two such meetings in Wales. The inaugural meeting of the "English Forum" was in October this year when a group of seven Shutists met at 14 Helena Road, Southsea (the home of Nevil Shute from 1936 - 1940), thanks to the generosity of the present owner, Mrs James. Those present discussed "What Happened to the Corbetts" which was written in that house. In the USA the long-established Tri-state, Cape Cod and Colorado chapters continue to be active, meeting 3-4 times a year.

  9. Facebook group and email contacts. This is Alison's report on the Facebook group and messages she has received as Secretary:- The NSN fans have a Facebook group comprising 96 members. This group was augmented in the spring by an influx of new members, who migrated from a long established Google discussion group because of changes to the usages of Google groups. In February, to celebrate the accession of HM Queen in 1952, the group undertook a weekend-long online discussion centred upon Shute's novel "In the Wet". [Many thanks to Alison who set up the group which has been going great guns with barely any inactive periods. People like the immediacy of post and response that Facebook provides]

  10. Research. In April the Foundation was contacted by Dr Joanna Drimatis an Australian conductor and music scholar. She alerted us to a file of correspondence between NSN and Robert Hughes, an Australian composer, dating from 1959. The file is in the State Library of Victoria and I was able to obtain a copy. The correspondence shows how much work went into the section of Shute's Memorandum on Creative Writers, Artists and Composers that he submitted to Robert Menzies. It also shows that he gave evidence before the Spicer Committee, a judicial body looking into the reform of the Australian Copyright Acts 1905-18, which was viewed as being unfair to Australian composers. This Act was subsequently amended and it is gratifying to think that Shute's efforts played a part in improving the lot of Australian composers by giving them a better deal on royalties. I have been in contact with David Henshall who lives on the Isle of Wight and has been doing research into the various locations mentioned in the books related to sailing, including the Hayling Island Sailing Club. He has given talks to various local groups and, hopefully, will present his talk at TAS 2013.

  11. Other contacts. I keep in touch with Yorkshire Air Museum and receive their Newsletter. Ian Reed, the Director, tells me that they have made little progress regarding turning the Old Bus Garage into an extension of the Museum. This is because the City Council will not grant them a 10 year lease on the property which they would need to make the project financially viable. I also subscribe to the Barnes Wallis Memorial Trust and attended their public meeting in June. Mary Stopes-Roe gave a wonderful presentation about the Wallis' life at Howden and after with extracts from letters and photographs.

John Anderson

Vice President & Treasurer

17th December 2012


A very Happy New Year to you all. It will be a great year again, as we will have TAS 2013 this year. Looking very much forward to that.

From Holland, were it is much too warm for a White Christmas (around 10 C, 50 F), see you next month.