Nevil Shute Norway Foundation

Newsletter dated July 2008


As you may have read in the June newsletter I am the new newsletter editor. For those of you that don't know me I will give a short introduction. I "discovered" the Nevil Shute Foundation early in 2003 and went to my first conference in Southsea in 2003. After that I attended Cape Cod in 2005 and Alice Springs in 2007. Early in 2005 I started searching for Shute's yacht, Runagate, and with the help of Mike Meehan and John Anderson, we found her end 2006 and visited her in January 2007. About this search I gave a talk in Alice Springs. After finding Runagate I wondered if there was something else that I could do for the foundation. When Art Cornell asked me to take over the newsletter I hesitated. I have a very busy job, and wondered if it would be too much. About that I contacted Richard Michalak. Further I was afraid, that my English wouldn't be good enough, not being a native English speaker. I contacted several Shute friends about this, and they all told me that I could count on their help if I ran into trouble. So here I am. I will certainly do my best to make the newsletter as interesting and informative as Richard did for the last 4 years or so, and Dan for the last 2 newsletters.
Joost Meulenbroek


The weekend of 10-11 May was a great weekend for a small group of Shutists, as there was a mini-conference in Dartmouth in the south of England, organized by Alison Jenner. It was a great weekend, good weather, good company and good fun. John Anderson has written a report, which you can read here

One of the speakers was Andy Burgess, who gave a talk on the coincidences between Nevil Shute's novel "Marazan" and "The Thirty Nine Steps" by Buchan. You can read it by clicking here


From : Diane Lachange

I am a rather new member of the foundation, but a longtime fan of Nevil Shute. For some time I have toyed with the idea that many Nevil Shute's books would be ideal candidates for teaching and inspiring young adults in geography and history, as well as numerous other subjects. As a parent if a homeschooler, I have seen other historical fiction works which have been successfully used in homeschool unit studies and loved by many. An example of an existing author whose work has been supplemented with study guides would be G. A. Henty. A web link which provides a description of one such study guide is:

With all the resources within this group, I wonder if study guides could be developed for books such as A Town Like Alice, Trustee From the Toolroom and No Highway, to name only a few. I mention No Highway because a recent gathering of the Cape Cod group produced a clever member who took the time to prepare a map relating to the three journey's made to Canada (the original flight which crashed, Mr. Honey's flight and Mr. Scott's flight including the journey to the crash site.). I have often wanted to have a map handy to refer to as I read many of Shute's books but most times found it inconvenient to take the time to get a proper map. That said, I recently did use Google maps to follow the route in the book An Old Captivity and it was quite fun. With many of Shute's books a study guide could include information to encourage students to explore more about air travel, engineering, aviation, WWII, trans-Atlantic flight, religion(No Highway, Round the Bend) and so much more. The few films that have been made would also be wonderful to refer to in the study guides.

I will leave it to you as to whether to float this idea with other members of the foundation. I am quite eager to give this a try, but have realized that it is quite an undertaking for one person. Anyone interested in giving this some consideration is welcome to contact me at

Dan's reply to Diane:
Dear Diane:
Thanks for the letter and the suggestions regarding study guides for Nevil's books.
I will forward your letter to Babette Hills, Foundation Secretary, and to Art Cornell, Foundation VP and Chief of Staff. It would be up to them to decide if the Foundation would sponsor the study guide work, and who would be made responsible for the project. Although I am still on the Foundation Board, most of my responsibilities have been turned over to Babette and Art.
There is one negative consideration. The UK firm of A. P. Watt is the literary agent for the Nevil Shute Norway estate, and they are very hard-nosed about copyright infringement. Linda Shaughnessy, the person at A. P. Watt who oversees the Nevil Shute Norway account, has told me that if a significant extracts from Nevil's books were quoted in the study guides, her permission would be required. Based on past experience, her permission is rather difficult to obtain. This is a consideration for anyone who chooses to take on the study guide project.
Personally, I think it is a very good idea, but we should go into it with our eyes wide open if we decide to take it on. I expect that you will hear from Babette and/or Art in the near future. If you have anything to add to your original letter you may contact them at and, respectively.
Regards from the Land of Enchantment,


In regards to Subrahmanyam Gadepalli's idea of sequels. I'm sure that everyone of us would go insane with glee and happiness if we were to find a worthy successor to write an even decent sequel. I'm so totally inept at even putting two coherent words together, let alone a plot line and visual's to match what we've all come to believe is the all time master.

As was pointed out, the time, characters, and a compelling plot line all would be extremely arduous. Not with out merit, but certainly a monumental task.

On to Norm Solomon's wonderful idea of TRUSTEE as a movie--I can only see it as a Mini-Series, to truly make it complete. Maybe it could be done as two, two hour movies. My only problem is, ( Well, I have many) concerning this is, that today's script writers seem to need to BRING IT UP TO DATE.

The BBC seems to do quite well with the likes of FOYLE'S WAR in keeping with the times. I just don't see ANY American company doing one of his stories due reverence and justice, with out adding a Mc Donalds and a Corvette. Or throwing in a lecture about the insidious habit of smoking, which nearly every one did at that time.

Paul Spoff
Westerville, Ohio

From Adrian Crowe

Subrahmanyam Gadepalli suggests that sequels could be written to some of Nevil Shute's books. One option mentioned is the possibility of survivors in OTB. I have often wondered how the world would have reacted if the journey across the world to track had revealed some positive signs about the Jorgensen effect. We have now survived for forty-five years longer (because of the book?) than OTB's warning. We now face different problems, although the OTB scenario still looms. I think Nevil Shute would have been relate a wonderful tale of optimism using the human spirit and ingenuity to overcome the difficulties in surviving the receding radioactivity and planning a future. Now that we have averted our extinction (thus far) perhaps we need someone with Nevil Shute's talent to remind us how to survive. We are no less in need of such leadership.

Adrian Crowe

From Christopher Storey, Heswall, England

I have been looking at the fascinating photographs of the Balliol group, and candidly I don't think the answer given to the question of which man is Shute is correct! It seems to me that the prime candidate is the man in the centre of the back row in the Front Outer Left enlargement, who has the hair, jutting ears, drooping eyebrows and general facial shape shown in the pilots licence photo.

I shall be interested to know what you think

Editor: Who wants to comment on this?

From Dan Telfair

Scholarship Update:

Last month I reported that "Little Alix", our gofer for the Centennial, and recipient of one of our US scholarship, is now a Captain for New Mexico Airlines. Today, I can report that the other of our two US scholarship recipients, Ursula Drurer from Switzerland, has both passed her Commercial License and obtained her Certified Flight Instructor rating. She is currently teaching for Bode Aero here in New Mexico; building up flying hours and experience; and awaiting her turn for the airlines.

It is no small thing to launch two ladies into the world of professional flying. I believe Nevil would be proud of the things we do in his name.

Regards from the Land of Enchantment,

Dan Telfair, Founder
The Nevil Shute Norway Foundation

From Jim Woodward

Dear Dan:

I like the suggestion of a sequel to On the Beach by Subramanyam Gadepalli. Each member could write a chapter about a family that survived the nuclear holocaust and their trials and tribulations of survival. Since the authors would have different perspectives about the events following a nuclear holocaust and they would be writing about the experiences of a single family, these stories might tie in nicely as separate pieces of work representing different experiences and with a different frame of reference, just as it would be were a nuclear event to occur. Sadly, a nuclear event seems more possible now than when Nevil wrote "On The Beach."

I would be glad to take a stab at one chapter. I have written one book entitled, "Great News! We've Sold The Company". Its about getting older in the American Corporate workplace, getting your "early" retirement package. and having your job re-assigned to two or three much younger and inexperienced people and the incompetence of some managers that always seem to be able to get a promotion, the big raise, or the big bonus. It is more of a tongue-in-cheek look at the silliness of some managers and their styles of management. It's available at Barnes & Noble and at Amazon.

I'm working part-time as a retiree and have some "extra" time on my hands and like to write.

You would need to find a literary agent that would take on the task of marketing the finished product to a publisher for editing.

Jim Woodward
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Dan's reply to Jim:
I am afraid that the sequel idea isn't going to fly. Linda Shaughnessy, the A. P. Watt representative who is responsible for overseeing Nevil's writing estate, is very hard-nosed about copyright infringement. She also wrote regarding Subra's suggestion, and said it would be very doubtful if such a project would get her approval. It is also doubtful that we could find any other literary agent who would take it on, if we did want to publish it, and if Linda would give it her blessing.
Another approach would be to just write sequels with the idea that they would be posted on the web site. Unfortunately, Linda also considers that to be a copyright infringement. We can write reviews and commentaries but, beyond that, there is very little we can do without the specific permission of A. P. Watt.

From John Anderson

In last month's Newsletter I asked the question which Shute novel, translated into French, had the title "Coeur Genereux" (Generous Heart)?

Many thanks to all those who e mailed me. I had answers ranging from "Ruined City" to "Trustee from the Toolroom" Congratulations to Sujit Liddle, Alison Jenner, Andy Burgess, Charles D and Phil Nixon who all got the correct answer - PIED PIPER!

If you looked at the Translations section of the website you may have ruled out Pied Piper, because that lists a translation into French with the ironic title "Bonnes Vacances Mr Howard" (Happy holiday Mr Howard), so a little explanation is required. "Bonnes Vacances Mr Howard" was indeed a translation into French in the 1950s whereas "Coeur Genereux" is dated 1945 and was published by Heinemann & Zsolnay at the end of the Second World War.

It may be the only Shute novel translated twice into another language each with a different title. Where did I find Coeur Genereux? It is listed in the British Library Catalogue (2 copies). Although the library in Quebec has a copy, surprisingly the Biblioteque Nationale de France (the French equivalent of the British Library) does not seem to have one.

I managed to buy a copy and it is a nice little paperback in good condition. However since I read French rather slowly it will take me some time to read it but good mental exercise!

Editor: My own guess was Trustee.

From Roland Wills

Dear Sir / Madam,

It was with some interest that I came across your web-site, Runagate was owned by my father, & was our family boat throughout the 1970's & 80's. We lived on her for some time in the early 70's when I was only 10, & subsequentley sailed to the Mediterranean / Gibraltar, & returned some years later via the Azorres.

In the picture of her residing on the River Tyne (2007) she is looking rather tired & sad, a far cry from my memories of her in her full glory under full sail, either cruising or racing out of Gibraltar.

If you are at all interested I have numerous photos of her from that period.

Yours sincerely

Roland Wills

Editor: I have contacted Roland, and informed him that as far as I know, Runagate is for sale again. If I was already retired, I would love to buy her and bring her back to her former state. An other idea would be to do with Runagate, what was done to Nancy Blackett, the Hilyard yacht of Arthur Ransome. She was restored and can be rented for sailing. See: http:/

From Mills Dyer

Just spent a week in Washington DC at which point we visited the National Gallery of Art. They have a temporary exhibit (until September 1) by the American photographer Richard Misrach titled "On the Beach" which is drawn from Nevil Shute's novel. Here is a link to a description of the exhibit: If you click on the photograph on the right, you can view the pictures.

The article notes that "a strange sense of disquietude pervades these photographs. Made in the days immediately after September 11, 2001, these photographs speak of the unease and sense of foreboding that pervaded the country after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon." I would certainly agree that some (but not all) certainly do present a "sense of disquietude".

The exhibit will move to the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, October 11, 2008-January 18, 2009 and then to the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, May 23-August 16, 2009.

W. Mills Dyer, Jr.
Kingsport, Tennessee, USA

Editor: I agree, some, but not all of the photo's do present a "sense of disquietude". They are worth looking at though.


Well this was my first newsletter. I hope that you wil have as much fun reading it, as I had putting it together. I'm totally new to this kind of thing, so any comments are very welcome.


Write in if you want your name listed and would like to get together with other Shutists in your vicinity.


Jim Wells lives in Lindfield, Sydney
Richard Michalak lives in Paddington, Sydney
Ruth Pearson lives in Adelaide
Neil Wynes Morse lives in Canberra


Joost Meulenbroek, lives in Enschede


Julian Stargardt


Bruce A Clarke lives in Bangkok


Jim & Kristi Woodward live in Broken Arrow (east of Tulsa), Oklahoma, USA.
Priscilla Pruitt lives near Bellingham, Washington State
Bill McCandless lives in 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