Nevil Shute Norway Foundation

Newsletter dated June 2015

Letters to the Editor

FROM John Anderson

Oxford 2015.

We have two new speakers lined up for the Conference. In fact they are a double act, that is they do a joint presentation. I've heard them before, and very good they are too. Their topic is perhaps controversial but certainly relevant to Nevil Shute's work. I won't reveal any more. You'll just have to sign up, come along and find out!
Many of you will have seen the movie "The Imitation Game". Well, on our Tuesday excursion you'll get the chance to visit Bletchley Park and discover the real story behind the breaking of the wartime Enigma code. I've never been there and can't wait to go. Add to that a visit to the Shuttleworth Collection, probably the finest collection of vintage aircraft anywhere, and it'll be a great day out.
Not signed up yet? What are you waiting for?  Just go to

I look forward to seeing you there.


FROM Alison Jenner

The next meeting of the UK Shute book group will be on Saturday, 11 July, at a location to be fixed, in or near Southampton. Suggestions for a decent location - where we can get some lunch and base ourselves in the restaurant area - would be welcome, although I shall be visiting a few possibles shortly, The book we intend to discuss is "What Happened to the Corbetts."  Please let me know if you intend to come along - I already have a few signed up - so I can gauge the size of space needed.

FROM  Charles D

In honor of Memorial Day. 
Per Ardua
(To those who gave their lives to England during the Battle of Britain and left such a shining example to us who follow,these lines are dedicated.) 

They that have climbed the white mists of the morning;
They that have soared, before the world's awake,
To herald up their foeman to them, scorning
The thin dawn's rest their weary folk might take;
Some that have left other mouths to tell the story
Of high, blue battle, quite young limbs that bled,
How they had thundered up the clouds to glory,
Or fallen to an English field stained red.
Because my faltering feet would fail I find them
Laughing beside me, steadying the hand
That seeks their deadly courage –
Yet behind them
The cold light dies in that once brilliant Land ....
Do these, who help the quickened pulse run slowly,
Whose stern, remembered image cools the brow,
Till the far dawn of Victory, know only
Night's darkness, and Valhalla's silence now?

 By John Gillespie Magee, Jr. , Royal Canadian Air Force
Died 11 Dec 1941,  Age 19.

FROM Mike Berliner

 More on the non-existent DVD of the “A Town Like Alice” miniseries from 1981: I was able to email Henry Crawford, the producer of the film.  Although I relayed to him the widespread belief that the original film has disappeared, he neither confirmed nor denied.  But that’s not the crucial issue re a possible DVD, since a high quality DVD apparently could be made from the commercial VHS.  The much greater problem: Crawford told me that he had the rights for just 20 years, meaning that in 2001, rights reverted to the Nevil Shute Estate, and whoever owns the miniseries can no longer (in his words), “exploit” it,  i.e., cannot produce a DVD.  It looks as though the only way a DVD of that film could be made is if the owner makes a new deal with the Estate.  All of which suggests the unlikelihood of a proper DVD ever being made.  Very sad, if true.

Editor: Krirstin Hagelstein from Texas recently organized a local Shute meeting. I asked her, how she organized this, as I thought, that this might be good information for other Shutist, if the wanted to organize a meeting. Here is her reply, thank you Kristin.

FROM Kristin Hagelstein

I've outlined below the procedures we followed to initiate a local gathering in the Texas Hill Country. Most of this is just common sense.
1.            Using the Nevil Shute Foundation roster, compile a list of the e-mail addresses for any members who are in the approximate area you want to include.  (LaVerne Middleswart started this for us).   Set up an e-mail group.
                Be sure to include Joost Meulenbroek, editor of the Foundation newsletter, as he can put this in the newsletter, which was a great help in attracting possible attendees that we missed.

2.            Send an e-mail to the group to see if there is any interest in holding a gathering.  Ask for day of the week and time preferences.  In addition, ask them for the e-mail address for any other people they are aware of that might be interested.
3.            Decide from the responses if there is enough interest.  My guideline was a minimum of 5 people - our e-mail group quickly grew to 28 people and we had 15 at our initial gathering.
4.            Once you  have an approximate idea of the size of the group, secure a meeting place.  Most restaurants have a room they will let you use for free if the group eats there. If you don't want food, other places could be a community hall, church fellowship hall, or someone's home. We met at a local restaurant that had a meeting area and they let us  order from the regular menu and agreed to give us separate checks
5.            Notify the e-mail group of the time and place.  This should be done 2 months in advance of the meeting date, if possible, so that people can get this on their calendars.
6.            For the first meeting, I'd suggest that the organizer determines the program.  Our program was a discussion of "A Town Like Alice", led by John Cooper, who volunteered to lead.  He also tied in the exhibits at the Museum of the Pacific War here in Fredericksburg that pertained to several Nevil Shute books.
7.            If desired, you can give door prizes at the gathering.  Bill Levy gave us several signed copies of his book "Beyond the Beach", which was the most sought-after prize.  We also obtained door prizes from local merchants and had a basket of local foods as a thank you for the speaker.
8.            About a month in advance, send a press release to the local area newspapers with details about the meeting and a contact name with e-mail address or phone number.
9.            About 2 weeks before the gathering, check with the meeting place to be sure it is still reserved.
10.          The format for our meeting was simple:                 
 -  Registration and name tags (obtain complete addresses, e- mail addresses, and phone numbers) 
- Meet and greet
- Order lunch, continue conversations

- Eat lunch             
- Introduce speaker (allow about 30 - 45 minutes for the program).
- Give out door prizes

                (Our total meeting time was about 2-1/2 hours - we should have allowed more time for conversation, either before or after the program).
11.          Before closing, pass out a survey to be filled out by the

                a.  Is there interest in a future gathering
               b.  How often to have future meetings
               c.   Ideas for place to hold the next meeting
               d.   Ideas for future programs
               e.   Ask if anyone is willing to host the next meeting
12.          Within a week after the meeting, send an e-mail with a report on the meeting and the results of  the survey.                Hopefully, with the survey results, it will be clear if the group wants future meetings.
13.          If desired, send out a roster to the e-mail group with details of all the people in the group. This will be helpful for the host of the next gathering.

FINALLY, start planning the next gathering!

FROM Pier de Visser

As a "collector" I made it an honour to chase and find my own books.
Ordering from the internet is just too easy.This leads to numerous adhoc visits to anything that smells like a used-book place, and lots of interesting discoveries. And a lot of duds, visits with no result. But it feels extra-good when you find someting. Also, the cubic meters of books I assembled have become quite deer to me, but I now also wonder: what am I going to do with them ??
One chase lead to an interesting surprise: I went looking for "In the Wet".
In 1987, I was a student at LSU in Baton Rouge and had a friend with whom I discussed a lot of serious and less serious items, often related to politics. The mix of Ag-Engineering (me) and Liberal-Arts (her) was funny; the nerd-with-pocket-protector and the future-artist.
For her birthday, I wanted to get her a copy of ITW, notably because of the description of the voting system, but also for the "racism" angle (deep south!).
So I went off again chasing all used-book-shops... to no avail. Until I found his one dusty store in New Orleans. The owner looked like a salty sailor washed ashore but I suspect that was an image he coveted to go with the shop.
When I asked him if he had anything by Shute he smiled and seemed pleased to point out several items on the S-shelf. ITW wasnt on there. Then, when I asked for that specific title his eyes lit up !
His reply was "I have been re-reading that myself recently, give me a moment...". He disappeared off back, and to my surprise re-appeared 5min later with a used but OK copy of ITW. Good enough (well almost) to be gift-wrapped and presented.
When I asked him why he had been reading it his reply was along the lines of: "It is the only book where Shute reveals his opinion on politics and government".
We had some small-talk and he seemed quite pleased that I wanted to present it to someone specifically for the ideas described in it. 
I was afraid he'd now charge me an arm and a leg for it, but.... "It is yours for a Dollar".
I still have it: A friend got me a new (or new looking ?) copy of ITW from the UK somehow in time for the birthday. I've kept the one from NO  myself and read it several times over, special Souvenir to my days in The South.
After the birthday, the contents of the gift-book were discussed to some point. But I found then and later that the idea of more then one vote per head can be quite controversial. Not just among (art-)students, but in just about any circle, in any color of the political spectrum, right or left. Most ppl are not ready to accept a "heavier weight" of others based on whatever we might designate as "merit".
I think it was also discussed to some length on the NIOT list at the time (anyone still remember that list? is it archived somewhere?).
Anyway, Happy Reading.



I sometimes get questions from readers of the newsletter, if I know email-addresses of Shutists who live near them. Unfortunately I can’t help these readers. There are about 600 people from all over the world that subscribe to the newsletter. From some of these we have an address, but from most, we only have an email-address. However there may be a solution. On the website there is a section called “Local Shutists”. In that section, the names of those Shutists, with the place where they live and their email-address are mentioned. So if you are looking for Shutists near you, check that section.  Further it would be nice if more Shutists are mentioned so please visit the Local Shutist section and have your name added to this section. How you can do this is mentioned at the top of the page.

From the Netherlands, where summer is almost coming, see you next month.