Nevil Shute Norway Foundation

Newsletter dated March 2008


Mike Hobart writes:

Did you know there is a radio adaptation of "REQUIEM FOR A WREN" ?

A fan of old BBC dramas has posted it on a website which can be found be clicking here

It's a 50 MB download, so it might take a while if you are on dial-up. I haven't listened to it yet, but I thought you'd like to know about it.

Editor's Comment: This sounds interesting. I hope it's a legal download. Otherwise it may soon disappear.


Recently, Philip Nixon and other Shutists managed to get inside the York bus garage where Airspeed started. Philip's excellent photos, which include one of the office from which Shute looked down and worried about paying his workers, are now to be found in the PhotoTimeline on the website. You can see them by clicking here.


Gail Field writes:

Last weekend, my husband and I flew down to Melbourne, from Brisbane, on a business trip, without our two young children !

So making the most of this time, I chose a good old Nevil Shute book to keep me company and picked, at random, The Rainbow and the Rose which I hadn't read for a while.

I'm sitting there about to come into Melbourne's Essendon airport and in the book, Ronnie Clarke is just flying into Essendon airport.

I remember doing this once before, I can't remember which Shute book it was but the main male character was sitting at East Croydon station about to visit or having just visited his estranged wife after the war has finished (was it Round the Bend ?) and I was sitting at East Croydon station reading it as that was where I was waiting for the train to London after work. I wondered if anyone else had had these types of coincidences ?


Jim Woodward writes:

The Reindeer Aircraft - I checked out the photos of the mockup as I am guessing the Reindeer pictured never flew. I can see the need for one, two or three vertical stabilizers on an airplane for directional stability at slow speeds or with multiple engines turning at a slow RPM, but what are the aerodynamics for two vertical stabilizers? Is this just a filming adaptation so as not to imitate an existing airplane?

About authors, books, collections, etc included:

  • Nevil Shute for "On The Beach". It captured my attention immediately since we (the USA) were in the middle of the "duck and cover" period with the Soviets.
  • "In The Wet", my first encounter with interracial relations between a man and a woman. It really held my attention as an 11th grade student.
  • "Ordeal", an earlier novel was lost when I was only half way through it and it was a first edition book inherited from an aunt.

My favorite authors would have to be Shute, Mark Twain, Abraham Heschel - Rabbi and religious philosophical writer.

Mark Twain wrote a short story entitled, "The Story of the Old Ram" and unless you pay close attention while reading it you will lose the entire plot. Its on the internet and it only about five pages in length.

Abraham Joshua Heschel was a Orthodox Rabbi from Poland and asked more questions about life and religion that would seem obvious to most learned people, although the questions were not that obvious in our day-to-day lives.

Editor's Comment: The website I read said that the aircraft was designed so as not to resemble any existing aircraft and so avoid lawsuits and bad publicity.


Steve Van Dulken writes:

The website: indexes passengers leaving the UK on liners etc. from 1890 to 1949.

It has an entry for Nevil Norway, age 40, travelling in 1939 from Southampton to Halifax, Canada.

It also has three entries for Arthur Hamilton Norway from 1890, 1923 and 1925.
Brief information is free but you pay to see the ship's manifest, which typically gives an address.

Editor's Comment: Even looking back from this age where we are tracked in hundreds of ways from cradle to grave, it's amazing what we can still discover about Shute.


The recently dormant House of Stratus who publish smart editions of Shute's novels are reviving and launching a new website.

David Lane of House of Stratus writes:

As you may be aware, House of Stratus publishes some of the Shute titles. We are shortly to go live with a new web site.

As part of this, we are putting on line biographies of the major characters in works we publish - not a synopsis of the books, but literally a short biography of the fictional character, along with a list of titles in which they appear.

I was wondering if you, or members of the Society, would like to contribute towards this. The Biographies should be no more than around 250 words.

Due acknowledgement for contributions will be given and should you wish to have a contact name/email etc. on the web site I would be pleased to include it.

Editor's Comment: Those who would like to write a bio for their website can do one on a character in any of the following book published by House of Stratus.
If you already have a character bio on our website you might like to edit it to fit the criteria, particularly the 250 word limit, and submit that.
Any replies/biographies should be sent DIRECTLY to and not to this Newsletter or our website.
House of Stratus publishes the following Shute titles:
  • 9781842322468 Beyond The Black Stump
  • 9781842322482 Chequer Board
  • 9781842322512 Far Country
  • 9781842322543 In The Wet
  • 9781842322581 Landfall
  • 9781842322611 Lonely Road
  • 9781842322659 Marazan
  • 9781842322697 Most Secret
  • 9781842322734 No Highway
  • 9781842322758 Old Captivity
  • 9781842322765 On The Beach
  • 9781842322772 Pastoral
  • 9781842322789 Pied Piper
  • 9781842322833 Rainbow And The Rose
  • 9781842322864 Requiem For A Wren
  • 9781842322895 Round The Bend
  • 9781842322901 Ruined City
  • 9781842322918 Slide Rule
  • 9781842322949 So Disdained
  • 9781842322970 Stephen Morris (Incl. Pilotage)
  • 9781842323007 Town Like Alice
  • 9781842323014 Trustee From The Toolroom
  • 9781842323021 What Happened To The Corbetts
At the risk of appearing to give a free plug to this Shute-Friendly publisher who always deserve one, I will add that if you wish to contact House of Stratus to buy their books please email them
House of Stratus are appropriately based in Cornwall, England which was a favoured locale of Shute's.


Subject: Fred Greenwood with Nevil Shute Norway's lathe both still in good working order

Tommy Thomas ( stayed recently as paying guest at Devon Park, Shute's final home in Langwarrin, Victoria in Australia. The owners let out the attached but separate rooms once occupied by Shute's daughters.

Tommy writes:

Here at Devon Park we are ending a delightful four days of reminiscences.

The local expert on Nevil's time at Langwarrin and Australian Shute Foundation Librarian (Nancy Anderson) introduced us today to the two surviving local members of Nevil's estate, Fred and Ruth Greenwood.

Fred and Ruth came to Devon park in 1952 to manage the property and have stayed in the area.

Our hosts Lisa and Duncan have provided us with excellent accommodation in their most friendly and comfortable conversion of the Norway house and annex.

We strongly recommend their service to all travellers to this delightful part of Victoria.

See Devon Park:

Editor's Comment: Anyone travelling near Melbourne should stay at Devon Park. According to Shute's daughter, Heather, the house was not called Devon Park in Shute's time. It then had no name but as the area was called Langwarrin, and was at the time affected by the Australia-wide rabbit plague of the 1950s, Shute suggested to his family that the house should be called Rabbit Warren.


Dan Telfair has written in to clarify that Babette Hills is now the Secretary and Treasurer of The Nevil Shute Foundation and that he is now Babette's interim assistant and back-up until she finds someone to act as her back up more permanently.


Dan Telfair writes:

With reference to Ms. Hogg's suggestion that we start a Nevil Shute "book-of-the-month" club, Joy might be interested to know that is exactly how it all started.

A little over ten years ago, I finally became sufficiently familiar with the Internet to identify a small group (8 or 10), of founding Shutists, and begin a book review club.

Approximately once per month, I would select one of Nevil's books, and we would all re-read it.

Then we would each write an analysis, review and comment on each other's analyses, etc., until that book was exhausted.

Then we would move on to another of Nevil's books.

Sometime in early 1998, one of our number reminded us all that January 17, 1999, would be Nevil's 100th birthday. I am sad to say that no one can remember the author of the original comment.

In any event, I suggested that we should have a birthday party, and that it should be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico (because that is where I live).

One wit among us said that we could hold it in a telephone booth, because even dedicated Shutists were not likely to travel to Albuquerque for his birthday party.

Thus was born the idea for the Centennial Celebration.

In fact, 120 Shutists attended from as far away as Canada, the UK, and Australia.

The Centennial led to the incorporation of the Foundation, OZ2001, the formation of the Web Site,
the Foundation Newsletter, the US, Australia, and UK Libraries, UK2003, CapeCod2005, Alice Springs2007, the Nevil Shute Memorial Garden at the Alice Springs Community Library, the publication of The Seafarers, plans for York2009, our Scholarship Program, our Research Teams, etc., etc.

So Joy is absolutely right.

A book club is a great way to celebrate an author!


Bill Levy has written that he will not be offering his book, mentioned in the last newsletter, for sale after all.


Gene Scribner writes:

Way back in November I had the opportunity to go to Houston to see a special showing of "No Highway in the Sky". My son drove up from Houston to Denton, TX where I live and took me back to Houston to the movie which was a part of the "Movies Houstonians Love" series. Dr John H. Lienhard, author and the voice of the nationally syndicated public radio program "Engines of Our Ingenuity" was quest speaker. He enlightened the audience about his favorite movie and the author, Nevil Shute.

The purpose of going to Houston and to see the movie was to enable me to write to your news letter about the trip. However, I got busy and didn't write. In the current newsletter it asks which book got us started with Nevil Shute and the Foundation. Dr Lienhard's book and as a result reading No Highway in the Sky, got me started.

I too am now one who follows the slogan: If you need a good book to read, just re-read one of Nevil Shute's books !


David Argent writes:

One of the items raised was that of similar authors to Nevil Shute. Whilst I am the first to state that no author comes close to his consistently high quality story telling, I have recently read a few Jeffrey Archer books and found them to be really well put together stories. In particular, I would recommend Shutists give "As the crow flies" and "Kane and Abel" a go.


I (Richard Michalak) will be in New York in Late April into May and will be having a mini Nevil Shute conference in New York with Laura Schneider.

We will be having the Shute mini-conference at a 2-seat table in a diner but if anyone else will be there at the time we could get a 3-seat table. It will be a buy your own meal conference and all profits will go to the waitress.

We will have pancakes and maple syrup in honour of Nevil Shute who mentioned them at least once in Trustee from the Toolroom.

I think we have some readers in New York so it would be great if they or anyone else wants to join Laura and me. The date and time and diner are all to be advised.


I am sorry that this newsletter is so late.

Summer is merging into Autumn here. However, autumn in Sydney is warm, dry and beautiful and probably the best season of the year for swimming.

Richard Michalak


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
Chris & Penny Morton live in Tasmania.


Julian Stargardt


Gadepalli Subrahmanyam lives in Vizianagaram


Chris Phillips lives in Sacrofano just outside Rome.


GrahamTritt lives in Berne.


Richard Wynn lives in Cinderford , Gloucestershire.


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
Jim Magruder near Salem, Oregon
Jack Harper Evergreen, Colorado
Fred Depkin Palm City, Florida
Jim MacDougald, St. Petersburg, Florida,
Jim Cavanaugh Coupeville, Washington on Whidbey Island, and Seattle, Washington.
Robert J Price lives in Cottonwood, California, near Redding.

The Foundation maintains a password protected database of Shute enthusiasts world-wide who have expressed an interest in having their names, emails and locations recorded so that they may be put in touch with others of like mind. If anyone would like to be included in this listing, please forward your details to our UK librarian, David Dawson-Taylor, at