Nevil Shute Norway Foundation

Newsletter dated May 2014

Letters to the Editor

From Alison Jenner

The Nevil Shute reading group will meet at 11:00 on Saturday, 31 May, 2014 at The Black Sheep Inn on Sheep Street, Petersfield. They tell me that they are accessible by wheelchair and will hold the sitting area at the back for a group of us. I have undertaken to let them, and the gallery and museum, know nearer the time some idea of our numbers.

The Petersfield Museum staff suggest that we split in two, and half visit the Flora Twort Gallery while the other half visit the museum, and swap over, so that we take the best opportunity to see the artefacts and memorabilia relating to Shute and Flora Twort.

Then we come back to the pub for some lunch, and have a short talk by Val Biro about his artwork for four of Nevil Shute's UK first edition books.

Thanks to Andy Poole for arranging this!

After this, we will discuss "So Disdained," which we shall have read in time for this meeting.

I look forward to seeing you all.

From Paul Spoff

This is an unbelievable set of photos - the REAL thing - pix From Tinian Island as the B-29 "Enola Gay" was being loaded. Today it takes about 100 times the number of people and TONS of paperwork to accomplish the same end.

Notice the "Top Secret" stamp on some of the photos. In the last few pix notice the CRUDE sheet metal work on the casing and fins of "Little Boy" - the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima.

Gives a little look into the other side of the engineering on the first atomic bombs, the mechanical and logistical work that it took to handle, store, transport, and load them.

Declassified Historical Photographs.

From Charles D

This was interesting to me.

From Dave Hughes

I am in Washington DC and I have collected all of Nevil Shute's books, many as first editions in good condition I have been able to order From the UK for $10 or so including shipping. If you go on Albris or Abe Books and look for the title and publisher and date and first edition you can find them without dust covers in most cases. Very good are even better. I have only had a few disappointments in quality. The books have character, often with inscriptions to the recipient of a gift.

Collecting them has been fun. I have read about 2/3 of them but my friend Mary Francis Koerner has read almost the entire collection. She is recommending the titles to her friends.

I was interested to see the mention of the Aurthur Clarke book and I have purchased that to read later. But for those of us who have almost finished reading all Nevil Shute's books I wonder if you would ask subscribers to the newsletter to chime in on other authors or books that write along a similar line. Perhaps there were others in Nevil Shute's era that were similar to him, and I could then recommend those books to my friend Mary Francis. She visits London frequently and loves Britain.

FromGadepalli Subrahmanyam

Has any one done a Ph.D on Nevil Shute's works, anywhere in the world ? Do any fellow members have this information ?

From Julian Stargardt

Cutter, Bosworth and Gulf Air... and 1920s Aircraft Construction

Freddie Bosworth & Gulf Air

Gosh, I wrote that review about Frater's book years ago, either you have a fantastic memory or an excellent archival system :-) But how timely to add it...

Here's another link to a Gulf Air history excerpt, complete with colour profile photo of a civil Avro Anson as used by Bosworth, landing.... By the way Bosworth died in a plane crash at Croydon in 1951....

1920s Airship and Metal Aircraft Construction

I recently bought a copy of Anglo-German photographer E O Hoppe's 1930 book "Deutsche Arbeit" which has 4 spectacular photos of late 1920s aircraft construction:

2 are of the Hindenberg, 1 is of the skeleton and the other is of the fabric covering being fitted

2 are of fixed wing corrugated metal skinned monoplanes,possibly Junkers, possibly Rohrbach, I can't tell for sure though I incline toward Junkers, (Junkers weren't the only aircraft company to make corrugated skinned metal aircraft)

Here's a link to E O Hoppe's 1928(?) photo of the Hindenburg being erected, and what an erection it was! For me and I hope for other Shutists this photo really brings home the magnitutde of the Chief Calculator's task - the job Shute did so well for R100, these vehicles were huge and every aspect of the airframe etc had to be calculated for strength, stress, weight, flexibility, rigidity to a nicety, all with a sliderule and maybe an old fashioned manual mechanical "calculator".... wow, I'm in awe.

Another version of this photo is available here:

Here's a link to the photo of the aircraft erecting room:

Here it is credited as being Junkers...

Speaking of Adolf Rohrbach, he was one of the most innovative aeronautical engineers and designers ever, here's a photo of the spectacular Zeppelin Staaken E4/20 4 engined all metal stressed skin enclosed passenger monoplane he designed in 1917, yes that's right, in the middle of WW1 the Zeppelin Werke was designing and commencing construction of big passenger planes....


I wrote the original Wikipedia article on this plane, it's since been shortened edited, photos removed and last time I read it bawlderised, but that's Wikipedia for you...

From Fred Depkin

I have been subscribed to your Nevil Shute website since 2007, and I have enjoyed the comments of his avid supporters. I first became aware of Mr. Shute’s stories in 1970 when I recovered a discard From the local library in Monroe, New York, USA entitled “An Old Captivity”. I loved the story and have reread it many times. Since it was my first, I consider it Shute’s best. The reason for this note is that I am a plastic kit builder, retired and one of my joys is to trace and research aircraft before I build the models. I have had a penchant for aircraft designed by the Airspeed Aircraft Corp. and I came upon 2 new model kits of the Airspeed Oxford. Both kits are produced by the Special Hobby Corp. located in the Czech Republic and both are in 1/48 scale. The first kit is #48104 and it is a Mark I/II in Commonwealth Service, and the second kit is #48159 and is a Mark I/II in Royal Navy Service. I know that there must be some kit builders who are Shutists – I would certainly like to communicate with them and possibly trade picturess of the models.


That is it for this month, please keep sending me items for the newsletter. .

See you all next month.