Nevil Shute Norway Foundation

Newsletter dated November 2008

For information about the next conference, please check:


From Alan Gornik

I just wanted to report that the original "A Town Like Alice" movie was recently on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) on cable. I had only seen the TV series before, so this was a real treat.

My first NS book was Ruined City, which I read in 1994. That hooked me. I read or listened on tape to the rest of his books over the next 5 years. (I got a few of the books on tape from this organizations' library.) It's time to start re-reading!

From Garry Cline

Responding to the questions from Jay Hogg

Trustee From the Toolroom got me hooked. My own interest in aviation, sailing and model engineering made this one a natural. I believe I first read it while a G.I. stationed in Germany during the early 1960's. The post had a small but excellent library. As a former aircraft mechanic Round the Bend is one of my favorite Shute novels, probably because Connie brought the work to a complex blend of craftmanship, art & integrity. Trustee is the book I most recommend to potential male Shute readers, and A Town Like Alice to females. Most all of his principal characters have grabbed me. Can't say there is a favorite. I remember how moved I have been by the protaganist in Ruined City, and the Wren in Requiem For a Wren. Rereading the stories brings the characters even closer. Shute wrote with a craft that has made him a favorite author of mine. When I meet someone who also reads for pleasure, and seems to have interests that connect with mine, I mention Nevil Shute and ask if they know of him.

Thank you for your interest in my feelings about the man.

Garry Cline, La Conner, Washington, USA

From Jim Powell:

My purpose in writing is to share a lighthearted Father's Day gift from my children (who are all grown and married). This was part of a booklet prepared by our youngest, Ginny Powell Brogan. It is entitled:

LESSONS WE HAVE LEARNED FROM YOU,with help from Nevil Shute:-

  • Always dive under THE BREAKING WAVE to avoid getting water up your nose
  • If you keep your friends and family close, you will never walk the LONELY ROAD
  • Do not be afraid of the unknown. Dare to venture BEYOND THE BLACK STUMP
  • Always be on your toes, you don't always know what is ROUND THE BEND
  • Expand your mind. Journey to and explore THE FAR COUNTRY
  • Every 'Cracker Barrel' has a CHEQUER BOARD
  • Treasure your relaxation time and spend it ON THE BEACH (preferably on the South Carolina coast)
  • Sometimes you are THE PIED PIPER, sometimes you should follow THE PIED PIPER, and sometimes you should ignore THE PIED PIPER
  • When life brings you rain, go play IN THE WET
  • Live your life by the SLIDE RULE-go down as many as possible !

A footnote may help-Cracker Barrel is a popular restaurant chain in the US.
Jim Powell, Marietta, Georgia, USA

(Editor: Wow !))

From Charles D:

There was an interview on radio today with Sir Nicholas Winton, the hero of the Kindertransport in 1939. He is now 99 years old. I could not help recognizing the similarity to Nevil Shute's novel, The Pied Piper. Shute seems to have gotten ideas from the newspapers and trade magazines of the time, but also from personal conversation. His prewar vacation to the Jura appears to have spawned at least two stories, The Pied Piper, and An Old Captivity.
Charles D., Dalton, Minnesota USA

The train was there only because of a young British stockbroker named Nicholas Winton. Just 29 at the time, he'd been planning to go on a ski trip to Switzerland when a friend asked him to come to Prague instead to help refugees fleeing Hitler's advancing army. Winton went and became alarmed about the fate of Jewish children if the Nazis invaded - as he knew they would. He set to work organizing the kindertransport and ultimately saved more than 650 children, including my mother and her sisters.

In the decades that have passed since then, many of those who were rescued have grown old and died. But Winton is still alive. At 99, he lives on his own in a snug house with a lush garden near Maidenhead, west of London.

The first transport left barely one month after Kristallnacht; the last left on September 1, 1939-just two days before Great Britain's entry into the war, which marked the end of the program. By that time, approximately 10,000 children had made the trip. When the children arrived in England, some were taken in by foster families, some went to orphanages or group homes, and some worked on farms. They were distributed throughout Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland). Once there, they were at no more risk than the rest of the population. This was not inconsiderable since many towns were heavily bombed.

Many of the children were well-treated, developing close bonds with their British hosts; however, others were mistreated or abused. A number of the older children joined the British or Australian armed forces as soon as they reached 18, and joined the fight against the Nazis. Most of the children never saw their parents again.

Of the 10,000 Kindertransport children, it is believed that 20-25% eventually made their way to the U.S. or Canada.

Three interesting references are as follows:-

Charles also send a link to an interesting aircraft museum:-

FROM John Anderson:

The UK team has been hard at work this month on preparations for UK2009. Phil and Alison have begun the publicity campaign, sending out Press releases to relevant media, newspapers, magazines etc. We are also actively canvassing selected companies and organisations for appropriate Sponsorship. David has designed a Conference bookmark and these will be printed and distributed to Libraries, bookshops and Tourist Offices etc. We also have full colour posters, both A3 and A4 size, publicising the event. If anyone would like supplies of these publicity items, please contact me. Planning for our excursions and "themed evening" is also underway.

The Conference website now has a facility where you can record your interest in attending the event and be added to our mailing list, by filling out a simple form.

The Conference budget will be finalised by the end of this year so we can set the Conference fee. Then we will begin to take Registrations early in the New Year.

So forget the "credit crunch", come and spend a week (or longer) in an historic English city. We can't guarantee the weather but we can guarantee a warm welcome, the opportunity to meet fellow Shutists, meet old friends and make new ones, and discover more about the life and work our favourite author.

FROM Philip Nixon:

As part of the advance publicity for UK2009, I am looking for one volunteer, per non UK country, to email some press releases to the media and organisations of that country. I can supply a template release for local adaption, and support on what to do. The only skills required are knowing how to search the internet and the ability to think about who to approach. In the UK, this has included aviation, model engineering and sailing media/organisations as well as newspapers and radio stations.

Best wishes,

Phil Nixon

FROM Diane Lachange:

In the news yesterday was a story about a new venture building Zeppelin airships. I am thinking this may be of interest to some Shutists and am sending along the website URL, as follows:-

The Airship Venture website does mention the R100 and R101. Very brief mention with a link to some historical correspondence having to do with possible names for the R100 and R101.

Regards, Diane Lachance

(Editor: almost at the bottom of the page !)

From Laura Schneider

On the Beach with A Town Like Alice

Last month, the New jersey/Pennsylvania Nevil Shute Society Book Group met at the Jersey Shore where we toasted Shute and Australia. Linny and Beall Fowler were our very gracious hosts. Thanks to the enthusiasm of Susan and John Fowles, we had an Australia themed weekend. Five of us had been at the conference in Alice Springs last year and those who hadn't been wanted to learn about the conference and Australia. Some of us arrived Saturday night during a monstrous storm, which was even more dramatic because we were at ocean's edge. The storm was so bad throughout the region that it kept Babette Hills from joining us. Babette was visiting family south of us but it was too dangerous for her to travel north. You always have an open invitation, Babette !

Thanks to the determined and enthusiastic Susan and John Fowles, we cozied up with Cooper's Ale, Australian meat pies and a cheese offering in the shape of Australia. Australian wine flowed freely and we looked at lots of photos and memorabilia from last year's conference in Alice Springs. Our official book group meeting wasn't until Sunday afternoon when the rest of the group arrived. We discussed A Town Like Alice, as well as Shute's other Australian books. As a small sample group of Americans, we decided that Shute fairly represented the US in Beyond the Black Stump, which is something the Mad Australian, Richard Michalak disagrees with. Richard's opinion is highly valued but we decided to politely disagree with him. (Full disclosure: I am not completely objective re: BTBS. My new car is Black with a Tan interior. She is called Lucinda). What the group did agree on is how much we're looking forward to the next international conference in York next July 2009.

Our next meeting will be on Nevil Shute's 110th birthday, January 17, 2009, which is also the 10th anniversary of the first international Nevil Shute Conference. It will be in Central New Jersey. Everyone in driving distance is welcome to join us. Please contact me at if you're interested in joining us or want more information.

From Michael O' Brien

The BBC are adapting ON THE BEACH as a radio serial this month? It's on their Classic Serial slot and you can listen to it over the Internet for a week after each episode is aired. (If anybody misses it, I may be able to point them in the right direction).

Regards from Tasmania,

Michael O' Brien


About 10 people have send in a reply to Jay Hogg's questions (see the August Newsletter). I think that I will publish 2 of these replies in each newsletter. (In order of reception). More replies are very welcome. Jay thank you, great idea.
Any people writing to me to tell me they have a new email address, and writing from that new address, please include your old address too. It is very difficult and sometimes impossible for me to change the address otherwise.
See you all next month


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


Mike Marsh in Chepelare


Joost Meulenbroek in Enschede


Julian Stargardt


Gadepalli Subrahmanyam in Vizianagaram


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, dhorvath in the domain, near Philadelphia Pennsylvania, USA.
Al Benkelman Warrenton, Virginia