Nevil Shute Norway Foundation

Newsletter October 2017

Letters to the Editor

FROM Ron Johns

Regarding the gliding scholarship , very pleased to see this re-emerge. The airfield is RNAS Merryfield near Chard it's a satellite of RNASYeovilton . I'm a 3000 hour gliding instructor and fly very near this airfield so ... if any one wants to visit let me know! 

FROM Sally Rossetti

One day before our total solar eclipse here in the United States (Sunday afternoon August 20) our Cape Cod Nevil Shute chapter had a meeting under a canopy shielding us from the sun and  On the Beach! Thank you  Judi and Lynn for creating our camp.  Thank you too, Marianne, for providing a beach. Meeting were Art, Joan, Sally, Marianne, Cathy, Judi and Howard. Also, Cathie Cornell who went swimming!!

We discussed Landfall, but as recently reported on the international Shute newsletter from the Netherlands we also talk of other things and other books.  However Art, as president of our group keeps returning us to our discussion of Landfall.
The hero, a young pilot, is a happy carefree officer.  He meets and admires a bargirl who is of a lower class.  At the beginning of World war II, the pilot sinks a submarine that is thought to be British and therefore a mistake. He volunteers for dangerous duty hoping to redeem his possible error and gain back his confidence. Everyone is against him even though he himself believes he has sunk a German submarine.  An Admiral, too, believed he had sunk an English submarine and did want him to be involved in the dangerous naval volunteer duty. However, after a problem with his own young son, the Admiral
realises he might be too rigid with young people, relented and allowed the pilot to complete the mission. The young woman heroine bravely convinces the higher ups about the sinking error. In the end, Mona and Jerry marry and live happily ever after.  Well, Shute never tells us but we imagine they did.
In this book, Shute shows us that war may bring people of different classes together, perhaps as was similarly depicted in Downton Abby.  Also, Shute points out that older rigid men can change, thus helping younger men to progress in the world.  Many characters contribute to this tale, however, at the end, the reader can look back and see clearly how each one had a role in telling us this very compelling story.
Our next book is A Town Like Alice, meeting on Sunday, November 12, place to be determined probably a restaurant.

Art and Sally, secretary

FROM Michael Beaird

I am finally planning a long-desired-bucket-list trip to Australia, probably in October, maybe November of this year.  I have frequent flyer miles to get me there but I would love to find (cheap!) accommodations while there.  Is it possible that Shutists would consider putting me up for a night or three while I am there?  I plan, at this early stage to fly into Sydney but hope to get to some other cities, and, of course, to Alice Springs.
I am a retired law librarian/law professor.  See the emeritus link below in my signature line for my background.  I do not smoke or drink and have never done drugs.  I am almost 77 and have been a Shutist since discovering him while in the U S Navy (1959-63).  As an undergraduate at the U. of Texas in Austin (1964-69) I found all his other books and spent hours
squirrelled away in the library stacks.  I have a complete set of the red-bound books of his works.  
Thanks in advance.

FROM Gadepalli Subrahmanyam

Despite being an avid fan of Nevil Shute, I could not get hold of all of his books to read.
As recently as last month, I found that Vintage Books, have published Nevil Shute books, in a paper back form, and I could get a full set, and am enjoying reading them.
Apart from being a wonderful story teller, he is an excellent Geographer, and when he makes an observation, whether of England, Indonesia, Australia or Gulf, it is so authentic.
I am glad of the opportunity to read any Nevil Shute book at will.

FROM David Hughes

I stumbled across this new non fiction book on Amazon, Miracle on Buffelo Pass, by Harisson Jones, an author who is a pilot and mechanic who writes aviation novels.  Maybe one of our newsletter readers know if his novels are any good and at all like Shutes?

FROM Charles Cerf

Not forgotten:  The Wall Street Journal’s acrostic puzzle for September 23, by Mike Shenk, includes the clue “Writer of  ‘A Town Like Alice’ and ‘On the Beach’.

Editor: see the attached pdf version of the newsletter

FROM Theo Prijs

In the 17th century both Jacob van Ruysdael and Meindert Hobbema have painted the beautiful and very old (1350) watermill belonging to Singraven Manor, in the east part of The Netherlands, near the town of Denekamp. (You can see one of the pictures in The National Gallery and the other in The Louvre.)

In the stylish ‘Huntingroom’ of the former house of the miller, now a restaurant, the Dutch Nevil Shute Bookclub intends to hold its second meeting, on the 22th October. In this lovely surrounding we will discuss the book “Pastoral”. During our first meeting, nearly seven months ago, we intended to discuss Pastoral as well, but we needed so much time to tell each other how much and why we do love the books of Nevil Shute, that there was no time left to discuss the book. We want to start at eleven a.m. with the welcoming of new members and after lunch we really will start talking about Pastoral. All Shutists, both Dutch and foreign are welcome. Please contact me if you want to come.

FROM John Anderson

UK Shute weekend 23-24 September

14 Shutists gathered for this weekend which was the eighth in this series of weekend reunions. We welcomed new members from the UK as well as those from the Netherlands and the USA.The location was the river Beaulieu in the heart of the beautiful New Forest area.
          On Saturday the venue was Exbury House which was HMS Mastodon during World War 2 and the setting which features in Requiem for a Wren. Greetings were exchanged and after lunch our host was John Stanley who took us on a guided walk relating to the Junkers aircraft that was shot down on 18th April 1944. Shute saw the aftermath of this incident and incorporated it as a central theme in Requiem. John spent many years researching the shooting down and wrote his book about it, published in 2004. His walk took us via the house and through the grounds occupied by the Wrens and ratings with stops to unfold the story. We then walked down the long field to the actual crash site where the Junkers ended up in a boggy area close to the lane. Retracing our steps we went back to the house where John completed his excellent walk. Although some aspect of the mystery can be explained – why there were 7 crew on board – some remain and in Shute’s own words “We may never hear the answers.” Many thanks to John for his excellent guided walk which brought the whole incident to life.
        On Saturday evening we repaired to the Foresters Arms in nearby Brockenhurst for dinner. This was a busy village pub which accommodated us well with a good selection of food.
        The venue on Sunday was Bucklers Hard, a unique 18th century village where warships for Nelson’s fleet were built and was a hive of activity in the preparations for D-Day. There was time to explore the village and museum and a stroll down to the river before lunch. We then embarked for a boat cruise down the river which took us down as far as Needs Oar Point, past many fine moored sailing yachts and luxurious riverside properties. There was commentary on the history of the river and the wildlife that inhabits it. It was in this stretch of river that Nevil Shute and his DMWD team tested the Swallow smoke-laying glider in the early months of 1944.
            Back on shore we repaired to the Captain’s Cabin Tea room for a cuppa with, of course, scones jam and cream! The sun had shone throughout the weekend but by the end of the day it had clouded over. Time for a group photo and farewells before we went our separate ways. It was a memorable weekend which I hope those who came enjoyed as much as I did.

FROM Phil Nixon

I’ve been thinking about where the UK Book Club can meet to discuss The Chequer Board.

In search of the 'Barley Mow'

We know Turner lived in Watford, probably in walking distance of Watford Underground station.

[Extract] He lived in a small detached villa in a row, No 15 Hyacinth Avenue. It is a fairly pleasant little house, one of many thousands around London, with a small front garden with a ceanothus tree and a larger back one with a lawn and a laburnum tree and rose bushes.

[Extract] He left the house, and travelled back to Watford on the Underground, and arrived home in time for tea.

NB: 15 Hyacinth Avenue does not actually exist in England.

We know that his favourite pub, The Barley Mow, took him about 40 minutes to drive in his seven year-old Ford, which puts it about 20 miles away.

[Extract] They drove for half an hour, and drew up at the pub. The Barley Mow is a large modern public house strategically placed at the junction of two arterial roads; it stands on the corner in two acres of grounds, one and a half acres of which is car park. Inside, the saloon bar is a discreet mixture of imitation Tudor oak and real chromium plate; it is warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and the place is split up into little corners and alcoves where a man can tell his friends a blue story without telling every lady in the room. Mr Turner loved the Barley Mow better than almost any other local he frequented.
[Extract] Moreover, it was no good arguing with him when he had just drunk five pints of beer; from past experience she knew that much. She got into the car in silence and started the engine; in silence he got in beside her and slammed the door, and they started down the long white concrete road to home. They did not speak again till they turned into the garage of the little house at Watford forty minutes later.

[Extract] "Okay," he said. "Go out past Hatfield, 'n then come home by the Barley Mow.

Any Shutists got a good suggestion where we can meet, that is a good simulation of the pub and in the area that Nevil Shute was describing?


FROM THE EDITOR A nice long newsletter this month, with interesting articles. From the Netherlands, where it is almost autumn, See you all next month.