Nevil Shute Norway Foundation

Newsletter dated September 2011

Letters to the Editor

From Laura Schneider

Nevil Shute's Seattle gets under way in less than 3 weeks. There has been a wonderful turnout and it's going to be a lot of fun and a memorable experience. If anyone still wants to attend, please contact me at Also, check out our web site, for updates. I look forward to meeting the folks new to the Nevil Shute conferences, as well as those who are returning for their 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th time !

From John Forester

If one wants a parallel motion drawing board, as John Anderson considers in memory, they are very simple mechanisms that are easy to rig. Drawing board and straightedge, of course, plus eight small pulleys or guides and flexible steel wire (maybe Kevlar today). One wire goes from the right upper corner of the straightedge, up to the upper right corner of the board, back through the board, and diagonally to the lower left corner. Then through the board to its front and up to the left lower corner of the straightedge. The other wire does the opposite.

From John Anderson

PARALLEL MOTION - a biography of Nevil Shute Norway

Many thanks to all of you who have been kind enough to send me your comments on the book. Also my thanks to the reviewers - 2 on and 1 on Amazon UK., all very positive. This had made the whole process of getting it into print very worthwhile for me and, I hope, for Fred Weiss of Paper Tiger, who undertook the publication.

The book will be on sale during the Seattle Conference and Laura has arranged for me to do a book signing at the Elliot Bay Book Company on the Thursday evening before the Conference. That is likely to be an interesting experience for this novice author !

I'm really looking forward to Seattle, to renewing old friendships and making new ones.

From Tony Woodward

I thoroughly agree with Julian Stargardt about the Royal family. I have not gone into it in as much detail as he obviously has, but for the purposes of argument I have always compared the UK with the US (although I live in Canada, where the distinction is less clear cut because we too pledge allegiance to the British Queen and we have a Governor-General as the Queen's representative). But someone has to hold those state dinners and international receptions, and if the royal family does not pay for it then someone else has to, i.e. the taxpayer, and the end result is the same. And as Julian points out - the cachet attached to the royal endorsement is priceless. The recent royal wedding of William and Catherine was worth millions to the British economy and made the UK Royal family adored all over the world. And the label "By appointment providers of backscratchers to Her Majesty the Queen" or something similar is a ticket to the bank for any business. It is not awarded lightly and it can also be taken away. I believe Mohammed el Fayed, the owner of Harrods, learned this the hard way ! Anyway I am a confirmed monarchist.

Was NSN not a monarchist? I hadn't discerned that, only that he was using his writer's licence to craft a good novel. I love the idea of the multiple vote, and the idea that I have exactly the same voice in elections as a convicted psychopathic murderer sends shivers up and down my spine. Surely if someone is in jail for removing the entirety of someone else's rights by murdering him, then at least he ought to forfeit a few of his own rights as part of his punishment, including his right to vote ! I am generally left wing (well centre left) and very green in outlook, but I cannot understand today's nanny state. Sorry - he had a bad childhood, so we have to pity him. But don't we have to pity the victim too? A lot of other people had bad childhoods and they did not grow up to be murderers. Oh gosh now I have to go away and immediately read In The Wet all over again !

From Charles D

This site shows colored photos taken during WWII, including aircraft and the people who built them and flew them.

The Canadian National Film Board has just released a DVD version of a film made in 1980, called "Bush Pilot: Reflections on a Canadian Myth". It is 22min 28s long.

By 1980, the pioneer flyers were nearly extinct. (

Another film is "Bush Pilot - Into the Wild Blue Yonder" (48min, 41 sec) This was filmed in Quebec in 2000, where Bush Pilots still carry on. It is in French with subtitles.

There was a Hollywood film: Bush Pilot, 1947, directed by Sterling Campbell, with Rochelle Hudson, Jack LaRue, Austin Willis, at Turner Classic Movies.

From Alison Jenner

In both Trustee and Rainbow Shute's characters talk about flying from London to Vancouver directly over the North Pole. Has this ever been standard practice or was this Shute imagining what might have been the case in future ?


From Holland where we had a wonderful spring this year, and than, by mid June went straight into autumn. See you all next month. Those of you who are going to Seattle, have a great time. Unfortunately, I wont' be there, but I will be thinking of you, especially on Tuesday evening: An evening without Mike Meehan