Nevil Shute Norway Foundation

Newsletter dated September 2013

Letters to the Editor

From Chris & Penny Morton

Close of registrations for "The Rainbow Connection" is very close, BUT, THERE IS STILL TIME, BROTHER! We thank everyone who has already registered and special thanks to those notifying us they were unable to come, sending their good wishes for a successful conference.

The Old Woolstore has a secure glass case for anyone planning to bring Shute memorabilia, to share with others.

If anyone has questions about anything, don't hesitate to contact us. There are still rooms left in 'our block' at The Old Woolstore so, when booking, be sure to mention the Nevil Shute Conference and booking number 8434.

This is going to be a really special experience, and as delegates, we are privileged to be amongst the first in the world to see Lawrence Johnston's highly acclaimed film "FALLOUT!", which received rave reviews at its World Premiere in Melbourne.

Hobart, recently named the second friendliest city in the world to visit, awaits your arrival.

Looking forward to seeing everyone in a few weeks.

Chris and Penny

From Laura Schneider

Calling all participants attending the conference in Tasmania

Following tradition, we are having a session called "Reading Nevil Shute" and it involves YOU! This is a great opportunity for new participants, as well as veterans, to be part of the program. Up to 10 people read passages/selections From a Nevil Shute book. All that is required is for you to tell the group why you chose the book/passage.

If you are interested in being a reader, please contact me at It is first come, first served. If you want to read but don't know what you will read, please let me know you are interested so I can hold a space for you. Thanks!

From John Anderson

PHILLIP TEED - unsung hero of R.100

If you've read about the R.100 airship you will know the names of those involved in her design and construction. Nevil Shute of course as Chief Calculator and later Deputy Chief Engineer; Barnes Wallis, Chief Designer and Sir Dennis Burney, Managing Director of the Airship Guarantee Company. There is one other name you probably won't have heard of, Major Phillip Teed, who made a great contribution to R.100. Teed was 10 years older than Nevil Shute, served in the RNAS and RAF during the first World War and originally trained as a barrister. He joined Vickers in 1923 just before work on R.100 began. Teed was something of a polymath, wrote a book on the manufacture and chemistry of hydrogen and became an expert in Duralumin of which R.100's framework was made. He was fluent in German and liaised with the German makers of the airship's gasbags, translating all the documentation into English. It was Teed who set up a heat treatment plant for the Duralumin alongside the shed at Howden. Teed oversaw the handling of the delicate gasbags and ran the Silicol plant which generated the hydrogen to fill them. This was a ticklish process, not without risk of explosion, and it was his development that enabled the gas flow to be regulated to some extent. As an expert chemist he made all the gas purity measurements when the gasbags were filled.

The Airship Guarantee company could not have been served by a better, more talented or versatile man, yet Shute doesn't mention him in Slide Rule and he gets only a brief mention in Morpugo's biography of Barnes Wallis, although Wallis and Teed remained lifelong friends.

In a letter to the Royal Aeronautical Society in 1948 Wallis described Teed as "Deputy Chief Engineer of the Airship Guarantee Company From 1924 to 1930" sharing with him the responsibility for the design and construction of R.100. It was only after Wallis left Howden in 1929 that Shute was promoted to the same role, presumably by Burney and alongside Teed.

After the demise of airships, Teed remained with Vickers and went on to have a stellar career.

From M. C. Ridge

The Foundation for Economic Education ( has an interesting analysis of A Town Like Alice, which I first read under the title of The Legacy: see

Take a look at the article. It brings to mind several other Shute novels, such as Ruined City, Round The Bend, and Trustee From The Toolroom, which depict characters who follow free market principles to create better outcomes for themselves and others.

Along the same vein, I think it would be worth a discussion about Shute's treatment of the benefits of avoiding government invovement, for example as seen in Slide Rule. What do you and others in the group think ?

From John Henry

Perhaps it has been mentioned before but I recently discovered that the entire movie of Pied Piper can be watched or downloaded From YouTube.

It is in several shorter (10 minute) segments but quality is OK.

Here is the link to the playlist with all segments.


A bit late this month, I’m sorry about that. From the Netherlands, where until a few day’s ago it was still really hot, see you all next month

See you all next month.