Nevil Shute Norway Foundation

Photo TimeLine

1951 - 1960 page 2

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November 1951 : Shute starts writing "In The Wet".


1952 : "The Far Country" is published.

Shute on a 1952 dust jacket of The Far Country
Shute on a 1952 dust jacket of The Far Country.

May 25 1952

In The Wet is completed.

Photo of Avro Atlantic model

Research by Mike Meehan has shown that the de Havilland Ceres in In The Wet was very likely based on the designed, but never built, Avro Atlantic. The Avro Atlantic was a projected passenger version of the Vulcan Bomber, which was built and saw service in the RAF. In 1952 Shute would have been well aware of the advertised plans for the Atlantic. Like the Atlantic, the fictional Ceres was described as having a delta wing, four buried engines and elevons, which are combined elevators and ailerons. This is a photo of a model of the Avro Atlantic. (Photo: Mike Meehan 2004)

Early June 1952 : Shute visits Alice Springs in the company of Alan Moorehead (1910-1983) who was a Melbourne born, international journalist and author.
Middle 1952 : The Shute family move into their new house at Langwarrin, Victoria on 100 acres where he raised cattle and up to 400 pigs at a time. The farm expanded to 200 acres but never made a profit.

In Mid 1952 the Shute family move into their new home on the corner of Robinson Rd and the Dandenong - Hastings Rd (formerly Clark Rd) at Langwarrin near Frankston, Victoria. It is quite bare around the house. The lasting excellent colour quality of this particular photo is a tribute to Eastman Kodak's slide film. ( FGC ) Langwarrin, 1952
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Ruth Greenwood, Heather Mayfield and Fred Greenwood
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Ruth Greenwood, Heather Mayfield and Fred Greenwood in front of the Langwarrin home in 2001. Ruth's father, Charlie Wilson, came out to work for the Shute family in the early 1950s. When Charlie retired, Ruth and her husband Fred emigrated and Fred took over as farm manager. (Photo: RM 2001)

Two versions of Shute's signature. The lower signature is from 1952. Shute's signature
Shute's signature

1952 : Shute's income exceeds 32,000 Australian Pounds.


February 1953

Shute travels to the Port Davey area of Tasmania in the yacht Saona. He visits the King family who live in an inaccessible area. In 1957-58 Shute writes about the area in The Rainbow and The Rose. In 2003 the yacht Saona was still sailing in Tasmanian waters.

Photo of yacht Saona

Shute visited remote Port Davey on the west coast of Tasmania in 1953 aboard this yacht, Saona. Shute became friends with the King family of Port Davey and later gave the King's daughters two oil lanterns, still treasured.
The still more remote Lewis River that featured in The Rainbow and The Rose is about 70 kilometers (45 miles) north of Port Davey.
The fictional town of Buxton in Rainbow is now confidently thought to be the north Tasmanian town of Sheffield.
Built in 1935, Saona was still sailing in 2004. (Photo: Ben Marris 2004)

February 1953 : Shute is writing "Slide Rule".
Early 1953 : Shute writes a long memoir to Gerald Pawle about the DMWD.

March 1953 - April 1954

Four deHavilland Comets crash in circumstances remarkably similar to those in No Highway. Humourists at the Inquiries ask "Where is Mr Honey ?"
May 1953 : "In The Wet" is published.
July 27 1953 : The Korean War Truce is signed. In Requiem For A Wren this event deprives Janet of any further hope of war.

Barbara Norris and Shirley Norway
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Barbara Norris (later Barbara Niven), on the left, and Shirley Norway were room-mates and good friends during and after their time at Melbourne University. The photo was taken in 1953, presumably in winter. ( BNC )

Two photos of Nevil at a book signing in Melbourne in 1953
Shirley and Heather's cottage was adjacent to, but separated from, the main house at Langwarrin. ( BNC ) Shirley and Heather's cottage
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Middle 1953 : Shute begins writing "Requiem for a Wren".
October 1953 : Shute writes the Author's Note to "Slide Rule".

Nevil and Frances farming
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Nevil and Frances looking very rural on the farm in 1953. In spite of "liking casual clothes" Shute still wears a jacket and tie. ( BNC )

Shirley and her VJ sailboat at Langwarrin in 1953. This is a similar boat to that in which Dwight and Moira race in On The Beach. ( BNC ) Shirley and her VJ sailboat
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