The National Traction Engine Trust

The NTET – An outline strategic plan

Since my taking the chair, there’s been a lot of talk. This has been by phone, on forums, by email and in person about what the Trust should be doing and where we should be going. Without taking course and setting a direction, we will still be talking about it and falling out with each other in three years time. Here’s my vision for the way I wish to see the Trust take, and work through our differences to do it for the good of road steam in general. We have to be united and we have to be committed to doing things, otherwise we will go from meeting to meeting and rally to rally talking about what we are going to do with little or no action.

Overall, I think we’re doing well. We perhaps take more notice of things that are said on the internet than we should. We ought to remember all those members who aren’t users of Facebook and Traction Talk. As I said when elected, half of the problem is with how we are perceived! Matt’s doing a great job, but we need to support him. We only get one go at this, and it’s time to move on positively – but realistically. So what’s the plan?

In summary

  • 1. The overall objectives of the Trust have not changed but the wherewithal has.  We need to review our Top Level Objectives.
  • 2. The threats to the future of our hobby are growing; climate change, pollution, fuel, use of roads.  The FBHVC is not equipped to fight the steam corner at this time.  We need a vibrant and intellectual presence on that body.
  • 3. We need to agree a long term plan which includes tangible, appropriate, clearly defined and achievable objectives. Council will engage and begin to work on this in the next year.
  • 4. We also need a robust set of short term objectives – the Trust needs to be appealing and needs to fully understand what members and non-members want of the Trust. 
  • 5. Membership is falling – we need a clear recruitment strategy, family membership is only part of it but a start.  Membership benefits need to be developed.
  • 6. A clearer understanding of who is doing what within the General Council.
  • 7. Individuals/Groups or Sections should be tasked with delivering and succession planning actively take place when someone wishes to step down.
  • 8. A major objective should be to become inclusive of other organisations wishes, aspirations, fears and phobias – and organise a meeting of all road steam related organisations.
  • 9. We should actively pursue affiliation with Clubs and other related organisations in order that we can make use of their resources and they ours.
  • 10. General Council re-organisation - We will regularise the voting procedure and cap council numbers at 21 members, 7 elected each year, rotating in 3 year cycles. A proposal to this end will be presented to the AGM this year.

A lot of what we do and what we are talking about already fits into the above points. We need to pull those activities and aspirations out of our discussions and align them with my thoughts above. It isn’t hard – but will bring us together, which is vital for us to move forward. All members input is welcome – it spreads the load and gives ownership, which is key to inclusivity.

Oh yes, I forgot the last and most important thing. It’s all about having fun!

Anthony Coulls - September 2016

31 Oct 2016