The National Traction Engine Trust

When the National Traction Engine Trust membership voted for Anthony Coulls to be the new Chairman they did so in the full knowledge that he came from a background where 'forward thinking' and communication was key to his day job as curator of a National museum.

With this in mind he has already set about putting into place various ideas around 'succession management' and looking at how the Trust works now and just as importantly how it will work in the future. Anthony felt though that the vacant 'communications' role not only needed filling, but needed a bit of a reshuffle as the National Traction Engine Trust had come under some criticism in the past for how it was perceived to a wider audience.

Based on this, I (Matt S) was installed as 'Head of Communications' to follow up on the excellent work that my predecessor Mike Dyson had done. I said from the outset that I was keen to make it a ‘team effort’ and have thus far built a solid foundation on which to build with a team of guys, all of who come from different aspects of the steam movement (owners, crew, event commentator and magazine editor), not to mention different locations around the UK.

I would imagine at this point that you are wondering how this is particularly news worthy?

For many I would imagine it not of great interest, but I feel it important to keep the door open and make it a two way street with regards to how the Trust is seen to both it’s members and non members. Feedback is essential; more so when change is involved. There is no point in charging headlong into something with tunnel vision, so I/we openly encourage anyone with an idea, opinion or constructive viewpoint to keep us on the straight and narrow.

Some of the changes already put in place in order to be a little more forward facing are regular updates on Traction Talk, a Twitter account, YouTube account (still be developed), a new look and feel to this very website and plenty of posts to the Facebook page.

I am also looking at a bit of a PR Stand at various event we attend with my families Fowler Steam Roller, so please come and say hello if you see us out and about.


This features element on the ‘Home Page’, will I hope build into a bigger section as time moves on and bring out some of the ‘personality’ involved with the steam movement. I do not necessarily mean, individuals – although they will come into it, more a sense of what it is like behind the scenes of everything connected with the National Traction Engine Club, the events we encourage and the enjoyment many people get out of it all. Myself included.

The other big change to the website is of course the ‘Photo Stream’.

The aim of this is to encourage people to return on a regular basis to see what is being featured at any particular time. The images will be a mixture of old and new, predominantly taken from my own collection to start with. The scroll will be changed regularly but if you miss something there will (in time) be a way of viewing previous content.

In the same vein, we are also looking at establishing a ‘members area’ to the website, which will house a vast array of images, articles and information – but I am sure you will appreciate this may take a while to get off the ground.

That pretty much concludes this ‘article’ for the time being. As you can imagine there are a lot of things going on below the surface and we hope you like the initiatives we are working on.

I guess the ulimate aim in all of this is to not only promote the National Traction Engine Trust, but for us to show you why you would want to become a member, not tell you why you should be a member.

Once again I openly invite communication from both members and non members (why not tell us why you haven’t joined).

The 2015 Rally & Event season is about to start – let’s all get out there and enjoy it.


27 Mar 2015