by Paul Gillett
We hope that for our members, NELE progresses like a swan through water – or like an Advanced driver through traffic, which should be just as smooth. From time to time, however, that smooth progress may need to be disturbed by landmark events, and this year sees one of them – NELE’s 60th Anniversary. Our Group is only one year younger than IAM RoadSmart itself. I consider myself fortunate to be Chair at such a time, and am delighted that our Committee is hatching a number of proposals for celebrating it. Over the coming months, we hope to engage both with existing members and potential new ones as we launch several initiatives:
A “Large Vehicles Driving Day” at North Weald Airfield on 20th August. Participants will get the opportunity to drive large vehicles on a private stretch of tarmac so that they can appreciate the challenges that face drivers of lorries and buses without needing to apply for a vocational licence. We currently plan to have an 18-ton truck, a modern double-deck bus and an articulated lorry available. Subject to negotiations, others may also make an appearance. To round off the experience, our Observers will offer an assessment drive for members who wish to tone up their driving, or members of the public which might subsequently undertake the Advanced Driving Course with us.
A History of the Group. Committee members are trawling the archives to chronicle the growth of NELE from the early days to the present. Along the way, this should throw some light on interesting changes that have taken place in driving and coaching techniques since 1957!
A celebration event. We’re planning to throw a birthday party both for ourselves and friends within the Advanced Driving movement. We hope that many existing and former Group members will come along to celebrate 60 years of Advanced Driving achievements.
A recruitment drive. We plan to make the most of this year to attract new members and, just as importantly, new Observers so that we can expand to offer NELE’s support to event more new members.
Support for younger members. The committee are considering how we can attract younger licence-holders, who may be less inclined to join a driving “club” but nevertheless would appreciate support in becoming better drivers.
Launching a new NELE website. Plans are under way to update our online presence using more modern technology with a fresh look to attract a younger audience.
Publicity for the Group. We hope that all of the proposed initiatives will provide opportunities to engage with the media in order to spread the word about what NELE can do for the driving community to help adapt to ever-changing conditions on London’s roads.
Of course, the committee doesn’t think that it has the monopoly on wisdom. They’re always pleased to hear from members with suggestions, and never more so in this, our 60th year. If you’ve a good idea, please feel free to suggest it by contacting any committee member (you’ll find their details in this copy of Roadworthy at ***Hotlink*** or by sending an email to our central email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope to meet as many of your as possible over the coming year as you join us in celebrating NELE’s 60th year as one of IAM RoadSmart’s oldest groups that nevertheless has the enthusiasm of a youngster!