May 27, 2017

A year of changes for Lisa and Graham Ellis, and Well House

Our IT training business has been running at Well House Manor (48 Spa Road) since 2006, and during that time has grown in all sorts of unexpected directions - into a guest house, an event venue for outside customers, a museum, and a base for the local Community Rail Partnership. With changing metrics in the IT training business, with guest house facilities such as high speed internet connections now common place, with Lisa and I getting no younger, and with a team richly deserving promotion, but no roles into which to promote them, we are making significant changes which will let us do fewer things, but do them better.

i) Our public IT courses will be relocated to 404, The Spa (in one of the old Melksham Spa houses) Subjects include Python, Lua, C and C++ and Tcl which will be scheduled regularly. Advanced topics, Regular Expression training and older subjects such as Perl, PHP, Java, Ruby, Linux and Tomcat will be available on request, and may not cover recent updates to the langage. Notes will be supplied in electronic form (.pdf) unless requested on paper.

ii) Private courses will still be offered on customer site. As most of our delegates now have their own laptops, as standard we will only carry a couple of machines for tutor and emergency use, and this allows us to reduce our travel costs by using public transport. Notes will be supplied in electronic form (.pdf) unless requested on paper.

iii) From 12th June, will not be offering accommodation to guests at Well House Manor. For course delegates wishing to book a package that includes accommodation, we will source other suitable accommodation locally. High speed internet - a prerequisite for most of our delegates - was rare when we set up Well House Manor, but it's now standard at most establishments. As well as other accommodation providers in town, we note that Travelodge will be opening a 60 room hotel soon, and that Premier Inn may also open a hotel in the town.

iv) From 30th June, we will not have rooms available for meetings. Our own courses will run at 404, The Spa instead - as detailed in the first section of this update. Within a few hundred yards of Well House Manor, the King's Arms, the Rachel Fowler Centre, the Town Hall and the Assembly Hall all offer rooms, and the new Rugby and Football clubs (in buildings built and paid for them by Wiltshire Council) are also competing for your event business.

v) The "Well House Collection" museum will also be relocated from Well House Manor to 404, The Spa. It will be in a bigger room there, and give people the chance to see inside one of the listed Georgian buildings, so in may ways that's much more appropriate. Plans are to be open from early August - very occasional "just turn up" days, but more or less any time by appointment, and as people are so often looking for information about families / ancestors, it makes sense for the collection to be where Lisa's based.

vi) The TransWilts CIC will relocate its registered office; there's a spare office at Chippenham Railway Station and that would seem to be a very sensible base, especially we're looking at tourism and interpretation via England's Great West Way with Chippenham Station being our gateway. My community Rail work will be based in my office at 404, The Spa - where I'll be available by appointment.

vii) For other transport interests I will also be based at 404, The Spa. That includes the "Option 24/7" and other bus elements, and my work as an unpaid director of TravelWatch SouthWest.

viii) I am no longer President of the Melksham Chamber of Commerce and Industry, nor on the committee, but I remain a member of The Chamber. Meetings move to the King's Arms. Contact the secretary - Phil McMullen - via - for details.

ix) The Bowerhill Villager, which has been printed at Well House Manor for many years, ceases publication in its current form with the July / August issue. The editorial team has been carrying on since 1984 and some have been with the publication for over quarter of a century, others no longer in Bowerhill - time to call it a day and pass to newer hands.

x) Our team at Well House Manor has been excellent - second to none, and it's sad to be loosing them. They have known of the impending changes for several months to give them the opportunity to plan. Heather moved on at Easter, and Sarah left us yesterday (26th May) to take up a new opportunity in Trowbridge. Phil has a portfolio of roles; he's tending the garden here while the place is marketed, but is otherwise very busily engaged in all sorts of actives. Rachel will be helping us with the wind down and aftermath, and has plans for the autumn and beyond. Lisa formally retired in January - informally she's still been helping, but the slimmer Well House Consultants - just a training outfit - will have only a fraction of the paperwork to be done, and we anticipate being able to take things a bit easier!

xi) Our propoerty at 48 Spa Road (currently known as Well House Manor) is up for sale. It's got 5 large en-suite rooms, 4 receptions, dining room, kinchen and sits on 3/4 of an acre of grounds. The Coach House on the site is a small self contained home, and there are 5 outbuildings - 4 in excellent condition. Fountain, gardens, trees, plenty of parking ... just 200 yards from Melksham Town Centre. Well House Manor dates from 1906 with later extensions. It was refurbished to a high standard in 2006 and has been well maintained since - in use as a guest house with top-notch reviews. Viewing by appointment.

xii) Dad (Norman Ellis) passed away in January and is so hugely missed that I've been lost for works to post here. We will be offering my Dad's former home in Devizes for sale. It's a 4 bedroom (1 en-suite) detached house on the outskirts of the town, leading diretly onto a path to Drew's pond - ideal for someone with dogs. Three large receptions, dining room, utility, kitchen, set on about a third of an acre. "Sunnyside" was built in the 1930s in Swiss Chalet Style, and was extended about 40 years later. We are currently clearing out the house, and it will be on the market in about 6 weeks; we're planning to sell the house empty, so that prospetive purchasers can more easily gauge the backlog of maintenance which we know it could do with. Not fully cleared yet, so not formally on the market, but please contact me if you're interested.

The following contact details as per my signatures will remain active, and I want to hear from you! Plans are to run training for the next five years though on a gently decreasing schedule, and to live at 404 for the next fifteen.

Graham Ellis -
Well House Consultants, 404, The Spa, Melksham, SN12 6QL
Phone: 01225 708225 / Skype: wellhograham

Graham Ellis -
Community Rail Officer, TransWilts Community Rail Partnership
A division of the TransWilts Community Interest Company (CIC) - 0845 459 0153

Graham Ellis - Supporting Option 24/7 for a positive bus future in Wiltshire
email: - Web:
Facebook group: option247 - Twitter: @option247

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