Hotel and training centre, Melksham, Wiltshire
High quality accommodation for course delegates, business travellers and the leisure visitor too.

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For 2023 (and 2024 ...) - we are now fully retired from IT training.
We have made many, many friends over 25 years of teaching about Python, Tcl, Perl, PHP, Lua, Java, C and C++ - and MySQL, Linux and Solaris/SunOS too. Our training notes are now very much out of date, but due to upward compatability most of our examples remain operational and even relevant ad you are welcome to make us if them "as seen" and at your own risk.

Lisa and I (Graham) now live in what was our training centre in Melksham - happy to meet with former delegates here - but do check ahead before coming round. We are far from inactive - rather, enjoying the times that we are retired but still healthy enough in mind and body to be active!

I am also active in many other area and still look after a lot of web sites - you can find an index ((here))
Printed Directories - the start of the updating season

I don't know how many business directories there are - but I do know it's the season for all the directory providers to start phoning around and sell spaces in their publications. I have spoken with two in the last two days!

So it's very fortunate that Lisa and I spent Saturday going through the 2008/09 accounts - the Sage listings of the suppliers with whom we had spent money, and saying "is this good value / what are we getting / do we need this service". We don't make huge use of paper directories these days - a list of local taxi firms (for sure), but not much else; we tend to search on line. Are we the norm? Perhaps not, but we're becoming part of a more significant section of the population, and that's the section of the population that's best targeted to our courses and hotel rooms here in Melksham. In other words, the paper directories are selling towards a different market to we're really looking at. And furthermore, we're primarily looking at hotel rooms which are booked ahead (so why would a directory circulated to local homes be right for us?), and to fill rooms between courses in a small hotel, rather than it being the main business at a much larger establishment. Hmmm - starts to look like a poor deal for us.

Let's say we spend 100 pounds on an advert in each of the five printed directories that I know about. That means we need to take (say) 20 extra room nights of bookings in the year as a direct result to break even - you can't just look at the income; you have do deduct supplies, staffing, servicing, washing, cost of sales and count the extra income only after expenses. And then we're likely to find that extra requests come in for the summer weekends that we're already full, for people who (from a short entry) don't know enough about us to make a good choice, and go away disappointed at "no bar" or another of our distinctive niche features that make us a business hotel.

So - a standard answer to people asking us to pay for an entry in their local directory: "It is not well suited marketing for us, and we have made a decision not to advertise in local directories. We appreciate truly comprehensive directories which provide a listing of all local businesses in a category, and we would like to be line-item listed - but if you are merely providing a selective list of people who will "play ball" with you, please count us us. We're too busy to play ball with everyone who wants a game - sorry!"

The pushy saleswoman who wanted an appointment for her rep and kept telling me what a bargain price they were offering missed my point. The rep from the company with whom we HAVE advertised for three years, but who told me we weren't in the current edition, managed to loose the credibility that Robin Stanbrook - our previous contact (who I greatly respect, and for whom I might have made an exception) had built up.
(written 2009-08-12)

Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter for individual articles
M149 - Well House Manor - FAQ
  [617] Easy, Free, Reliable internet access - (2006-02-22)
  [820] Robert and William Whitworth - (2006-08-01)
  [1263] 0800 043 8225 - a new phone number for Well House - (2007-07-10)
  [1683] Plenty of car parking at Well House Manor, Hotel, Melksham - (2008-06-20)
  [1809] Coming home tonight - (2008-09-25)
  [2014] First Class - (2009-01-29)
  [2838] Respecting our customers anonimity - (2010-06-29)
  [3071] Well House Price list, January to March 2011 - (2010-11-25)
  [3263] Come as a customer, leave as a friend - Well House Manor, Hotel, Wiltshire - (2011-04-24)
  [3359] Cash and Cheque policy - UK Hotel - (2011-07-16)
  [3600] Visa, MasterCard and American Express - changing payment profiles - (2012-02-01)
  [3848] Where do I find .... (Our hotel FAQ) - (2012-08-25)

G301 - Well House Consultants - Booking a Public Courses
  [487] On line course booking - credit card protection - (2005-11-06)
  [664] Ruby course - oops - it's not happening - (2006-04-01)
  [1193] Dangerous Dogs and Hotel Marketing - (2007-05-19)
  [1555] Advanced Python, Perl, PHP and Tcl training courses / classes - (2008-02-25)
  [1634] Kiss and Book - (2008-05-07)
  [1693] July to December 2008 - Open Source training schedule - (2008-07-01)
  [1932] Training Passports - booking a training program - (2008-12-09)
  [2278] First courses for 2010 - (2009-07-10)
  [2743] Public Open Source Training Courses running this summer and autumn in Melksham - (2010-04-27)
  [3180] Age limits for Well House Consultants Open Source courses? - (2011-02-22)
  [4122] Well House - booking through agents - (2013-06-23)
  [4602] Training course and hotel room prices - 2016 - (2015-12-31)

G209 - Well House Consultants - Keeping up to date
  [82] Keeping up to date - (2004-10-10)
  [83] Geek Cruising - (2004-10-11)
  [86] Talk review - Idiomatic Perl, David Cross - (2004-10-12)
  [143] Network Camera - (2004-12-07)
  [160] Review of the Autumn - (2004-12-22)
  [250] We dont stand still - (2005-03-18)
  [396] The next technologies - (2005-07-29)
  [1488] New trainee laptop fleet for our Open Source courses - (2007-12-30)
  [2032] Mobile Internet - an alternative to hotel WiFi - (2009-02-09)
  [2078] A lot has changed - but the memory lingers on - (2009-03-12)
  [2564] Microblogging services - Plurk, Twitter, Jaiku and more - (2010-01-05)
  [2940] Training course locations - Melksham, UK; Buxton, UK; Lake Constance, Germany; Venice Italy, the USA and India - (2010-08-30)
  [3003] What will we be teaching in six years? - (2010-10-17)
  [3469] Teaching dilemma - old tricks and techniques, or recent enhancements? - (2011-10-08)
  [3653] What is happening in 59 days time in Melksham? - (2012-03-14)
  [3755] Cruising on the Mersey Ferry? - (2012-06-07)
  [4200] Endorsed Perl, Python and PHP training - Tcl, Lua, Ruby and C too! - (2013-10-24)
  [4314] PHP training - refreshed modern course, backed up by years of practical experience - (2014-11-16)

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All change - Wiltshire Parliamentary
Some other Articles
Passing multiple results back from a function - Lua, Python, etc
See this page in French
Training, Open Source computer languages
All change - Wiltshire Parliamentary
Printed Directories - the start of the updating season
Ternary operators alternatives - Perl and Lua lazy operators
Ten years in Melksham - looking forward to ten more.
Businesses effected by road works in Melksham
Finding literals rather than patterns in Lua
Dot, dot, dot in Lua - variable length parameter lists
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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