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 Our training notes are now very much out of date, but due to upward compatability most of our examples remain operational and even relevant ad you are welcome to make us if them "as seen" and at your own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))
Testing the robustness of our hotel and training systems - holiday and sickness times

"No matter what's going on behind the scenes, the customer comes first". Grand theory - but what does that say in practice?

It says that a company such as ourselves should have sufficient robustness in place to carry on with scarcely a missed beat if one of us is off sick. Even if another one happens to be on holiday when it happens. And it means that once the immediate / urgent / time dependent customer service is dealt with, we should have sufficient robustness to be able to catch up on routine tasks which we were able to put off in the white heat of stepping in, and to plan forward and pick up all the important (but non urgent) tasks that were postponable when the person went off sick, continuing to do so until they return.

Grand theory ... and (regrettably) we've had a chance to see how it works for us in practice over the last few days. We're out of "immediate panic" mode now, and into phase 2 - catching up. I'm rather pleased with how we've coped. I know of three things that were missed; one room didn't have its rubbish bin emptied one day, another was let with a bottle of toilet cleaner left in the bathroom beside the toilet rather than being returned to the maid's cupboard, and our "convertible" room (twin or double) was missing the pieces of trim that we put on the headboard brackets that aren't in use when it's double.

I'm actually rather pleased with how well it's gone. And we've rescheduled our "shift pattern" so that we can continue to recover for as long as Chris takes to get better and back to work; we wish him a speedy recovery but tell him not to worry about us (I know he'll be reading this ;-)). He can also be re-assured that we certainly couldn't manage as we are in the longer term!

Those of you who know me will know I have a number of fingers in other "pies" too - typically community interest stuff where I give time as and when I have it available. I seem to be fairly well know locally for the stuff I've been doing to help get an appropriate public transport service for Melksham, via "Save the Train", the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership, the Melksham Railway Development Group, and the First Great Western Coffee Shop. There there's the Melksham Chamber of Commerce, the Melksham Community Area Partnership, and I do a bit of website stuff for the Melksham Carnival. For some of those, it looks like there will be less "as and when" time for the next weeks - but I do come to realise at times like this what good friends I have in each of those setups, and how even the rail ones that I was heavily involved in setting up now run very much with a life of their own.
(written 2010-08-11, updated 2010-08-20)

Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter for individual articles
M300 - Well House Manor - Behind the scenes
  [203] Holes in on line information - (2005-02-05)
  [677] Sympathetic development - (2006-04-09)
  [742] A visit from the solicitor - (2006-06-03)
  [769] King Edward VII - days of empire - (2006-06-20)
  [813] Monday Morning at Well House Consultants Melksham - (2006-07-24)
  [868] Smoking, or no - (2006-09-16)
  [897] Too much for the National Trust - (2006-10-18)
  [927] Hotel door furniture - (2006-11-15)
  [931] Before and After - Well House Manor - (2006-11-18)
  [939] Swipe cards for hotel rooms - Security issues - (2006-11-23)
  [951] What happened at Geekmas - (2006-11-28)
  [1000] One Thousand Posts and still going strong - (2006-12-18)
  [1083] Behind the scenes - (2007-02-17)
  [1105] A week is a long time in the life of a conference centre - (2007-03-10)
  [1159] It can take more that one plus one to get two. - (2007-04-22)
  [1179] Sizing sheets and other domestic issues - (2007-05-07)
  [1189] Meet, greet and welcome - (2007-05-16)
  [1285] In the army, or in civvie street? - (2007-07-31)
  [1311] What do people look for on a hotel web site? - (2007-08-20)
  [1319] Customer feedback - lifeblood of a business - (2007-08-25)
  [1369] One business, four different angles! - (2007-09-28)
  [1371] Hotel in Melksham at Christmas - (2007-09-29)
  [1441] On cancellations, rebooking, and pricing schemes - (2007-11-22)
  [1490] Software to record day to day events and keep an action list - (2007-12-31)
  [1515] Keeping staff up to date on hotel room status - (2008-01-22)
  [1520] Terms and Conditions - Hotel, England - plain English - (2008-01-26)
  [1571] Await guests in the early hours - (2008-03-12)
  [1637] Providing exceptional service - and carrying on doing so. - (2008-05-09)
  [1854] Three Seasonal Pictures - (2008-10-25)
  [1900] Table Topics - (2008-11-22)
  [1904] Ruby, Perl, Linux, MySQL - some training notes - (2008-11-23)
  [1948] Blame Culture - (2008-12-17)
  [1957] Why are cooks bad tempered? - (2008-12-22)
  [1973] Required Request - (2009-01-03)
  [1991] Rules for a King - (2009-01-13)
  [2125] We have lost a regular business guest - (2009-04-10)
  [2247] A day in the life of a hotelier - (2009-06-18)
  [2396] Easing off in our 50s? - (2009-09-06)
  [2910] Robust - testing the system - (2010-08-09)
  [2960] The Well House team - September 2010 - (2010-09-19)
  [2961] Initial handling of phone calls and walk in visitors - (2010-09-19)
  [3093] How many toilet rolls - hotel inventory and useage - (2010-12-18)
  [3743] Sunday - no longer a day of rest - (2012-05-28)
  [3844] Rooms ready for guests - each time, every time, thanks to good system design - (2012-08-20)
  [3961] Well House Staff Party - (2012-12-22)
  [4302] Sunday is never quiet at Well House Manor - (2014-09-21)
  [4365] The changing face of Christmas - (2014-12-26)

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Sorting - naturally, or into a different order
London to Calne, Corsham, Melksham, Bradford-on-Avon, Chippenham by public Transport
Downloading a report from the web for further local analysis
Upload Image, Store in database, redisplay in browser. PHP and MySQL
Testing the robustness of our hotel and training systems - holiday and sickness times
Looking up a value by key - associative arrays / Hashes / Dictionaries
Older picture.
Six languages in one file - an HTML++ web page
Predictions for the seagull population
Feeding the Grockles
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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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