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

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For 2021 - online Python 3 training - see ((here)).

Our plans were to retire in summer 2020 and see the world, but Coronavirus has lead us into a lot of lockdown programming in Python 3 and PHP 7.
We can now offer tailored online training - small groups, real tutors - works really well for groups of 4 to 14 delegates. Anywhere in the world; course language English.

Please ask about private 'maintenance' training for Python 2, Tcl, Perl, PHP, Lua, etc.
Coffee Shop in Melksham

Want a cup of coffee in Melksham? Then pop into Well House Manor - we'll serve you from any time from early in the morning until mid evening. You'll get a mug of bean to cup coffee, a slice of tiffin or flapjack, free parking (and you're welcome to walk into town to shop), a comfortable seat, a fire to warm up in front of, WiFi at 120mbits, and change from £4.00 . If it's a fine day, you can sit outside ... if it's the afternoon, you can take a look at the Museum for Melksham. There's books to read, and often friends to talk to. Not sure where we are? There's a map [here].

Sound a bit like a coffee shop? Sound a bit like Costa? Shouldn't we be worried about them coming into town? We're not. We welcome them for the town growth that they will encourage. For the empty eyesore they will fill. For the new Coffee Culture that they'll encourage and any spinoffs they'll bring our way. As you can imagine, I've taken a closer look at the proposal than most, and asked other's opinions and thoughts, read surveys, and done some research too. Let me lay a few myths to rest for anyone who has questions.

1. The proposal is for a franchise, owned within the region, and not for a big-chain owned outlet. Just as other shops sell Heinz baked beans, this one will sell Costa Coffee; the difference is they won't sell much else other than the brand.

2. There are 11 empty units in the town centre as I write, so allowing a Costa Coffee into 2 adjoining ones will not stop other businesses coming to the town. In fact, it might encourage someone who's thinking of opening a shoe shop / clothes shop to do so ... with businesses seeing others with faith in the town centre. Comparisons to other towns with "very few empty shop fronts" are dangerous - the decision is not between X and Y in Melksham, but between X and eyesore.

3. Coffee Shops such as Costa are at the busiest around the start and end of the working day - from around 7.30 to 9.30, and from around 4.30 to 6.30. The customer profile is the younger / working person. Typically only a very small proportion of their business is senior citizens, and most coffee shops do not sell traditional hot lunches. Our customer lunch visits to the Art House, Ku, Ashers, the Cornerstone, Melksham House, the Bear and the Tavern (which are the suppliers who currently suit us) are unlikely to change.

4. The business risk of opening Costa in Melksham is being taken by the franchisee. If it works it will bring trade into the town; if it doesn't, it won't cost the taxpayers of the town anything (in fact they'll get a rates income that they wouldn't from the empty shop)

5. In Melksham, almost 95% of customers in the Town Centre live in the Melksham area. That is not the case for other towns, where the figure can be as low as 40%, and that makes comparisons dangerous.

6. Melksham has a Community Campus, a canal, an improved rail service all coming. It has a growing population - people moving in who can be tempted to our town centre, or to other nearby towns if we don't attract them here. And with petrol costs rising, people are going to be more tempted to shop locally than they have been in recent years. The Costa footprint has to be considered in relation to that future profile as well as the current one.

7. Every shop has been in Melksham has been visited within the last few months, and left surveys for everyone to complete and return, and the returned surveys have formed the basis of informed inputs to the planning processes this winter and spring

8. A common criticism of some of Melksham's stores is the rudeness and disinterest of the owners / staff. This is because of just a few stores, but sadly if even one independent town centre trader garners such criticisms, the others get tarred with the same brush.

9. There has been nothing to stop any of the existing cafes from turning into / experimenting with a "Coffee Shop" approach in part or all of their store, and I would have expected someone to have done so if they thought there was a market. They could have become a Cafe Nero / Starbucks / Costa franchise.

10. Multiple invites have been sent out to discussions that have taken part on this proposal (and on many other subjects too), but traders and their representatives are often too busy to attend. That's a business decision for them; independent business owners could spend all day at meetings and never do any real work, but the organisers of meetings and consultations have gone to a great deal of effort to ensure that they are know about.

11. It's very difficult for retailers in the High Street to speak openly in favour of Costa with a handful of others are adopting a confrontational pose in the local newspaper. Whatever the outcome, these people have to work alongside each other after the event.

12. A coffee shop in Melksham will naturally recruit most of its staff from within Melksham. And it will recruit new customers from the countryside between the various Wiltshire towns who previously (on their own balance) chose other towns. Such customers will become customers of the other independent stores nearby - such as the beauty product stores, the chemists, the newspaper shop, the butcher, the flower shop, the dry cleaners, the stationer, the computer games shop, the sewing shop, the comic shop, the sweet shop, the hairdressers and barbers, the toy shop, the clothes shop, and the greengrocer.

This blog expresses my view as an independent business operator in the hospitality and tourist trade in Melksham, and a business which brings visitors to the town from far and wide and looks after other people's visitors when they're around. It makes use of my own experience and research, and the experience and research of others too.
(written 2013-02-24)

Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter for individual articles
M152 - Well House Manor - Hotel Facilities
  [1328] Oliver says .... - (2007-09-01)
  [2076] A New Advert for Well House Manor - (2009-03-11)
  [2216] Past Delegate Offer - Summer Holiday / Weekend Break - (2009-06-03)
  [2303] Turning potential customers away - (2009-07-24)
  [2424] A Winter Weekend Special at Well House Manor - (2009-09-26)
  [2490] Friendly Hotel in Melksham, near Bath - (2009-11-02)
  [2559] Moving the product forward - ours, and MySQL, Perl, PHP and Python too - (2010-01-01)
  [2847] Local information for Melksham Hotel Guests - (2010-07-02)
  [3212] Well House Manor - a home from home for the business and leisure guest in Melksham - (2011-03-26)
  [3296] Dog, hotel, Melksham, Wiltshire? - (2011-05-21)
  [3308] Behind the scenes - setting up a cafe - (2011-05-29)
  [3373] Another busy Week at Well House Manor ... pictures from the midweek - (2011-07-29)
  [3437] Light bulbs - (2011-09-13)
  [3549] Well House Manor - perhaps the best hotel rooms in Melksham - (2011-12-10)
  [3552] Melksham Training Centre and Hotel internet speed - how does it compare? - (2011-12-14)
  [3831] Our Melksham Hotel is not quiet - but we are waiting to give you a quiet welcome. Big difference! - (2012-08-09)
  [3863] Five new fans at Well House Manor - (2012-09-17)
  [3865] What makes Well House Manor different? - (2012-09-18)
  [3924] The bedrooms at Well House Manor - (2012-11-16)
  [4026] The coffee of the Stars comes to Melksham - (2013-03-04)
  [4521] Should we get an AA or Visit Wiltshire hotel assessment? - (2015-10-09)
  [4582] A near-empty plate of pastries - sign of a breakfast enjoyed - (2015-11-22)
  [4614] PC Plod - alive and scaremongering in Wiltshire? - (2016-01-04)
  [4644] In your room at Well House Manor, Melksham, Wiltshire - (2016-02-08)

M106 - Well House Manor - We suggest these local businesses
  [315] Supporting local business - (2005-05-18)
  [851] Emergency First Aid Training - (2006-09-01)
  [894] Where quality costs less - (2006-10-15)
  [1085] Lawrence Webb's Melksham Taxi service - (2007-02-18)
  [1208] Meet other local businesses in Melksham - (2007-05-28)
  [1223] Asda opening large new store in Melksham - (2007-06-08)
  [1250] Business speed networking - a place tonight! - (2007-06-28)
  [1253] Key new contacts - (2007-06-30)
  [1257] Data cabling (Cat 5e), Melksham, Wiltshire - (2007-07-04)
  [1394] Business to Business Networking - North and West Wilts / Melksham - (2007-10-17)
  [1559] Calling on Melksham / Trowbridge / Devizes / Chippenham businesses - (2008-02-29)
  [1655] A date for your diary - 16th July 2008 - (2008-05-27)
  [1883] Spa Road Garage and Convenience Store, Melksham - (2008-11-14)
  [1894] Shopping in Melksham - (2008-11-19)
  [2021] Short health and safety course - (2009-02-02)
  [2027] Who sticks by you in the snow? - (2009-02-05)
  [2591] Melksham Hotel, B and B or business accommodation? - (2010-01-20)
  [2793] They do weddings, we do courses. - (2010-06-04)
  [3337] Home Grown Pigs, near Melksham Station - (2011-06-26)
  [3597] Niche businesses in Melksham. From glass painting to Tcl and Lua courses. - (2012-01-29)
  [4254] Where is Melksham Market? In the Market Place, every Tuesday - (2014-04-02)
  [4327] Good, stable, reliable local businesses - (2014-11-23)

Back to
Afternoon Teas and Breakfasts at Well House Manor
Previous and next
Horse's mouth home
Forward to
Melksham Community - Annual Report / MCAP
Some other Articles
Melksham to Chippenham (Station) bus services - times and routes
A request for all of Melksham transport groups to work integrated
Spike solution, refactored and reusable, Python - Example
Melksham Community - Annual Report / MCAP
Coffee Shop in Melksham
Afternoon Teas and Breakfasts at Well House Manor
Acceptable User Policy / vexatious interacter
Red, yellow, green or pink dog? Yellow Dog Project
Upcoming courses and availabiity
Costa Coffee in Melksham - is it a good idea?
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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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