Those who follow us on twitter will know that this weekend just gone as part of my healthy body healthy mind fitness program for 2012 – ourselves (@altrinchamhq) and @markwinstanley went on a 15 mile walk in Cheshire from our base in Altrincham, through Oldfield Brow and down the Trans Pennine Trail to Lymm
Even in a small town like Altrincham it’s nice to get away from the hustle and bustle and venture into the countryside and the Tran Pennine Trail is literally as barren as you can get. The whole path takes you coast to coast from Southport to Hornsey and takes in 215 miles with the section near us built on an old disused Railway line. Eerily quiet it’s the sort of route where you pass people once every 20 minutes
As we passed Heatley nr Lymm we noticed the Railway pub had disappeared. For those old enough to remember it was one of the prime locations in Granada UK / Australia Soap Families which Jude Law got his first major acting role in and as avid fans our family used to cycle down to Lymm and come back around via Ashley for a Families location ride. Tweeting out about this we got a lot of feedback saying the pub had been burnt down in suspicious circumstances and had to be flattened afterwards.
Throughout the journey there we were taking photos on Instagram to record the journey and while I’m no David Bailey the filters can turn anybody with a phone into an aspiring photographer
We arrived at Lymm and after walking around the small village decided to stop for lunch at the Spread Eagle Hotel. A small JW Lees pub tucked away.
Veggie Options – check
Reasonable prices – check
Warm fire – check
All in all the meal was lovely pub grub. I went for a simple option of cheese and onion pie and chips, which to be honest when ordering I thought I’d get the bog standard Holland’s Pie option but was greeted with a homemade style slice of pie with light cheese and onion filling rather than the guilty gloopy pleasure of Hollands, and the chips were crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Mark went for a Tuna Melt baguette and again was significantly impressed
With good service on top we naturally wanted to tell people about it online and therein we inhabited a problem – 2 separate phone networks and no signal on either. So I couldn’t check in on foursquare and tell my friends about it and Mark couldn’t check in on facebook and tell his friends about it. Between our 2 connections we had 1000+ people we would have been happy to shout about a great meal from a warm friendly pub, but couldn’t because of a lack of signal.
A lack of phone signal is naturally down to the phone networks rather than the individual business – but on leaving the pub I noticed tucked away in a corner of the gents a poster saying the pub offered free wifi. It was the only sign on scanning the bar itself and the entrance that I noticed about the service and I left wondering how many other people could have been relieved of the same problem if the posters were more visibly placed… and naturally how many people could have checked in and gave free marketing to the pub at the same time
And off we went on the journey home – we managed to check in the venue as we left near Lymm Dam, but many others wouldn’t have – and the 7 miles back to Altrincham started
LESSONS TO LEARN
* Have marketing posters in your venue asking people to check in – offer a prize draw to entice people or mayor specials on 4sq
* If you have free wifi shout about it – it attracts business meetings
* Integrate your offline marketing with online marketing