Thought Leadership

M is for …

By Colin Walls

This is my last blog posting of 2015. I would like to thank everyone for reading my ramblings through the year. I particularly appreciate the feedback, comments and suggestions that I have received. If you celebrate Christmas, I hope that you have an enjoyable holiday. I, for one, think that an excuse for a party in the middle of Winter is no bad thing, whatever you call it. For me, 2015 was mostly a good year, with only a few personal low points. In the world as a whole, I am not so sure, as I am deeply saddened by a number of “situations”, where death or hardship are being caused by political dogma or very misplaced application of religious beliefs. I can only hope that things may improve, so I wish everyone a peaceful 2016.

But, before I go off to enjoy my holiday, a little story …

I am always striving to take a practical approach to life and I tend to admire pragmatism in others. Someone who can turn a problem into an opportunity is always bound to impress me. I recently encountered an interesting example.

My wife and I had a night away in a hotel in Llandrindod Wells, a small town in Wales, which is a couple of hours drive from our home. I was offered a very good dinner, bead and breakfast deal from the Metropole Hotel. Having stayed there before, I was confident that we would have good accommodation, excellent food and enjoy the swimming pool and spa facilities. We did, indeed, receive these benefits. I also read an interesting story about the history of the hotel.

A hotel was built in Llandrindod Wells, which was a popular spa location, around 1880, and called The Bridge Hotel. It was purchased by Elizabeth Miles in 1897 and has remained in the family to this day. Mrs. Miles was very entrepreneurial and developed the business steadily over the years that followed. In 1911, she acquired a large quantity of linen, cutlery and crockery, as well as many carpets, from the sale of stock from a hotel on the other side of the country. She must have got a good deal to make the transportation worthwhile.

However, there was a problem, as her son pointed out: all the items were monogrammed with the letter “M”, which was no good for a hotel called The Bridge. So, she simply changed its name to The Metropole. It seems that some of the rooms in the hotel are odd sizes because they were remodeled to accommodate the available carpets. This was a wonderfully pragmatic solution.

The hotel has continued to be successful and, although it is a historic building, it has all the trappings of a modern hotel, which now caters for both tourists and the conference trade.

Leave a Reply

This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at