Showing posts with label Marketing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marketing. Show all posts

Friday, September 25, 2020

The Minigolfer's Guide to Marketing

Check out The Minigolfer's Guide to Marketing.

My ebook to help minigolf players better market themselves, their clubs, associations, tournaments and courses is available to purchase from Amazon and Kobo.

The Minigolfer's Guide to Marketing

Mini-golf in the time of Covid-19

InterGame Video Insights - Mini-golf in the time of Covid-19.


Mini-golf in the time of Covid-19

Check out episode 1 of InterGame's Video Insights with a discussion of the opportunities and challenges of operating a mini-golf venue amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Friday, September 18, 2020

A-Team Cleaning Services in Manchester

Spotting an 'A-Team van' in Stockport.

I always keep an eye out for fun and interesting stuff and managed to get a snap of this 'A-Team van' out on a mission somewhere in the Greater Manchester underground earlier today!

An 'A-Team van' in Stockport.

Check out the A-Team Cleaning Services Facebook Page for more information.


It's not the first A-Team van I've seen on my travels. Check out the Multi Kitchens Ltd van, The Waste Team and The Natural Tile Company in Belfast.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Junkyard Golf minigolf advertising in Manchester

A look at some Junkyard Golf advertising in Manchester.


Junkyard Golf minigolf advertising in Manchester

I saw some more advertising for Junkyard Golf's First Street venue in Manchester while having a walk round the city centre yesterday.

Junkyard Golf minigolf advertising in Manchester
On Whitworth Street West

At Oxford Road

Junkyard Golf minigolf advertising in Manchester
At Oxford Road

Junkyard Golf's First Street venue in Manchester was the last course I played before the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown back on the 9th March 2020.

Junkyard Golf in Manchester
Hole 6 of the Pablo course at Junkyard Golf in Manchester

Visit the Junkyard Golf website for more information.


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Friday, September 04, 2020

Mini-golf in the time of Covid-19

InterGame Video Insights, Episode 01: Mini-golf in the time of Covid-19.


InterGame Video Insights Mini-golf in the time of Covid-19

My specialist knowledge and experience in the worlds of minigolf and marketing were recently demonstrated in InterGame's discussion of the opportunities and challenges of operating a mini-golf venue amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

It was nice to speak about what's happening in the industry, talk about marketing strategies and tactics and chat with Simon Tompkins, general manager of Hastings Adventure Golf and Andy Johnson, head of golfing operations for Puttstars about the outlook for the game.


InterGame is the only monthly magazine covering the international coin-op amusements and gaming industry. InterGame also organise the annual InterFun Expo, with the next edition scheduled for next April.

I'll be speaking about the world of minigolf and competitive socialising at InterFun Expo 2021.

For more information check out the InterGame and InterFun websites.


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With over twenty years of marketing experience I offer consultancy services to people and businesses looking to set-up miniature golf courses, review their operations, marketing strategies and campaigns, social media marketing, blogging, hole designs, contests, tournaments and more. Do get in touch for a chat to see how I can help.


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Monday, August 24, 2020

Junkyard Golf advertising in Manchester

Spotting some new Junkyard Golf advertising in Manchester.


Junkyard Golf advertising in Manchester

We saw some new Junkyard Golf posters on our first walk round Manchester in a while.

Junkyard Golf advertising in Manchester

Junkyard Golf advertising in Manchester

The indoor crazy golf venue in Manchester has now reopened and we saw people queuing to get in when we walked past on Saturday afternoon.

Visit the Junkyard Golf website for more information.


Playing at Junkyard Golf

The last course I played before the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown was at Junkyard Golf's First Street venue in Manchester back on the 9th March 2020.

Junkyard Golf at First Street in Manchester, March 2020

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With over twenty years of marketing and sales experience each we offer consultancy services to people and businesses looking to set-up miniature golf courses, review their operations, hole designs, contests, tournaments and more.

Do get in touch for a chat to see how we can help and work together.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Blockbuster Video Express in Colne

A look at the Blockbuster Video Express store in Colne, Lancashire.


Blockbuster Video Express in Colne

Since our out-of-home minigolfing adventures have been somewhat curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic I've needed to scratch my exploring and collecting itch somehow. During the first nationwide lockdown we spent our daily outside exercise time walking around the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport where we managed to visit and photograph every one of the 265 pubs, bars and clubs in the area.

My next mini 'tickable list' urban exploration challenge taps into my interest in ghost signs, shops, retail marketing and old brands. Ever since I found the remnants of the Blockbuster Video store in Fallowfield, Manchester last October I've been amazed to see the brand still has a lingering presence in other places too.

Blockbuster Video Express in Colne. August 2020

My old local Blockbuster was on Park Street in Luton, Bedfordshire and while it is long-gone I still remember the amount of time I spent in it when I was a student. I built up quite a collection of big-box ex-rental VHS tapes from there in the early noughties.

Blockbuster ceased operations in the UK in December 2013 so it's amazing that there are still clearly visible remnants of the brand on the high street and on retail parks almost seven years later.

Blockbuster Video and Express stores

Blockbuster Video entered the UK video rental market in 1989 following the purchase of Ritz Video.

I remember going to the Ritz Video shop on the Peachcroft Estate in my home town of Abingdon, Oxfordshire back in the late 80's and early 90's. That store became a Blockbuster and I rented some classics from there back in the day. Check out this post from the excellent Abingdon Blog to see a photo of the shuttered shop in 2014.

Blockbuster Video Express stores were somewhat smaller than regular Blockbuster shops. Although all of the stores expanded to include video game rentals. Old signage for the games area has been clearly visible on both the Fallowfield and Colne stores I've been to.

In 2013 there were over 500 Blockbuster locations in the UK. Throughout that year the number dwindled until October when only 264 shops remained. On the 16th December 2013 all stores ceased operations.

Blockbuster Video Express in Colne


Blockbuster Video Express in Colne. August 2020

While looking online for nearby places to have a wander during the local lockdown here in the north west I stumbled upon the Blockbuster Video Express in Colne, Lancashire.


It's crazy to see the store in person as Colne's main street is quite a busy thoroughfare and the prominently positioned Blockbuster was the only empty shop we saw in that particular part of the town.

Blockbuster Video Express in Colne. August 2020
You should've seen the size of the fine for taking back Police Academy almost seven years late. And I hadn't rewound it

Blockbuster Video Express in Colne. August 2020
A view of the store from Market Street

Blockbuster Video Express in Colne. August 2020
The old QuikDrop box has been sealed and painted over

Blockbuster Video Express in Colne. August 2020
The box is still in place though

Blockbuster Video Express in Colne. August 2020
It's always nice to see old CRT TVs in place

Blockbuster Video Express in Colne. August 2020
A view of the right hand side of the store. The Häagen-Dazs fridge is still there

Blockbuster Video Express in Colne. August 2020
The left side, till area and games wall. Note the Coca-Cola and Ben & Jerry's fridges towards the back of the store too

Blockbuster Video Express in Colne. August 2020
The games wall

Blockbuster Video Express in Colne. August 2020
A letter about the Administration. That was a good printer and high quality paper to have lasted so long. The Blockbuster branded tape looks in great condition as well

Blockbuster Video Express in Colne. August 2020
Still sticky

Blockbuster Video Express in Westcliff on Sea

Last month my friend and fellow blogger Mark Routh kindly sent me some super snaps of the old Blockbuster Video Express store in Westcliff on Sea, Essex. I'm looking forward to seeing it in person next time I'm down that way.

The Last Blockbuster

The very last Blockbuster Video store in operation is in Bend, Oregon, USA. We were planning a holiday to Portland this year and would've called in to the store on the trip.

Hopefully it'll still be there when it's once again safe to travel to the USA.

Other lasting signs of Blockbuster

We've seen other remnants of Blockbuster Video on the former Blockbuster Video Express store in Marple and the regular store in Cheadle Hulme. Back in 2013 we also saw the old store in Hastings had been converted into a shop called Bookbuster.

If you know of any other Blockbuster stores or branding still visible do let me know.

'Playing' Blockbuster

Interestingly there is a 'Blockbuster' storefront within another venue. You can find it at Ghetto Golf at the Custard Factory in Digbeth, Birmingham.

Disappearing brands

We've seen traces of a number of old and defunct brands that were big in the 80s and 90s on our travels around the country.

These have included Woolworths in Stoke-on-Trent, Woolworths Big W in Edinburgh, Kwik Save in Barrow-in-Furness, Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Tandy in Hitchin, RadioShack in Lytham Saint Annes and Toys R Us in Ancoats and Warrington. I also recently took a look at the Happy Eater restaurant chain.

Friday, August 07, 2020

Happy Eater

Do you remember Happy Eater?


Happy Eater badges
Did you used to stop at Happy Eater, or were you more of a Little Chef fan?

Happy Eater restaurants were once a familiar sight on A-roads in the South East and Midlands of England. Set up in 1973 Happy Eater was created as a competitor to Little Chef.

The brand was eventually bought out by it's big rival Little Chef in the mid-nineties. The last Happy Eater closed its doors in 1997.

Neither brand exists on the roadsides of England anymore.

Interestingly if you visit Mauritius you can still dine at a Happy Eater restaurant!

Lost brands

We've seen traces of a number of old and defunct brands that were big in the 80s and 90s on our travels around the country. These have included Woolworths in Stoke-on-Trent, Woolworths Big W in Edinburgh, Kwik Save in Barrow-in-Furness, Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Tandy in Hitchin, RadioShack in Lytham Saint Annes and Toys R Us in Ancoats and Warrington.

Urbex - Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield

A look at the remains of the old Blockbuster Video store in Fallowfield, Manchester.


Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester. July 2020

Blockbuster Video lives on in Manchester. In a way.

Kind of.

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

The Brewmaster's Open at the Camden Town Brewery in London

A look back at The Brewmaster's Open minigolf tournament at the Camden Town Brewery in London.


The Brewmaster's Open at the Camden Town Brewery in London

We competed in The Brewmaster's Open at the Camden Town Brewery eight years ago today. It was part of the brilliant summer of sport in the capital.

The Brewmaster's Open at the Camden Town Brewery in London
Ready to compete

It was a superb event played on a portable 5-hole minigolf course from UrbanCrazy set up in a brewery! More than 200 players competed in the tournament.

The Brewmaster's Open at the Camden Town Brewery in London
Playing hole 1

The scorecards were some of the best I've ever seen.

Scorecard from The Brewmaster's Open at the Camden Town Brewery in London
Beermat scorecards!

It was a marvellous day out.

Minigolfers at The Brewmaster's Open tournament at the Camden Town Brewery
Taking a 'refreshment break' at the Camden Town Brewery during The Brewmaster's Open tournament

Christopher Gottfried playing in The Brewmaster's Open at the Camden Town Brewery in London as Emily and Simon Hall look on
Christopher Gottfried playing in The Brewmaster's Open at the Camden Town Brewery in London as Emily and Simon Hall look on
  
The Brewmaster's Open at the Camden Town Brewery in London
Hole 1

The Brewmaster's Open at the Camden Town Brewery in London
Inside the brewery miniature golf course

The Brewmaster's Open at the Camden Town Brewery in London
Alan Norman teeing-off the competition

Alan 'Stormin' Norman won The Brewmaster's Open with his round of 8. I finished in tied 2nd place alongside Seth Thomas.

The Brewmaster's Open at the Camden Town Brewery in London
The podium - me, Alan Norman and Seth Thomas

The Brewmaster's Open at the Camden Town Brewery in London
The leaderboard

We also played our own three-round tournament, you can read about it in my blog post Mini Golf at the Camden Town Brewery in London.

The Brewmaster's Open at the Camden Town Brewery in London
In action

Check out the Camden Town Brewery website.

Camden Town Brewery in London

Visit UrbanCrazy's website for more info on portable putting courses.

Crazy Golf at the Camden Town Brewery in London

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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The Minigolfer's Guide to Marketing

It's always nice when I start the day seeing purchases of my minigolf marketing ebook


My ebook to help minigolf players better market themselves, their clubs, tournaments and courses is available to purchase from Amazon and Kobo.

The Minigolfer's Guide to Marketing

Thanks to everyone who has bought a copy, read it, used it and reviewed it.

If you're looking at running a minigolf project do get in touch to see how I can help.


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Friday, July 10, 2020

Urban Exploration - Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester

A look at the old Blockbuster Video store in Fallowfield, Manchester.




Since I found the remains of the Blockbuster Video store in Fallowfield, Manchester last October I've been intrigued to see the brand still has a lingering presence in the retail world. It's always interesting to see ghost signs, remnants of old & dead brands and signage while out and about on our travels.

Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester
It's so odd to see Blockbuster branding along with social distancing signage and notices 

Blockbuster ceased operations in the UK in December 2013.

Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester
A notice on the door at the old Fallowfield branch. Some retail history

As well as the Fallowfield Blockbuster there are still signs of the stores in Westcliff-on-Sea in Essex, Chiswick in London and Norwich in Norfolk.

Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester
A view inside the old store

Related blog posts:
- Blockbuster
- Fallowfield
- Urban Exploration

Monday, June 15, 2020

The remains of Blockbuster Video in Manchester

A return look at the remnants of the Blockbuster Video store in Fallowfield, Manchester.


Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester

I spotted the remains of a Blockbuster Video store while driving to Manchester last October. I returned for a look at the Fallowfield Retail Park location during my lockdown daily outdoor exercise time yesterday.

Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester

Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester

Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester

Some more of the inside of the store has become visible since my first visit. You can now see the remains of a computer system, a CRT TV on a desk and a larger CRT TV hanging from the ceiling.

Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester

Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester
How TV's should be

Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester
I wonder what the last film trailer to be shown on that telly was?

Blockbuster ceased operations in the UK in December 2013.

Oh how times have changed since then.

Social distancing


As with all of the other shops at Fallowfield Retail Park the pathways and walls have had Covid-19 social distancing signs and stickers added.

Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester
There's nobody around to observe social distancing from

It's quite something to see the remains of a defunct brand from 'the before times' alongside the signs-of-the-times during the coronavirus pandemic.

Social distancing signs at Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester
A Covid-19 social distancing sign on the exterior of the long since closed Blockbuster store

Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester
The tented bay you can see in the right of the photo is part of a drive-in Covid-19 test facility!

A look at the old store


Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester

Did you ever rent games from Blockbuster? I remember buying a few ex-rental PlayStation games from the Luton store in the early noughties

Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester

Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester

Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester

Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester

Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester
I wonder what the last item to be dropped in here was?

Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester
Some old paperwork

Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester

Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester

Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester

Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester

Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester

Unfortunately in the coming months and years we are likely to see a number of other brands disappear.

The last Blockbuster


There is currently one independently owned franchise still operating as Blockbuster in the USA and you can find it in Bend, Oregon.

We were planning to visit Portland, Oregon later this year. The Blockbuster in Bend is 174 miles from Portland and a 3-hour journey by car.

Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester
There used to be a Carphone Warehouse in Fallowfield. That store was another casualty of the retail wars. They actually bought Tandy when that went out of business too. My first job was at a Tandy franchise in my home town back in the 1990s

Blockbuster Crazy Golf


Interestingly there is still another 'Blockbuster' store in the UK. It's part of the Ghetto Golf indoor crazy golf course at The Custard Factory in Digbeth, Birmingham.

The Blockbuster Video hole at Ghetto Golf in Digbeth, Birmingham
The Blockbuster Video hole at Ghetto Golf in Digbeth, Birmingham

Do you have a favourite defunct brand? Are the remains of an old brand still visible on a building where you live or work? Do let me know.