Company News Archive 2013

Tuesday 24th December 2013

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at H2T!

Download our pre-Christmas update, Christmas Card and 2014 Calendar!
Our offices are officially closed until Monday 6th January 2014 but we may still reply to emails or voicemails, as we work from home.

Thursday 12th December 2013
Us

Suzy, Isobel (Suzy’s mother) and Caroline – at Suzy’s mother’s 60th birthday party at Piper Dam Golf Club & Hotel Resort, just passed Muirhead on the A923 towards Coupar Angus, county of Angus, Scotland, on 30th November 2013 – at the end of the party. Yes, there was a queue for those who wanted photos with her!

Following our week and a half up north for Suzy’s mother’s 60th birthday, which also included some visiting, shopping and travelling around, we were hoping to return Thursday past (5th December 2013) but were caught up in the train disruption after the UK Storms. We were comfortable where we were – a little snow but worse elsewhere, and power etc. was all fine. Back on Friday 6th, started to catch up – but on Monday 9th I lost my voice! Phone calls may be answered by someone more masculine-sounding than usual, or by Caroline if she’s around. Please try not to notice :-)

We will be open longer this week – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday (9th to 13th) and then the following week Tuesday (17th), Wednesday (18th) and Thursday (19th) when we should be in to answer the phone during the main part of the day (09.30 – 17.30) but leave a message if we don’t get to the phone – 01707 246232.

Monday 9th December (2013)  Open 09.30 to 17.30
Tuesday 10th December          Open 09.30 to 17.30
Wednesday 11th December     Open 09.30 to 17.30
Thursday 12th December         Open 09.30 to 17.30
Friday 13th December             Open 09.30 to 17.30

Saturday 14th December         CLOSED
Sunday 15th December           CLOSED

Monday 16th December           CLOSED
Tuesday 17th December          Open 09.30 to 17.30
Wednesday 18th December     Open 09.30 to 17.30
Thursday 19th December         Open 09.30 to 17.30
Friday 20th December             CLOSED

Saturday 21st December         CLOSED
Sunday 22nd December           CLOSED

Monday 23rd December           OPEN SPECIAL HOURS;
11.00 to 14.00

We are then CLOSED FROM TUESDAY 24th DECEMBER 2013 UNTIL SUNDAY 5th JANUARY 2014 (all dates inclusive). We may reply to emails or phone calls during this time (as we work from home/get messages transcribed) so do leave a message if needed.

Monday 6th January 2014               NORMAL HOURS RESUME
Mon, Wed, Fri 09.30-17.30

Books – temporary PC problems caused yet more issues, and a font problem has delayed a few. We wanted to have at least two ready – we did – before we went away, but they need some more work. Keep watching this space, or keep an eye on our Facebook group (no FB membership needed) for quick updates throughout the season.

Website I was in the middle of a major web update just before going north, but we’ve encountered a slight snag. Therefore please excuse the cobwebs and “to be fixed” notes – and keep watching for more.

 

Micro update 28th November 2013

Well – we’re getting ready to head to Scotland for a week. I did want to say how much progress we’ve made, but we’ve only made a little. Cursed computer problems – and font embeddeding issues (1 out of several hundred exactly the same and our printer’s new auto system rejects it!) Anyhoo… we will NOT be at the LOTS Sale this year (this coming Saturday at RAF Museum Collindale) but suggest you go anyway and have a good time ! Messages can be left but we are now closed until Monday 9th December 2013. (We may still reply to quick inquiries etc., in the meantime).

Another update 2nd November 2013

Hello everyone!

Well – it’s been far too long since I did one of these Newsletters!

I enclose our brand new November 2013 Newsletter & Catalogue  which contains the following goodies…

* A recap on why we’ve been quiet!

* Our new Customer Charter

* Our new titles and back catalogue

* New lower postage charges for many books

* New books from the Steven Knight Me,dia range too!

Download your copy here!

Quick Update – 29th October 2013

Hello everyone!

It’s been FAR too long since I’ve done one of these – and I am REALLY sorry for the delay. The service you’ve had from Here To There Publishing Ltd over the last few months hasn’t been up to the standard I’d want or expect myself. There are lots of explanations, and I don’t believe in making excuses – merely bringing you up to speed. I don’t feel like constantly going backwards, but here goes – and we’ll get the bad bits out the way first!

Bad Points
Printing partners – where do I begin here? We’ve had some problems with our printing partner, who will remain nameless as we feel they tried to reduce the amount of work from us! We have had numerous discussions but feel that we’re banging our head against a wall. If our face doesn’t fit, no end of money will make things any better… but having said that, we’re moving our printing work back to Lulu. We’ve had stuff done there before, and now we are in the process of recreating the files we need to start printing books, one at a time, once more. 040 (Getting Around London) is going off for proofing in the coming days, and then we’ll go through our back catalogue. We do sincerely apologise for the delay in fulfilling orders this Summer, which isn’t what we wanted at all. We had hoped to expand quietly, but we’ve spent a lot of time on this, and it’s starting to see the light now. I don’t want to go through every little niggle that we have had, but I can explain more if required.

Admin – lots, including some hell-raising moments!

New laptop pc bought in Summer 2012 went away for warranty work four times, come away with more and more faults every time! This has now been replaced with a better one.

Inkjet printers – now on my fifth this year – all major brands, and the most recent issues saw a problem with the HP that had to be replaced by them twice – for the same fault – so it was returned, and we went for a Kodak following suggestions. Not too bad and it does what I need it to do. This does not have a fax, so our 01707 fax number is no more. We’ve only used it a couple of times, but I am looking at a replacement e-mail based service. Re the printers, none were physically broken. The irony is, the most recent one has a developed a broken screen, but is still chucking out prints! Not bad given the low cost for it and the ink!

Health – my health problems wouldn’t fit on a side of A4, let alone even an index. However the genetic problems that are caused by inheriting something (the gene that causes Huntington’s disease from my father) has lead me to start to develop a few issues in the past weeks. Now this is no cause for alarm immediately BUT my memory is slipping. I’m doing things like writing things down (now in a bound book as opposed to loose paper) and a coloured to-do list on an easel. There are, however, times when I may send requests twice or not at all, orders the same, or forget questions and promises. Please don’t take this personally – there’s nothing I can do about it, (aside from keep you in loop. One doc has suggested trying something that MIGHT work but my own GP can’t prescribe it – so it’s back to square 1, then someone is on holiday, then they’re back!) Aside from that, your understanding in this matter is appreciated, more than you might realise.

The reduced amount of income also caused one or two issues with payments – not really helped (in fact it exacerbated!) when our bank bounced cheques, even after we’d paid in cash to ensure that did not happen. We think we’ve got in touch with everyone in question, we feel totally mortified and also offer a genuinely sincere apology.

In another financial issue, our free banking period with our bankers has expired. Having said that, in the coming months, there will be charges to their business charging policy. We will be charged for every cheque we deposit – as opposed to actually getting so many free each month for our monthly service fee. This does mean we may well need to add a “cheque charge” for low value orders. I hate the idea of this, and I do not feel you should have to pay these, but at £1.00 (or similar amount) per cheque and with a wafer-thin margin which could be wiped out with a £6 sale – indeed we then make a loss. This will be double checked before it comes into operation. We don’t pass on our operating costs, these have been covered. However on this occasion, we hope you understand the charge isn’t subsidising us, but the shareholders of the HSBC!

Now, having done a blinding job at the LOTS 2012 Autumn Transport Spectacular – our biggest sales date yet, for which we thank you all – we were naturally happy to see a date for later in 2013, this time at Colindale. Only one problem – it clashes with my mother’s 60th birthday. Now my father didn’t make it to that age (QV notes about HD) and now my mother has actually done it herself – kudos as the three of us “children” talked about it years back but never got round to doing anything! So – as we’ve not had a break for over two years, we’ll make it into a few days away up north. We have no qualms with the new location at RAF Musuem Colindale – or the fact it’s moved to the last Saturday in November. Indeed we told Colin (LOTS sale organiser) that we were very happy – just dates like this come around once in a lifetime, literally. Indeed there’s many (from current commitments) times I’ve been able to go more than one place on the same day – last Saturday was treble-booked, and a Saturday outwith the football season saw me possibility attending four different transport events – let alone anything else. So if I’ve not attended a sale or a day, then maybe you get the idea as to why!

I did hand back one of my hats this year – that of an LLGS (London Lesbian & Gay Switchboard) helpline volunteer. It was good work, but the pressures of everything show that even twice a month was pushing it. Indeed some of the last months being non-stop (see above!) I’ve barely had a chance to think, let alone type up this. I left with no problems or quarrels – for once in my life! – I left with an open welcome to return anytime. That was a nice touch.

Just as I was getting ready to send the bulk of this newsletter on 1st October to you all, we were told that work was needed to replace our home/office floor. We’ve had to move everything from the business and office into boxes, but we’re not moving out! A few months back, we noticed a tiny spot (less than a square foot) of our laminate flooring had curled following a minor sink leak. Rather than replace that, we have to pack up on 80% of the  apartment i.e. all the laminate flooring has to be replaced at short notice. We did try to negotiate on dates but as it was an insurance issue, this proved to be futile.

So, we advised our landlords (downstairs) but we were advised it would need to happen on Thursday 17th and Friday 18th October 2013. Typing this update now two days later, the last two feet, and some more beading, will be done tomorrow. Having had the best of intentions, our proposals for improving the way we do things is paused for a few days or weeks at least, while we pack up again, nmove everything into the hall, and move everything back. We still intend to persevere!

Now fast forward to last weekend, Sunday 27th October. After the update to the update! I had good intentions about getting the news out. We did spend some time putting some more boxes away, and Caroline (my business & life partner) falls down and gives her back a nasty whack against the opposite doorframe. While there is never a good time to get injured, or hurt, this was The following day saw further storms, but we did manage to avoid most (aside from Suzy getting soaked en route to the docs to get another batch of non-faxable prescriptions for C!)

 

Good Points

By very popular demand – we can now take Card Payments by phone!
Call 01707 329071 Monday, Wednesday, Friday 09.30 – 17.30
If I am at the computer outwith these hours, the phone will be answered. If there is no reply, please leave a number & best time to call, which can be outwith our usual office hours.

Next new books – Cambridgeshire & Peterborough is new for November 2013. Now it only requires laying up, so shouldn’t be too long. This includes the changes throughout September, including  timetables and maps for the recent Peterborough CC cuts to the LocalLink network (10 buses required down to 2 with the promise of DRT for the others, as well as other cuts for other services like the 342). For this one I ask you not to send money now – not being rude but once we’ve worked out a new pricing structure. Indexes for this were done by Ash. This one will be £23.00 – £20.00 for the book plus £3.00 new flat rate postage for within the UK.

Also up and into November will be Doe’s Directory 34 – which will be dated up to and including 21st O October 2013. Price of this one will be £13.00 – i.e. £10.00 for the book, and £3.00 new flat rate UK postage.

(However please don’t send any money just yet – until we’ve worked it out with the new cheque charges and the rest!)

We will also be copying files over to the new printer, so any back orders for our older titles, to catch up with all my patient customers!

We have a number of new future books coming up – and we’ve also producing a few vehicle-related historical books. These will not be timetable related, but hopefully still of interest to the most of you! The first one is a long-proposed Strathtay Scottish 1985-2013 historical fleet list, using data from Busdata. There will be a few others too – this however was correct up to this Spring. This was in preparation for everything Strathtay moving onto the Fife o-licence this Spring – which happened eventually at the end of May 2013 to coincide with Angus Council service tendering and some other commercial changes – well it was probably the best time. (So why did it have to be done? VOSA’s offices have stipulated that disc-switching, in the event of someone having licence curtailed, will not be allowed and the operators involved are being encouraged to move everything onto one operator licence).

There is also a Long Distance Bus & Coach Services guide in progress, which sub-editor Francis is currently Indexing. This will be several volumes, without doubt, but will hopefully be useful. It expands on the classic NX coach guide, and merges it with the “long distance” information service core of data. We do add some local data from each area too.

To get back on track, there will then be a new-look book(s) for Herts & Luton – for which we promise to keep you in the loop.

In our first annual return (30th August 2011 for the one year that followed), we made a loss of £459.00. This was, in accounting terms, a loss. In other words, we invested that much money (and more, but the latter was covered by drawings etc.) and I not draw a salary from this post, and have no plans to do so for the coming year either. This has kept the business sustainable, while some of our competitors in years gone by may have literally sent themselves to the wall. So, while this means I can keep things as sustainable as I can, this does mean I can’t be everywhere at once, with a massive sales team, offices or call centres, or giving the books away free! It might happen one day, but getting the information out in the open is the priority, in what is a tight economic environment. We are happy to supply a copy of our Annual Return on request (free of charge), or it can be bought online via Companies House.

Our positive steps in the last year includes taking on freelancers to help with the Indexing, which does speed things up immensely. I am proud of them and their efforts in the past year.

To be honest, we haven’t had proper time away since a month before we founded the business – although I did plan a trip up north in 2012 only to be thwarted by the fact that we had to move home and company at short notice. So we are looking at a modest few days away late November/early December, as it’s Suzy’s mothers 60th birthday (QV notes about the LOTS sale).

What I’d now like to do is to explain to you what I want to do, in relation to the business itself. We are publishing our first Customer Charter. Our aims have not changed, but this is the first time you may have seen them written down in black & white. It’s what you can expect from me, us, Here To There, H2T, whatever you want to call us. I want to write these down and tell you all, and that means the challenge I set myself can mean something to you. This is downloadable via this link.

So – now you know what we expect to offer you. We know it’s not been an easy time for anyone recently, least of all our customers. We will continue with what we’ve been doing, and we sincerely hope that the worst of it all is now well behind us. We will be offering our customers a discount on our new titles by way of an apology, and we ask you to watch this space for more.

As I type this up, it’s late night on 29th October – and we have about 30-40 messages to return. As soon as Caroline is able to go back to work – probably not very long as she’s already feeling much better today than yesterday – I promise to get onto them all.

After that a full newsletter and order form will follow, by email or post.

Thanks for your patience!
Suzy (H2T MD)


 

Tuesday 26th March 2013

We are aware of an issue whereby the Index To Places Served by Bus in the current Getting Around London runs from Abbey Estate to Highbury & Islington Station only. This means the section from Highbury Barn to Zoological Gardens does not appear. We will be updating this in the Update, but for the meantime, please download this file for more details.

We are now able to take card payments by phone, and intend to do a full launch with the next catalouge in the coming days and weeks.

Sunday 17th February 2013

Heaps of good news today. Our next Newsleter and Update will be happening next month, but to keep you informed….

Getting Around London (040) is now ready, and on sale!

West Hertfordshire (711) is now ready, and on sale!

North & East Herts (714) is now almost ready, and will be on sale from tomorrow.

A new title for us is a “retro” reprint. This is a reprint of the Premier Travel Stage Carriage Timetable for 1978. It’s on sale now!

We are also taking pre-orders for the 2nd edition of the Greater Essex timetable, which will be printed and posted in March 2013, hot off the press!

We have four updates to bring up all the other areas to this point, and you can get these from our Updates page.

Finally, if you’d like to send us an order in the post, you can always download our newest order form at the Order Form link.

Wednesday 16th January 2013

Happy New Year! – time for a quick update – have a look at the new Steven Knight titles too!

Firstly, this is an online update only – we’d not normally do that, BUT we do have a few things we need to put on the website etc. and to let you know about. There will be a full paper mail out in the first few months of 2013 which will bring everyone up to date – we ran out of time to get these in the post I am afraid!!! Anyone who does enquire by post, phone or other means, has been advised of the news below. This should be read in conjunction with our September 2012 Newsletter. 

Well, we got to Welwyn Garden City – and had a massive day at the LOTS Autumn Transport Spectacular! We did very well – beating last year’s takings before the doors were open to the public! We did over £700 worth of business, for which we are truly grateful. We got very good feedback throughout the day, and it was nice to meet so many of you!

PRICING POLICY – some good news here! Until further notice the London, Herts and Barry Doe books, and anything else new that we do, will be on sale via us at a small discount, when you buy direct from us. The initial discount scheme has worked well – and this means set specials are still an option!

GETTING AROUND LONDON/WEST HERTS/NORTH & EAST HERTS – sorry for the delay after the move. We now plan to do the two Herts ones correct to the National Rail changes on 9th December, and those changes we already know about. Getting Around London will be titled January or February 2013, as it will include the new TfL fares (from 2nd January 2013 – and there are some intriguing twists such as the reinstatement of a gap between paper One Day Travelcards and Oyster PAYG price caps, and  the first increase in the Cycle Hire scheme costs), and December 2012 rail changes, including the South London Line becoming part of London Overground. The two Herts books pending will include some forthcoming details.

ESSEX We are working on an update for the Essex book we did in March, and we will also have a whole new issue which we plan to launch in February 2013. Keep an eye out for a letter from us in due course!

NORTHUMBERLAND an update is going out in the next few days, which is up-to-date with all the major developments that have happened to the Arriva North East network. The update includes some additional maps, which our contact at NCC drew personally!