David Lloyd, Ellesmere Port, and the Groundhog Day quiz

As someone who enjoys a pub quiz (for a combination of reasons that include showing how much I know about useless trivia and the opportunity of winning alcohol) I always enjoyed the quiz, every two weeks, at David Lloyd in Ellesmere Port.

Now, some people use this place as a gym, or to play tennis, as I believe it has these facilities. I wouldn’t know – I’ve never made it past the bar area, where the quiz is held. However, this quiz has suffered in quality of late due, it would seem, to management decisions.

Let me explain; in the good old days of a few months ago the quiz was every two weeks on a Wednesday evening. For the people playing the quiz they would also have a special food offer, where outside caterers (this is important) provided a curry or chilli, and there was an offer for a bottle of beer and ‘help yourself’ to the food.

This was great, as you can imagine.

The quiz itself also offered some worthwhile prizes. Every team member paid a pound, which went into a pot and would roll over to the next quiz if nobody won it – the first pot went to around £500 before it was won. Teams were no more than six players (at least, there were supposed to be) and the winning team at the end of the quiz would receive either a crate of lager or five bottles of wine. Not too shabby.

There was a special lucky losers prize of another bottle of wine, drawn randomly from the teams who didn’t win. Finally there was the matter of the money, where everyone who had paid their pound entry received a raffle ticket, and the winning ticket drawn following the quiz gave its holder the chance to draw one of a dozen or so envelopes, containing prizes such as a banana, a meal for two and the prize pot (which got quite large). Whether you won anything on the draw or not, you still received a bottle of wine for having the winning ticket – so David Lloyd gave away seven bottles of wine each quiz.

So, for your pound entry you had the chance to win either nothing, some fruit, a few other small prizes, some lager, wine or a prize pot of cash. All sounds excellent doesn’t it? At least it did before management tinkered with the formula.

Following some changes the chap doing the quiz was replaced and someone else took over, the prizes were severely reduced and the quality of the quiz plummeted.

Now, there is no prize pot – no raffle draw and no chance to win any money; although everyone still has to pay a pound each. Where does this pound go? David Lloyd pockets the money, that’s where.

The prize for the winning team (a team of six remember) is now just three bottles of wine, not five. As there is no draw, there is no money prize, and no bottle of wine for having the winning ticket. There is still a bottle for the lucky losing team (small mercies I guess) but, and this is the biggest issue, the first quiz under this new ‘management’ was a recycled quiz we’d had before!

As one of two teams who’d been to almost every quiz, it became more of a memory test between us and another team as to who could correctly remember the answers from having taken the quiz previously.

We won – and won the THREE bottles of wine.

So, in short, David Lloyd has taken what was a great fortnightly quiz where they gave away seven bottles of wine, and had a prize pot that grew each time nobody won it and transformed (or destroyed it) into a quiz that still costs us, the punters, the same to enter, has no cash prize, is held monthly (so long as the person doing it isn’t ‘off sick’, which she has been in the past and the quiz was cancelled) and they’re only giving away four bottles of wine – AND they recycled an old quiz in the process.

Oh yes – they’ve also stopped the outside caterers, so no decent food with the quiz either. What great decisions they’ve made.

Bring back the old quiz master and the old ways; we don’t like change.

Darren Jamieson, aka MrDaz, is the Technical Director and co-founder of Engage Web and has been working online in a career spanning two decades. His first website was built in 1998 and is still live today.

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