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Hotel owner says he will agree deal with widower

The owner of a hotel that refused to refund an Army veteran for an anniversary party after his wife died has told ITV News they will "come to some sort of agreement" with him or that he "will make a charitable donation."

The entrance to Lysses House Hotel in Hampshire. Credit: Lysses House / Facebook

Colin Mercer said his staff had not been made aware of the reasons behind the cancellation of the July event and only became aware of the circumstances after a bad review on a hotel review website.

He said: "This happened in June for an event in July, five months later there was a bad review on TripAdvisor. In all those months no one approached us."

Mr Mercer added: "I do feel I haven't been able to put our points across. I'm upset about it, I wouldn't want this to happen to anybody.

"If Mr Clifton wants to contact us we can come to some sort of agreement, if he doesn't we will make some charitable donation."

Mr Clifton booked the hotel for his 50th wedding anniversary but eight weeks before the party his wife, Joyce, died from cancer.

Widower criticises 'hard-hearted' hotel over refund

A Hampshire Army veteran, who was refused a refund for an anniversary party at a hotel after his wife died from cancer, said the owner was "hard-hearted."

Eric Clifton told ITV Meridian that he was "so cross" when he discovered that he would not be getting a refund from the hotel.

The 78-year-old from Swanmore paid the initial deposit of £160 with a further payment of £535 to the Lysses House Hotel in Fareham.

However, eight weeks before the event, Mrs Clifton, 72, died from cancer and Eric was forced to cancel the party.

Read: Hotel owner urges widower to contact him

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Hotel advises customers to insure against death

Nicola Stafford, front-of-house manager at Lysses House Hotel, said that Mr Clifton had read and signed the hotel's terms and conditions when he had booked the venue and they were unable to refund the deposit as they had been unable to re-let the function room.

She said:

It's unfortunate and we understand he is upset and angry but we cannot give him preferential treatment.

Our terms and conditions are standard across the industry and we would advise anybody booking a function to take out insurance for any such eventuality very much as if you had booked a holiday.

More: Widower refused anniversary refund despite wife's death

Hampshire widower refused refund after wife dies

A Hampshire Army veteran was refused a refund for an anniversary party at a hotel when his wife passed away two months before the event.

Eric Clifton from Swanmore booked the party for his 50th wedding anniversary and said the venue refused to return the £700 upfront payment fee when his wife died.

The 78-year-old paid the initial deposit of £160 with a further payment of £535 to the Lysses House Hotel in Fareham for the event.

However, eight weeks before the event, Mrs Clifton, 72, died from cancer and Eric was forced to cancel the party.

The former warrant officer in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, who has two children and five grandchildren, said: "I feel rather bitter about it. I am pretty cross. We had been there several times before - I won't be going back there again."

It's unfortunate and we understand he is upset and angry but we cannot give him preferential treatment. Our terms and conditions are standard across the industry and we would advise anybody booking a function to take out insurance for any such eventuality very much as if you had booked a holiday."

– Nicola Stafford, front-of-house manager at Lysses House Hotel

Charity swim cancelled due to gales

The traditional New Year Day Dip which was organised by a Hampshire lifeboat charity has been cancelled.

The Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service has cancelled the event for the first time in more than 30 years.

Last year's charity swim saw a big turnout Credit: GAFIRS

Severe gales are forecast for New Year’s Day as winds are likely to peak at around midday with sustained winds of 50-60 mph.

With some 300 swimmers representing 33 charities, the NYD Dip in 2013 was one of the most successful to date.

The safety of all the intended participants is the main priority. Given the weather forecast, it would be most unsuitable for the event to go ahead.

GAFIRS respectfully ask that all groups and individuals that were planning to take to the water DO NOT DO SO of their own accord.

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Mother and toddler saved by their smoke alarm

A mother and toddler were saved from their home in Fareham this afternoon thanks to their smoke alarm.

Fareham crews were called to Hillson Drive in the Hill Park area at 1pm to a fire in a ground floor living room.

The mother and child were upstairs but managed to escape through the front door, thanks to the early detection of smoke from their alarm.

The blaze was under control within an hour but there was a considerable amount of damage to the living room and smoke damage to the rest of the house.

Crew Manager Mark Ryder said, "The mother heard the alarm activating downstairs and saw the living room on fire.

"Considering how quickly the fire developed, had she not had the warning from the smoke alarm she could have been trapped upstairs."

Missing pensioner 'requires medication'

John Mills suffers from mental health problems. He requires medication for his condition, which he does not have with him. We advise members of the public not to approach the 70-year-old if you see him but to call the police immediately.

– Hampshire Police spokesperson

Anyone who has seen somebody matching Mr Mill’s description or knows his whereabouts are asked not approach him but to contact the police on 101, or 999 in an emergency. Information can also be given anonymously through the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.

70-year-old man missing from hospital

John Mills was last seen on Saturday Credit: Hampshire Police

Police are growing concerned for the whereabouts of 70-year-old John Mills from Uplands Hospital in Fareham. John was last seen at the hospital at 6.15pm yesterday (Saturday, August 31, 2013).

John Mills is described as:

  • White

  • 5 feet nine inches tall

  • Slim build

  • Grey hair

  • Walks with an unsteady gait

  • Last seen wearing a dark checked shirt, navy jacket, jeans and black shoes.

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