Kersey Mill: Venue collapse hits dozens of weddings
DOZENS of brides-to-be have lost thousands of pounds and face having to completely rearrange their weddings following the collapse of one a popular Suffolk venue.
Kersey Mill entered voluntary liquidation this week, leading to the cancellation of up to 50 weddings and many more parties and corporate events.
There is no indication that deposits will be returned and some people who have paid in full, as clients were encouraged to do by letter before Christmas, are set to lose more than �4,000.
One bride-to-be, Charlotte Baldwin, said she had no clue there were problems at Kersey Mill and was looking forward to her wedding in October.
But her fianc�’s best man broke the bad news in a phone call yesterday morning after reading about the venue’s plight on the EADT website.
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She said: “We got a letter before Christmas (about paying the full balance) but it was about the VAT going up.
“We didn’t pay in full but we have lost �1,000 because we paid by debit card.
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“We are in a position where we can look around and find somewhere else but some people getting married soon have no choice. I think the way they have treated their customers is disgusting.
“We put all our hopes and dreams into it – it’s the biggest day of our lives. We are scouring the internet at the moment and are constantly ringing people.”
Peter Gowan was set to celebrate his 75th birthday with a party at Kersey Mill later this month, complete with a local jazz band and 75 guests.
He said he had now written off recouping his �1,000 payment and had no option but to rearrange the event for another venue.
He said: “I had picked up rumours and was keeping my ear to the ground but I had paid the deposit.
“Thank God I hadn’t paid for all the drinks.”
The closure is also bad news for the venue’s staff, many of whom have been experiencing problems with receiving payment since as far back as November.
One ex-employee, who asked not to be named, claimed staff had not been told the extent of the company’s problems and many had subsequently refused to work at weddings or events after promises relating to pay were allegedly not kept.
She said she thought they were poor at paying staff and had a high turnover of employees, adding that it did not feel like a stable place to work.
“I worked there from last March but I hadn’t worked there since December because I refused to work when they stopped paying.”
In a letter posted on the Kersey Mill Ltd website, Rodney Kerr said the company was unable to “guarantee the performance of existing and future bookings” and told creditors to contact Chantrey Vellacott DFK.
He said: “Further information regarding the events leading up to the cessation of trade and the Company’s financial information, will be provided at the meeting of creditors, and subsequently circulated to all known creditors by post.
“Any party that is owed monies in respect of deposits or other payments made in relation to an event booking should contact their event insurers if such a policy was taken out.”
IT was set to be the best day of their lives, surrounded by their friends and family at a stunning Suffolk country venue.
But now Beverley Padget and her fiance Darren Judd face a desperate rush to rearrange their nuptials by Good Friday - the day Kersey Mill was meant to make their dreams come true.
The couple paid �4,000 to the company, which has now gone into voluntary liquidation, and see it as money that they are unlikely ever to get back.
Miss Padget, 39, said she and her children had been out to Kersey Mill only two weeks ago to go over the playlist with the resident wedding planner, who she is not blaming for any of the problems.
She said: “I feel really let down. Obviously we haven’t got any more cash now.
“We booked it over a year ago - it’s a lovely setting.”
The couple have both been married before and between them have four children, Max, 14, Callum and Rebecca, 11, and Kieron, eight.
Miss Padget said they were all very disappointed and the family now faced trying to plan a new wedding at short notice and with very limited funds.