Fareham’s Lysses House Hotel to refund Army veteran’s deposit after party cancelled because of wife’s death

AGREEMENT Widow Eric Clifton meets hotel owner Colin Mercer
AGREEMENT Widow Eric Clifton meets hotel owner Colin Mercer

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A HOTEL owner has apologised to an Army veteran for refusing to hand back a deposit after the man’s wife died before a party.

As reported first in The News yesterday, widower Eric Clifton, 78, of Swanmore, was left upset and angry when the Lysses House Hotel in Fareham refused to pay back the £695.

Lysses House Hotel, in Fareham

Lysses House Hotel, in Fareham

He and wife Joyce, 72, had planned to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary at the hotel but she died of cancer eight weeks before the event on July 29.

Now hotelier Colin Mercer has agreed to reimburse Mr Clifton and make a donation to Myeloma UK.

Mr Clifton said: ‘He’s apologised for what’s happened and we’ve had a nice discussion.

‘He’s reimbursed me my out-of-pocket expenses.

‘The hotel is going to make a donation to a charity, a cancer charity.

‘I suggested Myeloma UK, because it was myleoma that killed my wife.

‘My anger is mitigated somewhat.’

The pair met at Lysses House Hotel today.

Mr Mercer said staff had been receiving abusive phone calls at the hotel today.

He said: ‘Eric’s very happy, and we’re very happy now.

‘He’s said he’ll be coming back to visit us.

‘We’ve agreed to refund things.

‘We’re people, we’re not hard-nosed business people, we care.’

Mr Clifton and his wife had forked out £160 for a deposit and then another £535 but Joyce died after going through chemotherapy for bone and breast cancer.

Mr Mercer had said there was a 10 per cent deposit due when the booking was made, then 40 per cent 12 weeks before the event, and the remainder six weeks before the day.