A COUPLE are battling to get compensation from hotel owners after a disasterous anniversary party.
John and Margaret Metson, of Bexleigh Avenue, St Leonards, paid more than £2,000 to treat themselves and 160 family and friends to a party to mark their golden wedding anniversary at the High Beech Hotel.
But the couple and their guests were left bitterly disappointed and had a litany of complaints following the event on May 1.
Mr and Mrs Metson took the owners to the county court at the end of October and won their case, being awarded £1,908 in compensation.
But to date they have not received a penny and could not trace the owners to ask why.
Mr Metson, 72, said he organised the party more than a year in advance.
He said: “We had 160 guests but were told to pay for just 120 as we were informed the buffet would be so large. It was £17 per head.
“But it wasn’t and the food was of very poor quality.
“It wasn’t cooked properly and we had to use a fork to dig through the rice, which looked as if it had been cooked the day before. The salad was awful and the ham came straight out of a tin.
“There was also only enough food for 50 people and lagers and wine ran out.
“We were told there would be three staff at the bar but there was only one person.
“We block booked the hotel, reserving 17 rooms, but these were dirty inside and one had cockroaches.
“As far as we were concerned the evening was ruined.”
Mrs Metson, 71, said all she and her husband wanted was an apology.
She said: “It’s so embarrassing for us as it was a special occasion - our 50th wedding anniversary, and a once-in-a-lifetime event.”
The county court made the judgement against Dr Wyramuttoo Maheswaran, director of MB Hotels Ltd, which owns the High Beech, and the Observer managed to trace him.
He said he was unaware of the recent court action and the complaint.
“The High Beech Hotel is a superb establishment in a lovely setting, and it is a really nice place to hold any celebration,” he said.
“The hotel has hosted, and still hosts, many events that have been especially successful and enjoyable for all concerned, and at the same time offering excellent value.
“The event hosted by Mr and Mrs Metson should have been no exception, and I am naturally very disappointed to hear of their remarks following their own celebration there.
“I regret that I have only recently become aware of this issue with Mr and Mrs Metson, as the management at the hotel at the time of the complaint, and subsequent action, failed to inform me.”
Dr Maheswaran added: “I have applied to the court to have the judgement set aside, and, when it approves this and this happens, I will happily communicate with Mr and Mrs Metson, and discuss the matter fully with them.”