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Hotel closes up days before Christmas after owner abandons business

22 December 2008

An historic Midlands hotel has closed up suddenly just days before Christmas.

All festive functions at the Talbot hotel in Stourbridge, a 17th-century coaching inn run by Alan Whitehead of Midlands Hotels, have been cancelled.

Diners who paid in advance for Christmas meals have been left out of pocket.

The first the 22 staff knew of the closure was when they came into work to find a note pasted to the front door.

ESN Solicitors of Birmingham said in a statement: "We act for the owners of the building, Westbourne Leisure. The tenant who owned the business was Mr Whitehead, trading as Midlands Hotels Ltd and he has abandoned the premises and the business. We cannot comment further."

Staff interviewed by local reporters described their anger at the news.

Joint acting manager Michelle Magee, 34, said: "I'm so angry and upset. We have such a loyal, close team here and for this to happen to all of us is terrible."

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By Andrew Smith

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