Thomas Cook collapse leaves Wakefield shops empty

Thomas Cooks shops in Wakefield, Ossett, Sandal and Pontefract shut with immediate effect this week after the company folded.
Thomas Cooks shops in Wakefield, Ossett, Sandal and Pontefract shut with immediate effect this week after the company folded.

Thomas Cook’s shops in Wakefield, Ossett, Sandal and Pontefract shut with immediate effect this week after the company folded.

The announcement was made at 2am on Monday that the firm, which was Britain’s oldest tour operator, had failed to find the multi-million-pound injection cash needed to continue.

Among those affected were couple Lorna Clark, 33, and Paul Ruckledge, 44, from Pontefract who are due to be married in a seafront wedding in Cyprus on October 5.

Among those affected were couple Lorna Clark, 33, and Paul Ruckledge, 44, from Pontefract who are due to be married in a seafront wedding in Cyprus on October 5.

Around 22,000 have lost their jobs, including 9,000 in the UK.

This included those working at the district’s stores, including the branch opposite the Cathedral on Northgate, in Ossett’s Wellgate Centre and at Asda in Sandal.

A sign on the door of the city centre shop simply reads: “This shop has been closed with immediate effect.”

Thomas Cook, which dates back to 1851, revealed last week that it needed a £200 million injection to prevent it from falling into administration.

But after an appeal failed, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced that the company had collapsed.

All Thomas Cook flights were grounded and holidays cancelled leaving holidaymakers without ATOL-protected insurance unlikely to receive a refund.

It also saw an operation launched to bring home the stranded 150,000 Thomas Cook passengers still abroad, which is likely to cost the taxpayer hundreds of millions of pounds.

Among those affected were couple Lorna Clark, 33, and Paul Ruckledge, 44, from Pontefract who are due to be married in a seafront wedding in Cyprus on October 5.

They have managed to reclaim some of their flight money and book alternative flights, but at inflated prices.

Lorna said: “They were going up every hour, every time you clicked on them they seemed to go up another £20. It’s been horrible, it’s not just a holiday, it’s our wedding. We’ve been planning it for over a year.”