TRADING Standards are investigating the collapse of a Weymouth wedding fayre, which angry traders claim has left them out of pocket.
The event was due to take place on September 30 at the Pavilion, but exhibitors became alarmed when organisers UpAbove Events went off the radar.
Lisa Marsh, who owns UpAbove Events with husband Ben, told the Echo: “Due to financial problems the company has to cease trading, and unfortunately the wedding fayre has had to be cancelled.
“All exhibitors that have booked have been sent information on refunds.”
Some exhibitors – including the Hotel Rembrandt which will hold an event in the wedding fayre’s place- said they had not had any contact from UpAbove events.
Others have received an email from Mr and Mrs Marsh which confirms the cancellation of the fayre and adds that, whilst working with Trading Standards, they will refund exhibitors in due course.
Mark Gerrard, of Pegasus Disco, inset, said: “I have been unable to contact Ben or Lisa and have not heard anything about getting my money back.
“I am quite angry about it. There was a certain amount of trust there.”
Rebecca Meddings of Serenity Flowers, who paid £50 said: “Ben said he had only got a few stands left and they’d be doing them at a special rate.
“I asked if he could send me the paperwork, but he said he was out of the office.
“He asked me to send the payment across, saying he’d send the confirmation as soon as possible.
“I called him three or four times after I’d paid and he kept saying he’d send the confirmation.
“The last time I spoke to him, he was on holiday.
“Whenever I tried to contact him after that, the phone was disconnected.”
In emails obtained by the Echo, Mrs Marsh approached another company to take over the fayre on August 3.
She states this is because the Pavilion had lost a deposit cheque and failed to save the date, stating: “We had a phone call yesterday saying that we had not confirmed our date of September 30.
“This was confirmed by a cheque, that they have told us they've lost.
“This can all be rectified this morning, but they are asking us a for a £450 deposit, which in all fairness we shouldn't have to pay today.”
Max Grayson, manager of Weymouth Pavilion , said: “Weymouth Pavilion received a provisional booking
from Ben Marsh for the Ocean Room to hold a Wedding Fayre on September 30.
“He failed to sign a contract and pay a deposit for the room despite various requests, and therefore the booking was not confirmed.
“At no point did the Pavilion receive a cheque deposit or any other form of payment to confirm the proposed booking. Weymouth Pavilion had no involvement in organising the fayre.”
Martin Thursby, principal trading standards officer for Dorset County Council, said: “We have received complaints about the wedding fayre and are looking into the situation.”
DEAR sir/madam, It is with regret that the Weymouth Wedding Fayre due to be held on September 30, has been cancelled.
The company has gone into administration, and although all company debts are due to be written off, we understand it is very important that every exhibitor is due their refunds as soon as possible.
The monies owed will be refunded out of our personal account in due course to every exhibitor that booked.
We are working with Trading Standards, and following their advice on the best way forward.
Along with the website, the company emails are no longer in use. All correspondence will now be through the email weymouthwedding firstname.lastname@example.org In order to process your refund as soon as
possible, we will need the company name, the bank payment date and reference, or cheque details emailed to us.
Once again, we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused, and will do our very best to refund you as soon as we can.