Family's Christmas ruined by pub closure

A FAMILY today expressed their dismay after their Christmas Day was ruined by the collapse of an Ipswich pub.Dawn Easter had planned a stress-free Christmas dinner for her husband and two children at the Punch and Judy.

A FAMILY today expressed their dismay after their Christmas Day was ruined by the collapse of an Ipswich pub.

Dawn Easter had planned a stress-free Christmas dinner for her husband and two children at the Punch and Judy.

But the first she knew about the closure of the Grafton Street pub was when she read about it in The Evening Star the day before.

Mrs Easter, 44, of Mornington Road, Ipswich, said: “It was a treat for us not to have to cook.


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“Luckily, we had food in the freezer and my mother brought over some vegetables, but it ruined our day.

“If I hadn't read about it, we would have turned up there on Christmas Day.”

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Mrs Easter, who is married to Steven, 52, and has two children - Libby, seven, and Jared, 14 - is now fighting to get her £100 down payment back.

She also demands an explanation from the company over why she was not contacted.

She said: “I can't believe they were so thoughtless. They have let us down so badly.

“We are probably in a long line of creditors.”

The pub was closed after its owner, Orchid, fell into administration earlier this month.

Orchid bought 250 pubs from Punch Taverns in 2006, but administrators PriceWaterhouseCoopers have now sold most of them back to its original owner, which hopes to re-open the Punch and Judy in mid-January.

Another victim of the collapse was youngster Benjamin Moore, whose fourth birthday party at the Wacky Warehouse above the Punch and Judy was cancelled at the 11th hour.

But a kind-hearted company today offered to organise a party for Benjamin and up to 30 friends free of charge after reading about his plight in The Evening Star.

Rosa Manteiga, who runs Ipswich-based Kidzfun Parties, said the family would just have to pay for a venue.

She added: “No child should have their party cancelled - it's what makes memories and we are more than happy to provide a party for little Benjamin if they would like it.”

A spokesman for Punch Taverns said: “It is our understanding that Orchid has agreed to refund deposits via the administrator if requested.”

Benjamin's mother Sarah is planning to speak to Ms Manteiga to re-arrange a party for her son.

Were you affected by the closure of the Punch and Judy? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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