Anger and upset after Eastbourne event for blind is cancelled as hotel is shut

A 50s/60s weekend in Eastbourne for the blind community was cancelled at short notice much to the disappointment of the expectant attendees.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 7:42 am

The weekend, which sees blind people from all over the UK come together, was set to take place on September 24-25 at the Mansion Lions Hotel.

Organiser Jill Allen-King, 81, said she was told the hotel would be open from April 12 so the weekend would go ahead as planned. But in August Jill said she found out the hotel hadn’t reopened as expected, so had to cancel the weekend.

As the hotel held the details of ticket holders and had taken deposits, Jill said the manager told her he would make sure everyone was notified of the cancellation.

Jill Allen-King with muffs she knits for patients with dementia. SUS-210410-090336001

However, Jill said through mid-September people were calling her to say they’d heard nothing, and couldn’t get through to the hotel.

Jill said, “I’m quite annoyed and very upset, everyone is so upset. If they’d let us know earlier, then another hotel could have stepped in.”

Peter Wilkins, who helped organise the event, added, “It’s a very good social occasion for the blind people to get together and have a really good time. We’ve lost a couple of events due to covid so we were all set to go for this weekend.”

The Mansion Lions Hotel did not comment.

Jill Allen-King and Peter Wilkins with guide dog Jagger. SUS-210410-090609001