Wedding venue owners leave in moonlight flit

Boss: David Elliott appeared on TV show the Hotel Inspector dressed as Elvis and inset, unhappy couple Rebecca and Andre Dobson.
Boss: David Elliott appeared on TV show the Hotel Inspector dressed as Elvis and inset, unhappy couple Rebecca and Andre Dobson.
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DEVASTATED couples who were planning to get married have called in South Yorkshire Police after the owners of a hotel allegedly did a moonlight flit.

Staff at the Sandygate Hotel in Wath-upon-Dearne arrived at work to find landlords David and Dyan Elliott had vanished. The staff say most of the contents of the venue had also disappeared.

A note left at the hotel said ‘sorry we’ve had to do this to all of you’.

Around 50 couples are thought to be affected.

The Elliotts, who leased the hotel and had three years left, are believed to have left early last Thursday.

DJ Steve Payne, aged 40, said he received a phone call from one of the chefs who said he saw the couple packing up.

He said: “I got a call at about 3am in the morning from the chef telling me he was at the hotel and Dyan and David were leaving.

“I was totally shocked and also concerned about my DJ equipment so I called the police, who said they would send someone over.

“They were leasing the property, I think they had around three years left on it and were trying to sell the lease on.”

The hotel featured on Channel 5’s hit show the Hotel Inspector. It showed Elvis impersonator David dressed in costume while cooking.

One of the couples affected, Rebecca and Andre Dobson, had planned a special reception as a belated celebration after their original wedding seven years ago.

The Dobsons, of Swinton, say they lost £2,000 and had planned their special day to make up for their shoestring wedding in 2005.

Rebecca, aged 31, said: “I’ve been so organised because I wanted things to be perfect.

“I just can’t believe it because Dyan couldn’t have been more helpful.

“She was coming up with so many ideas, she was so enthusiastic and David was a brilliant chef.”

They have secured a last-minute booking at a nearby venue.

The hotel owners, the nationwide brewery chain Trust Inns, said the pub had since reopened with a new landlord, Glyn Atmore, in charge.

A spokesman for Trust Inns said: “The Elliotts have disappeared and we have no idea where they are.

“Everything inside was their responsibility as it was run as their business.”

A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “We are aware of complaints and we are in the early stages of an investigation.”