End of line for DIY store and travel agency

A DIY store which opened in the 1950s and a travel agency have both closed in Corby town centre.

Hemmings, a family-run firm in George Street, has shut up shop and BTG travel agents, in New Post Office Square, part of the Bowen Travel Group, has closed after the firm went into administration last week with the loss of about 400 jobs across its six holiday firms and 38 stores.

A notice has been placed in the travel agency window notifying customers that Mathew James Cowlishaw and Dominic Lee Zoong Wong of Deloitte were appointed joint administrators last Thursday.

Customers who have booked holidays operated by Bowen Travel Group are being notified that their tours will be cancelled and any deposit paid will be covered by the Bonded Coach Holiday Group.

Bookings with any other operator will continue as normal.

Corby councillor Maureen Forshaw and her husband John went on a Bowen Travel Group coach tour to the Isle of Wight in August.

She wrote a letter of complaint to the company after the coach the couple were travelling on broke down every day and the hotel lift was out of order on several occasions.

She said: “I received a letter back last week with a £50 discount voucher off next year’s holiday. Within minutes of opening the letter I learned that the company had gone into administration. I had to laugh.

“It wasn’t so funny for people I met outside the shop who were trying to find out more information. One woman had paid several thousand pounds for her holiday and she was panic stricken.”

The travel group ran the brands Bowen’s, Appleby’s and York’s, offering day trips and coach holidays.

The DIY store Hemmings was established in 1955 by Leonard William Hemmings of Northampton.

It stocked more than 25,000 product lines for the handyman and gardener at its store in George Street, as well as ironmongery, power tools, security products, timber, glass, plants picture frames, paint and electrical goods.