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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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Head's praise for closed Cumbrian hotel after school prom cancelled

The headteacher of a school which had its prom cancelled following the closure of a hotel has praised the way staff handled the situation.

St Joseph
Tom Ryan

Related: Proms cancelled as Cumbrian hotel closes for deep-clean

Hunday Manor Country House Hotel at Winscales has been forced to close while a deep clean is carried out to remove traces of a sickness bug.

St Joseph’s Catholic High School in Workington had booked to hold its year 11 leavers’ prom at the venue last night but had to relocate to the Greenhill Hotel at Wigton following the closure.

Tom Ryan, the school’s head, said that staff at Hunday Manor had been “very good” and helped find alternative venues to hold the prom, as well as picking up any additional costs.

“They’ve done the best they can,” added Mr Ryan, “and I can’t fault them.”

West Lakes Academy was due to hold its prom at the venue tonight, but this was also cancelled and will now take place in a marquee at the Red Admiral Hotel in Gosforth. The proms were cancelled after an investigation was launched into the hotel after more than 20 pupils and staff from Workington’s Stainburn School and Science College fell ill.

The group had all eaten at the venue at the prom last week and initial concerns that it was food poisoning prompted a joint investigation by Allerdale Council’s environmental health department and Public Health England (PHE).

However, tests ruled out food poisoning and experts confirmed it was in fact the winter vomiting bug, norovirus.

It has since been revealed that pupils from Whitehaven School and Southfield Technology College, who also attended proms at the hotel, became ill, which resulted in PHE beginning a deep clean of the venue.

Joe Wilson, managing director at Hunday Manor, told the News & Star that the two school proms were the only two they had cancelled so far and he was unable to say whether any other events would be affected. He was also unable to say whether it would be days or weeks before the popular hotel would be back open, adding that it was “going to take time.”

The hotel also refused to comment on the subject of funding the extra costs for rearranged proms, adding that it was a “private matter” between the school and hotel.

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