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Anger after poppy misunderstanding at Scotch Corner hotel
A HOTEL has issued an apology after a misunderstanding when a member of staff told the local Royal British Legion that poppies and a collection tin could not be left on the reception desk.
The Aldborough St John branch of the Royal British Legion was told on Saturday it could not display a poppy collection box in the Holiday Inn Darlington A1 Scotch Corner reception because it was against company policy – which caused outrage among members and sparked a huge row on Facebook.
Branch secretary John Coultish said he updated the organisation’s Facebook page with an account of what happened, resulting in hundreds of comments attacking the national hotel chain.
But after realising the mistake of a member of staff, the hotel promptly contacted the poppy appeal distributer to apologise.
Alice Ng (correct), general manager at Holiday Inn Darlington A1 Scotch Corner, said: "Some of our hotel regulations were taken a bit too literally by one of our staff members.
“We have since apologised to the British Legion for any confusion and poppies poppies are now available in our reception and our leisure centre.”
The hotel operates a policy which suggests the front desk is kept as clear as possible to help guests checking in – but hotel bosses insist this does not include poppies.
A statement on the hotel’s Facebook page, which also fell victim to hundreds of comments attacking the initial decision, added: “We're extremely sorry for any upset caused over this situation.
“Here at the Holiday Inn we support many charities and are in the process of setting a date for our Help for Heroes event next year.
“A lot of our business does come from the nearby garrison and we hold guests from there in extremely high regard.”
Mr Coultish said: “This was clearly a member of staff that got too carried away with the rules and regulations.
“The hotel contacted us to apologise for the error made by the staff member and I’m quite happy with what they have said.”
“The hotel has also asked for numerous boxes of poppies which we are happy to provide.”