Party cancelled at three days notice

Louise Wallace
Louise Wallace

A distraught Kirkcaldy teenager has told how her eagerly awaited 18th birthday party was almost ruined after a booking was cancelled at the last minute.

Louise Wallace said she was left in tears after she discovered that the hall she had paid a deposit on back in March had been given to a “larger” group, just three days before the party which was due to take place tonight (Friday) at the Steadings in the town’s Bennochy Road.

Louise, who turns 18 on Sunday made the booking with her mum Linda (45) and paid a £50 deposit for the large function suite for over 100 guests to celebrate her birthday.

But her dream turned to a nightmare when manager Alan Finnegan told the family he had made a “business decision” to let a bigger party have the hall instead.

He offered Louise a smaller room or the use of the public bar for her party, but she said she was forced to decline as neither was suitable for the number of guests she had already invited.

“Turning 18 is supposed to be a happy occasion, but this has been a nightmare. I can’t believe a professional business would treat someone this way.

“We had all been looking forward to the party so much and my mum and dad had been in to the Steadings to pay for stuff since the booking in March, including telling them the menu we wanted. At no point were they told there was a problem.

“Then on Tuesday my mum got a call from the manager to say the large hall was no longer available and he would try to ‘sort something out.’”

Louise said she was up all night crying and on Wednesday they went to the hotel for a meeting.

“He said he’d had a booking for 150 and had to go with the best business decision and offered us the small room or the bar. Both were far too small as I’d booked a DJ and invited over 100 people.”

Mr Finnegan told the Press on Friday that he didn’t want to say anything more about the situation.

“I don’t bear any grudge towards the girl or her family, it’s everyone else who has jumped on the Facebook bandwagon,” he said referring to the thousands of people who have posted comments on Louise and the Steadings’ Facebook pages.

A statement on the Steadings Facebook page said: “Due to the high volume of comments and shares that have been received on a post on our facebook page we feel inclined to let everyone know that we did not cancel an 18th birthday party. This situation seems to be spiraling out of control and false rumors have started, We in fact offered the girl’s mother who’s party it was two alternatives. Actually offering the entire function room and the public bar, we would never refuse more business. We can honestly not stress enough that we did not cancel this party, it was cancelled by her mother!

“Over the last 11 months we have built strong ties with the community. We have done this through our service as a restaurant/bar and by holding a number of charity nights raising thousands of pounds and frankly we feel the abuse and negative comments we are receiving tonight is completely undeserved and unjustified.

As a business we will continue to focus on building these strong ties and hope the people of our community will see sense and not be mislead by these accusations.”

Fortunately Louise managed to secure another venue for her party.