State of 'malaise' and poor performance 'was accepted' at Egerton House Hotel

Jan Hampton, who owned the Egerton House Hotel, and became a minority shareholder

Jan Hampton, who owned the Egerton House Hotel, and became a minority shareholder

First published in News
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

A STATE of "malaise" and poor performance was accepted at one of Bolton's top hotels, a tribunal heard.

The tribunal was told that the performance had been allowed by Jan Hampton, the then manager of Egerton House Hotel.

But the former owner also told a hearing she was subjected to a campaign of “bully-boy tactics” and harassment by her fellow directors.

Ms Hampton was an employee of Egerton House Hotel Bolton Ltd as well as a director and minority shareholder of the business before she was removed in 2012.

She is claiming unfair dismissal against her fellow directors, Chris Wayne-Wills and James Davidson.

Ms Hampton originally acquired the 29-room hotel in 2003 with the backing of Macdonald Hotels, but the hotel giant took control of the Egerton House in October, 2010, by changing the type of shares it owned.

Ms Hampton claims she was bullied into this compromise agreement and then harassed by Mr Davidson while on holiday in Australia.

She said: “There was a campaign of bully-boy tactics to make me agree to the change in shares.

“Eventually I agreed to a compromise agreement because I heard from the bank who would not provide any more funding. I was backed into a corner.”

Ms Hampton said she was then “bombarded with calls” from Mr Davidson, regarding a re-financing agreement, while at her brother’s wedding in Australia, something she said left her “devastated and terrified”.

Mr Davidson previously denied calling Ms Hampton during that period, stating that he did not have her number.

She responded by saying: “Of course, he had my number.”

Earlier in the case, Ms Hampton claimed her dismissal came about because she made allegations of fraud and wrongdoing regarding the hotel’s accounts and because she refused to re-brand it as a Macdonald hotel.

Mr Davidson and Mr Wayne-Wills deny this and say that Ms Hampton was dismissed from the company because of continued poor performance.

Euan Smith, representing Mr Davidson and Mr Wayne-Wills, said Ms Hampton was aware of the concerns of her fellow directors about her performance in running the hotel from an early stage.

He said: “There is a letter from February, 2011, in which Mr Wayne-Wills talks of a general malaise that surrounds the hotel and is accepted as normal by your staff and, more importantly, you.”

He added that this and subsequent letters could have left Ms Hampton in no doubt that her fellow directors were focusing on her individual position.

The hotel closed in January this year. The tribunal, being held in Manchester, continues.

Comments (6)

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10:08am Tue 13 May 14

oftbewildered2 says...

regardless of the ins and outs of this case - it is no good telling an employee that his/her performance is not up to scratch without taking steps to improve it or ascertaining why this is happening.
regardless of the ins and outs of this case - it is no good telling an employee that his/her performance is not up to scratch without taking steps to improve it or ascertaining why this is happening. oftbewildered2
  • Score: 4

10:48am Tue 13 May 14

Thatissowrong says...

Took the family there for Christmas dinner in 2013. It was dreadful. Lousy service. We were the last sitting and they practically pushed us out of the door before we were finished. Food - indifferent. Cost - terrible value for money.
Took the family there for Christmas dinner in 2013. It was dreadful. Lousy service. We were the last sitting and they practically pushed us out of the door before we were finished. Food - indifferent. Cost - terrible value for money. Thatissowrong
  • Score: 4

3:23pm Tue 13 May 14

tinbrayste says...

Stayed there earlier this year, dreadful place, dirty, shabby, and very poor service, staff's attitude was abysmal.
Stayed there earlier this year, dreadful place, dirty, shabby, and very poor service, staff's attitude was abysmal. tinbrayste
  • Score: 1

4:35pm Tue 13 May 14

carobee says...

Stayed there for 2 nights last May. Dirty, shabby, indifferent staff. Had breakfasts but decided to go out for evening meals. It was obvious the place was in a very bad way.
Stayed there for 2 nights last May. Dirty, shabby, indifferent staff. Had breakfasts but decided to go out for evening meals. It was obvious the place was in a very bad way. carobee
  • Score: 1

5:51pm Wed 14 May 14

garylovatt says...

I remember an Egerton House with excellent food and a warm welcome. We held a couple of charity events there and Jan handled them impeccably and always gave them her all.
I remember an Egerton House with excellent food and a warm welcome. We held a couple of charity events there and Jan handled them impeccably and always gave them her all. garylovatt
  • Score: -1

8:59pm Wed 14 May 14

Guinness4 says...

I worked for Jan and was there for the transition into Mcdonald Hotels. Working for Jan was always a pleasure. Jan was at almost every wedding and worked side by side with us when it was busy. She treated the place and cared for it like her own home. We had many regular guests that came time and time again because of Jan's and the staffs service. Out of all the people I have ever worked for, Jan has been one of my favourite bosses. I greatly respected her and would work for her again in a heart beat.

As for the transition into Macdonald Hotel's it was awful. We were expected to follow Macdonald procedures yet we were never trained on how to do it. We all of a sudden were included in the Macdonald stay deals but never told what they were so could not answer guests questions when asked. It was like the blind leading the blind. The manager they sent to us had no idea how to manage. His time management skills were nonexistent. Jan was in for 9 every morning and if she was going to be late we knew. She was always available for anything. The new manager was the complete opposite. No one ever knew what was going on. The morning meetings that Jan had in place continued because of the staff but the new manager rarely attended them. All organisation had become a memory when Macdonald management took over.

I was so sad to hear the hotel was closing. It is not Jan's fault. That was her home, her blood sweat and tears. It is Macdonalds fault and thanks to them my friends lost their jobs.
I worked for Jan and was there for the transition into Mcdonald Hotels. Working for Jan was always a pleasure. Jan was at almost every wedding and worked side by side with us when it was busy. She treated the place and cared for it like her own home. We had many regular guests that came time and time again because of Jan's and the staffs service. Out of all the people I have ever worked for, Jan has been one of my favourite bosses. I greatly respected her and would work for her again in a heart beat. As for the transition into Macdonald Hotel's it was awful. We were expected to follow Macdonald procedures yet we were never trained on how to do it. We all of a sudden were included in the Macdonald stay deals but never told what they were so could not answer guests questions when asked. It was like the blind leading the blind. The manager they sent to us had no idea how to manage. His time management skills were nonexistent. Jan was in for 9 every morning and if she was going to be late we knew. She was always available for anything. The new manager was the complete opposite. No one ever knew what was going on. The morning meetings that Jan had in place continued because of the staff but the new manager rarely attended them. All organisation had become a memory when Macdonald management took over. I was so sad to hear the hotel was closing. It is not Jan's fault. That was her home, her blood sweat and tears. It is Macdonalds fault and thanks to them my friends lost their jobs. Guinness4
  • Score: 0

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