From Thomas Cook to Hays Travel

Hays Travel opens

Hays Travel Colne officially opened on Tue 29th October 2019 in the the former Thomas Cook shop.

After the collapse of Thomas Cook, Hays Travel stepped in and bought their high street travel agencies. Hays Travel is essentially a family run business – run by a husband and wife team: John and Irene Hays.  Many of the former travel agencies were re-opened as branches of Hays Travel and this included the shop in Colne.

After this news was posted on social media, customers started calling in to offer their support. Some customers simply waved whilst passing or tapped on the window with a simple simple ‘thumbs up’, whilst others went so far as to help them set up their computer systems!

These acts of kindness have overwhelmed the ladies and have really helped brighten their days and boost their morale.  They really are overwhelmed and grateful for the widespread local support.  They have asked us to convey their thanks to everyone!

Turmoil after the collapse of Thomas Cook

Thomas cook collapsed on Sun 22nd September 2019 and officially went  into liquidation on the following day.  Staff first found out from social media posts at around 2am on the Sunday.  Emails were sent out to staff by the company at around 2.30am and staff were told not to turn up for work on Monday.  

Follow up phone calls on Monday confirmed that ‘they had no jobs’ and arrangements were made so that they could return to work to collect their belongings.

Of the five staff that were employed at Thomas Cook, two have been taken on by Hays Travel and the three others have since found alternative employment.

We chatted to sales consultant Jess Malloy and manager Sharon Clark who, understandably, have had a very rough month.  With their eyes wide open, they described this time as ‘an emotional roller-coaster’.  One day, out of the blue, they simply ‘had no job’. They both explain that they now understand well what it means to have no job and to fear the future.

If that wasn’t enough worry, in their eyes, things were much worse.  They constantly thought about their customers and how this would affect them. They knew of the potential chaos that their customers would be facing.  ‘Putting the customer first is always our priority. Holidays can be reimbursed, but holiday times & dates cannot be changed.’.  They knew their customers well and their emotions were quite clear to see.

With a smile, they tell stories of local support all round – from companies asking the Job Centres for ‘Thomas Cook’ staff to local businesses offering assistance. For instance, the Pavilion Cafe at Alkincoats Park offered the ex Thomas Cook staff free coffee and cakes.

“Our new travel systems will be up and running soon for us to be able to book your amazing holidays once again. We are excited to be part of Hay’s independent family run company and now have access to a wide range of tour operators including Jet2 which as most of you know we couldn’t sell before with Thomas Cook. We will keep you all updated on our systems or if you would like any futhur information please email us on

Happy Birthday Jess!
We published the story the morning after our visit to Hays Travel Colne and so we popped into the shop again just to quickly check everything was OK. Jess was sat there with a big bouquet of flowers (and was positively beaming!) … we didn’t realise that it was her birthday today! Happy birthday Jess! The ladies were pleased with the story, so we’re more than happy about that. 

Looking for a Job with Hays Travel?
If you have a passion for travel and want to start a new career please apply online at we have job opportunities in various locations across the region.

Hays Travel Colne – Contact Details
Address: 35 Market Street, Colne, Lancs, BB8 0LJ.


Like our work? Support us!

You can support our work within the community and the development of our community website, social media pages & groups by making a donation to us.

Follow Us: Pinterest 
About Naz Alam 293 Articles
Naz is well known in the local community as a photo journalist. He is group creator for 'Colne Talk' - a Facebook Community Group which has approx 20K members. He also runs multiple Facebook pages for the local community & local business, such as 'Visit Colne'.