The South Shields couple who have become the first to book a Hays Travel holiday in a former Thomas Cook store

A South Shields couple have become the first to book a Hays Travel holiday in a former Thomas Cook store since the company’s take over of branches.

Colin and Pearl Pope have booked a holiday to Gibraltar in the re-branded Hays Travel shop in the town’s Denmark Centre on Thursday, October 10.

Hays Travel has taken over all 555 of the former Thomas Cook stores, following the company’s collapse in September.

Founder John Hays and his team have been working hard to help customers affected by the collapse and has also employed former Thomas Cook staff.

Nicola Callaghan from Hays Travel with Colin and Pearl Pope who were the first to book a holiday at the new Hays Travel shop in the town’s Denmark Centre.

And the first booking was made in true team spirit style.

But with no booking systems set up at the time, travel consultant Kerry Grieves dashed to The Nook branch to book the flight, while Nicola Callaghan and Gemma Critchlow held the fort at the Denmark Centre.

Hays Travel owner John Hays.

Hays Travel Denmark Centre branch manager, Nicola, said: “We are all delighted to be working with new colleagues – who are all part of the family now, and like us value fantastic customer service.”

To celebrate the first booking Mr and Mrs Pope were presented with a bunch of flowers by Hays Travel staff.

Mr Pope said: “We were over the moon to see the shop back open as Hays Travel with all the familiar faces!

“We’ll definitely be returning in the future.”

John Hays said: “We meant it when we said the travel industry is a family and we look after each other – we’re delighted to hear about the first of many bookings being made by teams all over the country.

“It’s a tribute to the commitment of everyone – now thousands of people – who are really determined to support the growth of Hays Travel for the benefit of us all.

“I hope Mr and Mrs Pope have a lovely holiday!”