TWO elderly couples found their holiday was cancelled just two days before they were due to leave - due to ''trading difficulties'' experienced by the trip's organisers.

Marion, 73, and Les Dixon, 76, of St John's Close, Penistone, and Avril, 69, and Eric Brearley, 74, of Dodworth Road, Barnsley, booked at Wombwell Coaches' office in Mexborough in February for an eight-day break in Weymouth. They were due to leave on July 27 on a 36-seater coach.

They paid a £100 deposit and in June got an invoice to settle in full - a total of £1,420 for both couples.

But on July 25, with suitcases at the ready, they received a letter from a company called TV Travel based in Darwen, Lancashire, which owns Wombwell Coaches, saying the holiday was off.

Les said: "We'd saved up for a year and really been looking forward to it. It's shocking they're allowed to get away with cancelling someone's holiday at the last minute."

The letter they received said: "Unfortunately, due to a number of trading difficulties, we have had to suspend the business."

Wombwell Coaches' office in Mexborough is still open, but the firm has closed in Wombwell, and calls to Wombwell Coaches are being diverted to TV Travel, described on websites as a "traditional family-owned and run business".

Les said they've been in touch with Raymond O'Neill of TV Travel, listed as a director of several coach firms, including Wombwell Coach Touring.

Mr O'Neill said Wombwell Coaches had closed down leaving "a string of debts". He said he had been trying to make sure via TV Travel that its customers still got their holidays.

He added he was optimistic that all customers would get their cash back.

He said: "We have accountants in at the moment and hope to resolve this matter within the next week."