The End of an Era @ The Grand, Folkestone

Determined as ever, and undeterred by the refusal of District Judge Luthfur Rahman in Canterbury County Court on June 17th, to halt the June 22nd auction of the Grand itself, Michael Stainer (pictured) then applied to the High Court in London on Tuesday 22nd. He was again refused, and in fact the auction had already been and gone by that time. The Grand was sold for £448,000 in was a remarkably low key affair, with only four bidders.

Also ‘been and gone’ were just about all the fixtures and fitting within the commercial areas as on Wednesday and Thursday, as auction buyers from far and wide came to collect their purchases. Standing and watching, our public face saw massive kitchen appliances, loads of pots and pans, glassware, coffee machines, tables, sofas, chairs, being swallowed up by vans who at times blocked the Leas. One of these vans belonged to the local Tory party, who once enjoyed free hospitality at the residents expense. They bought around 50 chairs and a few tables at the auction, and were collected by the new Chairman of the local Tory Party Stephen James and Cllr Dylan Jeffrey.

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We also hear that just about the same time, Robert Moss, the sole director of the various ‘Grand’ companies with staff, Eastons Management and Seaside Hosts, was telling his employees that their employment had ended, so no more furlough, no more wages, and almost certainly no redundancy or severance pay. Two former employees with many years of service will be around £10-15,000 out of pocket, unless these companies are liquidated. In this case, the National Insurance Fund holds monies for statutory payments, such as redundancy and the state pension. It provides the funds when redundant members of staff cannot claim their full entitlement from the insolvent employer. Employee claims are made through the Redundancy Payments Service (RPS), which is a division of the Insolvency Service, and are usually dealt with by the liquidator or administrator initially.

The problem is, someone has to pay to wind up the company, around £1,600, unless Moss himself does the honourable thing.

In the meantime, Doris Stainer, currently residing in Germany was due to ‘appear’ in Southwark Crown Court this week in connection with the charges against her and Michael Stainer of cheating the public revenue and false representation. We are not yet aware of any outcome of this ‘mention’ hearing.

Next week also sees the auction of the 48 garages adjoining the Grand, formerly owned by the Stainers and now in the hands of receivers. These generated, when fully occupied, some £45,000 per annum for the Stainers.

And last, but not least, Michael Stainer will be up before ICC Judge Burton on Monday afternoon in the case case brought by the Official Receiver to secure an order disqualifying

Stainer for a period of up to 15 years which means that he can’t:

be a director of any company registered in the UK or an overseas company that has connections with the UK be involved in forming, marketing or running a company

A person who breaches such an order could be fined or sent to prison for up to 2 years if he or she breaks the terms of the disqualification.

Many have send it’s an end of era, but we’d rather see it as a new chapter for the residents and the building.

Life without Stainer committing fraud, be it the public purse or covid grants, will be a happier place at the Grand for all the residents.

To all those who have given blood, toil, tears and sweat, you now have your reward. Congratulations.

The Shepway Vox Team

Journalism for the People NOT the Powerful


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10 Comments on The End of an Era @ The Grand, Folkestone

  1. As an former employee of the now defunked Grand ,we would have much preferred to have our jobs back but the bitterness between the residents and MS have put paid to that .Please don’t think.badly of us as staff. The Grand was a special place to work and we loved helping and serving the customers and guests that frequented the place. Many of the guests were with us for years. It’ll be a very sad day when we have to part and go our separate ways ,some of us have worked together for 12 years plus. I would just like to say it was a pleasure to work with everyone of them .Thank you all

  2. Angry Eddy // June 26, 2021 at 20:01 // Reply

    No one has a bad word to say about staff. Not one!!! But this man has cost them their jobs, devalued their pensions, robbed them of their redundancy, lied, ducked, dived, twisted and distorted reality to fit his own version of their truth. He’s also put at risk the homes of ALL the residents. Lock him up and throw away the key.

  3. Locallady // June 27, 2021 at 00:20 // Reply

    I’m getting a little tired of the staff demanding sympathy, and throwing pity parties. Most were on minimum wage, they have been on furlough, and can claim various benefits from the government, and of course they can apply for jobs at neighbouring hotels. The Burlington, Clifton, Cliffe, Carlton, Burstin and Hythe Imperial have all been hiring. Oh and surely a well known former Manager can help out the staff? Some of the staff knew exactly what was going on, yet carried on letting innocent loyal customers pay for weddings and other events in full. The residents were put through hell, and a few of the staff admitted to me that there was a horrible atmosphere at times dodging debt collectors, or management’s mood swings. Their jobs were not as glamorous as they expect us to believe. The police recently admitted to me that 2 members of staff were arrested for possession of drugs. So to the staff, for now, let the residents and ripped off customers recover. When or if The Grand opens to the public again, I’m sure the staff with only a few exceptions, will be able to apply with confidence.

  4. The Grand’s commercial areas provided a magnificent amenity for residents, locals and tourists alike. Complete with a charming Edwardian ambiance sustained by the efforts of the staff and their management. It is a tragedy that this has been destroyed by unnecessary conflict. Let us pray for the reincarnation of these facillities in a sustainable form that contributes to the maintenance of the building.

    Somehow I doubt the people of Folkestone need The Grand to be transformed into a tasteless Travel Lodge type venue or a souless apartment block.

    • Ah the great disease of Folkestone, looking back and wishing it was still an Edwardian seaside resort. Thank goodness those days are gone, never to return.

  5. Getalife! // June 27, 2021 at 14:08 // Reply

    It’s a far from soulless apartment block but a collection of great friends and neighbours who love the building. The only person devoid of a soul is Michael Stainer.

  6. Can anyone advise who to pursue for a deposit paid to Seaside Hosts Ltd, a commercial tenant of The Grand?

  7. In the know // June 27, 2021 at 22:49 // Reply

    All enquiries to Robert Moss tel +44 7377 674750 or at

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