WITH the collapse of travel giant Thomas Cook on Monday, its employees in a town in Oxfordshire have expressed their ‘distraught’ at its closure.

One member of staff has told of how she felt helpless not being able to protect her customers from the company going bust.

Jodie Williams, 20, who dropped out of Sixth Form to pursue her dream career with Thomas Cook at its travel store in Bicester when she was 16, said she was proud to have been part of an 'amazing and communal' industry.

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In a blog post that she has written about her experience over the weekend, she said: "People don't realise when things like this happen, it is a grieving process. Nobody has died, but there is a void.

"There is a big hole in the travel industry."

Miss Williams and her colleagues posted a letter on Facebook thanking their customers for their loyalty over the years and that they are sad to leave the company.

She said: "My colleagues and I are truly distraught. I would like to personally thank all of our loyal customers who booked with us year after year.

“We could not have stayed open from 1988 for as long as we did without you and some of you became our friends outside of the business.

“We’d be awake some nights worrying about clients’ holidays. We loved making people happy and there was no way better to do so than sending them on holiday."

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Les Rowe, a Thomas Cook customer, said: "It was a pleasure to do business with all of you, thank you for your exceptional service over the past decades."

Thomas Cook collapsed after being unable to secure a last-minute rescue deal.

The company failed to find the extra £200 million needed to keep the business afloat following a full day of crucial talks with the major shareholder and creditors on Sunday.

All Thomas Cook Travel Stores in Oxfordshire have closed including branches in Oxford, Witney, Carterton, Didcot Bicester and Banbury.

People have offered jobs to those who have been left unemployed by the company including Paul Spracklen who potentially has two jobs available at his travel company at Grove Business Park.

Suzanne Herring is also looking to fill a vacancy for a part time GP receptionist in Oxford.