ROMSEY'S long-established Palmerston caf was this week understood to be "one of the lucky ones" after the company which owned it went into administration.

Until recently, The Palmerston was owned by Three Cooks Limited, which operated 160 bakeries across Britain and employed around 1,150 staff.

But last week, Tenon Recovery, part of the Tenon Group of accountants and business advisers, was appointed administrator.

On their appointment, Tenon's administrators Steve Parker and Trevor Binyon made the tough decision to close 37 loss-making bakeries. But within two days, it sold the remaining bakeries to Cooks the Bakery Limited.

Tenon was unable to say which bakeries or cafes had been taken over and staff at the Palmerston said they had been told not to make any comment on the take-over.

But it is understood that the Palmerston was one of the ones now under the ownership of Cooks the Bakery and that job losses have been avoided, although a spokesperson for Tenon said she was unable to confirm which properties had been taken over.

The caf, with its eat in' and eat out' services, was still trading busily this week and a source close to the Palmerston said: "It looks as if they are one of the lucky ones and they just want it to be a place where people can go and enjoy something to eat and drink.

Commenting on the sale, Mr Parker said: "While we regret having to close a number of the company's under-performing stores in recent days, we were absolutely delighted to have managed to preserve the remaining outlets at fully intact bakeries.

"As a result of the sale, some 900 jobs were saved and the business will, continue to operate under the well-known 3 Cooks' brand name which is a feature in many high streets across Britain.

"We are very pleased with this outcome and wish the purchaser every success in building the bakery business back up to its previous strong position in the market place."