The collapse of St Columba's Credit Union on Tong Street, Bradford, caused panic and misery - with hundreds of people fearing they had lost life savings, wages and benefit payments.

But now a compensation scheme has paid out £350,000 to 350 people including one woman who will now be able to go on an anniversary cruise she feared she would have to cancel.

Those owed up to £2,000 have got all their money back but everyone else has lost ten per cent of their cash.

Receptionist Diane Melling was devastated at the thought of missing out on the Mexican cruise to celebrate her and her husband Stephen's 35th wedding anniversary.

Mrs Melling, of Smith Street, Bierley, saved £1,680 with the credit union towards the luxury holiday.

She was about to make the final payment at the travel agent when she received a letter in September saying the credit union had closed.

Now Mrs Melling, 51, is praising prompt action by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme that has ensured she and many others have been repaid. The London-based FSCS fast-tracked repayments to those facing financial hardship.

She said: "They were very, very good. I told them it was my holiday money and they said they hoped everyone would be repaid in time for Christmas."

Bernice Wells, 52, of Moorcroft Drive, off Tong Street, has got her £131 holiday savings back. She and her daughter were shocked when the union shut without warning.

Mrs Wells also praised the compensation scheme: "They sorted everything out very quickly. I have been sent a cheque for the full amount and my daughter has been paid back as well. It is a great relief."

Disabled pensioner Jimmy McMullan, 68, a spokesman for other victims who have lost out, is campaigning for Government action to make up the shortfall.

Mr McMullan, of Daffles Wood Close, Bierley, had his life savings with the credit union.

He and another family member lost £8,000 and have been repaid £7,400. Mr McMullan calculates that with loss of interest the deficit is £800.

Now he is calling on Bradford MP Gerry Sutcliffe to help people who have lost out.

He said: "We want to know, as people who have lost so much money, where it has gone. We would also like to know how much of a shortfall there was at the credit union.

"I am very, very angry about this. It is the ones that saved the most that get the least back.

"We have never had an explanation from the people in London about what has happened in Bradford. The full facts should be made public."