Staff and Customers at The Cutter in Shock After Death of Popular Manager

PUBLISHED: 18:03 14 October 2008 | UPDATED: 10:35 04 May 2010

STAFF and customers at the popular Cutter Inn in Ely have been left in shock this week, following the sudden death of their manager Richard Howe. Richard was taken ill while lunch was being served on Saturday, and died following a massive heart attack in

STAFF and customers at the popular Cutter Inn in Ely have been left in shock this week, following the sudden death of their manager Richard Howe.

Richard was taken ill while lunch was being served on Saturday, and died following a massive heart attack in Addenbrooke's Hospital just four hours later.

"The loss of Richard has been devasting," said Cutter owner Steve Haslam, "our staff worked like Trojans on Saturday, serving people in tears, but they carried on.

"Everyone pulled together, it was phenomenal.

"It was a testament to our staff, and the training they had received from Richard. Our customers were also fantastic."

With 300 lunches booked on Sunday, every member of The Cutter staff turned out to keep the wheels turning, and the pub then closed at 6pm.

"We closed early to give our staff the evening to collect their thoughts," said Steve.

The premises stayed closed on Monday, but were open for business as usual on Tuesday.

"Richard had four deputy managers, they will all step up the plate and run the Cutter as he would have wanted," added Steve.

Forty-one-year-old Richard had been manager since The Cutter re-opened in March 2006 after a massive refurbishment.

"He was a people manager," said Steve. "Every year our employees vote for an employee of the year, and last year they voted for Richard."

Looking back over Richard's time at The Cutter, Steve said: "He had the same vision as us; he worked with us to make it what it is today."

Richard, aged 43, was single. His parents lived in Sheffield, and at the time of his death were staying in his holiday home in Portugal. He leaves a brother and sister.

"He loved Ely, and the people of Ely," said Steve. "Every morning at 7am he would stand on the balcony with a coffee, come rain or shine, he loved it here; he had really found his place."

A book of condolence will be set up at The Cutter, and staff will be contributing to a book of poems, that will be printed in book form.

For details of funeral arrangements, contact Steve on 07956628813.

Pic cap:

Richard Howe (right) and Steve Haslam (left), after The Cutter was awarded the accolade Best Pub in East Anglia.

Photo: HELEN DRAKE.

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