‘He had been starting to achieve his dream’ – Partner pays tribute after shock death of Knebworth pub landlord

James Price, the landlord of the Lytton Arms in Old Knebworth, died suddenly last week.

James Price, the landlord of the Lytton Arms in Old Knebworth, died suddenly last week. - Credit: Archant

A popular pub landlord has died after suffering a heart attack shortly after chatting happily with regulars.

James Price had been landlord of Old Knebworth’s Lytton Arms since 2009, having worked for 30 years in the missile defence industry and deciding to venture into the pub trade.

His partner, Tina Sims, said he had suffered a heart attack at Easter and had had a blood clot removed and two stents fitted.

She said: “He seemed to be coming along really well. Last Monday, he had been downstairs talking to customers and they had commented that he was looking well.

“He had come back upstairs, where we were chatting. There was a lull in the conversation and he was channel hopping on the TV. I heard a terrific intake of breath and turned around. It was such a shock and I ran downstairs to get help.”

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The air ambulance arrived and James was taken to hospital, but the doctors couldn’t save the 67-year-old, who had two daughters – Sam and Lotty.

Tina says she has kept the Park Lane pub open as much as possible since his death, in tribute to her partner.

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She said: “He loved the pub and the people who came in.

“He worked hard to have a really good real ale pub and he was starting to really achieve his dream.”

She added: “The staff and customers have been amazing and I couldn’t have had any more support. It really has been incredible.

“The friendship and the kindness they have shown has been so lovely.”

The Lytton Arms forms part of Knebworth Estates, and a spokesman said: “The Lytton Cobbold family and trustees of the Knebworth House Education and Preservation Trust were shocked and saddened by the sudden loss of tenant James Price. Our thoughts remain with James’ family and partner during this sad time.”

James’ funeral will be held at St Martin’s Church in Knebworth at 11.30am on Tuesday, May 23, with the funeral procession leaving from the Lytton Arms at about 11am. All those who knew James are welcome to attend the service.

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