There were cheers, smiles and even a few tears as the family of John ‘Brummie’ Stokes opened the affordable housing development, named after the great man himself. Brummie Stokes Court is situated where The Ship Inn formerly stood, a much-loved but sadly neglected pub on Ross Road, Hereford. A little over two years later and the site has been transformed into an attractive new development comprising 35 one and two-bedroom apartments, all of which are affordable rent.
The Brummie Stokes Court name was chosen by an online competition, with a panel deciding that Brummie’s legacy and strong local connection to the area deserved to be recognised, and Herefordshire Council also agreed. Brummie Stokes was one of the most famous members of the SAS and scaled the heights of Everest three times. He sadly passed away in January 2016, at the age of 70.
Residents will now start to move into Brummie Stokes Court and will be within walking distance of local schools, supermarkets and other amenities. Communal staircases and hallways incorporate the old stained glass windows and wooden beams from The Ship Inn, preserving the building's former life.
Lynn Stokesn MBE, the widow of Brummie Stokes, attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Lynn explained:
“Our family’s association with The Ship goes back a long way. It was one of the first stops on Brummie’s way into town in the early 1970s! And so today it was a privilege to open this new development in memory of my darling Brummie.”
The Stokes family were joined at the opening ceremony by Councillor Kevin Tillett, new residents, and Richard Woolley, CEO of Herefordshire Housing, part of Connexus.
Richard Woolley reflected on the transformation:
“We’re very proud of how this development has revitalised the area just South of Hereford city centre, delivering high-quality affordable housing to the local community.”