“Better to light a few candles than complain about the dark”


John Henry "Brummie" Stokes was born in 1945 in the mining village of Hamstead, just outside Birmingham. A the age of seventeen he became a military man and after three years service with the Royal Green Jackets he enlisted into the S.A.S regiment. During the next 23 years, he was to take part in active duty all over the world including the Falkland Islands, and was several times decorated.

Mountaineering has always been a major love. Even when he was shot through the knee in Dhofar, it did not put a stop to his climbing. He formed a close partnership with another S.A.S. climber, Bronco Lane and in 1975 they both joined an expedition to Nuptse, Everest's near neighbour. Four men died on that trip.

The following year on an army expedition to Mount Everest, Brummie and Bronco went on to make it to the summit. On the way down, they were forced to bivouac, in appalling conditions, high on the mountain, which resulted in both of them losing their toes through frostbite. Bronco also lost the tips of his fingers.

Their Everest achievement won them British Empire medals, but it was a long road back to 'normal life' afterwards. They were both three months waiting for their operations to amputate their toes, after which they had to learn to walk, run and climb again, with only half their feet. Eight years passed before Brummie got back into climbing, and even then he found it a painful business.

1984 found him climbing on the north face of Everest (having proved himself by climbing Mount McKinley in Alaska) tragically, an avalanche was to wipe out advanced base camp, killing one of the members and injuring several others. Brummie himself suffered a broken neck.

After leaving the army in 1985 he obtained a permit from the Chinese to climb the north east ridge of Everest, the only remaining unclimbed route on the mountain. His team for this attempt was to be a joint ex-SAS and top British climbers with notables like Joe Brown, Paul Nunn, Mo Anthoine and Paul Moores along.

At 26,000ft, they were forced to abandon their assault owing to abnormally hazardous weather conditions, but obtained what amounts, probably, to the best ever film footage taken of Tibet and Everest.

Brummie, who never gives up, (he ran the London Marathon with only one knee and two half feet), completed the north-east, unclimbed section of the ridge of Mount Everest, but unfortunately suffered 3 attacks of cerebral oedema which partially paralysed him.

In 1991 Brummie founded the "Taste for Adventure Centre" which he runs along with his wife Lynn and a team of qualified staff. "Taste for Adventure Centre" is a registered Charity and an outdoor activity centre for less privileged children. Brummie was awarded an MBE in recognition of his work in 2004.

As a means to becoming self funding Brummie runs a series of courses for just about everyone with any kind of need.

For further information on Brummie and his life, why not read his book 'Soldiers & Sherpas'

Click here for details of Lectures by J H "Brummie" Stokes MBE BEM



Taste For Adventure Centre Hereford awarded 49,912 of funding from Sport England ! posted Mon 14 Apr 2014
Taste For Adventure Centre Hereford awarded 49,912 of funding from Sport England ! » Read More


14.4.2014 - Taste For Adventure Centre Hereford awarded 49,912 of funding from Sport England !
27.3.2014 - Easter Activities
26.3.2014 - Bill\'s Bill
4.3.2014 - 10 K Run abandoned
23.1.2014 - Brummies 10K Burn
12.9.2013 - October half term activities
12.9.2013 - Ladies only!
12.9.2013 - Summer Ball
28.8.2013 - Summer Ball 2013
12.8.2013 - Rock climbing course only 30
1.7.2013 - Summer Holiday Club
10.5.2013 - Vote Taste for Adventure
27.3.2013 - Charity Abseil
12.3.2013 - Brummies 10K Burn
17.1.2013 - Brummies 10K Burn
8.1.2013 - Three Peaks Challenge
19.9.2012 - Fun at the Ball
31.8.2012 - 3 Day Rock Climbing Course
20.7.2012 - Three Peaks Challenge
28.6.2012 - Summer Activity programme
22.6.2012 - 3 Day Rock Climbing course
11.6.2012 - Hereford Cathedral Abseil
6.6.2012 - Summer Ball 2012
15.5.2012 - Vote for Taste for Adventure at Sainsburys
10.4.2012 - Abseil from Hereford Cathedral
22.3.2012 - Easter Holiday Activities
14.3.2012 - Brummies 10K Burn 2012
16.2.2012 - Three Peaks Challenge
30.1.2012 - Fundraising Event
24.1.2012 - Half term activities
15.9.2011 - Summer Ball
27.6.2011 - Aiming High for Disabled Children
2.6.2011 - JustTextGiving by Vodafone
1.6.2011 - Charity Abseils
17.5.2011 - Summer Ball 2011
10.5.2011 - May half term activities
5.4.2011 - Price changes
22.3.2011 - Easter holiday activities
21.3.2011 - Brummies 10K Burn
7.2.2011 - Brummies 10k Burn
13.12.2010 - Charity Christmas Abseil
5.10.2010 - Christmas Charity Abseil
9.9.2010 - Silent Auction
7.9.2010 - Summer Ball 2010
16.7.2010 - Summer Ball 2010
23.3.2010 - Brummies 10k Burn
22.3.2010 - New Course for 9 - 16 year olds
22.3.2010 - Easter Activity Programme
4.2.2010 - February Half term Activities
19.1.2010 - Brummies 10K Burn
3.12.2009 - Lynn Stokes MBE
20.11.2009 - Christmas Present Idea
9.7.2009 - Hereford Cathedral Abseil
18.6.2009 - Lynn Stokes MBE
10.6.2009 - Summer Holiday Programme
1.6.2009 - Hereford Cathedral Abseil
9.4.2009 - Brummies 10K Burn
24.3.2009 - Easter Individual activity days
16.2.2009 - Brummies 10K Burn
22.1.2009 - Individual Activity Days
19.1.2009 - ABSEIL 2009
12.1.2009 - Happy New Year!
6.11.2008 - Kingstone High School
27.10.2008 - Tom Harper raising funds
2.9.2008 - The Best of Hereford Award
4.8.2008 - Garden Party for Friendship Clubs
1.8.2008 - The Best of Hereford Award
7.7.2008 - BBC Children In Need
4.7.2008 - Megan Baker House
4.7.2008 - The Best of Hereford
26.6.2008 - Summer Holiday Programme
15.5.2008 - Im Over 60 Get Me out of here
29.4.2008 - Surprise for Leisure Centre Manager