Sheffield beer festival raises a toast to climber James

James Brownhill

James Brownhill

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A four-day beer festival is getting under way to help raise funds in memory of a climber who died in an accident in the French Alps.

James Brownhill, of Lodge Moor, suffered a fatal fall near the resort of Chamonix with climbing partner David Evans, from Liverpool, who also died in the tragedy four years ago.

Following James’s death, his family - including his father Gary and mother Christine - set up a memorial fund to provide bursaries for the type of courses that helped to develop their son’s skills.

Since 2011 the fund, managed by the Mountain Training Trust, has issued around 20 bursaries, and enough money has been generated to help students for another 25 years.

The Rising Sun pub at Nether Green has now chosen the James Brownhill Memorial Fund as its charity partner of the year, with proceeds from its annual SunFest, which runs until Sunday, going towards the cause.

More than 100 beers and ciders will be available, along with entertainment and a dog show on Sunday afternoon.

A special ale - called Summit - has also been created by Abbeydale Brewery in James’s memory. The former Tapton School pupil was a beer lover himself, favouring Moonshine as his preferred pint.

Gary said the pub’s backing was a ‘tremendous boost’.

“It hits the right tone and gives us a little bit more awareness,” he said.

“The lesson for us, and anyone else who has ever experienced anything like this, is that it’s OK to talk about it.

“It still hurts but we’re doing as much as we can to address it. The alternative is that no-one mentions James, and that’s a waste. It’s a waste as it is, but that would almost be cruel.”

n Visit www.jbmf.co.uk for more details about the fund.

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