NEW affordable housing which stands on the site of a derelict pub in Hereford has been officially opened by the family of the man it's named after.

There were cheers, smiles and even a few tears as the family of John ‘Brummie’ Stokes opened the development. In just over two years, the Ship Inn was transformed into Brummie Stokes Court, which has 35 one and two-bedroom apartments.

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.

The name was chosen by an online competition, with a panel deciding that his legacy and strong local connection to the area deserved to be recognised, and Herefordshire Council also agreed.

Residents will now start to move into the apartments 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 buildings former life.

Brummie's widow, Lynn Stokes MBE, attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

She said: “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.

Mr Woolley said the development had 'revitalised' the area just south of the city centre and meant the community had high-quality affordable housing.