James Brownhill Memorial Fund

Permanent Memorials to James Brownhill

Many things have been carried out by James’ friends and family, to remember James and keep James’ name alive. The complete list of events and the number of people involved can be seen on the facebook link to this site.

There are six permanent memorials which will continue for the foreseeable future or be in place for many years.

1) James Brownhill Award for Clinical Excellence – Manchester Metropolitan University - BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy

This award was initiated by the course leader & tutors in recognition of James' contribution to the course overall and his particular strengths in clinical application. The winner is the individual who achieves the highest marks on their placements in the hospitals where the practical training takes place.

2) The Brownhill-Evans Award - Manchester Metropolitan University Students Union -

The award was initiated by David & James' friends and was approved by all the MMU societies & clubs to recognise their popularity and the activity & contribution each of them made to their respective clubs. Skydiving & Hockey (James) and Canoe (David) and the mountaineering club for both. The winner is recognised for their outstanding encouragement to the development of clubs within student activities, has been a valuable and passionate member of a club and made a contribution to student activities as a whole.

3) Decathlon - Memorial Plaque to James Brownhill. Sheffield store -

James' friends and work colleagues at Decathlon, where he worked for several years whilst not involved in school & university life, wanted to recognise how much James meant to them by providing and placing a plaque in the store where he worked.

Decathlon itself has made several valuable and generous contributions and acts of support since July 1st 2011 to support the memory of James and the JBMF and have given permission for the plaque to be placed in public within the store.

Please feel free to visit the store and see the plaque in the Sheffield store situated near the exit.

4) Chamonix cemetery, France - A Memorial Plaque placed jointly by the families of David & James

As part of the acts of remembrance for James & David, on the anniversary of their accident, the two families placed a joint plaque to commemorate James & David's friendship. It includes a photo of them climbing on the Mont Blanc massif in the days before their accident.

The plaque is on a wall dedicated to people who have lost their lives on the Mont Blanc Massif in pursuit of their passion of being in the mountains and enjoying the beauty and magnificence of the snow, ice and rock faces.

The plaque is in the general cemetery in Chamonix on a wall 10 metres on the right hand side as you enter the main entrance of the cemetery. It is metres away from a memorial to Charles Whymper; the great alpinist - good company!

Please feel free to visit.

5) James Brownhill Challenge walk – 22 ¾ miles. Stanage Edge

James family have created the walk to be a permanent memorial to James' memory & name and it starts and finishes at his precious Stanage Edge where he loved to climb and boulder with his brother Joe and their friends.

The walk allows James' and our family friends to share a good walk whilst remembering James and keeping his spirit alive.

It is 1 mile for each year of his life and so it’s 22 ¾ miles long. The inaugural completion was on Sept 29th 2012 which is 1 day before his & Joe’s birthday.

Maps and further details are now in the book James' Dark Peak Gems.

As described in Dark Peak Gems the walk has been broken down in to shorter linear walks of varying lengths and by using the stopping rail service between Sheffield and Manchester you can return to the start by train.

Variations on the length and route have been introduced over the years, but other than in 2020 a walk in memory of James has taken place.

For James

Ask what pulls me magnetically to the face
And I will say this
Not just my body but my whole being
Is lifted to the heights.
The essence of me driven to be not just on,
But of the mountain

Intoxicated by crystal pure air, hues, aroma of Earth’s
Most staggering beauty
Fingers, toes moulding where rock offers its help
Now ice bitten cold,
Now sweat drenched, exhilarating, terrifying,
Life affirming joy

Should the mountain rule that I must remain
What better solace
Than my eyes’ last vision of such magnificence
Forever connected,
Fused as one with nature’s finest gift
Higher than an eagle may soar

— Hilary Fawcett

This poem was written for James by our very good friend Hilary Fawcett.

She quietly showed it to us amongst a collection of poems she had found for us in the initial days after the accident when we were searching for a suitable poem for James’ funeral. It was untitled and anonymous so we had no idea Hilary had written it.

Out of all the poetry we looked at, it best described to us the draw of the mountains for James and also his awareness of the potential danger. Yet he still chose to climb and we must all respect that.

Event details are available on the Facebook page.

As a result of the very generous donations and sponsorship monies received by the JBMF we can proudly announce that the original intention of providing bursaries for a 5 year period has been quickly met and now the fund will provide bursaries for

22 3/4 Years

To match the age of James when he died.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to and supported the fund in a wide variety of ways. We know James lives in ALL your hearts.