July 28, 2021


The vaccination effort at Ripon Racecourse ended last week and some of Mashamshire Community Office’s team of crack volunteer marshals were there to see it through.

Mashamshire Community Office’s final shift at Ripon Racecourse

Good will and community spirit has been abundant during the pandemic, but in January of this year when the Community Office asked, via social media, for volunteers to help marshal at the Ripon Vaccination Centre, we were overwhelmed with offers. Within days we had nearly 300 enquiries from as far away as Skipton and York!  People’s desire to ‘just do something to help’ was evident.

We were initially asked to coordinate a morning and an afternoon session for one day a week, which required 26 volunteers per day.  We quickly selected a team of around 60 more local people.  As the vaccination days varied and were often at short notice, it helped to have a big pool to call on. Our volunteers were responsive and willing to help whenever they were called on.

The marshal roles were inside and out.  Inside roles provided a welcome, organised the flow of people and found their step-count exceeded their target!  Outside roles were greeting people and directing traffic. The challenging weather in February with winds and freezing temperatures; meant some very vigorous arm-waving was needed to keep warm, but our team still kept smiling. From putting people at ease, directing traffic and wheeling wheelchairs, to bump-starting cars and changing wheels, we think our team did Mashamshire proud.

We’ve had a such a great mix of volunteers and are so grateful to everyone who has stepped up to help. Obviously, the pool reduced in number as people were required to go back to work, but we’ve been so impressed that some have continued to volunteer on their days off or have even taken annual leave in order to help out.

It has been a pleasure to work with such a positive and energetic bunch!  The banter and team spirit has built over the months, and we hope it has been a really satisfying experience for all involved.  We’re planning a social event to thank everyone once the summer is over.

In the meantime, the Community Office always has new projects brewing that need the support of volunteers.  So, if you’re interested in finding out more about volunteer opportunities in Masham, please get in touch – info@visitmasham.com

July 22, 2021


(Well, our universe anyway….and it could be yours too this season)

Indulge yourself this summer, make Masham your staycation of choice and surround yourself with beautiful countryside and inspirational arts. Steeped in history and perched on the banks of the river Ure on the edge of the Dales and just a stones throw away from Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Masham offers stunning walks, unique shops, cafes, galleries, spa luxuries and exquisite restaurants.

Exercise your lungs in the open countryside forgetting how many steps you’re clocking up at Druids Temple (we have lovely walks for all abilities close by), then relax at Swinton Spa with a glass or two of bubbly before catching up with long lost friends over a delicious meal at Vennells…and that’s just day one!

On day two, explore Masham itself…wake up to a flat white at Johnny Bagdad’s café, or grab a sausage sandwich at Bordar House Teas.  Explore the unique shops around the Market Place – we have some tempting art and craft galleries and shops (https://www.visitmasham.com/directorycategory/shopping/gifts/). If you have a sweet tooth, how about old fashioned sweets from Bah Humbugs, exquisite chocolates from Joneva or treat yourself to a local Brymor Ice Cream? Stock up on trendy walking gear at Bentleys, before visiting us for Tourist Information where you’ll get walks, maps, advice and ideas on where to visit. Relax and review your options at one of our lovely pubs (https://www.visitmasham.com/directorycategory/eat-drink/bars-pubs/) or sit in the Market Place with a takeaway sandwich and cake from the Lunchbox. If you have a taste for beer, you can’t beat an afternoon tour of Black Sheep or Theakston breweries, where you’ll discover why Masham boasts two world class breweries. But if beer’s not your thing, check out Corks & Cases for fine wines or a unique Gin Experience at the Spirit of Masham Distillery.

By day three you will have inhaled enough of our creative Masham air that you will be ready to try your hand at glass tile making at one of Uredale Glass’s pop up classes.

There’s something for everyone right here in Masham – from creative activities, cycle hire, mountain biking, pony treks, golf, gardens to visit or something unique like a Trike Tour of the Dales and we haven’t even touched on the endless activities for kids…but lets keep this secret escape for you today.

Check out our accommodation listings to start planning a break that you deserve!

July 19, 2021


Masham’s annual weekend event to raise money for local charities including the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, is planned to take place on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th September this year. Any change due to Covid-19 we be announced via the Masham Sheep Fair Facebook page.

Masham Sheep fair is sponsored by local businesses and run by volunteers. This famous weekend event takes place in one of the finest Market Squares in England, raising much money for charity by filling the town with sheepy fun and entertainment all weekend. Events include an action packed programme on both Saturday and Sunday, with a Sheep Show, Sheep Racing, Craft Market, Bishop Blaize Procession, Fleece Stalls, Wool Competition, Sheepdog Demonstrations, Hand Bell Ringers, Morris Dancers, Art Exhibition and Tours of Theakstons & Black Sheep Breweries, as well as the Old Time Children’s Fair.
Photos of Sheep Fair weekends here.
All proceeds go to Yorkshire charities

For more information:

01262 490388 / 01765 688417 / 07850 048258

Masham Market Square and locations around town

May 13, 2021


Mashamshire Community Office welcomes a new flock of talented artists, designers and makers to Masham, to show and sell their work, from Monday 17 May. Members of the Reeth-based, Fleece artists’ cooperative, will be gathering to showcase their talents at the Community Office, in the old Blue Light Gallery now known as Masham Flock.

The impact of Covid on our volunteer team has meant we simply lack the resources to be able to constantly source artists and coordinate new exhibitions ourselves. So, Community Office Trustees approached Fleece, a Reeth-based not-for profit artists’ cooperative, to explore the possibility of their community of artists utilising our space. The staff and volunteers at the Community Office will still be on hand to make sales and shepherd shoppers around Masham Flock, but the artists cooperative will organise all the artists and their changing displays.

Community Office Trustee, Sue Palin said “This is an opportunity for us to continue to showcase art and crafts from the Dales and just beyond. Our visitors will have a chance to appreciate work which will be regularly changing, so they will always find something new. It is a great partnership as this Masham Flock of artists are a cooperative, so income from sales goes direct to the artists and generates a small amount of additional income to support the work of Mashamshire Community Office. It’s a win-win and we look forward to welcoming them.”

Work featuring before 26 June includes copper and enamelled jewellery and gifts, decorative ceramics, embroidery and textile art, “hooky” designs, hand-dyed wools, natural handmade candles, mixed media paintings, pastels and prints, handmade felt and glass. There will be a different gathering of work featured every six weeks, so make sure you pay us a regular visit! View the calendar of featured artists here and includes some home-grown Masham-based artists too.

The work of all Fleece artists and makers is on display in their shop in Reeth and it’s well worth a visit. For more information about Masham Flock and Fleece click here.

The new Masham Flock shop will be open during Community Office hours as follows:
10am – 3pm

Please do come in and have a look…and while you’re at it don’t forget to check out Masham’s other great arty-crafty shops – Nolon Stacey Gallery, Masham Gallery and Uredale Glass Gallery!

May 6, 2021


As Masham gets geared up for a summer of staycations and unlocking our gorgeous town, Saturdays are likely to be a busy day at Mashamshire Community Office…and we need help.

We get a lot done for remarkably little at Mashamshire Community Office, thanks to the time and energy of volunteers. We are here to look after the needs of our lovely community, the businesses in Masham and the surrounding area and tourists and visitors too. We’re a hub of activity every day but Saturday’s are one of our busiest days and likely to get busier. Volunteers are essential to enable us to open and carry out this vital role for our town. This is especially true while we also have to manage all this activity safely and in line with current Covid guidance.

Our usual opening hours are 10AM till 3PM. Tosh, our Information Officer is on hand at all times on a Saturday, but he can’t manage all of this activity alone. We need a volunteer helper on hand to support him. The day is split between two shifts – 10AM till 12.30PM and 12.30PM till 3.00PM. If you have a couple of hours to spare on a Saturday (especially the afternoon shift), and would like to be involved and help us support Masham, please get in touch with Sarah, on 01765 680200 or email mco@visitmasham.com.

Our busy office buzzes every day with…

  • people coming and going to the Community Library
  • folk needing access to the internet or some photocopying or laminating done
  • locals or visitors buying tickets for upcoming events, cinema or performances at the Town Hall
  • people at a loose end, looking for a jigsaw or second hand book from our collections
  • shoppers browsing our small gallery, showcasing work for sale by local artists
  • visitors in need of advice and information on places to visit, eat or stay
  • information on local transport options or how to get to places


Mashamshire Community Office will soon be shepherding a new gathering of talented artists and craftspeople to our small retail gallery space this summer. Watch out for more news – they will be flocking to Masham very soon….

April 29, 2021


Thanks to thousands of volunteer hours spent car parking, directing traffic, shepherding people, wheeling wheelchairs, chatting and putting people at ease, the Harrogate & Rural District GP Teams have reached a major milestone. 100,000 coronavirus vaccines have now been administered by the GP teams at the vaccination hubs at Harrogate’s Showground, and Ripon Racecourse. The celebration cake looks scary but tasted great!

It’s an extraordinary clinical achievement but it couldn’t have happened without some amazing volunteers.

Mashamshire Community Office pulled together a team of wonderful, enthusiastic and energetic volunteers to support this effort back at the end of January. Our wonderful team have braved the elements (and there have been plenty!) and kept a smile on their faces throughout. Everyone has got to know one another and the team spirit as well as the heartfelt thanks they receive from members of the public at every session, has kept them all motivated. From reassuring the anxious right through to changing wheels and bump starting cars in the car park, our MCO team have gone the extra mile.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers who have helped so far.

The effort continues for the foreseeable future. If anyone would like to join us, new volunteers are very welcome as some of our regulars now have to return to work. Please email Sarah to volunteer – click here. Please be patient though as she’s out of the office next week! (w/c 3rd May)

April 26, 2021


Enter your favourite photographs of Masham or the surrounding area, and be in with a chance to see your photo feature on the front of Mashamshire Community Office’s 2022 Calendar, on sale from mid-July 2021.

Can you capture the essence of Mashamshire? Do you have an eye for an iconic view? Or, maybe you have a knack of focusing on quirky or unseen aspects of our lovely town and surroundings that would appeal to a viewer? If you love Masham and enjoy a photographic challenge, then you are in with a chance to win a place in our 2022 Calendar – perhaps even on the front page.

The competition is open to amateur photographers only and all photographs should be taken within a 10-mile radius of Masham.  The closing date for entries is Tuesday 15 June.  Click here for more details of how to enter.

The aim is to promote our lovely area and raise funds for Mashamshire Community Office and its work in our community. We are a registered charity.

April 14, 2021



February 15, 2021


A huge thank you to all the local people who responded to our recent call for help and stepped forward to volunteer as marshals at Ripon Racecourse Vaccination Centre. Thanks to your help, the vaccination programme has romped past its first target a couple of days early. The Racecourse also hit the national press with a feature in The Guardian at the weekend – click here to read it. Mo Marshall, an MCO volunteer who was there on the day of their visit, was even quoted. MCO is one of the community organisations working to manage the volunteer effort at Ripon, and although we didn’t get a name-check in the Guardian article, all the volunteers on that day were definitely from Masham Community Office, so thank you everyone!

On the same day, 600+ of our area’s most vulnerable people received their first vaccination from clinical staff brought in from Ripon and Masham GP practices, all with the support of our lovely volunteers. Many people are anxious, especially since so many of them haven’t left their homes or driven anywhere in nearly a year. The Vaccination Centre is located in the Racecourse bar and the mood so positive – it really seems to be giving everyone a lift, despite the fact that the bar is closed! Appointments begin at 8:30AM and finish at 6:00PM with the day organised into a morning and afternoon session with a shift change of staff and volunteers over lunch. Thanks to the efficient and enthusiastic team, the vaccinations run like clockwork with little or no waiting required.

Mashamshire Community Office Manager, Sarah McCourt, has been responsible for recruiting, checking and coordinating volunteers to cover one or sometimes two days per week. Following our initial appeal for help 3 weeks ago, Sarah was swamped with over 200 responses – thanks to social media, the call out when a bit further than we wanted, with people from Skipton, York and Ilkley desperate to help. She has now distilled our volunteer pool down to a team of around 70, more local people and, where possible, referred others to their local voluntary organisations. A big thank you goes to Sarah too – it has been a huge amount of extra work much of which she’s done in her own time.

The Racecourse itself is a perfect site and everyone is very grateful to be able to come to somewhere so handy. However, getting traffic and pedestrians in and out safely is not straightforward. It takes 13 volunteer marshals for each shift – 26 volunteers a day. The volunteer roles are a mix of inside and out and have been prescribed by the NHS. From greeting people and checking appointment times on the gate, to controlling traffic flow, car parking, reassuring people, shepherding them through the vaccination process, monitoring the observation area and assisting people with limited mobility – they are all roles that are essential to enable the clinical staff to get the jabs done.
Of course in Masham, we always go above and beyond. So, when a lady arrived with a flat tyre last Thursday, our dedicated team of car parking marshals swung into action. By the time she’d emerged from her vaccination, our crack team had performed quick wheel change. She was impressed of course…but she didn’t see the amount of head-scratching and chin-rubbing involved in locating the spare!

All in all, despite the weather, we’re all enjoying getting out, doing something really useful and having a bit of much-needed banter.

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