It has been an incredibly tough year. Nobody could have predicted it, and nobody could have understood how devastating and life changing it would be. It can seem as though no aspect of life has been untouched and normal is too far away. We have had to find new ways to shop, socialise, educate, work but most importantly care for each other whilst living with an ever-present and deadly threat.
Masham stood up. As one we have looked out for each other, made sure people had food and medicine, found ways to keep in touch when we are alone in our own homes. The churches, the community office, the cafes, pubs, shops, schools, every member of our community - we are all achieving the impossible; helping people smile and connect even now the days are short and grey. We see the spring shoots appearing - at St Mary's and at vaccination centres.
At times it has felt like the project was just too much to do in the midst of a pandemic, too distant to be focussing our energy on. But somehow the train was already started and so we just kept moving with it and we are starting to see the results! The emerging reality of our vision for a lively space where you can live and breathe history whilst doing your shop or learning a trade. A safe home for those in our community we do not want to see leave town.
All the many surveys and reports were written. The designs were drawn, redrawn and redrawn again, and the business models written and tested. Yes, things took longer due to Covid19 restrictions but also Zoom meant we could meet with architects in Newcastle more frequently, talk with experts from across the UK, and our volunteers stuck at home were able to give time to some of the detailed researching that has needed to take place.
We are so pleased to announce that our Planning Application is now live. You can read about all our plans for 15 Silver Street. Find the place to sit and eat your cake and research your family history – or the plant room that will keep our tenants warm without destroying the planet! Our Design Statement is here
We want Masham businesses to be an integral part of what is delivered. Could your business provide the cakes, the skills workshops, the old till, the cabinetry – just let us know!
We want to hear your views. This building is for Masham. Covid19 has meant we have not been able to talk with everyone as much as we would have liked.
Now is the time to tell us – Have we got it right? Have we managed to fit in the activities or services you want for Masham? Can you help make it real?
As a non-profit community group relying on grants, unlike developers, we can’t buy the building first and then design how we will use it.
We must do all the planning work – even down to the cost of every nail we will use – before our capital funders agree for us to purchase…. and this planning takes A LOT of time!
So, what have we been up to?
A not-for-profit company – Peacock & Verity Community Spaces Ltd – has been set up with the aim of planning, purchasing, refurbishing, and operating the building. The name was chosen because, as older Mashamers will know, the shop was run as Peacock’s, and then Peacock and Verity, before becoming Brayshaw’s.
It was opened as Peacock & Verity following a refurbishment in 1914
Click here to find out what's been happening.. including surveying, designing and more!
As many are aware, we have long been hopeful of restoring and opening a heritage centre in the old bakery at the rear of Reah’s on Silver Street.
With the whole building now up for sale there is a much bigger opportunity presenting itself to the community as well as the chance to ensure the grocery, that has been a fundamental part of Masham life for over 300 years, is retained and cherished.
Older residents will remember it as Brayshaw’s and before that as Peacock & Verity. The memories of taking fancy tea in the upstairs café, the feel of the old wood counters and the smell of the many exotic teas, coffees and fresh goods that were for sale by the pound.
At the same time we look to Masham’s future; ensuring a vibrant streetscape of shops and businesses, embracing important new trends of low packaging, finding places that our young people can afford to live in the town they grew up in.
The bold plan is to purchase the whole building for the community. Establish a fully operational heritage grocer shop (think Beamish!) and Edwardian tea room in the current retail space. A local history centre to the rear (accessed from College Lane) which will be centred on the Victorian bread ovens and include space for educational activities, archiving and research, and local history displays.
Upstairs we plan to convert into much-needed affordable small rental units, ideal for young people leaving home or couple setting up together. The recent Housing Needs Survey undertaken by the local Rural Housing Enabler has provided much supporting evidence of the need we all knew was there.
A new community group is being set up to deliver this plan in partnership with local organisations including the Community Office, the Parish Council and the history groups. We are working closely with the current owners to develop these ideas, and project partners include Harrogate Borough Council, Homes England, Broadacres Housing Association, and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Masham has always boldly created our own future whilst cherishing our independence – whether that be building our own gas works, generating our own electricity or providing supported accommodation for our residents at Maple Creek. Is this our next bold step and can you help?
To find out more about these exciting plans or if you have skills, experience or time to help make these plans a reality, please contact Jan Reed on 01765 689702 or firstname.lastname@example.org