Saturday, 20 June 2015


(Pronounced Massem)

This morning friend W and I trundled off to Masham, a little town about ten miles away, to have a wander round the farmers' market.
We were slightly disappointed because apart from a cheese stall and a very good fruit and vegetable stall the rest of the stalls were just the same old thing - belts, clothes, baskets, toys and the like; in other words not really 'farmers' stuff at all.

But we really enjoyed the outing.   Masham is a delightful little town, quite unspoiled apart from one thing.   The square (shown in my photographs below) is a perfect example of a Georgian Square; almost all of the buildings date back to Georgian times.   But of course in those days there would be no cars.   I have taken some photographs for you to see but it is impossible to get a shot without it being full of cars.

We looked at the square and speculated that one hundred or more years ago it would have been horses and traps that filled the square rather than cars.

I think the only days in the year when there are no cars are the days of the Masham Sheep Fair in September.   This is an event that goes back into antiquity and cars have to be parked elsewhere as the square fills with pens of various breeds of sheep for judging.

We then drove back to our own little town and went to investigate a new tea shop which only opened today.   We really have more than enough tea shops in the square, but this shop has been unoccupied for years and to see it painted, decorated up (very tastefully I might add) and open for business was pleasant indeed.    The only thing which slightly grated was the fact that on the wall all the food available was peppered with apostrophes.   Why is it that so many people believe that where there is an s it has to be preceded by an apostrophe?   Friend W praised the young lady for the beautiful decor, the delicious coffee and the excellent service and then just tactfully suggested that perhaps she could make it 'even better' by removing all those apostrophes.   I do hope she did so.   The shop is an excellent addition to the town and they deserve to do well.  The holiday season is coming on so the omens are good.


Rachel Phillips said...

I don't have a problem with cars in towns and villages, they are an essential part of our lives and add to its richness and variety and personally I find town centres devoid of cars dead and odd looking in the 21st century. I do have a problem with apostrophes in the wrong place, or missing from where they should be though.

Joanne Noragon said...

Sadly, if we attempted to divert the traffic around town, there would be no business in town. Negotiating my small village yesterday was a trial, but I was happy to see the restaurants overflowing and hoped the shopkeepers were doing well, too. Then I came out at the other side and exhaled.

donna baker said...

So different in my part of the world. Parking lots are the norm as one must drive everywhere. I live six miles from town/civilization and I'd have a heart attack if I tried to walk, run or bicycle it. It will be near 40C today and I won't even be going outside until evening. It is why Americans are so large. That, and junk food and no exercise from driving everywhere. What a beautiful village though.

Heather said...

The houses in your first photo are so pretty. It's a pity about the cars but they are a necessity for so many these days, and maybe in times past people complained just as bitterly about horses and carriages, etc. I'm glad your friend mentioned the apostrophes to the cafe owner. I'm afraid I haven't had the courage to drop hints about the use of them, or the weird spellings of fruit and vegetables I have seen outside various shops.

A Heron's View said...

Masham looks to be a very attractive place Pat with all of the stone buildings. I notice that a few of the buildings have been plastered and painted. Could that be to help prevent exhaust fume damage to the stonework do you think ?

Would very much like to view Masham when the sheep fair is on; though clearing the area afterwards must be a bit of a smelly job!

Tom Stephenson said...

Lovely. The paint is traditional and nothing to do with counteracting anything other that the smoke from domestic fires, before anyone tells you otherwise.


Barbara said...

The old buildings covered with flowers are just lovely and I imagine that the sheep fair is truly fascinating.

It makes me so sad that so many farmers' markets have virtually nothing to do with farms and farmers anymore. It's no wonder that folks have no idea how food is grown and produced.

THANK YOU! THANK YOU for taking issue with improper apostrophe usage! I must admit that is one of my pet peeves. I feel as if I may gouge out my eyes some days if I see one more in the wrong place. (okay, exaggeration...but, I'm certain you know what I mean)

Cro Magnon said...

If the square was filled with old Jags (as in your pic) I'd be quite happy. My late father had one of those.

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Thank you for another interesting post, and the smiles
I look at the pictures trying to see...what kind of cars they drive over there. lol