Welcome to Yorkshire, Masham Parish Council and Masham Sheep Fair have joined forces to ensure the town will host not one, but two major events in autumn 2019.
Last month it was announced that the UCI Road World Championships would visit the town on no less than three occasions with the Men’s Elite Individual Time Trial (Wednesday 25 September), Women’s Elite Road Race (Saturday 28 September) and Men’s Elite Road Race (Sunday 29 September) all passing through.
The dates of the latter two races had coincided with the ones being proposed for the 2019 Masham Sheep Fair, but after constructive talks it was agreed the Sheep Fair will move to the following weekend (5-6 October) to ensure Masham can capitalise on this once-in-a-generation opportunity.
Masham Sheep Fair Organiser, Susan Cunliffe-Lister LL, said: “A group of volunteers have now run the Masham Sheep Fair for over 30 years, contributing over £165,000 to local charities.
“It was a difficult decision to move the dates to 5-6 October for one year, but we hope that by doing so, visitors will be able to enjoy both the cycling and the Sheep Fair and help us to continue supporting farmers and the local community.”
“We do recognise that the new date clashes with some other sheep-related events and sales but will do our best to make the 2019 show as strong as possible.”
Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity DL said: “We have a fantastic relationship with Masham Parish Council and have been longstanding supporters of the Sheep Fair which we consider to be one of the most enjoyable and historic events in the county.
“I have shown my own sheep there on many occasions and it is one of the dates I look forward to most in the autumn calendar.”
“With the World Championships visiting the town we agreed it was beneficial to move the dates of the Sheep Fair so Masham could fully embrace both events. We’re grateful to the organisers and Fair participants for being so accommodating and believe the town will reap the rewards as a result.”
Chair of Masham Parish Council Flo Grainger said: “We in Masham are delighted to be able to accommodate both the UCI Road World Championships and the Masham Sheep Fair. Thanks to the Sheep Fair’s flexibility, we will have two memorable weekends in Masham next autumn with each event able to keep its own identity.
“The World Championships will bring thousands of people into the town and millions more will be watching around the world. We see that as an opportunity to promote the Sheep Fair the following week. We know many cycling fans will want to come back soon to our wonderful town – as has happened after our Tour de France and Tour de Yorkshire celebrations – and the Sheep Fair gives them the perfect opportunity to do that.”