Village with a picture-perfect past and a proud present and future

To those who live there, it is unmistakably Grassington – but to television viewers it may well be Darrowby, fictional home to the equally fictional – but much loved – vet James Herriot.

That identity is likely to be underscored more firmly into the public consciousness when the next series of Channel Five’s All Creatures Great and Small is broadcast.

It has already been filmed and the fact that Grassington can be easily transformed into a convincing example of a 1930s Yorkshire Dales community says much about how little has changed there through the decades, architecturally at least.

But it would be wrong to dismiss Grassington as just another example of the county’s many picturesque small towns.

While it undoubtedly has the attributes to tick that box, the traditional looks do not have to mean old-fashioned thinking.

While the world looks for carbon zero energy sources, Grassington was an early exponent with a hydro plant on the River Wharfe at Lytton Falls, which was consigned prematurely to history by the National Grid in the post-war years.

Now it is back, using new technology to harvest the same energy source for a new generation.

The theme is followed by thoroughly modern Grassington E-Bikes, a company which has solved the conundrum of how cyclists can tackle the challenging terrain of the area without having the stamina normally needed.

It provides a fresh option for visitors, but others like Grassington Folk Museum are firmly rooted in the community and rely on them as volunteers to keep it open.

Grassington Festival is a great example of not only the talent the community can muster, but also the level of organisational quality a small community can deploy.

Despite its popularity with visitors, Grassington is very much a modern rural community and Grassington Hub is as much a mainstay for residents as other attractions are for visitors.

Responsible for key elements of society like the library, it also served as the community support organisation, working with us, to serve the population through the unprecedented challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The fact the volunteers who made the hub such a success in a moment of need speaks volumes of Grassington and those who call it home.