There has been a veterinary practice in Masham since at least the start of the 20th century. At this time, the practice was situated at Oaklands in Park Street. Between the first and second world wars the practice was owned by a Mr Atkinson. He was succeeded after the second world war by a Mr Blackburn. At this time, the main activity was treating horses, as well as farm livestock.
Blackburn employed an assistant vet called Donald Macdonald who was a native of Elgin. In 1971 Macdonald died at the age of 56 from an aneurysm while calving a cow in Ellingstring. His assistant at the time was Lewis Grant, who was only about 26 and who decided to take on the practice even though he had only been employed for six weeks. Together with Peter Norrie, who had been at Edinburgh with him, they took on the practice.
Chris Almond was employed by Grant & Norrie in 1973 upon his graduation from Liverpool. The practice was mixed by then, with a slowly increasing amount of small animal work. Almond became a partner in 1979 and when the small animal work increased, they decided to open a surgery in Bedale, instead of using a building at the back of Lewis Grant’s house. The property was called Forrest House. When Peter Norrie retired Grant and Almond decided to rename the practice to Forrest House Veterinary Group.
At this stage Grant and Almond needed to find new premises in Masham, as Peter Norrie owned Oaklands and wished to sell it. This resulted in the move to 5 Little Market Place. In the early 2000’s they purchased Steven Keighley’s practice in Northallerton at Hartington House. The retirement of Norrie & Grant resulted in their replacement as partners by Norman Wilson and Richard Shaw.
In 2007 Chris Almond decided to retire from the partnership to work part-time and to pursue his interest in alternative and complementary medicine.