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Sunday Email: Issue 10


This is the 10th edition of my weekly Sunday email since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic. It’s amazing how much information is flying about which I think might be of interest to some villagers, so I include it in the hope that it will be useful. As a regular communication, I try to ensure it remains relevant and I hope that you think I am presenting the right balance of news, information and bits and pieces.

As I stated last week, I am happy to keep going with the Sunday Email for as long as recipients appear to want it and find the reports interesting and beneficial. There’ll be another email next Sunday so If you have any information that you would like me to include please feel free to contact me.

Incidentally, there’ll be an edition of the quarterly newsletter, The Tattler, distributed to all households within the two villages of Topcliffe and Asenby next week – most likely on Tuesday or Wednesday. At eight pages it’s a smaller edition than usual, but nonetheless it will be packed with information and photographs of our communities in lockdown and the VE Day celebrations. Anyone who doesn’t get a copy put through their letterbox can read it on Topcliffe village website at from Wednesday onwards.


07785 223707

Relaxation of restrictions

Since last Monday, groups of up to six people from different households have been able to meet in places like gardens and parks, as long as people from individual households maintain social distancing, keeping two metres apart. With noticeable exceptions on certain beaches and riverside beauty spots, on the whole the relaxations so far appear to be working. To avoid the risk of transmission from one family to another the advice is to try and limit the number of households we see in quick succession. The more people we have interactions with, the more chance the virus has to spread. Therefore, we’re advised to try and limit the number of people we see, especially over short periods of time. Public gatherings of more than six people from different households are prohibited in law.

We can now travel to outdoor open space irrespective of the distance, as long as we can get home the same day and not put anybody else at risk. You shouldn’t travel with someone from outside your own household unless you can practise safe distancing, for example by cycling. We can exercise or play sport in groups of up to six people from other households, but only if we can maintain the two metre rule. Any equipment used should be cleaned from time to time and any that is shared should be cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis.

From June 15, face protection must be worn if travelling on public transport. This is mandatory.

Having safe gatherings in your garden

When you have visitors to your garden it would be best not to share garden furniture such as tables and chairs. People should ideally bring their own chairs. You should not allow children from other households to share garden play equipment, like toys, paddling pools or climbing frames, because of the risk of transmission. If this is not possible, any items shared should be thoroughly cleansed after use. If you are in someone else’s garden, you must not go inside to help the host carry out the food or to assist with the washing up. The only reason for going indoors is if you are passing through to a rear garden or to use the toilet. Avoid touching surfaces and if you use the toilet wash your hands thoroughly, wipe down surfaces, use separate or paper towels and wash or dispose of them safely after use. You can share food and drink but stay alert to the dangers in these circumstances.

Over 70s and those shielding

The advice for over 70s remains unchanged: they should continue to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their household. If they do go out more frequently, they should be careful to maintain distance from others. They and everyone else should continue to comply with any general social distancing restrictions. Those aged 70 and over can be absolutely fit and healthy and it’s not the case that everybody over 70 has a chronic health condition or an underlying disease, but unfortunately, it’s also known that as you get older, there is a higher risk of coronavirus having a more serious impact with infection. Complications and deaths are more common in the elderly, even those without pre-existing conditions.

Anyone who has been advised to shield by the NHS or their GP, including those 70 and over, is advised to continue to do this until at least the end of June. But if they wish, they can now spend time outdoors once per day with members of their own household or, for those shielding alone, with one person from another household. However, extra care should be taken to minimise contact with others.

Shops and businesses start to reopen

Also from last Monday, department stores, outdoor markets and car showrooms were allowed to reopen for business if they were able to demonstrate safe arrangements. This resulted in very long queues at many stores including IKEA.

Dental practices can provide face-to-face patient care from tomorrow, Monday 8 June, but check your own practice as many are delaying opening until they have all the necessary precautions in place. Reopening will not necessarily mean dentists are back to normal – it is likely there will be varying levels of treatments made available, with individual practitioners exercising their professional judgement on the pace of change. Apparently, many dentists are finding it impossible to get hold of PPE – personal protective equipment – and without it they cannot offer safe treatment so will delay treatments accordingly.

From 15 June all non-essential shops will be allowed to reopen. This includes hardware/homeware stores, fashion shops, shoe shops, bookshops, electronics, mobile phone shops, betting shops, tailors, auction houses, antique stores, retail art galleries, craft fairs, photography studios, gift shops and retail spaces in theatres, museums, libraries, heritage sites and tourism sites. All these premises must be able to meet new social distancing and hygiene measures to protect customers and staff from the virus.

Charity shops can reopen from 15 June but not all will be so best to check before you go as some have said it’s unlikely they will. There’s still no news about when hospitality venues such as pubs, restaurants, clubs, cafes, cinemas, theatres or places such as hairdressers, beauty salons, caravan parks, hotels, holiday accommodation or libraries will get the all-clear to reopen. Nor is there any news regarding places of worship though they are subject to a review right now.

Enforcement of Restrictions

Most readers of this email won’t have considered the consequences of not complying with the rules and restrictions. I looked up the penalties and they are potentially quite severe. The police will act with discretion and common sense in applying the law, but if you breach the regulations you can be instructed to disperse, leave an area, be issued with a fine or even arrested in certain circumstance. There fines that can be levied are not inconsiderable: – first offence £100, second offence £200, third offence £400, fourth offence £800, fifth offence £1,600 and a maximum penalty of £3,200.

Track, Test and Trace

Contact tracing is now in operation and a team of 25,000 contact tracers are busily tracking down people who have been near those testing positive for coronavirus. The hope is that contact tracing will avoid the need for national lockdowns with more local restrictions used instead. Tracers will ask infected persons to list all the people with whom they’ve recently been in ‘prolonged’ contact. Those people will then be obliged to self-isolate for 14 days, whether sick or not. The person asked to isolate will not be tested and the rest of the person’s household need not isolate.

Anyone who develops symptoms of coronavirus – a persistent cough, fever or a sudden loss of taste or sense of smell – must isolate for seven days and the rest of their household for 14 days. Everyone with symptoms should ask for a test online or telephone 119 to arrange a test. Under 5s can also now be tested too. If the test is negative, everyone in the household can go back to normal. But if positive, the NHS Test and Trace or local public health will get in touch via text, email or phone to discuss where the person has been and with whom they have been in contact. The requirement to self-isolate isn’t enshrined in law, but complying is described as a civic duty. If NHS Test and Trace calls you by telephone, the service will be using a single phone number 0300 0135 000. The only website the service will ask you to visit is

The long-promised app is still not ready but it will be available soon. It will tell people if they have been near to someone with the disease and may need to self-isolate. The app will be a much more sophisticated system able to identify people an infected person may have been close to in a crowded place, such as on a bus or a train.

Back to school…for some

From Monday 1 June the government wanted all Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils to go back to school – though some headteachers will be delaying until they are totally satisfied with all the planning that is required to ensure pupil and staff safety. From Monday 15 June secondary schools and further education colleges will also prepare to begin some face to face support for Year 10 and 12 pupils who have key exams next year in support of their continued remote home learning.

Message from Abi Clay, Headteacher, Topcliffe C of E Academy

These are strange times. Never in the history of Topcliffe Primary School has it ever seen anything like this. On 20 March we closed our doors to most of our children and only remained open to support those whose parents were critical key workers. Then, on 6 April we officially closed the school to make a hub with Carlton Miniott Academy based on their site. We then reopened back at Topcliffe on 1 June and are now getting used to a new way of working with a small number of children returning as we phase year groups back in.

How school looks now compared to before is very different. Class sizes of no more than 15. Everyone spaced 2m apart. Hand washing throughout the day and every time we touch something. No additional adults in the building, including parents. Individual equipment packs for every child. No traditional team sports. No major summer events like sports day, performances and church services. Lunch eaten in the classroom. No trips out. However, despite all these adjustments we have had to make, there is still an amazing sense of school community that lives on and that is with huge thanks to the staff and the families that have worked together to care for our children. Throughout this pandemic the staff have remained caring, giving, brave and supportive. They have continued to support the children of our school, either from a distance or in school and have worked so hard to get the environment right for the return last week. The staff have responded to the challenges with flexibility and courage and I feel very proud to be a member of Team Topcliffe.

The NHS is still open.

Topcliffe Surgery have put out a reminder to non Covid-19 patients that the NHS is still open to them. Whilst it is really important to follow the government guidance during this period, it can be confusing to know what to

do when you are feeling unwell. The surgery’s doctors want to ensure people that they are still available to help, particularly with serious illnesses as these conditions have not gone away just because of coronavirus. Initial consultations with the surgery will be via a telephone triage service and patients will then be directed to the most appropriate care. Other NHS services including pharmacies, NHS 111, out-of-hours services and emergency departments are also still available to non Covid-19 patients.

Bags 2 School – bring out your textiles for recycling

This is the final reminder about the ‘Bags 2 School’ recycling event being staged on Wednesday 10 June. Topcliffe Village Hall and Topcliffe Scout groups are organising the event to raise funds for the two organisations. You are encouraged to have a cupboard and wardrobe sort out and bag items that you are prepared to donate. On this occasion we won’t be delivering bags to every house – please just use black bags. On the 10 June please deliver your bags to the village hall garden between 9am and 12 noon. If you are unable to deliver bags yourself because you are elderly or still in lockdown, the organisers will provide a home collection service – ring Doug Allan on 07785 223707 to request a pick up.

We would welcome any of the following items: – Men’s, Ladies’ and Children’s clothing – paired shoes (tied together or elastic band around) – handbags – hats – bags – scarves and ties – jewellery – lingerie – socks – belts – soft toys – household linen – household curtains – household towels – household bedding (bed sheets, pillow cases and duvet covers). Please note that we are unable to accept duvets and blankets, pillows and cushions, carpets, rugs and mats (including bath, shower and toilet mats), soiled, painted, ripped or wet clothing, school uniforms with and without logo, corporate clothing and workwear or textile off cuts, yarns or threaded material.

PS. A different charity distributed collection bags in Topcliffe and is planning collections on Tuesday. Of course, it is entirely your choice which charity you support, but it is hoped that residents will give maximum support to their Bags 2 School event as this will raise much needed funds for the Village Hall and local scout troops at a time when they have no income of their own.

Say it with stones

Topcliffe resident Jane Smith has raised the idea of placing painted stones at a central point in the village. At the start of lockdown another resident, Michelle Larder and her children started putting painted stones with messages around the village for other children to seek out and add to. It created a great game and became part of many youngsters exercise regime. Now Jane is suggesting that it would be nice to see stones placed at the cross near the Post Office. She says “They could be in memory of a loved one, or an individual’s Covid 19 experience, or just a general decoration. I hope it gets off the ground and I look forward to seeing the artistic talents of local children…and adults too!

Forget Me Not could be the Covid-19 Remembrance

Here’s an idea from Barry Wilton-Middlemass, who is known to a few local people as he takes the Art Connection classes in the Village Hall during normal times. He says: “My wife, Vivian, and I are classed as vulnerable so we have been in self isolation throughout the lockdown. Fortunately we have been able to take exercise by taking a walk with the dog. We have been amazed at the abundance of hedgerow flowers – first snowdrops, then daffodils, primroses, bluebells and garlic flowers. But the flower that has most caught our attention is the Forget Me Not, a small and delicate little five petal blue flower with a white middle and centred with orange.

“I was reminded that when I was in the Forces I used to wear a small lapel badge shaped like a Forget Me Not and after doing some basic research, I find this flower, which is the national flower of Canada, has long been associated with remembrance. Here is a picture of the actual flower and of that lapel badge.

“This got me thinking that the nation could consider adopting this beautiful little flower to wear in memory of all those who have sadly died, many on their own away from their families, during the Coronavirus pandemic. Family members in some cases literally did not have the chance to say goodbye and this must have been very painful. So I am promoting the idea of the Forget Me Not as a mark of remembrance for all of those who have died as a result of the cruel disease.”

Barry has corresponded with his local church authority in Malton and has asked them to bring the idea to the attention of national church dignitaries. He has also put the idea out on Facebook. If you like the idea maybe you’ll want to give it your backing. But please note, at this point Barry is merely looking to promote the idea and get some national organisation to run with it. He does not have s supply of lapel badges to sell or give away.

The Blue Cross Rehoming Centre, Topcliffe

The reception area at the Centre has had a bit of a change around and deep clean during lockdown. Now the staff are appealing for artists of any age to fill bare walls with pictures of their own pets and other animals. They’re inviting local people to draw and paint their pets and send them in to The Blue Cross, Parklands, Station Road, Topcliffe YO7 3SE. You can drop your artwork off at the Centre if you prefer. There are donation bins outside the facility that could be used. Call 0300 777 1540 if you want to let them know you’re visiting.

Bin Collections

• Hambleton – Refuse, Monday 8 June and recycling and green bins Thursday 18 June.

• Harrogate – Recycling, Monday 8 June, refuse Monday 15 June and garden waste Thursday 18 June.

Sowerby Waste & Recycling Centre

The site is now back to operation at its normal hours and days – 8:30am to 5pm six days a week. Closed on Wednesdays.

Disposal of PPE

Local councils have issued a reminder that masks, gloves or other personal protective equipment (PPE) should not be disposed of with your recycling. These items cannot be recycled. Throw them in the bin instead. Anyone who has coronavirus symptoms or lives with someone who does, needs to take extra precautions before throwing away PPE.

North Yorkshire Adult Learning

There’s currently a wide range of online courses eg sewing machine skills, basic sign language, bookkeeping and lots more, available free of charge from NYAL. For more details telephone 01609 780780 or checkout the website at or email:

Rural Arts activities

There’s lots going on that should interest anyone with a leaning towards art and crafts. If you want to know more about activities being organised by Rural Arts at the Old Town Hall, Thirsk, you can email Sorcha McCabe at or call 01845 526536 and leave her a message on the answerphone.

Yorkshire Vet special

On Tuesday 9 Jun at 8pm on Channel 5 there is chance to see again the episode where Peter and Julian explore the legacy of James Herriot.

Roll of Honour

This week the following name has been added to the villages’ Roll of Honour:

  • Victoria Thomis for her hard work and commitment to growing plants and selling them to raise over £60 for the Jennyruth Workshops in Northallerton, which she attends and loves.

Opening times for Local Shops (please note, there are changes in this section since last week)

This is a compilation of supermarket, convenience store, pharmacy, Post Office and other outlets in our area. It includes opening times, and it priority times for elderly, vulnerable and key workers where known.

Adam Jackson Plants, Sessay – take orders for delivery the following week. The fixed bundles may differ each week (no compost is available). See the Facebook page AdamJacksonPlants for details. To order send your

address, post code, phone number and which bundles you would like. Payment will be taken on delivery in cash or by contactless card. tel: 07743 870205.

Aldi, Topcliffe Road – Mon-Sat: 8am-10pm and Sun: 10am-4pm.

Bland of Ripon – home delivery service for supply milk, yoghurt, cream, bread, oil, water, fruit and vegetables. Ring 01765 603049.

Boots Pharmacy, Market Place – Mon-Sat: 9am-5.30pm, Sun: Closed. Boots Pharmacy, Chapel Street – Mon-Fri: 8.30am-6.30pm (closed noon-1pm), Sat and Sun: Closed.

Buck Inn, Maunby is supplying fresh produce and household essentials. Free delivery on orders over £25 or to any NHS cardholder. Email:

Carl’s Fruit, salad and vegetable boxes. Orders only by Facebook or email: Requires payment by Bacs two days in advance of delivery.

Carlton Miniott Post Office – Mon-Fri: 7am-6pm, Sat: 7am-5pm and Sun: 8am-noon.

Chip n’ Dales – Paul and Karen Bumby are in Topcliffe to serve fish & chip suppers each Friday between 5 to 7.30pm. Customers must adhere to social distancing with only one person at a time at the counter. They

are still not taking advance or telephone orders.

Cooperative, Market Place – Mon-Sat: 7am-10pm, Sun: 11am-5pm. Priority for elderly and vulnerable people, NHS workers and carers – Mon-Sat 8-9pm and Sun 10-11am.

Greengrocers, Thirsk will deliver boxes (£15 or £20) to Topcliffe every Monday. Plants and compost can be added if you order fruit and veg. You can put in an order any time before the delivery day. 01845 527899.

Heron, Market Place – Mon-Sat: 8am-6pm and Sun: 10am-5pm.

Johnson’s the Butchers, Thirsk, are supplying the usual meats, plus fish and ready-made meals. Ring 01845 523212 or via Facebook.

Just Plants (Thirsk) is selling high quality bedding and perennial plants produced on-site at Thirsk (on A19 to York). They offer garden plants for all seasons and open weekends only – Saturday 9am-5pm and Sunday

10.00am – 4pm until further notice. Phone 07375 352737 or email

Kristinas Gift Shop, Thirsk will deliver to Topcliffe a range of ethical, Fair Trade and sustainable products, including washing up liquid, hand wash and laundry liquid. The range is eco, vegan and cruelty free. There’s also

a range of gifts – from baby clothes to homeware. Deliveries on an evening or a Saturday or Sunday. Call 01845 574573, email or check out the website at

Lidl, Station Road – Mon-Sat: 8am-8pm and Sun: 10am-4pm.

Morrisons, Boroughbridge – Mon-Sat: 7am-9pm and Sun: 9.30am-4pm. Priority openings for NHS workers and carers – Mon-Sat: 6am-7am, Sun 9am-9.30am. Morrison’s offer a special ‘essential’ delivery service to

vulnerable and elderly members of the community who are unable to shop in-store. There’s an order form on the company’s website – you download it, tick your choices and then call 0345 611 6111 and press option 5

to place the order. Orders take 24 hours to process and payment is taken by contactless card by the delivery driver. Cash and cheques cannot be accepted.

Nisa, Long Street – Mon-Sun: 7am-10pm.

Occasions, Thirsk – an independent card and gift store is operating through their online website offering a wonderful selection of gifts, homewares and cards. Gifts by Joma Jewellery, Ashleigh and Burwood, Inis

fragrance to name but a few. Secure online payment with free delivery. Contact on 07946 404492, via Facebook, by email to, or online at

Tesco, Station Road – Mon-Sat: 8am-10pm, Sun: 10am-4pm. Priority for elderly and vulnerable people – Mon, Wed and Fri 9-10am. Priority for NHS workers – Tue, Thu and Sat 9-10am. All the time: care workers, NHS

and emergency services will be invited to come to the front of the queue. Tesco Pharmacy – Mon: 8am-10.30pm, Tue-Sat: 6.30am-10.30pm and Sun: 10am-4pm.

Thirsk Garden Centre is now open Monday – Saturday 10am -5pm. It also operates a click & collect service. Orders taken on their webshop – Staff will ring you to confirm day and time to

collect from their car park.

Thirsk Post Office, in Cooperative Supermarket – Mon-Sat: 7am-10pm and Sun: 11am-5pm.

Topcliffe Post Office is back to normal opening hours – Mon-Fri: 7am-5pm, Sat 7.30am-11.30am and Sun: closed. Tel: 01845 577517. Social distancing rules are in place.

Upstairs Downstairs Deli, Thirsk are delivering to all YO7 postcodes. Check them out on Facebook.

If you order from Johnson the Butchers, the Greengrocers and Upstairs Downstairs everything can be delivered together in one go.

Take Away Food (please note, there are some changes in this section since last week)

Bagels & Bakes, Kirkgate, Thirsk – takeaway open from 10am for bagels, salads, coffees, ice cream milkshakes, smoothies. Friday is Burger Night 5-8pm. Pre order only on 07989 753420.

Bambudda Oriental Cuisine, Ripon – 01765 278020 – Orders by phone only. Demand is very high so there may be a delay in getting through. On weekends the line opens at 3pm for pre-orders. Delivery charge £5.

• Bianco Ristorante, Thirsk – takeaways, 4-9pm Wednesday to Sunday. Pizza, pasta, burgers and chicken are available. NHS workers have 10% discount on production of ID. Order online by Messenger at or phone 01904 412405. NEW! Deliveries to Topcliffe only £2 per order.

Bliss Café, Thirsk – Soup, main meals and puddings for the elderly and infirm. Can be delivered frozen or ready to eat within a five mile radius, 7 days a week. Ring two days in advance to discuss your needs, Phone 07584

633669 or email Pay by card over phone, bank transfer or cash by special arrangement. Please phone 8am-1pm.

Fantinos Italian, Sowerby – takeaway wood oven pizzas available on Fridays and Saturdays from 4 to 9pm. Italian beers and wines also available. For menu check them out on Facebook and Instagram or call 01845


Grand India, Long St, Thirsk – takeaway service 6 to 11pm every day. 01845 526917 / 526866

Mooshakes, Mocktails and Munchies – orders for milkshakes and cakes must be in by 12pm for afternoon deliveries or 4.30pm for evening deliveries. Topcliffe deliveries Wed 1.30 to 2.30 and Allenbrooke 5.30 to 7.30.

Mozzarelli’s, Ripon 01765 603333

• The Old Red House, Thirsk has organised Carvery Sundays and also do free deliveries to Topcliffe 5-8pm Wednesday to Saturday. Ring 01845 525769 for bookings and information.

Pizza Pronto, Catterick Garrison – 01748 833777

Racha Thai Bistro in Thirsk is offering take aways and deliveries – 01845 524265. There is a 50% discount for NHS and emergency worker staff who can provide ID.

Regency Pizza, Thirsk Industrial Estate – 01845 522331

The Bay Horse, Rainton – 01845 578697 – on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Wide range of take away meals on offer.

• The TeaTime Café, Thirsk – Bake Boxes with varied contents changing each week, or individual items. Delivery on Thursdays is free to Topcliffe and Asenby. Orders by 2pm Tuesday. Full details are on the café’s website


Uno Momento, Thirsk – takeaway pasta, pizza, chicken, burgers and more. 4-10pm. Card payment only. Message Facebook page to order or call 01845 591777.

Westgate Fisheries will accept orders by telephone 07703 686774 – ring from lunchtime onwards to place an order for evening pick up (no deliveries to Topcliffe and Asenby). Open Monday to Saturday 4 – 9pm

White Horse Café – Fish & chips – open Monday to Friday 11.30am to 2pm and 4 – 8pm, and Saturday 11.30am to 2pm and 4 – 7.30pm.


• ‘Top Residents’ and ‘Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall’ Facebook sites have lots of useful information and chat about what’s going on during lockdown. Asenby’s community Facebook page ‘Asenby Institute Community

Space’ is keeping villagers well informed and in touch with each other.

• Our two Parish Councils are not meeting during the crisis. However, our Parish Councillors and Parish Clerks remain available to deal with any urgent matters. Details are on the two parish council websites – and

• The AA is offering free roadside assistance to any NHS worker if they have a breakdown enroute to or from work. The number to call is 0800 072 5064.

• Freecycle Stall – every Saturday and Sunday, the Burnett family, who live in Pear Tree Cottage on Long Street in Topcliffe, organise a Freecycle Stall so that other villagers can pick up books, Magazines, toys and more.

Feel free to pop by the stall, but don’t forget to observe social distancing when you’re there…and appropriate hygiene when handling the items.

• Asenby Bus Shelter Library – has become a ‘community hub’ with village library and games exchange. Please note that users are required to wear gloves and should sanitise books before leaving them or picking them up.

• Heather Allon organises a magazine and book loan scheme in the village. Those who are housebound or in lockdown who would like to be involved should telephone her on 01845 595080.

That’s all until next Sunday. Stay alert, keep safe and keep well.