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Sunday Email: Issue 102

Welcome to the 102nd issue of the Sunday Email.

In the Covid section at the end of this email, the latest statistics are provided and there’s an article indicating that free lateral flow testing has now ended. It’s really quite worrying that these two things have clashed. On the same day free tests stopped being provided the number of UK Covid cases was 4.9 million, the highest weekly figure ever recorded.

07785 223707

Platinum Jubilee Scarecrow Festival
Pre-Covid the Friends of Carlton Miniott School staged an extremely successful Scarecrow Festival with lots of great exhibitions throughout the village…and tremendous fun for everyone who took part and visited the scarecrow trail. Well, this year the Friends of Topcliffe School will help extend the initiative to Topcliffe and Asenby as part of the two villages’ Platinum Jubilee celebrations. The villages of Skipton-on-Swale, Sandhutton and Catton are also getting involved.

The festival will be staged on the Bank Holiday weekend Saturday 30 April to Monday 2 May.

The theme, not surprisingly, will be royalty, so there’s lots of opportunity to create an individual or group of scarecrows reflecting the monarchy, royal family…and even the corgis! You can register your scarecrow free of charge and request an information pack from FOS

The poster recently posted on Facebook can be viewed here:

At the next stage, more information, including a map showing the location of all the scarecrows in all of the villages, will be available from Topcliffe Post Office and the Milk Churn Farm Shop.

Over £700 raised at Lent lunches
The four lunches held in the Village Hall during Lent raised an amazing £704 for the Christian Aid Ukraine Appeal. The organisers have asked me to offer a big thank you to everyone who assisted at the lunches, and particularly those who attended and showed fantastic generosity throughout Lent.
Traditional soup & sweet lunches return
Now that Lent is over, the normal soup and sweet lunches will be returning on alternate Wednesdays, with the next one on 13 April at 12 noon. Donations raised at this lunch will go to Animal Rescue Crew, which cares for animals in this country and abroad.
Knit and Natter!
Don’t forget, the first Knit & Natter session is on at the Milk Churn Farm Shop this Wednesday afternoon between 1.30 and 3.30pm. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are, this is about enjoying an afternoon chatting and maybe trying something different whilst making new friends, or meeting old ones. A drink and cake is included in the price of £3. Bring your knitting or crocheting and share your knowledge or just come along to natter. Please ring the shop to confirm your seat 01845 400446. Knit & Natter will be held every Wednesday.
Baldersby St James Church – Drop In and Chat
Every Tuesday 10am to 12 noon in the café area at the back of church. Drop in for a chat, book swap or have a quiet sit at the jigsaw table. The first two events have been very well attended. Best of all its free, but you might have to make your own coffee!
Easter Egg Hunt
Get ready for the big Easter egg hunt taking place in Topcliffe and Asenby on Easter Saturday,16 April. To find the eggs hidden throughout the two villages you have to follow the clues and find all the eggs…including a special golden egg. Entry forms cost £1.50 (this is a suggested donation but you can pay more or less depending on your circumstances) and they will be available on the day from the Milk Churn Farm Shop. All completed forms should be returned to the farm shop where they’ll be entered in a prize draw for the Bid Easter Bunny’s Chocolate Hamper. The day has been organised by The Friends of Topcliffe School in conjunction with the Milk Churn Farm Shop. See poster here.
Make a difference to policing In our area
North Yorkshire Police are looking for members of the public to join the county’s first ever Independent Advisory Group – a panel of volunteers who can express their opinion on policing matters on behalf of communities. The aim of the group is to improve local policing, with volunteers acting as a vital link between communities and the police. Members will be invited to provide feedback and opinions on issues such as critical incidents, operational practices and planning, force policies and procedures and the impact they may have. The feedback and guidance will help shape policing response, benefiting local communities and beyond.

There won’t be lengthy monthly meetings or anything like that. It’s a virtual group so everything will be done via email, surveys or online. Anyone interested can email iag to say why they’d like to take part, give a summary of their experience, interests and links to their community. Please also include your location, so the police can contact you on the matters that affect your community the most.

Parish council candidates
The deadline for submission of nomination papers for candidates for parish elections in Asenby and Topcliffe closed last Tuesday evening and we now await notification from Harrogate and Hambleton councils of who has put themselves forward. According to Harrogate’s timetable, publication of the ‘statement of persons nominated’ will be published no later than 4pm on Wednesday 6 April. Presumably it is the same for Hambleton. Hopefully, the names of candidates in both parishes will be available to include in next week’s Sunday Email.
Harrogate councillor for Asenby resigns
Bernard Bateman MBE, the long-standing local councillor for Harrogate’s Wathvale ward, which includes Asenby, has resigned his seat due to ill-health. His resignation means there’ll be a further election – in addition to parish and county council polls – on Thursday 5 May.

Mr Bateman, who is a former mayor of the Harrogate district, often attended Asenby Parish Council meetings. He worked for many years at Plumb Centre in Ripon and has been very active in charitable work in the area.

In order to meet a tight schedule to add this by-election to those being organised for 5 May, the arrangements for selecting a new councillor have been squeezed considerably. Nomination papers must be with the Returning Officer at Harrogate Borough Council by 4pm on Tuesday, 5 April.

Voting deadlines imminent
To vote in the elections on 5 May, you must be on the electoral register by Thursday 14 April 2022. Those who are 18 or over on polling day, should be making sure they are registered to vote. Help with electoral registration is available at Hambleton District Council (for Topcliffe residents) and at Harrogate Borough Council (for Asenby residents). Those who are on the electoral register will have received a polling card in recent weeks.
Want to know more about local government’s future?
Residents are being invited to the first of a series of virtual locality roadshows to learn more about planning for the new North Yorkshire authority that will be in place from 1 April 2023. It’s a chance to hear directly about the changes to local government and how plans are taking shape for the new authority. There’ll be six sessions on offer across the county (based on the six parliamentary constituency areas) so residents of Topcliffe and Asenby might be interested in joining either:

  • April 12 – Harrogate and Knaresborough (Panel members: Wallace Sampson and Neil Irving of NYCC).
  • April 14 – Thirsk and Malton (Panel members: Stacey Burlet, Chief Executive of Ryedale District Council, and Richard Flinton, CEO of NYCC).

They will be held via Microsoft Teams between 6.30 and 8pm. To access the meetings go to:

Under the plans, the current county, district and borough councils in North Yorkshire will be replaced by a single council in April 2023. Until then, services will continue to be provided by North Yorkshire County Council and the seven district and borough councils. From April 2023, the new unitary authority will deliver all services across the whole of the current county footprint.

St Columba’s services

  • TODAY Sunday 3 April at 6.30pm – Choral Evensong.
  • Wednesday 6 April at 7pm – Service of Compline.
  • Sunday 10 April, Palm Sunday, at 10.45am – Holy Communion (traditional language).
  • Wednesday 13 April at 7pm – Service of Compline.
  • Saturday 16 April, Easter Eve, at 7.30pm – Easter Vigil and First Mass of Easter. This is perhaps the most glorious service in the church’s year, starting in near darkness with readings and unaccompanied singing by the choir, then the lighting of the Easter fire, the Paschal candle and candles throughout the church, and concluding with a special Holy Communion for Easter. After the service refreshments including finger food and wine will be served.
  • Sunday 17 April at 9am – Easter Day Service (not Holy Communion. The Easter Eve Service concludes with our Easter Eucharist).
Paint a spring garden
This Thursday (7 April), Rebecca Jayne is holding a special one-off painting class at the Village Hall between 10.30am and 1pm. This is your chance to paint a spring garden in oils and you can be a beginner or experienced artist. All materials – canvas, paints and brushes, plus refreshments – will be supplied and there’ll be expert guidance. Price is £25. For more information call Rebecca on 07704 819806 or email info
Rural Arts classes
The following ‘Hearts and Crafts’ Rural Arts classes will be held at Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall on Tuesdays over the coming months:

  • 19 April – Mosaics
  • 17 May – Mixed media and illustration
  • 21 June – Silk printing
  • 19 July – Fused glass

You can simply turn up on the day – it’s free to attend and materials are provided.

Sunday Brunch
A Sunday Brunch will be held in the Village Hall on Sunday 24 April between 10am and 12 noon. There’ll be bacon, sausage and fried egg sandwiches on offer, with plenty of tea and coffee. Any funds raised on the day will be donated to Call for Back Up, a charity that offers mental health support to blue light emergency services personnel, including fire fighters, police officers, ambulance drivers and paramedics.
Textile recycling – start cleaning out those cupboards
The spring Bags2school textile recycling event at the Village Hall will be held on Thursday 28 April. That gives everyone loads of time to undertake that annual clear out of cupboards and wardrobes. Please keep your bags of textiles for this charity collection. If you have trouble storing the bags, contact Donna Fleming (07591 438766) or Doug Allan (07785 223707) and they will try to make arrangements for storage until the collection day. The proceeds of the event will be shared between the Village Hall and 1st Topcliffe Scouts.

Just as a reminder, the following items are welcomed: men’s, ladies and children’s clothing – paired shoes (tied together or elastic band around) – handbags – hats – bags – scarves and ties – jewelry – lingerie – socks – belts – soft toys – household linen – household curtains – household towels – household bedding (bed sheets, pillow-cases and duvet covers). 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, corporate clothing and workwear or textile off cuts or yarns.

Parish & Village Hall meetings

• Village Hall Committee – 7.30pm on Tuesday 5 April. The AGM and an Ordinary Meeting of the Committee will be held consecutively starting at 7.30pm on Tuesday 7 June.
• Topcliffe Parish Council – 7pm on Thursday 7 April
• Asenby Parish Council will meet at 7.30pm on Wednesday18 May

Both parish councils and the Village Hall Committee meet at Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall.

Book signings at the White Rose Bookcafe

  • Photographer Lucy Saggers will hold a book signing session between 6.30pm and 9pm on Thursday 7 April. Her book ‘Ford of the Sorrel’, was shortlisted at the Belfast Photo Festival 2022. Books can be pre-ordered now and they’ll be personally signed on the night. Tickets £3, redeemable against a copy of her book. Light refreshments available. Email: or telephone 01845 524353.
  • Rob & Dave of Channel 5’s Cannon Hall Farm will be signing their book ‘Springtime at Cannon Hall Farm’ on Saturday 9 April. The book has all the animal antics but also tales of bygone days when traditional skills, crafts and daily practices shaped life in the countryside. Pre-orders taken and books will be personally signed on the day.
  • Children’s author James Harris will be signing his new books ‘Happytown must be destroyed’ and ‘The Unbelievable Biscuit Factory’ on Friday 22 April between 11am to 12.30pm.
Events at The Angel

  • TODAY – 12 noon to 3pm – Wedding Fayre – with a glass of Frizzante and canapes for all who call in, plus expert advice from experienced coordinators and suppliers.
  • Tuesday 5 April – doors open 7.30 for 8pm – Hilarity Bites Comedy Night – £10 in advance or £12 on the night.
  • Friday nights – 5 to 9pm – Land & Sea – steak or fish for two with a bottle of wine for £35.95
  • Sunday roast – 12noon to 8pm – traditional Sunday Lunch.

Check the website at or call 01845 578000.

Catton Kitchen

  • Farm Shop/Breakfast – Fridays and Sundays – 10 to 12 noon.
  • Fancy home-reared lamb at Easter? Orders now being taken.
  • Saturday 9 April from 2pm for approx. 2.5 hours. In partnership with former Topcliffe resident, Diane West, there’ll be a fun event to make some fantastic lampshades. You will learn how to make a contemporary 25cm drum shade which can either be placed on a lamp base or ceiling pendant. You just need to bring 0.5m of fabric or you can purchase some on the day. All other materials will be supplied. Price £40 per person. Just a few places still available.
  • Sunday 10 April from 10am to 12.30pm – make a garden obelisk for flower and vegetable climbers. With Sahra using her homegrown willow £40 per person – @willowviewfarm
  • Hot or cold drink and cake is part of all classes held.
  • Vouchers are available if anyone wishes to gift the cost of the above events to a friend or family member.
  • Contacts: 07747 083155 and
  • To Thursday 7 April – Dog – Two former Army Rangers are paired against their will on the road trip of a lifetime. Briggs (Channing Tatum) and Lulu (a Belgian Malinois) race down the Pacific Coast to get to a fellow soldier’s funeral on time.
  • Friday 8 to Thursday 14 April – Sideshow – When two inept criminals break into the home of a washed-up psychic in search of hidden loot, they get a lot more than they bargained for.
  • Saturday 9 April, Sunday 10 April and Wednesday 13 April (matinees only) – Disney’s Encanto – A Colombian teenage girl has to face the frustration of being the only member of her family without magical powers.
  • Friday 15 to Thursday 21 April (with matinees Saturday 16, Sunday 17 April and Wednesday 20 April. No evening show 17 April) – The Bad Guys – Several reformed yet misunderstood criminal animals attempt to become good, with some disastrous results along the way.
  • Friday 22 to Thursday 28 April (Matinee on Wednesday 27 April) – Phantom of the Open – Maurice Flitcroft, a dreamer and unrelenting optimist, managed to gain entry to The British Open Golf Championship Qualifying in 1976 and subsequently shot the worst round in Open history, becoming a folk hero in the process.

Please keep checking the website for the latest details –

Rural Arts events at The Courthouse, Thirsk

  • Throughout April – Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-4pm – Cafe Artist of the Month – born and bred in Ryedale, artist Jennifer Weston’s recent work is part of the ‘Scenes from Scarborough’ public art commission and highlights the decline of marine life in the North Sea.
  • Monday Makers – 28 March to 23 May. 10am – 1.30pm. Free ten week course but you can still join. From printmaking to marketing, develop your creative and business skills on this course for unemployed people.
  • Tuesday 12 to Friday 22 April, 10am to 4pm – Nel Hume exhibition, ‘Let the Light Back In’
    a young artist living in North Yorkshire which, together with the Northumberland coastline, inspires her abstract expressionistic paintings that capture the essence of light and space.
  • For more information and to book places, go to
Events on at The Forum

  • Thursday, 7 April at 7.30pm – Northallerton & District Flower Club Spring Open Evening – Chelsea Gold Medalist Mark Entwistle demonstrates “The Secret Life of Colour” Former UK Florist Of The Year and innovative floral designer.
  • Friday 8 April at 7.30pm – An Evening with Gill Sims – Gill will be interviewed by Jo Middleton, author of Playgroups and Prosecco and creator of Slummy Single Mummy. It should be an hilarious look at the changing face of motherhood as your children grow from toddlers to teenagers.
  • Saturday 9 April at 3pm – Mark Thompson’s Award-Winning Spectacular Science Show – You think science is boring, think again! This is science like you have never seen it before. Designed for children and adults alike, the show explores the strange and magical properties of matter with exploding elephant’s toothpaste, vortex-generating dustbins and even howling jelly babies!

Call 01609 776230. Tickets online at

Local traders
Most of these traders also have a Facebook page where you can check out latest information.

Bin Collections

Hambleton (Topcliffe):

  • Recycling & Garden Waste – Thursdays 7 April and Friday 22 April (one day later than normal).
  • Refuse – Mondays 11 April and 25 April

Harrogate (Asenby)
All garden waste, recycling and refuse collections will take place as normal the week commencing Monday 11 April. Week commencing Monday 18 April all collections will be a day later than usual. Normal collections will resume on Monday 25 April.

  • Refuse – Monday 4 April, Tuesday 19 April (one day later than normal) and 2 May.
  • Garden waste – Thursday 7 April, Friday 22 April and Thursday 5 May.
  • Recycling – Mondays 11 April and 25 April.
Free Covid testing for most has ended

The provision of universal free tests in England has ended. As of last Friday those not classed as vulnerable have to pay for a lateral flow test as free universal symptomatic and asymptomatic testing ended for the general public. The PM said testing had become "less valuable in preventing serious illness" because the dominant Covid variant – Omicron – is less severe, but critics suggest the financial impact of testing on the UK is the real reason the government wants to stop free provision. Universal free testing for almost two years has come at an astronomical cost to the taxpayer – the testing regime had a bigger budget than the Home Office last year and it cost £2 billion in January alone.

Limited symptomatic testing will be available for a small number of at-risk groups, however the government has not yet set out exactly who will be eligible. It is suggested people aged 80 and above are likely to be in that group, as well as NHS and social care staff.

Second booster jab
People aged 75 and over, care home residents and the immunosuppressed aged 12 and over, can now book a spring Covid booster vaccine. The NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme will contact people when it is their turn to be vaccinated again and, once they have an invitation, they will be able to book their appointment through the National Booking System either online or by calling NHS 119. The fourth jab will be made available to more people later in the year.
The week’s UK Covid statistics
• 52.8 million first doses given – that’s 91.8% of the population aged 12+.
• 49.5 million second doses given – that’s over 86%.
• 38.8 million booster or third jabs given – that’s 67.5% of those eligible.
• The R number range is now 1.1 to 1.2, meaning that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 11 and 12 other people.
• There were 4.9 million new cases of Covid last week. The highest weekly number ever recorded and representing one in every 15 of the population.
• In total, there’s been nearly 21.3 million confirmed cases of Covid.
• 16,204 people were admitted to hospital with Covid in the week to 28 March.
• 1,116 deaths in the last seven days. A 17.5% increase compared with the previous week.
• 165,570 UK deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test.
• 186,921 UK deaths had Covid mentioned on the death certificate.
• Worldwide, the global death toll is 6,172,729.
That’s all for this week. Keep safe and remain well.