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Sunday Email: Issue 106

Welcome to the 106th issue of the Sunday Email.

It was a great relief to hear that Neil Brown of Swale View arrived home safely on Saturday having been missing for several days.

If you know anyone who would like to receive the weekly village email, please direct them to where they can register to receive it and see an archive of previous emails.

07785 223707

Vandals attack Topcliffe Academy
It is very sad to learn that over the Easter Bank Holiday vandals broke into several out-buildings at Topcliffe Academy and caused considerable damage to property and equipment. They also left disgraceful graffiti on several walls, some of which named teachers, suggesting that the culprits may well have been former pupils of the school. The police are investigating the break-in and will hopefully have some success in identifying those who did this.
James Halliday
James Halliday’s funeral will take place at 11am on Friday 6 May at St Columba’s Church, Topcliffe. The family has indicated that everyone who knew James is welcome to attend to remember him and help his family celebrate his life.
Scarecrow Festival
Have you been out and about scarecrow spotting this weekend? You can follow the ‘royal’ scarecrow trail which takes in Topcliffe, Catton, Skipton on Swale and Carlton Miniott. Obviously, you can follow the trail in either direction. If you haven’t already got a route map, you can download one here. As you travel along the trail you can vote for your favourites with donations. The word on the street is that there are some amazing scarecrows to see and some big surprises! The trail is officially open until Bank Holiday Monday evening (weather permitting).

A big thank you to the local businesses that have helped this event and supported our local schools: Carlton Miniott Post Office; The Dog and Gun Carlton Miniott; Truly Scrumptious Tea Garden, Sandhutton; Busby Stoop Garage; Catton Kitchen; the Milk Churn Farm Shop; Topcliffe Post Office and The Angel at Topcliffe.

Sunday Brunch
The Sunday Brunch held last week, whilst poorly attended by normal standards, still raised £100 for 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. Thanks to all who attended and gave their support.
Topcliffe Parish Council election
The election for Topcliffe Parish Council will be held on Thursday 5 May. Voting will take place at Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall. The six candidates standing for five seats are: Roy Beckwith, Chris Bumby, Paul Bumby, Ben Collard, Jamie Moores and Debbie Roberts.
North Yorkshire Council election
Candidates for the new North Yorkshire Council are:
Hambleton: In the Sowerby and Topcliffe ward (one seat) there will be two candidates:
– Mark Robson – The Conservative Party
– Dave Whitfield – Green Party
Harrogate:In the Wathvale & Bishop Monkton ward (one seat) there will be three candidates:
– Nick Brown – The Conservative Party
– Hannah Corlett – Green Party
– Chris Knight – Liberal Democrats

Topcliffe residents should vote at Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall, whilst Asenby residents should go to Rainton Village Hall.

Asenby Parish Council
The latest deadline for candidates to hand in their nominations to stand as councillors on Asenby Parish Council passed last Thursday and, sadly, no names were put forward. That means that after the current council holds its AGM on 18 May, and all the existing councillors retire, the Parish Council will not be able to operate in the normal way. The next step will see Harrogate Borough Council appoint representatives to deal with village affairs. At that point, local people will be able to be co-opted on to the Parish Council, if they wish.
Yorkshire to Ukraine Raffle
The raffle to raise funds for Yorkshire to Ukraine will be launched on Friday 6 May. Tickets will be available locally and details of price and where to buy them will be posted on the Top Residents’ Facebook page as soon as possible. There’s over forty great prizes, including a gift hamper, afternoon teas, ten pin bowling tickets, pet portrait, £25 vouchers, restaurant & pub vouchers, local artwork and many, many more! The raffle draw will take place on 27 May at the Frankland Arms in Thirsk from 4.30pm.
Welcome for Natalie
There’s not much good news coming out of Ukraine at the moment but Liz and Dave Marsh, of the Elm Gallery in Topcliffe, had a little bit to share this week. They are happy to announce they will shortly be welcoming a Ukranian refugee into their home. The visa application scheme is fraught with difficulties and delays, but Liz and Dave are confident that their guest, Nataliia, will soon be arriving in Topcliffe.

Along with her parents and older sister, Nataliia fled from the family’s apartment in Kyiv. She will be leaving Ukraine tomorrow and will travel to Poland, though that journey is not without great risks. From Poland, Nataliia will fly to Stansted Airport where she will be met and driven to Topcliffe.

Nataliia, who speaks perfect English, has been told what a lovely place Topcliffe is and that she will be made very welcome. There’s no doubt that Topcliffe will give Nataliia the warmest of welcomes.

Topcliffe Post Office
Tomorrow, Bank Holiday Monday, the shop will be open in the Post Office between 8am and 4pm. But the Post Office counter will be closed. Papers should be as normal and have been ordered.
Fish & Chips
Chip ‘n Dales fish and chip van will not be in action between 4 and 18 May as the proprietors will be on holiday. That means there’ll be no service in Topcliffe on Friday 6 or 13 May.
A massive thank you to everyone who brought their bags of textiles to the Village Hall last Thursday as part of the spring Bags2School recycling event. Dozens of bags were donated weighing a total of 450kg. This raised £180, which has been shared equally between the Village Hall and 1st Topcliffe Scouts.
May Bank Holiday BBQ & Band – TOMORROW
The Angel’s May Bank Holiday BBQ with live music will be held tomorrow. Entry is free! The BBQ includes prawn skewers, vegetable skewers, burgers and sausages with bread rolls and freshly prepared salads. There’s more information at:
St Columba’s services

  • TODAY – Sunday 1 May at 6.30pm – Choral Evensong.
  • Sunday 8 May at 10.45am – Holy Communion
  • Sunday 15 May at 10.45am – Sung Matins
  • Sunday 22 May at 10.45am – Holy Communion
  • Sunday 29 May – No Service.

The Annual Church Meeting
The Annual Church Meeting will take place on Tuesday 3 May in St Columba’s church at 7pm. This is a public meeting and everyone is warmly invited to attend to hear how the year has gone for the parish. There is also the election of Church Wardens, other church officers and of the Parochial Church Council.

Cross Talk
The May edition of the church magazine Cross Talk has been published. You can read it here.
Catton Kitchen
The popular Catton Kitchen’s current opening times are Friday and Saturday 10am to 2pm and Sunday 10am to noon. This is for market garden sales and the takeaway service. This month the aim is to open on a Thursday too, and there’ll be some publicity when that change happens.
Comedy Night at The Angel
The next Hilarity Bites Comedy Club will be held at The Angel on Tuesday 3 May. Doors open 7.30pm and show starts at 8pm. Tickets £10 in advance and £12 on day of the show. Call 01845 578000.
Knit and Natter
The next Knit & Natter session at the Milk Churn Farm Shop will be on Wednesday 4 May 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.
Parlez-vous francais?
Would you like to learn or practice French? Rural Arts, based at The Courthouse in Thirsk, are running two courses, each of eight classes. The first is for post GCSE/Improvers starting on Thursday 5 May, 7 to 9pm. Cost: £80. The second is ‘Almost Beginners’ starts on Monday 9 May, 2 to 4pm. Cost: £80. For details ring 01845 522342 or email thirsk.evening.classes.french
Sports Cars in the Park
One of the largest gatherings of sports cars in the north of England, with over 500 vehicles on display, will take place at Newby Hall on Sunday 8 May between 10am and 4pm. It should be a fantastic day out for the whole family, with a great atmosphere and the ticket price includes entry into Newby Hall’s amazing grounds with its legendary adventure playground. 10am to 4pm. £16 per adult, £12 per child, £50 family (2+2). Book online or buy at the gate on the day.
Thirsk Hall garden open for viewing
The gardens at Thirsk Hall will be open as part of the National Open Garden Scheme on Sunday 8 May between 11am and 5pm. The 20 acre grounds include lawns, herbaceous borders, kitchen gardens, sculpture garden, walled paddocks and parkland. The present layout and planting are the result of a sensitive restoration, blending formal and informal beds, shrubbery, and mature trees. Wheelchair access. Well behaved dogs on leads are welcome. Please note that there is no parking on site, parking can be found in the market square or in the Millgate Car Park. Entry is £6. Book online at
Soup & sweet lunch
The next soup and sweet lunch will be held at the Village Hall on Wednesday 11 May at 12 noon. Donations raised at this lunch will go to the Village Hall. The last lunch raised £103 for the Blue Cross animal shelter near Topcliffe.
Sion Hill Hall plant fair
Sion Hill Hall is surrounded by five acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, including a formal garden based on a parterre, plus colourful herbaceous borders, a woodland walk, and a traditional kitchen garden. The Hall, close to Kirby Wiske, is opening its gardens and holding a plant fair in the stable yard on Sunday 22 May. There’ll be huge choice of plants and garden accessories, plus refreshments. Opens 11am. £5 cash on the gate.
Platinum Jubilee – planning group meeting
The sub group taking forward plans for the Jubilee Bank Holiday celebrations will meet at 7pm on Sunday 8 May at The Angel. It’s not a public meeting as such, but anyone who is interested in supporting the celebrations and helping out at the various events, is more than welcome to attend.
Platinum Jubilee Tidy Up and Litter Pick
The date of the pre-Platinum Jubilee village tidy up in Topcliffe has been set as Saturday 14 May. It is being organised by Topcliffe Parish Council. Ben Collard and Malcolm Morley are taking the lead and on the day volunteers are asked to gather at the Village Hall at 8.45am for a 9am start. Consideration is being given to what jobs need to be tackled and volunteers will be allocated to work teams on the day. Bacon butties and drinks will be served at 11.15am as a thank you to all volunteers.
Platinum Jubilee Party in the Park – Saturday, 4 June
Preliminary details of what’s planned for the main village event during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations have been announced. You can see a poster here. In essence, the plan is to have a party on the playing field in Topcliffe, starting at 2pm, and everyone is invited to come along with their own picnic and drinks. Arrangements are being made for afternoon teas to be available by pre-order. More details and price to follow.

The organisers will put on an inflatable assault course, children’s games, live music and arrange for an ice cream van to be present. There’ll also be a flat green bowls competition at the adjacent bowls club.

Families can pre-book a pitch on which they can erect their own gazebo. It’ll be £10 a site and bookings can be made via Jenny Bumby on 07840 468672.

Volunteers needed
Volunteers will be needed at the party in the park to help organise activities and generally ensure get the playing field ready beforehand and make sure it’s clean and tidy afterwards.

Platinum Jubilee Sunday Brunch
This event will take place in the Village Hall from 10am to 12 noon on Sunday 5 June. There’ll be a full range of breakfast buns, cakes and a plentiful supply of hot and cold drinks. There’ll be Sunday newspapers available and all money raised will go to help maintain the Village Hall.

The plan is to have the paintings on a ‘royalty and crowns’ theme (prepared by pupils of Topcliffe Academy) on display and they’ll be judged to pick winners from each class or age group.

Rural Arts classes
Rural Arts ‘Hearts and Crafts’ classes will be held at Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall at 10am on Tuesdays over the coming months, the next is on 17 May and will look at mixed media and illustration. In later months the programme includes:

  • 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.

Deershed Festival
The 12th Deer Shed Festival will be staged at Baldersby Park between 29 and 31 July. There’s a fantastic range of music, comedy, arts, science and sport planned for people of all ages. Full ticket details are available at
Parish & Village Hall meetings
• Asenby Parish Council will meet at 7.30pm onWednesday 18 May in the Village Hall –
• Topcliffe Parish Council will next meet at 7pm on Thursday 19 May 2022 in The Angel (conservatory) –
• Village Hall Committee – The AGM and an Ordinary Meeting of the Committee will be held consecutively starting at 7.30pm on Tuesday 7 June in the Village Hall –
The Ritz Cinema

  • To Thursday 5 May – Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
  • Friday 6 to Thursday 12 May – The Outfit
  • Friday 13 to Thursday 19 May – Operation Mincemeat
  • Friday 20 to Thursday 26 May – The Lost City
  • Friday 27 to Thursday 2 June – Downton Abbey: A New Era (Proceeds from the shows on 28 and 29 May will be donated to The Red Cross in aid of Ukraine.)

Starting Sunday 15 May all Sunday evening films will have subtitles for a trial period.
Please keep checking the website for the latest details –

Rural Arts events at The Courthouse, Thirsk

  • Monday Makers – Every Monday to 23 May. 10am – 1.30pm. Develop your creative and business skills on this course for unemployed people.
  • Wednesday 4 May, 10.30am to 12.30pm – Summer Collage with Ink and Pen – Bring pressed flowers, fabrics, found objects (such as feathers), buttons, train tickets, photographs, newspaper clippings that you would like to use, although a large selection of items will be available.
  • Wednesday 11 May, 10.30am to 12.30pm – A Taste of Art: Decorative Bunting – All materials are provided.
  • For more information and to book places, go to
Local traders
Most of these traders also have a Facebook page where you can check out latest information.

Bin Collections

Hambleton (Topcliffe):

  • Refuse – Mondays 9 and 23 May.
  • Recycling & Garden Waste – Friday 6 May (one day later than usual), Thursday 19 May

Harrogate (Asenby)

  • Refuse – Tuesday 3 May (changed due to Bank Holiday), then Monday 16 May.
  • Garden waste – Friday 6 May (changed due to Bank Holiday), then Thursday 19 May
  • Recycling – Mondays 9 and 23 May.
The week’s UK Covid statistics
• 54 million first doses given – that’s 92.5% of the population aged 12+.
• 49.7 million second doses given – that’s over 86.5%.
• 39.2 million booster or third jabs given – that’s 68.2% of those eligible.
• The R number range remains at 0.7 to 0.9 meaning that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 9 and 9 other people.
• In total, there’s been over 22 million confirmed cases of Covid. There were 105,331 cases confirmed in the last seven days
• 9,493 people were admitted to hospital with Covid in the week to 22 April.
• 1,560 deaths in the last seven days.
• 174,912 UK deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test.
• 191,277 UK deaths had Covid mentioned on the death certificate.
• 6,260, 033 death worldwide.

From next Sunday this regular listing of Covid information will be reduced to a couple of key statistics.

That’s all for this week. Keep safe and remain well.