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Sunday Email: Issue 11


This is the 11th edition of my weekly Sunday email. 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.

I hope that you enjoyed reading the latest edition of The Tattler, which should have been delivered to your home during the last week. Anyone who didn’t get a copy put through their letterbox can pick up a copy in the Post Office or read it on Topcliffe village website at

To save space in this and future emails, I am putting the “Shopping” and “Take away” food information into a separate Word document, which I will keep updated and attach to each Sunday email.


07785 223707

Lockdown relaxations: What you can now do

From yesterday, Saturday 13 June, you can:

  • Form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household if you live alone or are a single parent with dependent children – in other words, you are in a household where there is only one adult. All those in a support bubble will be able to act as if they live in the same household – meaning they can spend time together inside each other’s homes and do not need to stay 2 metres apart. Support bubbles should be exclusive – meaning you should not switch the household you are in a bubble with or connect with multiple households.
  • Attend your place of worship for the purposes of individual prayer.

From tomorrow, Monday 15 June, you will be able to:

  • Visit any type of shop and some additional outdoor attractions – for example, zoos, and safari parks.
  • Year 10 and 12 pupils in secondary schools and further education colleges will begin to receive some face to face support.

It will be mandatory that you wear a face covering on public transport. You will still be able to meet outdoors with groups of up to six people from different households, provided social distancing is observed and you stay

2 metres away from anyone outside your household or support bubble.

As before, you cannot:

  • Visit friends and family inside their homes (unless you are in a support bubble from 13 June) or for other specified reasons.
  • Stay away from your home or your support bubble household overnight – including holidays – except for in a limited set of circumstances, such as for work purposes.
  • Exercise in an indoor sports court, gym or leisure centre, or go swimming in a public pool.
  • Use an outdoor gym or playground.
  • Gather outdoors in a group of more than six (unless exclusively with members of your own household or support bubble.)

Having safe gatherings in your garden

You are reminded that when you have visitors to your garden they 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.

Shops and businesses now opening for business

From tomorrow non-essential shops will be allowed to reopen. This includes hardware/homeware, fashion, shoes, gifts, bookshops, electronics, mobile phones, betting, tailors, auction houses, antiques, retail art galleries, craft fairs, photography studios, 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.

As mentioned last week, charity shops can reopen from tomorrow but not all will be ready to start operating again. More recently, the government has announced that outdoor attractions such as zoos and safari parks can begin to operate again. But, although there has been much debate, there’s still no definitive details about when hospitality venues such as pubs and restaurants will be allowed to reopen. The earliest date mentioned is

4 July. Similarly, there’s no sign yet that clubs, cafes, cinemas, theatres or places such caravan parks, hotels, holiday accommodation or libraries will soon get the all-clear to reopen. Places of worship are only open for individuals to pray, but not for normal communal services.

Although dental practices are now allowed to open again, many are offering a minimum service because dentists are finding it difficult to get hold of necessary personal protective equipment, without which they can’t carry out normal treatments. So individual practitioners are having to exercise their professional judgement on the pace of change and if you need dental treatment it’s best to check out the level of activity at your own practice. The position regards opticians is unclear: they could be classed as “non-essential shops” in which case they might reopen tomorrow, but it is possible that they may delay opening until 4 July, the anticipated date beauty salons and hairdressers can start operating again.

Test and Trace

For more detailed information about Trace and Trace, please see the government’s website –

Over 25,000 contact tracers are now employed to track down people who have been near those testing positive for coronavirus. These 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. 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

Important: If you are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service you will not be asked to provide passwords, bank account details or PINs. Watch out for attempted scams.

The Test & Trace app is still not ready. It continues to be trialled on the Isle of Wight but it would seem it is taking more time than anticipated to get sorted. When it is launched, the plan is that 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. We wait with baited breath.

Plans for NHS birthday celebration

People are being encouraged to celebrate the NHS’s 72nd birthday and thank key workers for their support during the coronavirus pandemic with a nationwide round of activities over the weekend of 4 and 5 July.

The two key moments during the weekend will be:

  • A minute’s silence on the evening of July 4 when people will be asked to light a candle in their window in remembrance of all who have died during this time.
  • A moment of thanks and connection on July 5 when we take part in one last country-wide clap of thanks and then stay out to raise a glass or have a cup of tea with our neighbours.

I’m looking for specific guidance on the timings of these two events and will publish details in next Sunday’s email.

Back to school…for some…but not for all

The government approved the reopening of schools for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils earlier this month, but has now cancelled the plans for all other children to go back to school before September.

Textile Recycling Event

We had an amazing response to the recycling event last Wednesday. Over 80 bags of textiles, were delivered to the front of the Village Hall and later collected by the Bags2School organisation. The bags weighed in at one ton and we raised a total of £400, to be split between local scout, cubs and beaver troops and the Village Hall. Thank you to everyone who donated items. Quite a few residents asked if there would be another recycling event at the back end of the summer, so we have agreed to repeat the event in early September. That gives everyone plenty of time to sort out their wardrobes and drawers and store filled bags ready for the collection day.


Clockworks is the new name for the merged The Clock and Thirsk Community Care. The charity’s re-use shop in Thirsk Market Square (behind the Greengrocer) will re-open for business on Wednesday 17 June at 9am. They have a range of furniture, household items, cycles, TVs, paint, beds, fridges and freezers available.

Brave time to set up a new business

At a time when many businesses are in difficulty and at real risk of failing and millions of people are furloughed, it is refreshing to hear about someone who is brave enough to set up their own business. But that’s what new Topcliffe resident Ruby Barber has done. Ruby has launched herself as a Body Shop home consultant and is trading via Facebook. She said: “I am 20 years old, a trumpet player and opera singer studying at the Royal College of Music in London. Like all students, I need an income to help me survive my years at college, so I looked around for something to do. I have always adored Body Shop products, which are all produced cruelty free, so it seemed like a good idea to set up a home consultancy on social media. I launched on 9 June and got over 100 members within 12 hours…and now, in a matter of days, have nearly 200. My clients can access paper or electronic catalogues of the full range of products, including skincare, hair care, birthday, special occasion gift sets and so much more.” Ruby’s Facebook group – Rejuvenation Station by Ruby B – has lots of information about sales, product reviews, offers and competitions to win free gifts. There are generous discounts and customer specials every month, for example, 10% off all products over £4.50 until the end of June. Anyone who prefers to receive a catalogue through their letterbox should call or text Ruby on 07907 159687.

Pick your own

Last Friday, Spilmans in Sessay, opened their fields to those who would like to pick their own strawberries. You have to pre-purchase an admission ticket online for a chosen time slot and you will be asked to wash your hands before entering. To book your session and print a £10 credit voucher to redeem on-site go to: The farm is closed on Mondays.

Bin Collections

• Hambleton – recycling and green bins – Thursday 18 June. Refuse – Monday 22 June.

• Harrogate – refuse Monday 15 June. Garden waste Thursday 18 June. Recycling 22 June.

North Yorkshire Adult Learning

There’s currently a wide range of online courses e.g. sewing machine skills, basic sign language, bookkeeping and lots more, available free of charge from NYAL. For more details check out the website at

One particular opportunity that caught my eye this week is an online course for those who would you like to learn how to use social media. It’s a free two-hour course suitable for those who have not used social media before. You will need to be able to access the internet and apps on your device – mobile phone, laptop, tablet or personal computer – and have an email account. During the course you will learn about different social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and how to connect with people and share pictures, videos and messages online. You’ll also find out how to stay safe online and how to protect yourself when using social media. Delivery will be over Zoom, giving you the opportunity to ask questions with your tutor and speak to other learners across the county. The course will be on Tuesday 30th June between 13:00 – 15:00. To enrol and for more information, please call 01609 532536 Monday to Thursday 8.30am – 5pm, or Friday 8.30am – 4.30pm or email


• ‘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 travelling 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.

• 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.

• Rural Arts activities: find out more about the arts and craft activities on offer from Rural Arts – email Sorcha McCabe at or call 01845 526536 and leave her a message on the answerphone.

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