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Sunday Email: Issue 138

Welcome to your regular Sunday Email.

I considered not issuing a Sunday Email on the next two Sundays as they are Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, but I decided to issue anyway even though the news may be light and you’ll all be busy enjoying your festive celebrations. Missing two Sundays just seems like a long gap and breaks the regularity of the messages.

07785 223707

Christmas lunch goes down a treat!
The pensioners’ Christmas lunch held last Tuesday was a fantastic success with over thirty residents enjoying a wonderful three course meal and magical entertainment courtesy of Matthew J’s Magic & Variety Arts.

Check out the photographs behind these numbered links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. 6. 7.

A big thank you to lunch organiser Judith Lowe and to all the volunteers, including Karen and Malcolm Morley, Linda Carver and Linda Robinson who prepared the meals, and to Peter Lowe, Steve & Liz Hall, Clare Phillips and Doug Allan who served on.

Chip ‘n Dales
Last Friday’s visit by the Chip ‘n Dales fish and chip van was the last until late January 2023. Paul and Karen will be back on Friday 27 January. They wish all their customers a very merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Quiz Night at The Angel
The Sunday evening quiz is held each week at 8pm at The Angel. Entry is £1 per person and all the takings go to the winning team. Come along and test your general knowledge, meet friends and neighbours and have some fun.
Services at St Columba’s

  • TODAY: at 10.45am – Matins.
  • TODAY at 6.30pm a traditional service of Nine Lessons and Carols, with St Columba’s Choir, led by Linda Hewlett, accompanied by Matthew Atherton on the organ. Carols new and old and an opportunity to come and sing your favourites followed by finger food and wine.
  • Christmas Eve, Saturday 24 December at 2pm – Crib Service with Rev’d Dawn Ward. An informal telling of the Christmas Story for everyone to enjoy, particularly those with children.
  • Christmas Eve at 11.30pm – Midnight Mass – the Christmas service of Holy Communion for everyone, with Rev’d Robert Williamson.
  • Christmas day – no service.

And in the New Year:

  • New Year’s Day – no service
  • 8 January – 10.45am- Holy Communion and at 6.30pm Choral Evensong for Epiphany.
  • 15 January at 10.45am – Choral Matins.
  • 22 January at 10.45am – Holy Communion.
Carol Singing at the village Christmas tree
On Thursday 22 December at 7.30pm there’ll be carols around the Christmas tree outside the Village Hall. Everyone is welcome, so do come and sing. Please bring torches to read the carol sheets that will be provided. Brass accompaniment will be provided by the Barber family, who live in the village, and the singing will be aided by members of St Columba’s Choir.

Afterwards, enjoy mulled wine and mince pies inside the Village Hall with seasonal good wishes from all at St Columba’s, Topcliffe Parish Council and the Village Hall Committee.

The St Columba’s Christmas Charity this year is Macmillan Nurses and any donations will be very gratefully received.

Christmas in Ripon

  • TODAY – to 3pm – Christmas Market – soak up the atmosphere and follow the market trail as it winds through Ripon’s historic marketplace. All the traditional market favourites including bratwurst, pies, cheese, cakes, fresh coffee and mulled wine.
  • TODAY – (and also on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 December) – 5.30pm – Festival of Lessons & Carols at Ripon Cathedral. The Christmas story told in readings and music. Featuring the Ripon Cathedral Choir.
  • Saturday 24 December – 11am – Ripon Cathedral presents the Journey to Bethlehem, an interactive service for families.
  • Saturday 24 December – Midnight Mass at Ripon Cathedral.
  • Sunday 25 December – 10.30am – Christmas Day Festal Eucharist.
  • Monday 26 December (Boxing Day) – 9.30am – Eucharist for St Stephen’s Day followed by pilgrimage to Fountains Abbey.
The Catton Kitchen
Amy and Hugo currently have lots of meat, sides, pate and puddings that could help make your Christmas and New Year meals that little bit extra special…and they all come from the market garden produce.

They also have an amazing range of ready meals, which are proving incredibly popular, and the range is constantly being added to. Amy says: "They’re great to have as a standby or for those ‘in between’ Christmas and New Year days when you’ve run out of ideas about what to prepare.

Over the festive break the shack is open next Friday 23 December between 10am and 2pm and Thursday 29 December, also between 10am and 2pm. However, they can be flexible for collections – just email or go on the Catton Kitchen Facebook page and send a message.

Free parking over festive season
Hambleton District Council is spreading a little bit of festive cheer by making parking free in its car parks for two weeks over Christmas. Parking in every district council car park across Northallerton, Thirsk, Stokesley and Bedale, will be free from Monday 19 December to Monday 2 January 2023 (inclusive). No ticket is needed. Beware, however, that time limits still apply at short-stay car parks.
Oliver’s last newsletter
Asenby youngster, Oliver Robertson, has issued his last newsletter to residents of Asenby. You can read his departing publication here. Well done Oliver for preparing your newsy and fun-packed newsletter. It has been much appreciated by many residents.
Christmas learning at Thirsk library
Children aged up to 11 years are invited to pop along to Thirsk Library’s free drop in event with lots of Christmas activities between 10am and 2pm tomorrow, (19 December). Christmas crafts, games, reading, drawing, colouring and lots more. Email for more information or just turn up and join in.
Topcliffe & Asenby Community Warm-Up
Warm-Up lunches take place at the Village Hall every Wednesday between 11.30am and 1.30pm. The next lunch is on Wednesday 21 December when a Sunday-style roast beef lunch will be served. As usual, there will be no set charge and those attending are asked only to pay what they can afford.

Last Wednesday 43 meals were served and £104 was raised, of which £50 was donated to the local branch of the Salvation Army. The balance has gone into the Warm-Up Community Help fund, which will be used to buy food for future lunches.

If you can donate any prepared food or ingredients for a forthcoming lunch or would like to help in some way, please get in touch with Karen Morley on 01845 577426 or Linda Carver on 01845 578014.

Knit and Natter
There’ll be a Knit & Natter session on Thursday 22 December. It will held in the TV lounge at The Angel, starting at 1.30pm. The cost for refreshments remains at £3 and everyone is welcome to attend, whether for a knit, just for a natter or both!
What’s on at The RItz

  • To Thursday 22 December (No matinees) – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
  • Friday 23 December through to Thursday 5 January (no matinees. Each day except dates the cinema is closed – see below) – Strange World.
  • Closed 24, 25, 26 and 31 December and 1 January

Updates: Please keep checking the website for the latestdetails –

Topcliffe Post Office
Here are the dates that the Post Office will be operating over the festive season.
Closed: Saturday 24, Sunday 25, Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 December. And Sunday 1, Monday 2 January.
Open: Wednesday 28, Thursday 29, Friday 30 and Saturday 31 December. And Tuesday 3 January onwards.
Asenby Parish Council – two resignations
Two members of Asenby Parish Council have resigned meaning there’s two vacancies needing to be filled. Tanyka Rawden, who was chair of the council and Jane Gallon, have stepped down. If two eligible persons apply to join the Parish Council they would be automatically ‘elected’, but if more than two step forward, an election will be held not later than 14 March 2023. See link for further information.
Ukrainians still need your help
It might be a time of celebration here in the UK but the people of Ukraine won’t be having a very pleasant Christmas this year…and they still need all the help we can give them.

The wonderful volunteers working at the Yorkshire to Ukraine project in Thirsk are still collecting items that might make someone’s life in that country just a little more bearable. They urgently need donations of items such as duvets, bedding, warm clothes, tinned food, personal health products. The collection point is, Teasdale Motorcycles Long Street, Thirsk YO7 1AU.

The Wakeman Mummers visit Topcliffe
The Wakeman Mummers (Topcliffe Blue Stots) will be performing their traditional mummers play around Topcliffe on Friday 30 December. They will be meeting at The Angel at 11am.

The tradition of performing a Mummers’ Play goes back many centuries and nobody knows for certain when, where or why they started. There are three existing traditional plays in this area: one from Ripon known as the sword dancers’ play (lthough there has not been a sword dance accompanying it within living memory!). Another is from the nearby village of Skelton-on-Ure and the third is from Topcliffe. All three plays are of the ‘Blue Stots’ tradition, named after the plough boys who performed around Christmas or New Year in order to cadge some extra money for the festive season.

Mummers’ costumes are fairly simple – a tatter-coat and a hat decorated with ribbons and other ornaments and with the actors’ faces only crudely disguised with black or white make-up. The original reason for blacking the faces is supposed to be to make the actors anonymous. The mumming tradition demands that proper acting is kept to a minimum, since the words are more important than the actors themselves. Lines are spoken in rhyme, which keeps the play moving along at a brisk pace whilst telling the story. A short Morris dance usually follows each performance of the play.

Art classes at the Village Hall
There’s a choice of art classes coming up at Topcliffe and Asenby Village Hall, all hosted by talented artist and teacher Rebecca Jayne.

  • Monday 9 January – a new series of the popular weekly art classes will start and run until 7 February. 10am and 12 noon. Bring your own materials and create works you will be proud of.
  • Saturday 30 January 2023 – 10am to 1pm – Painting on Fabric – helpful tips and techniques with creating your own creative, vibrant painting on fabric. Equipment and paint provided. Refreshments included. Just bring your fabric item – Denim Jacket, purse, bag, baseball boots, cushion cover, table runner or other item. On booking further details will be sent about the session.

All of the advertised art classes are for artists of every level of experience…or of none! Expert guidance is offered throughout the sessions. More information and online booking at

Asenby Institute – new members required
A Special General Meeting of Asenby Institute is to be held on Wednesday 11 January aimed at recruiting new committee members. Anyone interested in finding out more about becoming a committee member is invited to ring Siobhan Gifford on 01845 578300 or 07966 228206.
Textile recycling
This is advance notice that the next Bags2School textile recycling event will be held on Monday 23 January 2023. If you’re having an annual clear out of cupboards and wardrobes in the New Year, please save your discarded clothing. You’ll be able to drop off your bags of textiles at the Village Hall between 8.30am and 12 noon. 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.
Big Garden Birdwatch
The 2023 Big Garden Birdwatch will take place over the weekend 27-29 January 2023. It’s the world’s largest garden wildlife survey and in 2022 almost 700,000 people took part, counting more than 11 million birds.
Taking part in the count helps the RSPB build a vital snapshot of how garden birds are doing in each county and across the UK. Be prepared for January’s count by registering your interest and getting access to some useful information about birds you are likely to encounter.

Take part | Big Garden Birdwatch 2023 – The RSPB

Rural Arts launches spring programme
As Rural Arts approaches its 30th anniversary it has announced plans for an amazing programme of events for adults, children and families, including workshops, exhibitions, music and dance performances and lots more. Rural Arts is based at The Courthouse in Thirsk. The full programme can be checked-out at
St James’ Church Coffee and Chat
Baldersby St James – every Tuesday morning between 10am and 12 noon.
Local traders

A list of local traders in Topcliffe and Asenby can be viewed here.

Bin Collections
Hambleton (Topcliffe):

  • Refuse – Monday 19 December and Tuesday 3 January (one day later than normal).
  • Recycling – Friday 30 December (one day later than normal).
  • Garden waste – no further collections until the post-Christmas collection on Thursday 12 January.
  • Garden waste licences for the next period of service will go on sale in March 2023.

Harrogate (Asenby):

  • Recycling – Mondays 19 December and 2 January (this is a Bank Holiday but it is what the council’s website shows – it may be worth checking nearer the date to see if this date remains or is changed).
  • Refuse – Tuesday 27 December (one day later than normal).
  • Garden waste – no further collections until March 2023.
That’s all for this week. Keep safe and remain well.