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Sunday Email: Issue 144

Welcome to your regular Sunday Email.

07785 223707

Craft Fair in Topcliffe – TODAY
Independent Thirsk Traders are holding their first craft fair of the year at Topcliffe and Asenby Village Hall today between10am until 3pm. There’ll be an absolutely fantastic array of crafts created by some amazing, friendly and very talented people. There’ll also be a tombola and hot drinks will be available.

Independent Thirsk Traders is a trading group holding craft fairs throughout the year. Most of its traders hand craft their individual creations which include jewellery, cards, cushions, bags, crystals, pictures, sweet hampers, wood turned clocks, floral display pieces and many more. They are all local people bringing their talents to share with others in villages around Thirsk.

Services at St Columba’s

  • Sunday 29 January – there is no service today
  • Sunday 5 February at 6,30pm – Choral Evensong
  • Sunday 12 February at 10.45am – Holy Communion
  • Sunday 19 February at 10.45am – Choral Matins
  • Sunday 26 February 10.45am Holy Communion.
The Rev’d Jim Thorn
Many villagers, especially church attenders, will remember the Rev’d Jim Thorn, who was vicar at St Columba’s from 1987 to 1993. It is with great sadness that it has been learned that he died peacefully in Harrogate on 11 January. He lived at the Vicarage with his wife Audrey and their three children throughout his tenure as vicar. He was a quiet man, much loved for his care, concern and great spirituality, and is still remembered as a true inspiration to many parishioners at St Columba’s. His funeral will take place at the leper chapel of St Mary Magdalen in Ripon on Tuesday 14 February at 10.15am. May he rest in peace.
Textile recycling
A big thank you to everyone who donated their unwanted textiles to the Bag2School collection last Monday. £220 was raised and has been shared equally between the Village Hall and 1st Topcliffe Scouts. Thanks especially to Donna Flemming and Chris Heywood, representing the scouts, who stood in the cold along with me to manage the collection throughout Monday morning.

There’ll be another textiles collection on Friday 6 October, so please keep in black bags and store any items you sort out.

Topcliffe Bridge – repairs are imminent
Last week I contacted the County Council to see how plans are going for the repairs to Topcliffe Bridge. I wrote: "I thought I would just get in touch to see how plans are progressing for the repairs to Topcliffe Bridge. I hope that you received some responses to the tender process and that there is a contractor ready to start the work fairly soon so that it is completed by the end of the financial year."

And a reassuring response was received from Traffic Engineering Team Leader, Mr David Kirkpatrick, who said: "I had intended to contact you given recent progress, so your email is timely. I can confirm that the procurement process did result in a contractor being appointed and the contract is in the process of being issued and signed. It is expected that work will commence on site in the near future and I will contact you again once we have an agreed start date. The project remains on track to be completed this financial year."

At long last, more weight restriction signs erected in Asenby
The local 7.5 tonne weight restriction in the Topcliffe and Asenby area has been in place for quite a few years, though everyone knows it isn’t the most successful of schemes.

When it was launched, highway engineers erected signs on the main road past Asenby, but at the time they neglected to place appropriate signs at the entry to the village off Whaites Lane (the southern end of the village). This meant that HGVs could quite legitimately enter Asenby village and by-pass restrictions, and be able to argue that they hadn’t passed any weight limit signs. The situation was ridiculous and years of lobbying by the Parish Council to get extra signs followed.

The good news is that now, almost five years later, two brand new 7.5 tonne weight restriction signs have been installed. The recent and ongoing Topcliffe/Asenby HGV saga may have had some influence but a big thank you is due to the intervention of Councillor Nick Brown – Asenby’s representative on North Yorkshire County Council.

Gardener wanted
Topcliffe Surgery is on the look out for a gardener who could undertake basic maintenance – mainly cutting hedges and some weeding – probably on a quarterly basis. Anyone interested in taking on these tasks is asked to call in at the surgery, or call 01845 577297.
Sandhill Vets move out
After over 25 years of being based in Topcliffe, Sandhill Veterinary Services are moving to new larger premises. From tomorrow, 30 January, the new address for the practice will be Sandhill Veterinary Services Ltd, BBP House, 14 Keld Close, Barker Business Park, Melmerby, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 5NB. The phone number remains the same: 01845 578710.
Monk Park Farm receives award
The popular Monk Park Farm near Bagby was named the runner-up in the Small Farm Attraction of the Year category of the prestigious National Farm Attractions Awards 2023. Judges described the farm as a great day out, highlighting ease of booking and good signposting on-site. The attraction came under new ownership last April and since then significant investment has been made to refurbish its facilities, enhance its offering, improve accessibility and expand its calendar of special events. It has also established strong links with the local community. The team from Monk Park Farm picked up their accolade during a Gala Awards Dinner at Harrogate’s Majestic Hotel last week.

Monk Park Farm is closed January and February but will reopen in March. For more details see

Quiz Night at The Angel
The Sunday evening quiz – tonight at 8pm in The Angel. It’s a really good night with a lot of fun and some lighthearted banter between teams and with the quiz master! It would be great to see some new faces, so please come along to test your general knowledge and enjoy yourselves. The Angel really make us welcome even offering a bottle of wine for a monthly draw.
Asenby Parish Council
There has been no interest so far from any Asenby residents prepared to step forward and help to keep the village’s Parish Council operating. Two out of five seats on the council are vacant, meaning that if just one of three other representatives can’t attend a meeting, say because they are ill or away on business or holiday, meetings can’t proceed as they would not be quorate. Such uncertainty makes it very difficult to run the council smoothly and efficiently.

If any eligible resident is interested in being co-opted (rather than elected) to the Parish Council, please get in touch with the Acting Parish Clerk, Peter Palmer 01845 578057.

Topcliffe & Asenby Community Warm-Up
Warm-Up lunches are on every Wednesday between 11.30am and 1.30pm at Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall.

Last week there were so many people present that the organisers lost count of how many meals were served in the hall and delivered to homes in the villages. But it was certainly the busiest lunch so far and there was no food left over. An amazing £170 was raised of which £50 was donated to the local branch of Cancer Research, with the remainder going into the Community Warm Up fund.

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

Free debt advice
Anyone who finds that they are struggling with their finances might benefit from free help and advice available from a range of organisations. The last thing anyone should do is respond to advertisements for short-term loans or seek the services of debt management companies, which could easily make matters worse.

Here are some ideas that you could look at:

  • Citizens’ Advice offers advice on a variety of topics including debt. Advice can be sought at Citizens’ Advice centres, over the telephone or via their excellent website offering a number of self-help guides.
  • Debt Advice Foundation has developed a useful range of educational material aimed at schoolchildren and it also has a free helpline.
  • National Debtline offers free advice over the telephone. Specialist advice is backed up with a range of self-help material.
  • PayPlan helps to clear debt by offering free impartial advice either online or over the telephone. It can work with debt creditors to help reach a solution and offer personalised debt repayment plans based on individual circumstances.
  • StepChange – a charity helping around 650,000 people a year with money advice and ways to avoid debt.
  • Business Debtline offers free and confidential advice for small businesses with a broad selection of self-help guides.
School Holiday and training days – North Yorkshire
Parents may wish to make a note of these dates on their calendar:

  • Half term holiday: Monday 13 February to Friday 17 February.
  • Easter holiday: Monday 3 April to Friday 14 April.
  • Professional development training day: Monday 17 April.
  • Bank holiday: 1 May.
  • Bank holiday: 8 May.
  • Half term: Monday 29 May to Friday 2 June.
  • Term ends: Tuesday 25 July 2023
  • Summer holidays: Tuesday 25 July to Monday 4 September.
  • Professional development training day:Monday 4 September.
  • Half term holiday: Monday 30 October to Friday 3 November.
  • Christmas holiday:Monday 25 December to Friday 5 January.
Knit and Natter
The Knit & Natter group meets every Thursday at 1.30pm in the TV lounge at The Angel. The cost for refreshments remains at £3 and everyone is welcome to attend, whether for a knit, just for a natter or both!
Chip ‘n Dales
The Chip ‘n Dales fish and chip van is now back in Topcliffe each Friday tea time – 5 to 7pm.
Topcliffe Parish Council
The next meeting of Topcliffe Parish Council will be held in the Village Hall at 7pm on Thursday 2 February.
The RItz Cinema, Thirsk

  • To Thursday 2 February (matinee on Wednesday 1 February) – Tom Hanks is ‘A Man Called Otto‘.
  • Friday 3 to Thursday 9 February (matinee on Wednesday 8 February) – Empire of Light.
  • Matinees only on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 February – Matilda – The Musical (Singalong version).

Prices: Adult – £6, concession – £5 (14 and under, over 60s and matinees).
Opening times: evenings – doors open 7pm for 7.30pm. Matinees doors open 2pm for 2.30pm.
Updates: Please check the cinema website for the latest information –

Thirsk Farmers’ Market
It’s back on Thirsk Market Square on Sunday 5 February between 9am and 2pm. This popular market features stallholders who are local independent businesses. They’re passionate about what they do and it shows.
Events in Dalton Village Hall

  • Domino Drive – Saturday 4 February at 7pm in aid of The Herriot Hospice and Saturday 25 February at 7pm. Admission is £2, with £1 for 5 raffle tickets. Tea and biscuits are served at the interval. The proceeds of this event will be for the village hall funds. All ages are welcome.
  • Jumble Sale – Sunday 5February from 10.30am until 1pm. The proceeds will be for Rose Dawson’s owl fund. Rose, who lives in Thirsk, has spent years rescuing and rehabilitating injured owls. The proceeds will help with food and vet’s bills.
  • Family Race Night- Saturday 18February at 6.30pm. Entry is free of charge.
The Textiles of Bhutan
A fascinating lecture by art consultant and exhibition curator Zara Fleming is being held at Solberge Hall Hotel on Tuesday 7 February between 1.45 and 3.15pm. Zara specialises in the art and culture of Tibet, the Himalayan areas and Mongolia. She introduces this outstanding art form and explains how textiles are crucial to Bhutan’s cultural identity. Free for Art Society (Hambleton) members, visitors £7. Tickets on the door.
Comedy Night at The Angel
The next Hilarity Bites Comedy Night will be held in the Plaza Suite at The Angel on Tuesday 7 February. These ‘stand-up’ nights present some of the best comedians on the circuit in North Yorkshire. Tickets £12 each…or save £2 per ticket if you buy in advance from The Angel at Topcliffe.
Thirsk Lego Brick Show
Here’s news of a great day out for children and families who have an interest in building with Lego. The show will be held between 10am and 4pm at Thirsk Town Hall on Saturday 11 February. More details can be seen on the poster here.
Valentine’s at The Angel
There’ll be a special menu – including sharing choices – available from Saturday 11 to Tuesday 14 February for all romantics looking to celebrate with their Valentine. Check out the website for details –
David Gibb’s Family Jukebox
At school half-term give your family a musical experience to remember! Join David and his magical music Jukebox as he takes you on a trip through his hilarious and often surreal imagination, where wolves roam the school corridors, dragons live under the bed and teddy bears dance the night away at the disco. This Rural Arts performance is on at The Courthouse, Westgate, Thirsk on Friday 17 February at 3pm. Adults £8 and concession £6. Age guidance 3+.
Artisan Market
The next market featuring independent producers providing locally-produced arts, crafts, food and drink, will be held on Thirsk market Square on Sunday 19 February between 10am and 3pm.
The Rainton Gardening Club
The popular gardening club based in Rainton Village Hall is inviting anyone interested in gardening to join the club which meets on the third Tuesday of each month. The first meeting of this year will be a ‘taster’ meeting on Tuesday 21 February at 7.30pm when plantsman Chris Small will talk about the seasonal progression ‘From Winter to Spring’. There are eight speakers booked for the coming year, plus four summer garden visits included in the annual membership fee. For more details please contact Gill Common, Club Secretary – gillcommon
Free concerts at Ripon Cathedral
The free lunchtime concert series at Ripon Cathedral continues in February and March. Although entry is free, there is a voluntary collection at the end. Refreshment are served at 12.30pm and the 50 minute performances start at 1pm. Here’s what’s on:

  • 23 February – Performance by students from Leeds University.
  • 2 March – Charlotte Harper, Soprano.
  • 9 march – Keith Dale on the organ.
  • 16 March – Performance by students from Leeds University.
  • 23 March – Ed Jones on the organ.
  • 30 March – Prima Musica students.
Khooghi by Kauser Mukthar
Kauser Mukhthar’s family-friendly show, set within a beautiful toy theatre
stage, uses puppetry, music and song to tell a story of humour, tragedy and hope, built around a song and a Kashmiri folk tale. It’s on at Rural Arts at The Courthouse, Westgate, Thirsk at 7pm on Saturday 25 February. Tickets are £8 – £10.
Art classes at the Village Hall
There’s a number of one-off art classes planned at the Village Hall:

  • Thursday 30 March – 10.30am to 1pm – Spring Flowers and Garden Birds painted in oils.
  • Thursday 27 April – 10.30am to 1pm – Escape to the Sea – paint a seascape in oils.

These art class are for artists of every level of experience…or none! Expert guidance is offered throughout the sessions. Equipment and paint provided. Refreshments included. Price £25/£28. More information and online booking at

The Flying Oysters
The North East’s best rock and pop band will be performing at the Village Hall on Saturday 22 April. Tickets are £12, including hot supper, and they are already selling fast! On sale now from Doug Allan (07785 223707) or Topcliffe Post Office.
Deer Shed Festival 2023
The date of this year’s festivalhas been announced. It’s to be held from Friday 28 to Monday 31 July.
Local traders

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

Bin Collections
Hambleton (Topcliffe):

  • Refuse – Mondays 30 January and 13 February.
  • Recycling – Thursdays 9 and 23 February.
  • Subscriptions for the 2023/24 garden waste service will be available March 2023. There is still no indication of the price that will be charged from 1 April 2023.

Harrogate (Asenby)

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