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Sunday Esmail: Issue 19

Hello and welcome to the 19th issue of this regular Sunday email.

My introduction to this week’s email is short and sweet – a simple message that the pandemic is not over yet and that we should all do what we can to ensure we continue to stay safe. Maybe this message should be aimed in particular at younger people who appear to think they are immune to the dangers of the coronavirus. But they should note that the message in Preston this week is ‘don’t kill granny’. A stark message amid that city’s virus spike that youngsters themselves might be relatively safe but that they can transmit the disease to their loved ones with devastating consequences.

Further in to this week’s email you’ll be able to read about the forthcoming retirement of Dr Charles Parker from the Topcliffe Surgery. There are plans afoot to mark his departure and everyone’s invited to contribute their comments to a Memory Book that will be presented next month. Obviously, Dr Parker knows nothing about the plans and the organisers would like to try and keep everything secret from him at this stage so that the book is a surprise to him. So contribute by all means but remember to keep mum.

As usual, get in touch with me if you have any news or information that you think village residents might like to hear about.


07785 223707

Latest government advice

Face coverings have become mandatory in more indoor settings following a recent spike in coronavirus cases. In addition to shops and public transport, they are now also required in indoor places of worship, museums and galleries, public areas in hotels and hostels, bingo halls, libraries, concert halls, cinemas, crematoriums, aquariums and indoor zoos.

From next Saturday, 15 August, a raft of measures originally intended to come into force on 1 August, but postponed because of concerns about increases in virus cases, will be put in place. The government has pointed out, however, that if it has any concerns about the level of virus infection, these relaxations could again be put on hold. We should see:

• Bowling alleys, skating rinks, casinos and all close contact services, such as beauticians offering facial treatments and make-up applications, starting to operate again.

• Live indoor theatre and concerts, with socially distanced audiences, resuming.

• Pilot sporting events proceeding with a limited number of spectators.

• Both wedding ceremonies and receptions with up to 30 guests again being allowed. Physical distancing rules will be essential.

From October, the government still intends to allow audiences to return to stadiums, but again this is subject to how the virus is being contained and how people are handling the restrictions on social distancing etc.

More Local Restrictions Imposed

It was announced last Friday that households in Preston will be banned from mixing indoors or in gardens. Households mixing in pubs and houses has been blamed for a rise in coronavirus cases in the city. Preston joins an increasingly long list of areas to have local lockdown restrictions imposed. Last weekend the same measures were brought in for residents in Greater Manchester, parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire, as well as Leicester. The rules for these areas will remain in place for at least another week. There’s also a list of other areas being considered for local restrictions, including Bedford, Luton, Wrexham and Sheffield.

‘Please give me space’ – social distancing cards or badges

The government has introduced new ‘Please Give Me Space’ cards and lanyards which can be used by anyone who may have difficulties or concerns in maintaining social distancing. They can be used to signal to others that they need to pay attention and be given space. There’s also a message that can be carried on a mobile phone. Visit:

Book a coronavirus test

Key workers and anyone who has Covid-19 symptoms can have a test. As part of the national testing programme for coronavirus (Covid-19), drive-through Mobile Testing Units, run by the Department for Health and Social Care, will be operating in the following locations over the coming days:

  • Monday 10 August – Northallerton – Allertonshire School, Brompton Road, Northallerton, DL6 1ED.
  • Tuesday 11 August – Thornton Le Dale – National Trust Car Park, No.5. Chestnut Avenue, Pickering, YO18 7RR.
  • Tuesday 11 August – Harrogate – Harrogate Old Education Offices, Ainsty Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 4AP.
  • Wednesday 12 August – Scarborough – Scarborough Park & Ride, Seamer Road, Scarborough YO12 4LW.
  • Thursday 13 August – Whitby – Whitby Park and Ride, Whitby, YO21 1TL.
  • Thursday 13 August – Richmond – Round Howe Car Park, Reeth Road, Richmond, DL10 4T.
  • Friday 14 August – Northallerton – Allertonshire School, Brompton Road, Northallerton, DL6 1ED.
  • Friday 14 August – Harrogate – Harrogate Old Education Offices, Ainsty Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 4AP.

Before you attend you must book a test. There are two ways to do this depending on which testing group you are part of. Tests can be booked from 8pm the night before. To book a test visit:

In certain cases, home test kits can be delivered to someone’s door so they can test themselves and their family without leaving the house. Home test kit availability will be initially limited, but more will become available.

There’s a link on the North Yorkshire County Council website to request a home test –

Tollerton pub shuts because of virus case

The Black Horse pub in Tollerton, near Easingwold, closed on July 30 after one of its customers tested positive for coronavirus. In a Facebook statement, the owners said: "We have worked hard to put all the necessary measures in place to keep our staff and customers safe but regretfully we have been informed that a customer who is now Covid positive visited our premises on Thursday, 30 July. Subsequently a staff member has also shown symptoms and is now self-isolating for the mandatory period. We have taken the decision to temporarily close the pub as a result and a deep clean has taken place. We followed government guidelines and collected customer contact details, which we were able to hand over to the NHS Test and Trace team so they could contact all customers.”

More returning holidaymakers must isolate for 14 days

The situation relating to holidaymakers returning from certain countries where Covid-19 cases are again increasing continued to worsen last week. Portugal, Spain and Luxembourg have now been joined by Belgium, Andorra and the Bahamas on a list of countries with increasing cases of the virus and from which returning holidaymakers are now required to isolate for 14 days. And the odds are that more countries could be included in the days and weeks to come…with France being a top contender after it recorded a two-month high in Covid cases. Asked what the thousands of holidaymakers in France and those preparing to visit should do, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “We’re in the midst of a global pandemic and that means there is always the risk of disruption to travel plans and people need to bear that in mind."

The risk of having to isolate for 14 days after taking a holiday is throwing the tourism industry into considerable disarray and making many people think twice about taking a trip abroad. There is so much uncertainty that many families are looking at so-called ‘staycations’ this year…but reports suggest that there are so many people thinking in a similar way that it is increasingly difficult to find accommodation anywhere in this country.

Eat Out to Help Out continues all this month

According to government reports, the Eat Out to Help Out scheme got off to a flying start last week with thousands of diners claiming their discounted meals…and helping hospitality businesses get going again. The promotion continues on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August and it gives people a discount of up to 50% when eating or drinking soft drinks in a participating restaurant or other food establishment. The maximum discount available is £10 per person when you eat or drink in. It is not available on take-away food or on alcohol. You can check out which venues have joined the scheme in our area by following this link:

The Angel at Topcliffe

The Angel is taking part in the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme. Booking a table in the restaurant is highly recommended any day of the week as it has been very busy, especially at weekends. The garden is still operating on first come first basis for food and drinks. To book email or call 01845 578000.

The Swan

The Swan serves food at socially distanced tables and reservations are necessary. Takeaway meals to order. Times are: 5 to 8:30pm Monday to Saturday and 12 noon to 4pm on Sunday. Telephone 01845 595185.

Railings fixed at last

A long running saga in Topcliffe finally appears to have ended. Last December’s edition of The Tattler reported that necessary repairs to the safety barrier along the top of Mill Bank and Station Road had been reported many times and over several years, but it was proving extremely difficult to get things put right. Well, last week North Yorkshire County Council contractors were on site and the repair job has now been completed. All’s well that ends well.

The 2020 Produce Show

Just a reminder for those who may have missed an earlier announcement, the annual Topcliffe & Asenby Produce Show, which was scheduled to take place on Saturday, 5 September, has been cancelled. It has become apparent that the arrangements for an event of this sort will be extremely difficult to organise and manage bearing in mind all the restrictions and rules governing the use of community facilities.

Tables covered!

In the March edition of The Tattler, Karen Morley appealed for donations of white tablecloths of any size, but particularly large ones, for use in the village hall. Then the coronavirus hit and all went quiet on the tablecloth front. But this week Karen has asked me to mention Colin and Jean Radcliffe of Long Street, Topcliffe who have kindly donated a number of lovely white tablecloths which will be perfect for use at a range of events. So, a big thank you to Colin and Jean. If you have any tablecloths that you are happy to donate, please contact Karen Morley on 577426 and she’ll make arrangements to pick them up.

Gas works cause road closure

The first section of the road from Asenby to Rainton, (Asenby Forge to Park Road), will be closed for five days from tomorrow, 10 August to Friday, 14 August for gas main works.

Dr Parker to retire from Topcliffe Surgery

As many of you will know, Dr Parker will be retiring as a GP Partner from Topcliffe Surgery at the end of September after 28 years in the post. Staff at the surgery are looking at ways to mark this milestone, and would like to invite patients and members of the community to contribute to a Memory Book to be presented to Dr Parker on his departure. One or two patients have already forwarded brief comments/responses/photos and these are being collected together to be put into the Memory Book. Additional written comments or cards can be forwarded in one of two ways:

• A folder will be available at the Post Office, courtesy of John Mulley. Any cards, photos or hand written notes can be delivered to the Post Office and will be collated to be passed on to the surgery.

• Email responses can be sent to Doug Allan ( who has kindly offered to collate and forward comments received this way and to forward them to the surgery.

It is hoped to present the Memory Book to Dr Parker at the end of September and with that aim in mind, all responses are requested by Friday, 11 September at the latest to allow sufficient time to put the finishing touches together. We hope to be able to prepare a short article, including photos of the presentation, for publication in a future Tattler. Thank you for your help.

PS: Dr Parker obviously doesn’t know about our plans, so please help us to keep this a secret from him.

Church meetings

Just a quick reminder that there is to be a meeting in St. Columba’s Church at 7pm on Monday, 17 August for the election of Churchwardens. This meeting may be attended by those whose names are on St. Columba’s Church electoral roll and all persons resident in the parish whose names are entered on a register of local government electors by reason of such residence. This meeting will be followed by the Annual Parochial Church Meeting and the first meeting of the Parochial Church Council.

St Columbas remains closed for services for the time being. Discussions are taking place to see how and when the church can reopen safely and an announcement will be made in due course.

Bags 2 School – reminder about next recycling event

The next ‘Bags 2 School’ recycling event will be on Monday, 21 September. So please start cleaning out your wardrobes and drawers. As last time, the event will be held at Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall and the proceeds will be shared between the Village Hall and Topcliffe Scout groups. As a reminder, we would welcome any of the following items: – Men’s, Ladies’ and Children’s clothing – paired shoes (tied together or elastic band around) – handbags – hats – bags – scarves and ties – jewellery – lingerie – socks – belts – soft toys – household linen – household curtains – household towels – household bedding (bed sheets, pillow cases and duvet covers). Please note that 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 with and without logo, corporate clothing and workwear or textile off cuts, yarns or threaded material.

Bin Collections

Hambleton (Topcliffe):

• Recycling and green bins – Thursdays 13 and 27 August

• Refuse –Mondays 17 and 31 August.

Harrogate (Asenby):

• Refuse – Mondays 10 and 24 August.

• Garden waste – Thursdays 13 and 27 August.

• Recycling – Mondays 17 and 31 August.

And Finally

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