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Sunday Email: Issue 191

Welcome to the Sunday Email. I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas and I would like to wish you a happy and peaceful New Year.

07785 223707

Village Quiz
The quiz will not be held tonight (31 December). In the New Year the quiz will start again on Sunday 7 January.
St Columba’s Services

  • TODAY – (Sunday 31 December) – no service today (5th Sunday in the month)
  • Sunday 7 January at 6.30pm – Choral Evensong for Epiphany
  • Sunday 14 January at 10.45am – Holy Communion
  • Sunday 21 January at 10.45am – Choral Matins
  • Sunday 28 January at 10.45am – Holy Communion
  • Sunday 5 February at 6.30pm – Choral Evensong

Everyone is most welcome to come along for any of these services. Refreshments are served after every Sunday morning service.

The Catton Kitchen

  • TODAY – New Year’s Eve, 31 December, 10am to 12 noon.
  • New Year’s Day, 1 January 2024, 10am to 12 noon (or when they are finished serving).
Baldersby St James Carol Service
TODAY: The village carol service planned for Christmas Eve had to be cancelled due to a power failure so a later than normal Candlelit Carol Service will be held in the church at 4.30pm today Sunday 31 December). Everyone is welcome to attend.
New Year’s Eve in Ripon
TONIGHT: The town’s New Year’s Eve celebrations start at 9.15pm in the Market Square with live music from a steel band and culminate in a firework display at midnight. There’ll be a Watchnight service at the cathedral followed by a torchlight procession to the Market Square in time for ringing in the New Year at midnight.
The Swan’s holiday opening hours
The Swan’s opening hours over next couple of days are;

  • Sunday 31 December – 5pm until close (no food served)
  • Monday 1 January – Closed
  • Tuesday 2 January – bar only 5 until 7pm
  • Wednesday 3 January – normal hours.
Post Office opening hours
Topcliffe Post Office’s hours of business over the next few days are:

  • Sunday 31 December – closed
  • Monday 1 January – closed
  • Tuesday 2 January – normal hours.
Topcliffe Surgery
The surgery will be closed on New Year’s day – 1 January. Anyone needing medical attention when the surgery is closed should call NHS 111 service (or 999 in an emergency).
Sunday lunch at The Angel Inn
Sunday lunches are served in the conservatory and function room. Booking is recommended. Menus can be viewed here. Please call 01845 578000 to make a booking or for more information.
Cross Talk newsletter
The January edition of the local church newsletter, Cross Talk, is now out and you can read it kitnorris
Barclay’s Bank closure
It has been announced that Barclay’s Bank in Northallerton will close on Thursday 14 March. This follows the recent closure of its Thirsk, Easingwold and Ripon branches.

Those looking for alternative banking arrangements may wish to consider transferring to the Nationwide Bank in Thirsk, though it has limited opening hours – Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

There’s now only three ATMs (cash withdrawal machines) in the Market Place – they’re at the Co-op supermarket, Heron Foods and HSBC Bank. There’s also a couple of machines at Tesco. All have no withdrawal charges and accept most bank cards.

Queen Mary’s School
Congratulations to Queen Mary’s School for being recognised as one of the top six fee-paying schools (without a sixth form) in The Sunday Times 2024 Parent Power Schools’ Guide.
Grants for local initiatives
The newly elected councillor for Sowerby & Topcliffe division on North Yorkshire Council is looking for projects that could get funds from his local grants budget. Cllr Rev Dan Sladden has a budget of £5,200 to allocate to schemes he wishes to back and he is now inviting applications. The deadline is Saturday 14 January.

If you have any queries or wish to submit additional information in support of your application, contact Cllr Sladden via

Knit & Natter
The weekly Knit & Natter sessions start again on Thursday 4 January at 1.30pm in the Village Hall rear committee room. All welcome.
Weekly art classes
A new set of five art classes in the Village Hall starts on Monday 8 January and runs through to Monday 5 February. The sessions, which are two hours long, from 10-12pm, are led by artist and teacher, Rebecca Jayne. She will guide you with helpful tips and techniques and support you with in creating your own artwork.

And looking ahead to the spring
Start spring feeling more confident with drawing and sketching! Join this four-hour workshop from 10.30am to 2.30pm on Thursday 24 March at the Village Hall. Rebecca Jayne, will guide you with helpful tips and techniques and support you with creating your own drawing and sketches of a range of still life arrangements. All materials provided and refreshments are included. You can bring your own lunch or pay for a light lunch pre-ordered from a local caterers nearer the time.

Book online at

Warm Hub lunch
The Warm Hub lunch, on Wednesday 10 January, will be a one-off special two-course lunch consisting of either a chicken or beef dinner and a pudding. It will be provided by using some of the cash surplus from the Senior Citizens’ lunch held last Wednesday.

Twenty-two meals were served at last Wednesday’s lunch, which was maybe not surprising as the weather was atrocious and it was in the middle of the festive celebrations. Nonetheless, donations amounted to £73 of which £50 has gone to help support the cost of producing The Tattler with the remainder used to pay hall rental.

Thorp Perrow
The popular Arboretum is offering all visitors half price entrance between Monday 1 January and Friday 9 February 2024. So why not wrap up warm and enjoy a winter walk with friends and family…and maybe treat yourself to a hot chocolate and delicious food from the tea room?

Tickets can be pre booked their website – just enter the code ‘halfprice’ in the promotions box and click apply – Alternatively you can purchase tickets from the admission area upon arrival.

Some events coming up

  • 24 January – Rose Pruning Workshop – The first session in the spring flower series. Learn all about the theory and techniques of rose pruning. Find out why pruning is essential for healthy growth before using your new-found knowledge and skills on specimens in the Arboretum.
  • 7 February – A Literacy Celebration of Winter – Enjoy winter-inspired poetry and prose in this workshop of walking, talking and lively discussion. With well-known (and not so well-known) works of literature both historic and modern, see winter through the eyes of those with the right words in the right order in this casual workshop celebrating seasonal literature.
  • 21 February – Snowdrop Workshop – The second in the spring flower series. A hands-on workshop where you will learn to identify different varieties of snowdrop (Galanthus), propagate the seeds, plant the bulbs ready to take home…and take part in some snowdrop conservation in the Arboretum.
  • 6 March – Spring Pruning Workshop – Another in the spring flower series. Learn all about early spring pruning in this practical, hands-on workshop covering the fundamentals of what, when, where and how to prune before using your new-found skills in the Arboretum.

More information and bookings:

The RItz Cinema, Thirsk
The Ritz is closed on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

  • To Thursday 4 January with a matinee on Wednesday 3 January – Wish
  • Friday 5 to Thursday 11 January – matinees on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 January – Wonka
  • Friday 12 to Thursday 18 January – no matinees – What Happens Later
  • Matinees Only – Sunday 14 and Wednesday 17 January – The Red Shoes
  • Friday 19 to Thursday 26 January – matinee on Wednesday 24 January – Ferrari
  • Friday 26 January to Thursday 1 February – matinee on Wednesday 31 January – Anyone But You

Opening times: evenings – doors open at 7pm for 7.30pm. Matineess – doors open at 2pm for 2.30pm.

Rural Arts in the New Year

  • Tuesday 9 to Saturday 20 January – ‘People and Places’ – an exhibition of work created by members of the Heart & Craft and the ArtBeat Community. Curated by Artist Jane Claire Wilson the exhibition celebrates the creativity and sociability of local people. 10am – 4pm. Free Entry.
  • Wednesday 17 January – ‘Print & Texture’ – Experiment with different inking effects to explore pattern, texture and mark
    making. You will print your own unique artworks on different papers and fabrics. 10:30am – 12:30pm. £20.
  • Friday 19 January – ‘Mosaic Mirror’ – Learn how to accurately cut tiles, selecting from a wide range of designs, colours and materials. 10am. £65.

Visit Rural Art’s website – Home – Rural Arts for more details or to make a booking. Or just pop in if you’d prefer a face-to-face chat.

Bible talks at the Village Hall
The series of undenominational bible talks will continue in the New Year at Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall. They will be held on Thursdays 11, 18 and 25 January from 7.30 to 8.30pm. Everyone welcome.
Madagascar Day
Pupils in the Silver Birch class at Topcliffe Academy will be holding a Madagascar Day on Friday, 12 January to raise much needed funds for the Madagascar Smile Project. On the day children will be invited to wear something red, green or white – the colours of the country’s flag – in exchange for a £1 donation. There’ll also be a bake sale and pupils can purchase items for 50p. Parents and other village residents can also support the fund raising by leaving a cash donation at the school reception.
Thirsk Repair Cafe
Be greener by avoiding waste and save money by letting a team of dedicated and talented volunteers try to repair your broken or ‘worn-out’ items, such as phones, computers, clothes, appliances, tools (including sharpening) furniture and toys. The cost is a voluntary donation. It’s on Saturday 13 January between 10am and 1pm at Thirsk Library on Chapel Street. For further details or if you would like to volunteer, please email:
Asenby Parish Council meeting
The next meeting is at 7pm on Thursday 18 January in the Upper Committee Room in Topcliffe and Asenby Village Hall. All welcome.

Clerk to Asenby Parish Council
It would be wonderful if, as we start the New Year, someone would step forward to take on the role of Clerk to the Parish Council. The job is currently being done on a temporary basis by former council chairman Peter Palmer, but he has made it clear that he won’t continue to do the job for much longer. A Clerk is needed to support parish councillors with administrative duties. It’s a paid post and previous experience whilst desirable is not essential as guidance and support will be available. For further information please email:

Asenby Website
Don’t forget to check out the Parish Council’s revamped website which has information about the work of the Parish Council itself and lots of other village matters. It can be found at

Chip ‘n Dales
The Chip ‘n Dales fish and chip van will not be in Topcliffe until Friday 19 January.
Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall
The next meeting of the village hall committee will be held in the Village Hall at 7.30pm on Tuesday 23 January.
Five Loose Chippings
Some readers will remember the name and performance of the Thirsk-based group of musicians, the Five Loose Chippings, who a few years ago played at our Village Hall. Well, there’s another opportunity to see them locally when they perform at The Courthouse in Thirsk at 7.30pm on Friday 26 January. The band has made a name for themselves playing a variety of music from blues, country and bluegrass through to pop classics and western swing. No set entry charge: pay as you decide. Online at
Big Garden Birdwatch
The RSPB’s annual Big Garden Birdwatch 2024 is fast approaching. It takes place between 26 and 28 January. It’s the UK’s biggest citizen science wildlife survey, and it’s so easy to take part.

Big Garden Birdwatch is fun, free and you don’t need to have a garden: any outdoor space near where you live will work just fine. So, join half a million nature lovers and help the RSPB understand how birds are faring.

To take part in Big Garden Birdwatch, you’ll need to put aside just one hour any time on the weekend 26 to 28 January, and count all the different birds you see in your garden, balcony or local park. When you’re done, go online and tell the RSPB what you saw. It’s that simple. For more information and to sign up for the birdwatch, go to

Topcliffe Parish Council
The next meeting of Topcliffe Parish council will be held at 7pm on Thursday 1 February in the Village Hall.
Traders in Topcliffe, Asenby and surrounding area
There’s a wide range of small businesses operating in Topcliffe and Asenby and in close proximity to our two villages. Check them out when you need work doing or a service provided: it’s great to be able to support local! The list is here.
Bin Collections
Over the New Year holiday period readers are asked to check the council’s website to ensure they know the correct collection dates.

After the festive season you can recycle your Christmas tree, free of charge, at all household waste recycling centres.

The household waste recycling centre at Sowerby is open 8.30am to 4pm every day, apart from Wednesdays. It will be closed on New Year’s Day and 3 January.

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