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Sunday Email: Issue 2

Good afternoon and happy Easter to you all.

I was very pleased that lots of villagers appear to have welcomed the first email issued offering information, advice and news during the Coronavirus pandemic. It was kind of so many recipients to email me to say thank you and to encourage me to issue more emails. So I’ve decided that for now I will circulate an email each week – generally on Sunday.

I hope you find this second email useful. If you have any information that you would like me to consider including in future emails please feel free to contact me.

Many readers of this email will recall Chris Millross, who lived in Asenby for many years until just a couple of years ago, who had been a member of Asenby Parish Council for many years and its chairman for a few, and who despite moving to Boroughbridge, continued to support many activities in our two villages. Sadly, Chris died yesterday in hospital following a short illness. I am sure that those who knew him will wish to join me in sending condolences to his wife Pauline who, like all of us, continues to be in self isolation at home.

Stay at home, stay well and stay safe.


07785 223707

1 Coronavirus Health Information

The government’s advice continues to be that everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus. You should only leave the house for very limited purposes:

• shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible

• one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household

• any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person

• travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home.

Even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are two metres apart from anyone outside of your household. There is separate advice online about staying at home if you’re at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus or you or someone you live with has symptoms of coronavirus. You should not leave your home if you have either:

• a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)

• a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

To protect others, do not go to places like our doctor’s surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do. Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

Please note that during the crisis Topcliffe Surgery requires seven working days’ notice for repeat prescriptions.

2 Precautions against spreading the virus

You’ll have heard it all before but it does no harm to repeat here how we can all help prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease.

• wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds.

• always wash your hands when you get home or into work.

• use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.

• cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.

• put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards.

I noted a message on the ‘Top Residents’ Facebook page that I thought would be worth reprinting here. It was raised following various messages being posted about sharing magazines and other items. Anne-Marie Mulley, the site originator, issued the following warning: “Can I remind people that whilst the recycling of surplus items is a fab idea, there is a risk of unintentional cross contamination. If you are recycling or collecting please be extra careful to sanitise everything. No offence is meant to anyone so please don’t take any. Just bear in mind the following timescales of how long the virus is believed to exist on surfaces (Please note that I checked these timescales on an official site and I have changed a couple and added a few).

Paper/tissue paper – 3 hours; Cardboard – 24 hours; Fabric – 24 hours; Wood – 2 days; Plastic – 2-3 days; Non porous materials (metal, handles, switches) – 4 days; Glass (including mobile phones) – 4 days.

Dr Bharat Pankhania, clinical lecturer at the University of Exeter, says that rather than try to keep a running list of how the virus operates on various different surfaces and when you last cleaned them in your head, “your mindset needs to be that everything, everyone, everywhere is contaminated. And whatever you handle is a potential risk.” But that doesn’t mean you need to be afraid of everything you touch, it just means you need to keep up with washing your hands. “Do it meticulously every two hours, mindfully,” Dr Pankhania says, and that is the solution.”

3. Stay at Home

Many people seem to believe that the social distancing rules are for others – not for them! However, judging by the reports so far this weekend, the scenes of crowded seafronts and beauty spots we saw last weekend are not being repeated on the same scale. Most people appear to have realised the incredible danger that they put themselves in and, of course, everyone else. Any selfish activity at this critical time is a sure fire way of prolonging this dreadful pandemic and causing the deaths of many more people. The government’s advice is for those who leave their house to exercise to stay local, use open spaces near to their home and not to travel unnecessarily.

4 Topcliffe Facebook Group

Don’t forget to take a look at the Facebook site set up by Anne-Marie Mulley – Top Residents – which shares information that might be useful to villagers.

5 Community Support in Asenby

  • In Asenby, a team of volunteers is being coordinated by Peter Palmer (01845 578057) and Judith Lowe (01845 577911). Any resident who needs help with shopping or collection of medicines….or maybe just wants a chat on the phone, can contact Peter or Judy.
  • Asenby community news can be found on the Facebook page ‘Asenby Institute Community Space’.
  • The village has opened up a community library in the bus-stop so we can all travel somewhere different through the pages of a novel we haven’t read yet… Asenby villagers are welcome to take a book, drop-off a book (using their gloves of course)! The bus-stop also has an occasional potato delivery so look out for that if you’re running short.
  • Asenby Village Trails have been developed for Asenby children (and adults) taking their daily stroll. Walkers should look out for rainbows, teddy bears and, for the rest of this weekend, Easter trees.
  • Asenby residents who have been worried about leaving their home to collect their medications from Topcliffe Surgery can now relax in the knowledge that practice nurse Lesley Lowe is running a valuable service carrying out this task for us. The surgery advises that this applies only to those in isolation and/or those who do not pay for medication.

6 Community Works

This is a support organisations working with North Yorkshire County Council which offers advice to anyone self-isolating who can’t get direct help from family, friends, neighbours or trusted local groups. Ring 01845 523115 for help with shopping, meals on wheels, food parcels, prescriptions or caring for pets. It can also arrange regular telephone calls to anyone who would like them.

7 Shopping Pick-ups and Deliveries

It can be difficult to get home deliveries from the large supermarkets, but I wanted to bring to your attention this special ‘essential’ delivery service that Morrison’s are offering to vulnerable and elderly members of the community who are unable to shop in-store. The list of items available is attached to this email. Items should be ticked and you then call 0345 611 6111 and press option 5 to place the order. Orders take 24 hours to process and payment is taken by contactless card by the delivery driver. Cash and cheques cannot be accepted.

Other local home delivery services include:

  • The Greengrocers in Thirsk have agreed to deliver boxes to Topcliffe every Monday. You can put in an order any time before the delivery day. 01845 527899.
  • Johnson’s the Butchers, also based in Thirsk, are also delivering.
  • Carl’s Fruit & Veg. Orders only by Facebook. Requires payment by Bacs.
  • K E Bland of Ripon – home delivery service for supply milk, yoghurt, cream, bread, oil, water, fruit and vegetables. Ring 01765 603049.
  • Upstairs Downstairs Deli, Thirsk are delivering to all YO7 postcodes. Check them out on Facebook.
  • Mooshakes, Mocktails and Munchies – needs orders for milkshakes and cakes by 12pm for afternoon deliveries or 4.30pm for evening deliveries. Topcliffe deliveries Wed 1.30 to 2.30 and Allenbrooke 5.30 to 7.30.

Preferred method of payment for most dealers is by card over the telephone when ordering.

8 Take Away Food

A whole host of food companies continue to take away pick-ups or deliveries. Here’s a few:

• The Bay Horse, Rainton – 01845 578697 – on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Wide range of meals on offer.

• Regency Pizza, Thirsk Industrial Estate – 01845 522331

• Racha Thai Bistro, Thirsk – 01845 524265

• Pizza Pronto, Catterick Garrison – 01748 833777

• Westgate Fish & Chips, Thirsk are taking orders during the day by telephone that can be picked up during the 4 to 9pm opening times. Ring 07703 686774

• Mozzarelli’s, Ripon 01765 603333

But check on the internet because supply details are always subject to change.

The TeaTime Cafe in Thirsk is launching Bake Boxes whilst the cafe is closed. There is a mixed box option or individual items to order. Included in the next delivery will be tea loaf with apricots and ginger, Viennese whirls, chocolate brownie, cherry and almond scones, but the items will be different each week. Delivery is free to Topcliffe and Asenby. To start with delivery date is Thursday and orders need to be in by 2pm Tuesday. Full details are on the café’s website at

To show its appreciation of the wonderful staff working in our NHS, Jaipur Spice at Busby Stoop is offering a free takeaway to anyone who shows their NHS identification card on Thursday 23 April. If you know anyone who qualifies, please show them this information and direct them to Jaipur Spice’s Facebook page. Well done Jaipur Spice.

9 Thanks Louise

Louise Bumby is still cooking and baking for villagers in need and Annemarie Barningham is doing the deliveries. If you know an elderly person who would benefit, please call Annemarie on 07740 175311 or Jenny Bumby on 01845 577483.

10 Topcliffe Post Office (01845 577517)

John Mulley at Topcliffe Post Office continues to operate post offices services, as well as the sale of newspapers and the usual product lines. Remember, opening times are restricted – 7.30am to 2pm, Monday to Saturday.

11 Alcohol Handwash

In the last email it was reported that a beer supplier to The Little Hamper Company had agreed to make alcohol hand wash, some of which would be available here in the Topcliffe and Asenby area for use by residents at high risk or those doing the shopping and medicine pick-ups for these vulnerable people. It had been hoped that some supplies might have arrived in the village by now but we’re happy to report that the company has been giving priority to our NHS services, so there will be some delay before any is available here. That’s the right priority of course.

12 Looking after our mental health

Looking after our mental health during the coronavirus pandemic is more important than ever, so I make no apology for repeating last week’s information. If you want any advice and guidance during this period go to:

13. Parish Councils

Just a reminder that 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 www.asenby .net

14 Thursday Clapping for our heroes

Clapping in Topcliffe and Asenby in support of heroes on the NHS frontline, care staff and other key workers was even more intensive and impressive than ever last Thursday. Well done everyone who took part. There’ll be another clapping next Thursday evening at 8pm. But please, no fireworks as it upsets and traumatises our pets.

15 Scams

North Yorkshire Police have issued a timely reminder that online and phone scammers are still trying to defraud victims as much as ever, if not more so, during the pandemic. One recent scam is a text stating that it is Santander saying there has been an unusual attempt to login to your online banking. Underneath is a link that it asks you to click on. But if you get an email like this please do not click on this link. Best avoid any links included in a text or email unless you are absolutely sure you know its origins.

16 Dog waste

Now so many people are taking their exercise on the paths and lanes around Topcliffe and Asenby, dog owners need to be even more vigilant about what their dogs are up to…and being more rigorous about picking up their pet’s poo.

17 Events Update

Plans for a tea party to mark the retirement of Susanne Jukes, the Vicar of St Columba’s, on 29 April at Dalton Village Hall have now been cancelled. I aim to issue an update on Suzanne’s retirement in the next email.

The St Columba’s Heritage Weekend set for 12-14 June has now been cancelled. The good news is that the things booked, for what was to have been the most ambitious heritage weekend so far, have been provisionally re-booked for June 2021.

The celebration of the Feast of St Columba, held on the Sunday, 14 June, is not yet cancelled. A view will be taken much nearer the time, based on further government and Church of England advice, as to whether some sort of service of celebration can take place.

And there’s something to look forward to when Matthew Atherton comes to St Columba’s to give an organ recital sometime in July. The date will be set when the lockdown is lifted and permissions allowing such events to take place are granted.

18 Nice Little Touches

People can be at their best during adversity, and that is very true of Topcliffe and Asenby villagers during this crisis. Despite the lockdown, isolation, social distancing and real concern for families and friends, it is remarkable how humour and kindness abound. Social media sites are full of jokes and hilarious videos: you would wonder where the creativity and comedy ideas come from. But there’s also many ideas about keeping the kids occupied making all sorts of things, as well as home learning.

It was nice to see the painted stones left all over Topcliffe (thanks to Michelle Larder and her family), each carrying a message of love and hope. And lots of people, young and old, have been baking, cooking and shopping for friends and neighbours…ensuring that those in lockdown or isolation are properly looked after and cared for. There’s fantastic community spirit and every day we hear of new examples of people doing extraordinary things to help us all get through the crisis.

If you want to get involved with random acts of kindness you might consider:

  • Calling a friend that you haven’t spoken to for a while.
  • Arranging to have a cup of tea and virtual catch up with someone you know.
  • Arranging to watch a film at the same time as a friend and video call afterwards to talk about it.
  • Sending someone you know a joke, or a picture of a cute animal, or an inspirational quote.
  • Calling a friend, family member or neighbour who is experiencing loneliness or self-isolation.
  • Making a donation to a charity or foodbank.
  • Sending an inspirational story of kindness people are doing for others to someone you know.
  • Offering to skill share with a friend via video call – you could teach guitar, dance, cardmaking etc.
  • Offering support to vulnerable neighbours
  • Offering to send someone a takeaway or a meal

Keep up the good work and we’ll all be able to party when this is all over.

Stay at home. Keep safe and keep well.