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Sunday Email: Issue 200

Welcome to your Sunday Email. This is the 200th edition since it was first published in April 2020.

Doug Allan
07785 223707

New committee members needed for Village Hall
Change is in the wind at Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall. This year the village hall committee will lose a number of long-term members, including the chairman, treasurer and several other hard-working committee members, who have been an important part of what makes the hall tick.

As these changes fast approach, the committee is looking for new members and is hoping that residents of all ages and backgrounds will see merit in volunteering some of their time to ensure that the village hall remains a successful place now and in the future.

In particular, someone who is well organised and comfortable with numbers is needed to take on the job of treasurer – an absolutely crucial role. The current treasurer is happy to provide a six-month induction period to guide and support the new person whilst they familiarise themselves with the work.

Will you grasp the nettle and take pride in ensuring that our village hall continues to be an important social centre serving Topcliffe and Asenby? Think about it. And remember that without volunteers to run it, there’ll be no village hall.

If you are interested in an initial chat – or better still if you are already persuaded and want to be part of this successful village story – please contact Andrew Eckersley on 07966 619016 or by emailing

Bookings Administrator
Even as the village hall launches the appeal for new committee members to step forward, there’s some positive news to report. Topcliffe resident Helen Fothergill has recently joined the committee and will be looking after the hall’s online booking service and will provide support to users of the service and to the committee. Helen has previously supported village activities having once before been on the Village Hall Committee and for quite a few years undertook the duties of Clerk to Topcliffe Parish Council.

A huge thank you is due to Nicky Wood who led on introducing the Hallmaster bookings system and has managed it on behalf of the committee until now. Nicky is stepping down from the committee due to work pressures.

Coffee Morning to raise funds for Village Hall
Karen and Malcolm Morley, who are both Village Hall committee members, are organising a fundraising coffee morning to raise cash to offset losses following the recent water leak. It will be held from 10am to 12 noon on Saturday 9 March. There’ll be coffee, tea, squash and cakes…with no set price but customers paying what they can. It’s also planned that there’ll be a cake stall and raffle.

Karen is hoping villagers will rally round and help in any way they can, but particularly by baking cakes, buns, sausage rolls and biscuits, and donating raffle prizes.

Please do what you can to support your village hall. Contact Karen on 01845 577426.

The Water Leak: There’s an article in the Spring edition of The Tattler, which most households should have received in the last day or so, about the water leak and subsequent difficulties that committee members experienced trying to get it fixed. You can have a read of it here.

St Columba’s Services
There’ll be a service of Compline every Wednesday at 7pm throughout Lent. This is a short evening service, originally used to close the day of monastery or convent life. It consists of reflective prayers and readings and takes about 15 minutes and it is a lovely peaceful way to close a busy day. Everyone is most welcome to come along.

  • TODAY – Sunday 3 March at 6.30pm – Choral Evensong
  • Wednesday 6 March at 7pm – Lent Compline
  • Sunday 10 March at 10.45am – Mothering Sunday Holy Communion
  • Wednesday 13 March at 7pm – Lent Compline
  • Saturday 16 March at 7pm – Northallerton Male Voice Choir (see details in list below)
  • Sunday 17 March at 10.45am – Sung Matins
  • Wednesday 20 March at 2pm – Topcliffe Academy Easter Service.
  • Wednesday 20 March at 7pm – Lent Compline
  • Sunday 24 March at 10.45am – Palm Sunday Holy Communion
  • Wednesday 27 March at 7pm – Lent Compline
  • Friday 29 March at 2pm – Good Friday Reflection led by Rev Robert Williamson.
  • Saturday 30 March at 7pm – Easter Vigil led by Rev. Robert Williamson and Choral Mass, including Mozart’s Coronation Mass featuring organist Matthew Atherton and the church choir.

Refreshments are served after every Sunday morning service.

Village Quiz
TONIGHT: Sunday 3 March – The quiz is on at Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall at 8pm.
Winners of last week’s quiz
Liz and the Lads (Liz and Steve Hall, Phil Haley and Doug Allan) were the winners by a margin of just one point in last week’s quiz. The quizmaster, Alan Dodds, is pictured at the back looking extremely pleased with himself…which is fine as he prepared a great set of questions.
Thirsk Farmers’ Market
TODAY: Sunday 3 March between 9am and 2pm at Thirsk Market Square.
Wedding Open Day
TODAY: Sunday 3 March between 12 noon and 2pm there’ll be a wedding open day at The Crab & Lobster, Asenby. For more information email
The RItz Cinema, Thirsk.

  • TODAY: Sunday 3 March – Fundraising evening for the Herriot Hospice – featuring the London Mountain Film Festival – a fabulous night of big screen outdoor adventure films. 7.30pm. Tickets £10.
  • To Thursday 7 March – matinees on Sunday 3 and Wednesday 6 March – Jackdaw
  • Friday 8 to Thursday 14 March – matinee on Wednesday 13 March – Argylle.
  • Friday 15 to Thursday 21 March – matinee Wednesday 20 March – The Iron Claw.
  • Friday 22 to Thursday 28 March – matinee on Wednesday 27 March – Bob Marley: One Love.
  • Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 March – matinees only – Migration.

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

Asenby needs Parish Councillors
If it is to remain viable, Asenby Parish Council must urgently recruit two councillors. A Notice of Vacancy issued by North Yorkshire Council’s Returning Officer can be read here.

If residents don’t step forward to serve their community, then Parish Council matters and decisions may be taken over by North Yorkshire Council.

If you have any interest in being more involved in Asenby Village and decisions for the future then please email the current Chair, Colin Grimston ( for an informal chat. Please include a contact phone number and an idea of when best to call you.

Asenby Parish Council Meeting
The next meeting of Asenby Parish Council will be held in Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall at 7pm on Wednesday 20 March.

Asenby Allotments
Asenby residents who want to get back in touch with the land and grow their own fruit, vegetables and flowers are being invited to take one of several allotments now available. Each allotment is 9 x 27m and is for rent at £9 for the year. For more information contact Fred Gifford on 01845 578300 or 07751 167893.
Winn Lane Cemetery
These are the new cemetery gates constructed by Simon Parker of Topcliffe-based Simon Parker Bespoke Joinery. Lots of people have already commented on the excellent job Simon has done. Well done Simon.
Garden Waste Collection Service
This month sees the restart of the garden waste collection service by North Yorkshire Council. It now costs £46.50 for fortnightly collections between March and early December. Customers whose previous licence covered collections to March 2024 will pay a reduced fee of £42.

The licence is for one 240-litre wheelie bin to be emptied fortnightly, though more than one licence can be purchased. Once paid, you will receive a licence pack by post within 14 days. This pack will include a sticker that must be displayed on your bin – and your service will not start until your licence is displayed.

Collections can start as early as 6am on your collection day, so your bin should be at the kerbside or designated collection point, with the licence clearly visible, from the night before.

You can find out more about the service or check your garden waste collection day on the council’s website at

Scores on the Doors
The Swan in Topcliffe has received a five-star rating following a recent food hygiene inspection. Inspections, which happen without any pre-warning, are undertaken by officers of North Yorkshire Council. The Angel, which is undertaking a major refurbishment, is awaiting its annual inspection.

Hygiene ratings are publicised on the Scores on the Doors website and you can check out the rating for all food premises in the Thirsk and surrounding area by visiting

A check of that website shows that there’s currently 116 premises registered in the Thirsk area of which a very respectable 97 have a 5 star rating; four are 4 star; three are 3 star; one is 2 star and one is 1 star. Ten premises are awaiting inspection.

Dave needs storage space
Topcliffe Mill resident David Black is a keen motorcyclist and his pride and joy is his Harley Davidson. Problem is that living in an apartment means he doesn’t have covered storage for his dream machine. So, David is on the lookout for anyone in Topcliffe who has a garage to rent or space in which the bike can be stored. If you can help, please ring David on 07957 457276.
Cross Talk church newsletter
The March edition of the church newsletter, Cross Talk, is out now. You can read it here.

Rural Arts events

Here are some of the workshops coming up at The Courthouse in Thirsk:

  • How to Paint Botanical Watercolours – Monday 4 March and Monday 25 March.
  • Linocut Printed Cards – Wednesday 6 March.
  • Enamelling a Unique Item – Wednesday 13 March.
  • Creating a Copper Wire Hare – Tuesday 19 March.
  • Traditional Sign Painting – Wednesday 20 March.
  • iCan – Get to Know Your IPad – Saturday 23 March.
  • Experimental Textiles – Saturday 23 March.
  • James and The Giant Peach Paperwork – Tuesday 26 March.
  • Ceramic Tortoises – Wednesday 27 March.
  • Matilda’s Watercolour Paintings – Thursday 28 March.
  • Penguins from Everyday Junk – Thursday 28 March.
  • Experimental Print – Friday 29 March.

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

Zen Breathing
Here’s something really different. This one-off event is on at Sessay Village Hall next Wednesday 5 March between 2 and 4pm. Zen Kokyu, or Zen breathing, encourages us to be more mindful of our breathing and can be used as a tool to improve our health and wellbeing. It is based on a breathing method written by Zen master Hakuin Ekaku in the 18th century, which is said to improve concentration, blood flow, and relaxation levels in its users. The session will be led by Kiyomi Sanderson, who lives in the village, and she will be supported by a special guest Yuki Shiina who is visiting this country from her home in Japan. Contact Kiyaomi on 01845-501505 for advice and to book. The cost is £20.
Warm Hub lunch
The next Warm Hub lunch will be held at the Village Hall on Wednesday 6 March from 11.30 to 12.45pm. There’ll be a selection of meals followed by delicious cakes and bakes and tea or coffee. All welcome. No set charge, but donations welcome.
Chip ‘n Dales
The Chip ‘n Dales fish and chip van is in Topcliffe every Friday 5 ’til 7pm.
Thorp Perrow

  • Spring Pruning Workshop – Wednesday 6 March – 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.
  • Collaging Workshop with celebrated environmental artist James Owen Thomas – Wednesday 13 March – 10am to 1pm.
  • Easter Wreath Workshop – Wednesday 20 March – 10am to 3pm.
  • Classic Car Sundays – 12 May and Sunday 9 June – 10am – 2pm. Take your classic vehicle to the gardens for easy Sunday morning coffee, bacon sandwich and car chat.
  • Vintage Vehicle & Classic Car Show – Sunday May 2024 -10am – 4pm

More information and bookings:

Sights and Sounds of Ripon 2024
This free family friendly event on Saturday 9 March between 11am and 2pm is jointly hosted by Ripon Cathedral, Ripon Library and the Ripon Museums. There’s over 40 different stands, a pop-up café and performances by various local choirs, dance groups and poetry readings spread across the three venues.

  • Ripon Cathedral events will include bell-ringing, bell-tower tours (advanced booking required as spaces are limited – please sign in for the tours at Ripon Library), singing and dancing.
  • Ripon Library will offer a children’s story-time for under 5s, a Lego club for 6 to 12-year olds, knitting and crochet taster session and a chance to join in with short taster of some dances that can be done seated or standing with Dancing for Wellbeing.
  • There is also free entry for local residents to all three Ripon Museums (Workhouse, Prison & Police and Court House) on production of a proof of address in HG4 postcode.

Check out the website at

The Sound of Musicals
Coming to Boroughbridge, courtesy of the Harrogate Theatre Choir, on Saturday 9 March from 7.30pm to 9.30pm at Boroughbridge Methodist Church (YO51 9AH). The audience will be taken on a stroll through the feel-good musicals of the 1940s and 50s, often known as the Golden Age Musicals and hear favourites from Oklahoma, The King and I, The Sound of Music, South Pacific and Carousel. Also including well known songs from more contemporary musicals such as Wicked, The Greatest Showman and many more. Tickets £10. Under 16s free (though there is a booking fee).
Mother’s Day Lunch in Topcliffe – Sunday 10 March

  • The Swan is now taking bookings for lunch, which will be served from 12 noon to 3.30pm. Call 01845 595185 or message them on their Facebook page.
  • The Angel is also taking bookings and lunch will be from 12 noon to 4pm. Call 01845 578000 or message them via their Facebook page or website.
Topcliffe Academy – dates for your diary

  • Thursday, 14 March – FOTS Disco, 5.30 – 7pm
  • Wednesday, 20 March – Easter Service at St Columba’s Church, 2pm
  • Friday, 22 March – Topcliffe’s Got Talent, 12.45pm
  • Friday, 22 March – School closes for Easter holidays, 2pm
  • Monday, 8 April – Staff Training Day
  • Tuesday, 9 April – School re-opens for start of Summer Term.
Creative Club meetings at Thirsk Library
Chris Geeson Creative Clubs are now a regular Saturday feature at Thirsk Community Library. The club sessions are on from 10 until 11.30am and are suitable for 6 to 13 year olds, though parents and younger members of the family can attend as well. Places are limited, so early booking is advised.

  • Saturday 16 March – History-inspired Crafts
  • Saturday 30 March – Junk Robots

Look out for extra club events in the half-term and Easter holidays. To book call 01609 534589 or email See poster about current club activities here.

Northallerton Male Voice Choir to perform in Topcliffe
The Northallerton Male Voice Choir will be performing in St Columba’s Church on Saturday 16 March. The choir will give a wide and varied evening of traditional and modern songs. The concert starts at 7pm (doors open from 6pm). Tickets are £10 to include a glass of wine or soft drink and light refreshments after the concert. Children £5. All proceeds will go to the fund set up to maintain the fabric of the church building. Tickets available from John Phillips on 01845 577034 or 07831 188819. See poster here.
The Thirsk 10 Mile Race
The annual Thirsk & Sowerby Harriers 10-mile road race takes place starting from Thirsk Racecourse at 10am on Sunday 17 March. It’s a fast, flat course. Voucher prizes to first male and female finishers. Goody bag for all finishers. Part of Yorkshire Veterans Athletic Association’s Championship. There’ll also be a 1.5 mile fun run starting at 9am and a wheelchair race starting at 9.50am. More details from –
Thirsk Artisan Market
Taking place on the Market Place in Thirsk on Sunday 17 March between 9am and 2pm. Locally-produced arts and crafts, food and drink. A diverse, quality, shopping experience that celebrates independent producers and makers.
Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall Committee
The next meeting of the Village Hall Committee will be at 7.30pm on Tuesday 19 March at the village hall.
Topcliffe Art Classes
Here is a list of upcoming fun painting and art experiences and workshops that Rebecca Jayne is holding at Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall over the next couple of months:

  • Thursday 21 March, 10.30am to 2.30pm – Learn to draw and sketch with more confidence.
  • Thursday 11 April, 10.30am to 1.30pm – Paint Beautiful Blooms in Acrylics.

Plus this special class at the Himalayan Gardens at Grewelthorpe: Friday 17 May, 10am- 4pm – ‘Paint a Garden Landscape in Oils’. Book online at

Base Camp for kids
Kids can kick start the Easter holidays with some springtime adventures including archery, campfire cooking, nature trails walking, woodwork, crafts and woodland games in the 90 acres of private parkland at Base Camp, Baldersby Park. Camp activities are supervised by qualified and experienced staff. Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 March, 10am to – 3pm, £30 per child. For more details see poster here and to book online, go to
The Angel Comedy Night
The next Hilarity Bites Comedy Night at The Angel in Topcliffe will be held on Thursday 28 March. Doors open 7.30pm and the show begins at 8pm. Tickets £10 if purchased in advance or £12 on the door. For more information see poster here or call 01845 578000.
Easter canal cruises
The ‘Pride of Ripon’ is offering cruises on the scenic Ripon canal this Easter. They’ll run from Friday 29 March to Saturday 6 April from 10.20am every half hour. There’ll be bunnies galore and a quiz for everyone to complete, with a prize worth up to £8 for every child under 14 years of age. Cruises start at Ripon Canal Basin – HG4 1AQ. If you have any queries about accessibility, timings or other issues call 01765 609777 or email
Easter Party
The Thirsk Royal British Legion Club in Kirkgate is holding an Easter party on Sunday 31 March between 3 and 5pm. This annual event will see a visit from the Easter Bunny and there’ll be an outside company providing a children’s disco and entertainment. Free entry and Easter egg for every child. Come rain or shine, it’s party time!
Topcliffe Parish Council
The next meeting of Topcliffe Parish Council will be at 7pm on Thursday 4 April in the village hall.
Traders in Topcliffe, Asenby and surrounding area
A list of traders and businesses in Topcliffe and Asenby is shown here. If your business is missing from the list or any information needs updating, please contact Doug Allan.
Bin Collections
You can easily check bin collection information via North Yorkshire Council’s website at

Garden waste licences for 2024 are now on sale from North Yorkshire Council. Purchase your licence online –

The Sowerby Household Waste Recycling Centre is open 8.30am to 4pm every day, apart from Wednesdays.

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