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Sunday Email: Issue 21

Hello and welcome to the 21st issue of this regular Sunday email.

I hope you find the contents interesting and informative.

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


07785 223707

Virus status

Government figures show that there have been more than 320,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus so far in the UK and about 41,000 people have died. However, these figures include only people who have died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus and other measures suggest the number of deaths is considerably higher. Daily confirmed cases began edging up again in July – after falling significantly from their April peak – as lockdown restrictions imposed in March were eased. On Saturday, the government said there had been 1,288 newly-confirmed cases. While the number of new confirmed cases of coronavirus has been rising again recently, government-announced deaths have continued to fall since a peak in mid-April. On Saturday, the government reported 17 further deaths in England.

Specifically in North Yorkshire, there were 8 cases per 100,000 people in the latest week 11 -17 August that statistics are available. The average area in England had 8 cases. In total there have been 2,677 coronavirus cases in the period to 21 August and 555 coronavirus-related deaths registered to 7 August.

An interesting statement from an expert this week reveals that “coronavirus will be present forever in some form or another". That’s what Sir Mark Walport, a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said. He added that people would need to be vaccinated at regular intervals to keep the disease in check.

Virus Hotspots

There are several local hotspots in the UK which have seen a spike in cases since the nationwide lockdown ended. Public Health England produce a weekly watchlist of areas of concern, based on an assessment of incidence rates, and other indicators such as trends in testing, healthcare activity and deaths. Birmingham and Northampton are the latest areas to be added to the list, while restrictions already in place in Oldham, Pendle and Blackburn have been tightened. Wigan, Darwen and Rossendale have now been dropped from the list after the situation improved in all three.

Key messages for any household where someone has virus symptoms

  • If you have symptoms of Covid-19, however mild, you must self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started. You should arrange to have a test to see if you have Covid-19. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
  • If you are not experiencing symptoms but have tested positive for Covid-19 you also must self-isolate for at least 10 days, starting from the day the test was taken. If you develop symptoms during this isolation period, you must restart your 10-day isolation from the day you develop symptoms.
  • After 10 days, if you still have a temperature you should continue to self-isolate and seek medical advice. You do not need to self-isolate after 10 days if you only have a cough or loss of sense of smell or taste, as these symptoms can last for several weeks after the infection has gone. See the ending isolation section below for more information.
  • If you live with others, all other household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the household became ill or if they do not have symptoms, from the day their test was taken. If anyone else in the household starts displaying symptoms, they must stay at home for at least 10 days from when their symptoms appear, regardless of what day they are on in their original 14-day isolation period. The ending isolation section below has more information.
  • If you have symptoms, try and stay as far away from other members of your household as possible. It is especially important to stay away from anyone who is clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable with whom you share a household.
  • Reduce the spread of infection in your home by washing your hands regularly for 20 seconds using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser, and cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Consider alerting people who you do not live with and have had close contact within the last 48 hours to let them know you have symptoms of Covid-19.
  • Following a positive test result, you will receive a request by text, email or phone to log into the NHS Test and Trace service website and provide information about recent close contacts.

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, 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 24 August – Northallerton – Allertonshire School, Brompton Road, Northallerton, DL6 1ED
  • Tuesday 25 August – Thornton Le Dale – National Trust Car Park, No.5. Chestnut Avenue, Pickering, YO18 7RR
  • Tuesday 25 August – Harrogate – Dragon Road Car Park, Dragon Road, Harrogate, HG1 5DB
  • Wednesday 26 August – Scarborough – Scarborough Park & Ride, Seamer Road, Scarborough YO12 4LW
  • Thursday 27 August – Whitby – Whitby Park and Ride, Whitby, YO21 1TL
  • Thursday 27 August – Richmond – Round Howe Car Park, Reeth Road, Richmond, DL10 4T

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

Latest government advice

The next stages in the process of lifting restrictions are as follows:

• From 1 September: schools, nurseries and colleges will open for all children and young people on a full-time basis and universities are working to reopen as fully as possible.

• From 1 October, if prevalence remains around or below current levels, audiences will be allowed in stadiums, and conference and other business events will be allowed to recommence in a covid-19 secure way.

• In November, the ambition is to scale back remaining social distancing measures, but this depends on a number of factors, including consideration of the specific challenges as we move into winter.

More countries join “isolation” list: Portugal is taken off it

Each week the list of countries from which returning holiday makers have to isolate for two weeks grows ever longer. Last week it was reported that France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos, and Aruba, had joined the list and this week Croatia, Austria and Trinidad & Tobago are included. Again there was panic to get back from these latest destinations prior to the deadline – 4am yesterday – but few will have managed the journey to avoid isolation. The other countries still on the list are Spain, Luxembourg, Belgium, Andorra and the Bahamas. One piece of good news is that Portugal is now off the list and travellers returning from there no longer need to undertake any isolation.

Eat Out to Help Out continues all this month

The final days of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme are Monday 24, Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 August. This is your last chance to get a discount of up to 50% on food and soft drinks in a participating restaurants or other food establishments. You must eat in the establishment. And the maximum discount available is £10 per person. It is not available on take-away food or on alcohol. You can check out all participants on this website:

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.

Thank you from Karen & Malcolm

Malcolm and Karen Morley have asked me to thank everyone who visited their fishing gear sale yesterday. They had a load of rods, reels, landing nets and other fishing paraphernalia that had belonged to Malcolm’s dad and which were taking up storage space. The sale raised £65 which is being donated to The Jennyruth Workshops in Ripon, a charity which helps young people with learning difficulties.

Topcliffe Snooker Club

The snooker club is beginning to return to normal, with players using sanitisers and wipes to clean the table, balls and snooker tools. Players are asked to be careful when visiting the club and, as far as possible, respecting social distancing rules. The Club’s AGM will be held at 7.30pm on Sunday, 30 Aug at the snooker club.

The Milk Churn Farm Shop

The new Milk Churn farm shop at 81 Long Street should be opened to the public on 7 September, as long as the Licensing Authority approves the liquor licence. The attractive shop signs have been erected and the finishing touches to the interior are underway. There’ll be more about the official opening in next week’s email.

Asenby Playground

The Asenby playground has re-opened with the usual covid caveats, including that users must not use the equipment if they have any virus symptoms and social distancing guidelines must be followed. In addition, users should sanitise their hands before and after using the equipment and they should be aware that neither the playground nor the equipment has been sanitised by anyone else. Using the playground is entirely at individual’s own risk. There is a more detailed notice posted at the entrance to the play area.

The Village Hall

There’ll be a virtual meeting of the Village Hall Committee on Tuesday 25 August and the main item for discussion will be whether or not the hall should be reopened any time soon. At the last meeting in early July, it was agreed that the hall should remain closed until at least 1 September. More details will be included in next week’s email.

Sutton Bank to close for eight days

Sutton Bank on the A170 between Thirsk and Helmsley will close for eight days next month for maintenance work. The work will include the inspection and maintenance of the rock face to ensure the route remains structurally safe in the future. A full road closure will be in place from 8am on Sunday, 13 September until the evening of Sunday, 20 September, weather permitting. A diversion route will be signposted along the caravan route through Ampleforth and Coxwold for the duration of the closure.

Online fraud discussion

Have you been a victim of fraud or are fearful you may be and wish to increase your knowledge? North Yorkshire Police are hosting an online event which will be your opportunity to learn about the types of fraud currently operating, how to spot them and how to stay safe. In addition there will be a presentation on cryptocurrency investment fraud and protecting your personal information. There will be an opportunity to ask questions on fraud and cyber security to a panel of experts including:

  • Detective Inspector Jon Hodgeon, Head of Economic Crime North Yorkshire Police.
  • DC Keith Turner, Cybercrime unit North Yorkshire Police.
  • Richard De Vere from the Antisocial Engineer who test companies cyber security.
  • Damien Ferrari a police ‘Cyber Volunteer’ who has extensive knowledge in all things IT.
  • Andy Fox – Financial Abuse Safeguarding Officer North Yorkshire Police.

This online event will take place on Wednesday, 16 September 6.30 to 8.30pm. This is the first of its kind organised by North Yorkshire Police. The number involved will be restricted to 100. The event will take place over Microsoft Teams. Do not worry if you do not have Teams installed on your computer. You will be sent a link where you can participate through your web browser

To register please click on the link –

Dr Parker’s retirement

There’s still time to add a comment to the Memory Book being created to mark the retirement from Topcliffe Surgery of Dr Charles Parker. He will be retiring as a GP partner from the surgery at the end of September after 28 years in the post. Staff at the surgery are inviting patients and members of the community to contribute to the Memory Book to be presented to Dr Parker on his departure. Written comments or cards can be forwarded in one of two ways:

• A folder is 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.

Responses are requested by Friday, 11 September at the latest to allow sufficient time to put the finishing touches together. There’ll be a short article, including photos of the presentation, in a future Tattler.

Don’t forget that Dr Parker doesn’t know about these plans, so please help keep this a secret from him.

The Tattler – September 2020 edition

Work has started on pulling together the next edition of The Tattler newsletter. It will be published and delivered door to door in Topcliffe and Asenby mid-September. The deadline for copy is Tuesday, 1 September. Email

Bags 2 School – reminder about next recycling event

The next ‘Bags 2 School’ recycling event will be held in the grounds of Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall on Monday, 21 September. More details nearer the date.

Bin Collections

Hambleton (Topcliffe):

• Recycling and green bins – Thursday, 27 August and 10 September.

• Refuse – Tuesday, 1 September (one day later than usual because of the Bank Holiday).

Harrogate (Asenby):

• Refuse – Monday, 24 August and 7 September.

• Garden waste – Thursday, 27 August and 10 September.

• Recycling – Tuesday, 1 September (one day later than usual because of the Bank Holiday).

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