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Sunday Email: Issue 26

Hello and welcome to the 26th issue of this regular Sunday email. Twenty six emails, twenty six weeks! That makes it six months that we’ve all been affected by the dreaded coronavirus and I’ve been helping to keep you informed about the virus and in-touch with community matters. But it’s a big shame that this minor anniversary also coincides with the announcement of much firmer restrictions and the possibility that we face a restricted Christmas and another six months of significant impacts on our lives.

The UK has reached "a perilous turning point", Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, as he set out a raft of new coronavirus restrictions for England. He spoke to the nation and explained why the government was intensifying the restrictions with the aim of trying to save us from much stronger rules, even another full lockdown, any time soon. The new restrictions are listed below.

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

Deaths from coronavirus are rising rather than falling for the first time since the beginning of April. And there are fears that rising numbers of patients in hospital will lead to more fatalities. The government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, warned there could be 50,000 new coronavirus cases a day by mid-October – leading to more than 200 deaths per day by mid-November – unless action is taken now.

Here’s the key new measures:

  • Pubs, bars and restaurants have to close at 10pm every night. They will also be restricted to table service only.
  • People should work from home wherever possible.
  • Face masks are now compulsory for bar staff and non-seated customers, shop workers and waiters.
  • The limit on guests at weddings has been reduced from 30 to 15.
  • Plans to allow fans to return to sporting events in October have been postponed.
  • The "Rule of six" now applies to indoor team sports.
  • Fines for not wearing masks or following rules have increased to £200 for first offence.

Boris Johnson said the new measures would probably stay in place for the next six months.

Space. Face. Hands

During the week I read articles from several distinguished experts suggesting that the government’s emphasis in the campaign ‘Hands. Face. Space’ presents things in the wrong order of priority. These experts argued that by far the most important factor to help stop the spread of coronavirus and other illnesses is keeping our distance from each other. So today I present a re-ordered set of campaign guidelines Space. Face. Hands.

• Try to keep your distance from those not in your household

• Use a face covering when social distancing is not possible

• Wash your hands regularly.

Book a Coronavirus test locally

Testing sites in North Yorkshire are operated and managed by the Department of Health and Social Care and private contractors employed by them. The Department is asking the public only to get a test if they are directed to do so by NHS Test and Trace or other NHS services – OR – if they have symptoms. This is important to ensure that those people who need tests the most can be prioritised.

Testing sites operated and managed by the Department of Health and Social Care will be running at the following locations over the coming days between 11am and 3pm:

  • Monday 28 September – Skipton – Coach St car park, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 1LH
  • Monday 28 September – Northallerton – Newby Wiske Hall, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL7 9HA
  • Monday 28 September – Whitby – Whitby Park and Ride, Whitby, YO21 1TL
  • Tuesday 29 September – Thornton Le Dale – National Trust Car Park, No.5. Chestnut Avenue, Pickering, YO18 7RR
  • Tuesday 29 September – Harrogate – Dragon Road Car Park, Dragon Road, Harrogate, HG1 5DB
  • Tuesday 29 September – Sherburn in Elmet – White Rose Sports Club, The Recreation Ground, Tadcaster Road, Sherburn in Elmet, LS25 6EL
  • Wednesday 30 September – Selby – South Entrance, Drax Power Station, New Road, Selby, YO8 8PH
  • Wednesday 30 September – Scarborough – Scarborough Park & Ride, Seamer Road, Scarborough YO12 4LW
  • Thursday 1 October – Whitby – Whitby Park and Ride, Whitby, YO21 1TL
  • Thursday 1 October – Richmond – Round Howe Car Park, Reeth Road, Richmond, DL10 4T
  • Friday 2 October – Northallerton – Newby Wiske Hall, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL7 9HA
  • Friday 2 October – Harrogate – Dragon Road Car Park, Dragon Road, Harrogate, HG1 5DB
  • Friday 2 October – Sherburn in Elmet – White Rose Sports Club, The Recreation Ground, Tadcaster Road, Sherburn in Elmet, LS25 6EL

Before you attend you must book a test. Tests can be booked from 8pm the night before. If test sites are fully booked they will not appear on the government’s website. 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 –

Isolation benefit for low income workers

The Government has introduced a new self-isolation coronavirus grant for people in work on low incomes. Individuals on a low income are able to claim a £500 lump sum payment if they cannot work from home and are required to self-isolate. This payment is aimed at helping make up for any lost income people face due to having to stay at home. To be eligible for the grant, you must be:

  • Told by NHS Test and Trace that you must self-isolate
  • Employed or self-employed
  • Unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • Currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, Income-Based Employment and Support Allowance, Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

Hambleton Council is setting up an online scheme to make the payments locally and they will have it in place by Monday, October 12. Anyone told to self-isolate from September 28 will receive backdated payments once the scheme is established in our area. Around four million people who are in receipt of benefits in England will be eligible for this payment. This financial support comes as the government places a legal requirement on people to self-isolate when instructed to by NHS Test and Trace and introduces tougher fines for breaking the rules.

Have you got NHS Covid app yet?

The new NHS Covid app was launched nationwide last Thursday. Without a vaccine or treatment, the government states that we need to do all we can to help stop the spread of coronavirus and using the app is an important part of the process. By downloading and using the app, you’ll be helping protect those around you – friends, family, colleagues and local communities. You’ll also be helping us all get back to the things we love. The app features a postcode-based risk-level checker, symptoms-reporter tool, advice on staying in self-isolation and the means to order a coronavirus test. Download the app from Google Play or the Apple Store.

Nominate your good neighbour for an award

Everyone needs a good neighbour, and over the past few months many kind-hearted people in our two village communities have been offering a helping hand to those most in need. So, for the third year running the Co-op, in partnership with Neighbourhood Watch, has launched a search to find and celebrate some of the UK’s best neighbours. They’ve also launched a brand-new category – Co-op’s Young Neighbour of the Year – celebrating someone up to the age of 21 who has gone above and beyond to help support their community. You can nominate someone for one award, or both! The closing date is 12pm on Friday, 23 October 2020. The application form is available here – – but please be aware you have to be a member of the Co-op or agree to subscribe for £1.

The Milk Churn Farm Shop

The opening hours of Topcliffe’s newest retail outlet, the Milk Churn farm shop at 81 Long Street, are: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday – 9am to 5pm. Thursday 9am to -1pm (half day closing) and Sunday 10am to 4pm.

Farmers’ Market comes to Thirsk

The award winning Northern Dales Farmers’ Market is once again coming to Thirsk Market Place on Sunday, 4 October. A fantastic range of food and drinks providers will be offering everything from amazing cheeses, gourmet pies, and Yorkshire honey made by bees that buzz around the moors to farmhouse table teatime treats, sinful gingerbread and succulent grass-fed Angus beef. There’ll also be a veritable feast of vegetarian and vegan goodies. Take your dogs as there’s also a stall for them!

Pumpkin Festival

Spilmans pick your own pumpkin festival starts on Saturday, 3 October. They have 30,000 pumpkins and squashes of lots of different sizes, shapes and colours. During the festival they’ll be tractor rides, maize maze, corn cannon, bale mountain, pumpkin carving barn and lots of great food to eat. CCheck out their website – – to book your car arrival time slot for £10 and receive a voucher for £10 to spend anywhere on the farm. Only pay for what you pick or do. Spilmans are located at Church Farm, Sessay, Thirsk, YO73NB.

Curry night on us!

The lockdown played havoc on the entertainment schedule at the village hall and lot’s f things had to be cancelled or postponed, including a quiz night when a curry was to be served. But those curries were already made and in the freezer at Karen Morley’s house. Now they need to be used up and so portions for about six people are being offered free of charge – but they have to be collected from Karen and Malcolm’s in Back Lane, Topcliffe. Ring 01845 577426 to place your order.

St. Columba’s Church

Services have recommenced at St Columba’s after a six months break. The first Holy Communion Service was held this morning and similar services will be held at the same time on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month – that’s the 11th and 25th in October. The choir will sing Evensong on the 1st Sunday of each month at 6.30pm starting on Sunday, 4 October. Sung Matins is planned for the 3rd Sunday of each month at 10.45 am, starting on Sunday, 18 October. There’ll be full Covid safety arrangements in place. All this, of course, is subject to any further changes in Covid restrictions.

Village Hall Committee & AGM

This will be the final mention in these emails of the Village Hall Committee online meeting being held via Zoom at 7pm on next Thursday (1 October). The committee meeting will be preceded by the AGM for 2020, which would normally have been staged in May, but was delayed because of the pandemic. By law the public must be made aware of and invited to be present at the AGM so the Village Hall Committee is inviting anyone who wishes to attend virtually to get in touch and register their interest. Just send your contact details (name and email address) to Andrew Eckersley, Chairman of the Village Hall Committee – – by 5pm tomorrow, Monday 28 September. You will be sent an agenda and an invitation link to join the meeting a few days before it is scheduled. If you have used Zoom before then it will already be downloaded on your system. If you have not used Zoom before, it is recommended that you click the link about 15 minutes before the meeting is due to start so that the system can set you up and Andrew can give you access to the virtual meeting.

Have your say on council budget

Hambleton District Council is consulting on its budget and the services it provides for next year (2021-22). To help shape the budget proposals, the council is inviting you to have your say via a consultation. Contributions must be made by 30 October 2020. The council states that your opinions, views and ideas matter, so let them know what you think.

Road Safety and Enforcement Survey

This is the final reminder that you are invited to complete a short survey on road safety and enforcement. It’s a national survey from the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners which will help form the response to the government’s review of roads policing, including looking at what the future of traffic law enforcement may look like. The 60-second poll can be completed until next Wednesday, 30 September at

Bags 2 School recycling event

A massive thank you to everyone who supported the ‘Bags 2 School’ recycling event last Monday at the front of the Village Hall. It’s clear that many residents had a big clear out as around 100 bags of textiles, weighing in at 1066kg, were collected and £320 was raised for sharing between the Village Hall and Topcliffe Scout groups. Well done everybody.

The Angel at Topcliffe

Booking a table in the restaurant is highly recommended any day of the week as it has been very busy, especially at weekends. With Autumn settling in and with the current restrictions the pool room has been changed to a lovely lounge area giving more space to sit and enjoy a drink. Track & Trace on arrival is now easier with the NHS app but don’t worry if you do not have a smart phone, you can just leave your name and number.

To book email or call 01845 578000. Bookings are now being taken for Christmas meals and for a New Year’s Eve event to raise cash for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance (this event is subject to the Covid-19 restrictions). Check out the website at

Comedy Nights Return

The popular Hilarity Bites Comedy Club nights that have become a firm favourite with customers are back on at The Angel. This Saturday (3 October) there’ll be two performances at 6.30pm and 8.30pm featuring top North East acts, Carl Hutchinson Comedy and Anth Young. Tickets are priced at £10 each and tables for two, four or six will be allocated on booking. Masks will be required whilst moving around the venue, but not once seated at your table. Drinks will be ordered at your table and brought over to you. Please get in touch to order tickets on 01845 578 000.

The Swan

The Swan serves food every day of the week 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. The Swan closes at 10pm.

Topcliffe Snooker Club

Dave Bowman is collecting annual fees for membership of the village Snooker Club. The fee has been kept at a very reasonable £25 for yet another year. Payment is due from 1 September, so anyone wanting to renew or take up membership should contact Dave as soon as possible. Anyone not intending to keep their membership is asked to return their door key to Dave.

Bin Collections

Hambleton (Topcliffe):

• Refuse – Mondays 28 September and 12 October.

• Recycling and green bins – Thursdays, 8 and 22 October.

Harrogate (Asenby)

• Recycling – Mondays 28 September and 12 October.

• Refuse – Mondays, 5 and 19 October.

• Garden waste – Thursdays, 8 and 22 October.

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