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Sunday Email: Issue 29

Hello and welcome to the 29th 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 residents might like to hear about.


07785 223707

Three-tier alerts system proves quite divisive

Last week the government introduced a new three tier system for dealing with local outbreaks and said it would bring clarity and simplicity to the arrangements across the country. What a hope! The fact is, it has brought greater confusion, heightened discontent, plus national and political disagreement, which is proving extremely “damaging to public health and the country’s ability to respond”. But it is what it is and we just have to follow the rules. Here’s a reminder of the key differences between the tiers and how they impact individuals:

Tier 1 – Medium alert – fewer than 100 cases per 100,000 of population. Hambleton and Harrogate areas are currently on medium alert.

  • You may not meet in a group of more than six people, indoors or outdoors, unless you’re in a larger household or a support bubble.
  • Pubs, bars and restaurants must close by 10pm. You can holiday anywhere in England that’s also in Tier 1.
  • You can holiday with people from other households in private accommodation (as long as you socially distance), but only in groups of six and under (unless your own household or support bubble is bigger).
  • You can stay in a hotel or B&B with another household, but you should avoid sharing rooms with people outside your household.
  • You should try not to share a vehicle with those outside your household or support bubble.

Tier 2 – High alert – above 100 per 100,000.

  • The rules for Tier 1 also apply in Tier 2. In addition, individuals cannot meet socially indoors with people they do not live with – this includes private homes, as well as pubs or restaurants.
  • People in support bubbles can go on meeting as before and informal childcare may also be provided.
  • People can still meet friends and family outdoors, but only in a group of up to six people.
  • People should aim to "reduce the number of journeys they make where possible".
  • People can go on holiday outside their local area as long as they don’t share accommodation with people they don’t live or bubble with, or socialise with them in any indoor setting.
  • People visiting a Tier 2 area should follow the local Covid rules for that area.

Tier 3 – Very high alert – significantly higher rates of infection and they are put in a form of lockdown.

  • People are not allowed to meet socially with anybody who is not part of their household or their support bubble indoors or in certain outdoor locations.
  • People cannot meet in private gardens or pub gardens, but can meet in parks, beaches, countryside or forests, as long as they are not in a group of more than six.
  • Pubs and bars must close unless they are serving substantial meals – alcohol can only be served as part of a meal.
  • People are being advised not to travel into or out of Tier 3 areas, other than for work, education, or because of caring responsibilities.
  • People who live in a Tier 3 area should not visit or stay overnight in another part of the UK, whether in a second home, a private home or guest accommodation. They may travel to hotels and other guest accommodation within their own area, but they should only do this with people in their household or support bubble
  • People from Tier 1 and Tier 2 areas should avoid visiting or staying overnight in a Tier 3 area where possible, except for those who need to for work, education or caring responsibilities

Advice about shielding

When lockdown began last March, certain people were advised to take extra steps – or shield – to avoid contracting Covid-19, because they were considered more at risk of needing hospital treatment. As the rate of infection eased over the summer the risk of exposure reduced significantly and so shielding was paused. Although rates of new Covid cases are now going up again the government states there is still no need to recommend people stay at home and shield, although they are advised to take particular care when outside, and to maintain strict social distancing. That’s because, unlike in March, there are other protective measures in place – such as the rule of six and the wearing of face coverings in shops – to help reduce the spread.

Shielding was never compulsory and it is still your choice to decide what you are comfortable about doing – for example you may still want to spend a lot of time at home. Experts strongly advise people with serious underlying health conditions to follow social distancing recommendations – keep 2m away from other people outside your home and, whenever possible, limit the number of people you meet, shops you visit, and non-essential journeys.

The government guidance offers tips on how people can protect themselves in their everyday lives while retaining as much normality as possible. Follow this link:

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:

  • Sunday 18 October – Scarborough – Scarborough Park & Ride, Seamer Road, Scarborough YO12 4LW
  • Sunday 18 October – Northallerton – Newby Wiske Hall, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL7 9HA
  • Sunday 18 October – Richmond – Round Howe Car Park, Reeth Road, Richmond, DL10 4TL
  • Sunday 18 October – Harrogate – Harrogate High School, Ainsty Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 4AP
  • Monday 19 October – Skipton – Coach St car park, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 1LH
  • Monday 19 October – Northallerton – Newby Wiske Hall, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL7 9HA
  • Monday 19 October – Whitby – Whitby Park and Ride, Whitby, YO21 1TL
  • Tuesday 20 October – Sherburn in Elmet – White Rose Sports Club, The Recreation Ground, Tadcaster Road, Sherburn in Elmet, LS25 6EL
  • Tuesday 20 October – Thornton Le Dale – National Trust Car Park, No.5. Chestnut Avenue, Pickering, North Yorkshire, YO18 7RR

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 –

Clocks go back an hour next Sunday

Just a reminder that clocks go back by one hour at 2am on Sunday 25 October.

The Milk Churn Farm Shop

• The gift shop has now opened in the upstairs rooms and quite soon the rear conservatory will open for the sale of a fabulous selection of artisan Christmas decorations.

• Vegetable, fruit and salad boxes are now available for £15 or £20. These can be delivered locally. Please order on a Monday for delivery or collection on a Wednesday.

• Meat boxes at £20, £40 and £60 are also now available. All the meat retailed through the farm shop originates from Thompson’s Butchers in Northallerton. All meat is fresh, bought local and any cut or joint can be ordered if you cannot find it in the shop’s fridges. Two working days are needed to prepare orders.

• Pumpkins from Yorkshire Pumpkins at Cundall are now out on display at the front of the shop ready for Halloween.

• For Christmas the shop is taking orders for free range turkeys, turkey crowns, real Christmas trees, handmade wreaths by Lavender & Bee, plus everything for a full Christmas lunch. The shop’s Christmas puddings and Christmas cakes both have a gluten free option.

Anyone self-isolating in Topcliffe and Asenby can have the boxes delivered to their door and this is all done following strict sanitising procedures. Preferably money should be transferred by BACs, but cash can be accepted if necessary. Ring 01845 400446 to order and talk through payment steps. You can see what is on offer by visiting The shop is not open on Sundays – but this will be reviewed nearer Christmas. Current opening times are Monday to Saturday 9-5pm, Thursday 9-1pm and Sunday closed.

The Milk Churn Farm Shop is organising a Pumpkin Carving Competition as part of its Halloween celebrations. To enter, share your spooky carving or display on Facebook and tag the shop – @milkchurnfarmshop – and please make sure your post is public so it can be seen. The winner will be chosen Halloween week and will receive a prize full of tricks and treats.

Apples Galore!

It has been a great season for most fruit and for apples in particular. So if you have an orchard with loads of trees it can be a real problem what to do with the abundance of fruit…and such a shame if it is likely to go to waste. That’s the position Catie from Anchor Dykes on Station Road finds herself in right now. And it’s why she is inviting anyone who would like to pick some fruit do so free of charge this afternoon. Just turn up with a bag!

The Halloween alternative – the Pumpkin Trail

There seems to be some support for the idea of a pumpkin trail this Halloween rather than the more traditional trick or treat arrangement. Parents appear to have concluded it would be a better, safer way of providing something to entertain children. Obviously householders can’t be welcoming children and handing them sweets this year so an alternative, socially distanced plan seems very sensible. So on Saturday 31 October are you interested in tackling some pumpkin carving and putting it on display outside your home? Instead of knocking on doors, consider some other way of rewarding your children, maybe by giving them a sweet for each pumpkin they spot. Any parents interested should communicate via the Facebook pages of Asenby Institute Community Space or Top Residents.

St. Columba’s Church

A service of Sung Matins will be held today at 10.45am and the final service for this month will be Holy Communion next Sunday, 25 October at 10.45 am. Looking forward to next month, there will be a Choral Evensong at 6.30pm on Sunday, 1 November, celebrating the Feast of All Saints. On 8 November, Remembrance Sunday, there will be Holy Communion at 10.45am, which will include an Act of Remembrance at 11 o’clock. It is anticipated that numbers at this service might need to be limited to meet the necessary Covid safety arrangements, which give a maximum attendance of around 30. So it will be necessary for people to reserve a place if they would like to come. Names can be left on forms available in church at services over the next three Sundays, or by contacting John Phillips at 01845 577034 or If you intend to come as a family ‘bubble’ that can sit together, please let us know as this will help to maximise the places available.

At all services full Covid safety arrangements will be in place. These should be followed at all times. Optimum safety is achieved by keeping the church well ventilated throughout each service. As winter approaches the church will be kept heated for services. Due to the size of the building this is not always easy, but with the extra ventilation it may well be that the church will be colder than usual, so please dress accordingly!

Remembrance Sunday

Apparently most gatherings and parades to mark Remembrance Sunday are going to be cancelled this November because of oronavirus. There’s a suggestion flying about on Facebook that we should all stand in silence on our doorsteps for two minutes at 11am on Wednesday 11 November as a mark of respect. Sounds like a good idea.

Curries and table cloths

That’s an odd title but it accurately reflects two matters that Karen Morley asked me to raise this week. She tells me that all the curries originally made for the postponed Race Night (last April) that were stored in her freezer have now gone to good homes. Some recipients insisted on making a donation and Karen has passed on £25 to the jennyruth charity in Ripon. The reference to table cloths is a reference to the fact that another villager has now responded to the village hall committee’s appeal for white table cloths. Thanks go to Asenby resident Rita Simmerson for her kind donation.

TV appearance for Margaret

Many villagers will remember Margaret Whitaker who was the school secretary at Topcliffe School for some years but moved to Seaton Carew near Hartlepool after her retirement. Sadly, Margaret died a year ago but in the months before her death she participated in a number of auditions for the ITV quiz show Tipping Point. In June 2019 she travelled to the TV studios in Bristol to record an episode and it is scheduled to be broadcast at 4pm on Friday, 30 October.

Work to start soon on new crematorium

Work on constructing Hambleton’s new crematorium is expected to begin in November. The facility will be built on a 21 acre site near Busby Stoop. When completed it will include offices, a family room, waiting room, service area, flower court, café and wake facility, woodland for ash scattering, memorial gardens and meadows. There will also be parking for 160 cars allowing it to cater for large funeral services.

Topcliffe Parish Council

The next meeting will be held online Thursday 5 November at 7pm. There is a period of 10 minutes at the beginning of each meeting set aside to receive questions and comments from members of the public. Any members of the public wishing to join this meeting electronically should contact the Parish Council Clerk for log in details. If you have any queries regarding the meeting please do not hesitate to contact the Clerk by email at or any Parish Councillor – details are available on the village website at

Asenby Parish Council

The next meeting will be held online on Wednesday, 18 November. Information will be available before the meeting from the Parish Clerk via email on and details will also be made available on the village website at

The Angel at Topcliffe

The Angel is introducing a take away meal service from this Wednesday, 21 October. See the attached poster and menu for more details.

The Angel’s usual traditional festive party nights are being replaced with some festive comedy cheer. You can now get a three course meal followed by on stage performance comedy with Silky and a guest for a great price of just £32.95 per person – see poster attached or visit These evenings will all be organised in a strict Covid compliant way. A festive two or three course menu will also be available in the restaurant (bookings only) –

The Angel currently closes at 10pm each evening.

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 also closes at 10pm.

Bin Collections

Hambleton (Topcliffe):

• Recycling and green bins – Thursdays, 22 October and 5 November

• Refuse – Mondays 26 October and 9 November

Harrogate (Asenby):

• Refuse – Mondays, 19 October and 2 November

• Garden waste – Thursdays, 22 October and 5 November

• Recycling – Mondays, 26 October and 9 November

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