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Sunday Email: Issue 4


Sundays seem to come around so fast…especially, it seems, when we’re in lockdown, self-isolating and practising social distancing. But regardless, there always seems to be lots of news and information to share with you.

This week is certainly no exception. I worry that the weekly email might get too long and turn people off, but it’s not easy to decide which information to discard. I hope that you are happy with what you read. If you have any information that you would like me to include in next Sunday’s email please feel free to contact me. Stay at home, stay well and stay safe.


07785 223707

Staying at home continues to be the key to defeating the virus

We’re currently into the second week of the extended of lockdown during which we must all continue to stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus. This lockdown period is due to end on 7 May. Until then, at least, we must stick to the now well-known and understood Stay at Home rules and only go out:

  • to shop for basic necessities, for example food and medicine.
  • for one form of exercise a day alone, with members of our household, but stay local, use open spaces near your home and don’t travel unnecessarily.
  • for any medical need or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  • to travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home.

The government has set out five tests that need to be met before lifting restrictions, which are:

  • Ensuring the National Health Service has sufficient capacity
  • A sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rate
  • Decreasing rate of infection
  • Supplies of testing and personal protective equipment (PPE) able to meet demand
  • No risk of a second peak of the virus

So far, the government has ensured the NHS has enough spare beds, and there are signs the death rate may have peaked. But it is still far from meeting its target for processing 100,000 tests a day and is struggling to ensure health workers have adequate supplies of PPE. We should hear more in the coming weeks about what the future holds for us all, but it’s looking as though social distancing will be needed until at least the end of the year to prevent fresh outbreaks of coronavirus. This is despite the fact that the UK has reached the peak of the current epidemic.

Don’t put off seeking help with other medical problems

NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) says it is concerned patients may be putting off using NHS services for illnesses not related to coronavirus (Covid-19). The CCG is reminding patients that GP services, pharmacies, NHS 111, out-of-hours services and emergency departments are all still available to patients. When accessing your GP surgery this is likely to be through a telephone triage service initially and patients will be

directed to the most appropriate care.

Dr Charles Parker, from Topcliffe Surgery, who is Chair of NHS North Yorkshire CCG Clinical, said: “ Whilst it is really important to follow the government guidance to stay home during this period, it can be confusing to

know what to do when you are feeling unwell. We need to ensure people are still accessing help, particularly with serious illnesses as these conditions have not gone away just because of coronavirus. NHS 111, hospitals and GPs are still providing the same care they have always done. It can be very dangerous to put off getting seen as you can put yourself at risk of late diagnosis of things such as cancer, heart attacks and stroke. We have noticed that children in particular seem to be presenting less, and we are urging parents to make sure they are using the right service for their child if they are displaying worrying symptoms.”

Access to the GP will initially be by telephone as GP practices are still advising patients to only attend in person if specifically asked to. Surgeries across North Yorkshire will be offering video and phone consultations for those who are not asked to attend in person. Patients should still dial 999 in the event of a life threatening emergency.

Will you help with COVID-19 research?

Over 2.5 million people, including me, are supporting scientists at King’s College London to identify how fast the Coronavirus is spreading and who is most at risk, locally and nationally. It’s one of the most clinically detailed studies being undertaken in the world and you can be part of it. All you have to do is download an app and report in each day. It takes less than 30 seconds. This is a new virus which the world has never seen before. There are a wide range of symptoms, which differ between people. With your help the scientists can understand much better the situation up and down the country, how the disease presents itself to different people, and how it progresses. No information you share will be used for commercial purposes. Download at: Android:, iPhone/iPad:

NHS Volunteer Responders

As mentioned last week, Mary Manning of Topcliffe and Charlie Halshaw from Asenby have registered as NHS Volunteer Responders and are anticipating an increasing role in assisting elderly and vulnerable people who are stuck in their homes due to the crisis. As anticipated, it’s taking the government time to ramp up the service to its full capacity and Mary and Charlie still haven’t yet had any official alerts to deal with. However, they have indicated that they are available to help anyone from Topcliffe or Asenby who makes themselves known. Their telephone numbers are 07776 531415 and 07768 664780 respectively.

They can help with:

• delivering medicines from pharmacies • driving patients to appointments (non-wheelchair only) • bringing patients home from hospital (non-wheelchair only)

• making regular phone calls to check on people isolating at home • transporting medical supplies and equipment for the NHS.

Northdale Horticultural

I wanted to remind those gardeners among readers of this email that there’s still time to order garden and greenhouse plants and vegetables from Northdale Horticulture for delivery early May. Northdale Horticulture, a Northallerton-based charity that provides training for people with learning difficulties, is providing a ‘mail order’ service. There will be a deliver to Topcliffe and Asenby, probably clumping orders together, from 4 May. Their web address is where you can check out what’s available. The site has separate lists of different types of plants and an order form too, which you can print off, complete and email to If anyone has difficulty accessing plant details online, please email me and I will forward copies of the plant lists.

A message from The Rev’d Susanne Jukes, Vicar of Topcliffe and Asenby

Don’t believe everything you read in the papers! Last Sunday would have been my final Service at Topcliffe (and today at the other churches in the Benefice) – but sadly, of course, none of this has happened. It feels very strange not to be saying a ‘proper’ goodbye to people, and so I am very grateful to Doug for this round-robin email and for this opportunity at least, to say an enormous Thank You to you all in Topcliffe and Asenby – for your welcome when I came here; for your friendship and care over the years; for allowing me to share in some of the most precious moments in your lives; and for your support for the Church. It will be an enormous wrench to leave here – I will miss you – but it goes with the territory that I have to move when I give up the job. So my License comes to an end on Thursday 30 April and I will cease to be Vicar here; but in terms of the actual move to County Durham – who knows? I will move whenever it’s possible to. All we can do now, as at all times, is to place ourselves in God’s hands. I leave you with great thankfulness, and with every blessing for now and for the future, whatever it holds.

Contributions to Susanne’s leaving present?

The Church Wardens have asked me to include a thank you to everyone who has kindly contributed towards a leaving present for Susanne Jukes who retires this coming week. It will be nice to get Susanne something to remember us all by. There’s still time to make a donation by cheque payable to Topcliffe PCC or by paying directly into the church account by BACS. To do this, people would need to contact Liz Marsh at and she will pass on the church account details so that an online payment can be made. Cheques should be sent to Liz Marsh at The Elm Gallery in Front Street, Topcliffe.

There will hopefully be a chance for a farewell party later in the year when this crisis is over.

More good deeds acknowledged

The roll of honour recognising the good deeds of villagers during the pandemic continues this week. All names on the list from this and previous weeks will be saved in case there’s an opportunity to say a collective thank you at an appropriate event once the crisis is over. So continue to let me have your nominations.

Heather Allon for her good deeds in Asenby including setting up the library in the bus-stop and taking books and magazines door to door to those in lockdown.

• The kind person(s) that have been clearing dog poo on paths between Asenby and Queen Mary’s School. If I knew who you are I’d be happy to add your names to this roll of honour

Kim Hughes and Heather Holt for spending hours of their lockdown undercoating and painting two Topcliffe village benches. And Malcolm Morley who undertook some vital metalwork repairs on the benches and

Peter Billet who shot-blasted and prepared the benches ready for painting.

• General practitioner Dr Eric Robertson who lives in Asenby and is making a massive contribution to health services out of Thirsk Health Centre.

Sandra Wright of Topcliffe and Linda Roberts of Rainton who have enthusiastically joined a team of villagers in Front Street who make scrubs, trousers and scrub bags for The Friarage Hospital. There efforts have been

described as “stoic and indefatigable”.

• AND everyone else who has helped in any way. A big THANK YOU to you all.

Thirsk Information Centre publish special coronavirus newsletter

The regular What’s On newsletter issued regularly by Thirsk Information Centre has been turned into a community information newsletter for the duration of the Coronavirus pandemic – in a similar way to this Sunday email which grew out of a Village Hall events email. Some of you might be interested in the extra dimension offered by a newsletter emanating from our nearest large town. You can access the newsletter via the information centre’s website – click on the ‘Latest Local Information’ image then ‘print your own newspaper’. There’s also a facility to register your email address to receive a copy of the newsletter each Thursday.

GCHQ needs your help

In the last couple of Sunday emails I have mentioned specific scams that the criminals are perpetrating to separate us from our hard=earned cash. Now North Yorkshire Police are reporting that they have received a lot of emails from concerned North Yorkshire residents who have received suspicious emails concerning the Coronavirus. This is being replicated across the country. As a result, the Government Communication headquarters (GCHQ) is asking members of the public to report suspicious emails they have received that seek to exploit fear of Covid-19 to enrich cybercriminals. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), has launched the suspicious email reporting service with a simple request of the public: forward any dubious emails to, and the NCSC’s automated scanning system will check for scam emails and remove the criminal sites.

Topcliffe benches refurbished

Two of Topcliffe’s metal benches first provided to mark the Silver Jubilee of King George V’s reign (1910 to 1935) have had a total refurb and are now looking amazing in their new livery. When it was decided they should be restored, Peter Billet, who operates from a shed on Barningham’s farm, kindly agreed to sandblast the benches and apply a base metal paint to holdback future rusting. Then Malcolm Morley undertook some necessary fabrication work before handing them over to Heather Holt and Kim Hughes for a final paint job. Heather and Kim contacted Williamsons of Ripon for advice about the best paint for the job and the company was very helpful and provided paint at cost…and some free of charge. The colours – dark blue and gold – were chosen to reflect the main colours on the Magna Carta shield installed on the side of the Toll Booth. When the pandemic is over, the benches will be re-installed in their usual positions near Topcliffe school and at Swale View.

Death of Ron Maites

It is with great sadness that I must report the death of Asenby resident Ron Maites. Ron, aged 93, died peacefully in his sleep this week in Sowerby Lodge where he had lived for the last four years or so. Ron moved to Asenby from Devon over 20 years ago to be near one of his daughters, Helen, who lives in Dalton. Another daughter lives on the Scottish island of Raasay. Ron had been in the Household Cavalry and later was a police officer with Devon Constabulary. His military and police service was always reflected in his day to day dress throughout his retirement: he always wore a shirt and tie and brightly polished shoes that you could see your face in. He loved North Yorkshire and driving around the many beautiful parts of the county. He also loved gardening…and was partial to the odd chocolate.

Village Hall AGM

The Village Hall is required by law to hold an AGM each May. Obviously the committee can’t organise a meeting at the present time and it is disinclined to try to attempt a virtual meeting, as it is required to give full access to members of the public. The Chairman, Andrew Eckersley, has said that he will organise an AGM as soon as the Coronavirus problems have receded and the village hall is back in use.

Help feed the animals at Monk Farm

Did you see the report on the local television news about the problems being faced by the owners of Monk Farm, near Bagby? Usually at this time of year the farm is a magnet for families who are keen to see the new born lambs, kids and other animals, but of course lockdown means that there are no paying customers visiting the farm right now. But the animals still need feeding three times a day and this visitor attraction needs help with the cost of feeding the new-borns, as well cattle, deer, llamas, alpacas, ponies, donkeys, goats and wallabies. The owners are not eligible for government help so they are appealing to the public to help ensure the farm survives. You can “visit” the farm via Facebook – – and make a donation at

Bank Holiday Bin Collections

All bin collections across Topcliffe and Asenby will be affected by the changes in this year’s May Day bank holiday. The bank holiday has been moved from Monday 4 May to Friday 8 May to coincide with Victory in Europe Day (VE Day), which marks the 75th anniversary of the formal end of World War II. In Hambleton (Topcliffe) collections during the week will move forward one day, so recycling and garden waste will be on Wednesday 6 May. In Harrogate (Asenby) refuse will be collected on Monday 4 May and garden waste on Thursday 7 May.

VE Day – 8 May 2020

The idea of organising “Stay at Home Street Parties” on Friday 8 May to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day is gaining momentum. Lots of residents on social media have indicated they are enthusiastic about celebrating by picnicking in their garden and decorating their house in red, white and blue. It would be nice to see our two villages really pulling out the stops to make this an anniversary to remember.

Community Support in Asenby

• Asenby’s community Facebook page ‘Asenby Institute Community Space’ is going strong keeping villagers well informed and in touch with each other. This week it has featured pugs and poems! A big thank you to

Carole Ford who is helping to keep the Facebook page lively and informative in between making scrubs and knitting rainbows.

• The community library in the bus stop continues to be very popular. In fact, if anyone can donate another bookcase, it would be greatly welcomed. Villagers are welcome to borrow or supply books. Users are required

to wear gloves and should sanitise books before leaving them or picking them up. The bus-stop also has an occasional potato delivery, so look out for that if you’re running short.

• Heather Allon is delivering magazines and books to those who can’t get out of the house because of infirmity or lockdown. If you would like her to call at your house (she’ll take all necessary precautions) telephone her

on 01845 595080.

• Peter Palmer (01845 578057) and Judith Lowe (01845 577911) are co-ordinating a team of volunteers to assist any resident who needs help with shopping or collection of medicines….or maybe just wants a ‘phone chat.

• A range of Asenby Village Trails has been developed for village children (and adults) taking their daily stroll. Walkers should look out for rainbows and teddy bears in windows.

• Practice nurse Lesley Lowe is assisting residents who are in isolation and who don’t pay for their medication and are worried about leaving home to collect their medications from Topcliffe Surgery. Ask when you order

your prescription.

Local shop opening times

This is a compilation of supermarket, convenience store, pharmacy and Post Office opening times, including priority times for elderly, vulnerable and key workers where known. It’s possible that some times may change on the Bank Holidays (8 May). If you’ve anything to add or correct please email me –

• Tesco, Station Road – Mon-Sat: 8am-10pm, Sun: 10am-4pm. Priority for elderly and vulnerable people – Mon, Wed and Fri 9-10am. Priority for NHS workers – Tue, Thu and Sat 9-10am. All the time: care workers, NHS

and emergency services will be invited to come to the front of the queue.

• Cooperative, Market Place – Mon-Sat: 7am-10pm, Sun: 11am-5pm. Priority for elderly and vulnerable people, NHS workers and carers – Mon-Sat 8-9pm and Sun 10-11am.

• Aldi, Topcliffe Road – Mon-Sat: 8am-10pm and Sun: 10am-4pm.

• Lidl, Station Road – Mon-Sat: 8am-8pm and Sun: 10am-4pm.

• Heron, Market Place – Mon-Sat: 8am-6pm and Sun: 10am-5pm.

• Nisa, Long Street – Mon-Sun: 7am-10pm.

• Morrisons, Boroughbridge – Mon-Sat: 7am-9pm and Sun: 9.30am-4pm. Priority openings for NHS workers and carers – Mon-Sat: 6am-7am, Sun 9am-9.30am.

• Boots pharmacy, Market Place – Mon-Sat: 9am-5.30pm, Sun: Closed.

• Boots pharmacy, Chapel Street – Mon-Fri: 8.30am-6.30pm (closed noon-1pm), Sat and Sun: Closed.

• Tesco Pharmacy – Mon: 8am-10.30pm, Tue-Sat: 6.30am-10.30pm and Sun: 10am-4pm.

• Thirsk Post Office, in Cooperative Supermarket – Mon-Sat: 7am-10pm and Sun: 11am-5pm.

• Carlton Miniott Post Office, near Thirsk Station – Mon-Fri: 7am-6pm, Sat: 7am-5pm and Sun: 8am-noon.

• Topcliffe Post Office, Long Street, Mon-Fri: 7.30am-2pm, Sat 7.30am-11.30am and Sun: closed.

Shopping pick-ups and deliveries

Morrison’s continue to offer a special ‘essential’ delivery service to vulnerable and elderly members of the community who are unable to shop in-store. There’s an order form on the company’s website – you download it, tick your choices and 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:

• Buck Inn, Maunby is supplying fresh produce and household essentials. Free delivery on orders over £25 or to any NHS cardholder. Email:

• Carl’s Fruit & Veg. Orders only by Facebook. Requires payment by Bacs.

• 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. 01845 523212 or via Facebook.

• K E Bland of Ripon – home delivery service for supply milk, yoghurt, cream, bread, oil, water, fruit and vegetables. Ring 01765 603049.

• 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.

• Upstairs Downstairs Deli, Thirsk are delivering to all YO7 postcodes. Check them out on Facebook.

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

Take Away Food

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

• Bambudda Oriental Cuisine, Ripon – 01765 278020 – Orders by phone only. Demand is very high so there may be a delay in getting through. On weekends the line opens at 3pm for pre-orders. Delivery charge £5.

• Bliss Café, Thirsk – Soup, main meals and puddings for the elderly and infirm. Can be delivered frozen or ready to eat within a five mile radius, 7 days a week. Ring two days in advance to discuss your needs, Phone 07584

633669 or email Pay by card over phone, bank transfer or cash by special arrangement. Please phone 8am-1pm.

• Mozzarelli’s, Ripon 01765 603333

• Old Red House, Thirsk has organised Carvery Sundays. Ring 01845 525769 for bookings and information.

• Pizza Pronto, Catterick Garrison – 01748 833777

• Regency Pizza, Thirsk Industrial Estate – 01845 522331

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

• The TeaTime Café, Thirsk – Bake Boxes with varied contents changing each week, or individual items. Delivery on Thursdays is free to Topcliffe and Asenby. Orders by 2pm Tuesday. Full details are on the café’s website


• 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

Please note that the Racha Thai Bistro in Thirsk is closed for at least two more weeks.

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

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.

Thursday Clapping for our heroes

Last Thursday saw the fifth consecutive week of clapping. This public showing of support for NHS frontline staff, care home staff and other key workers, including police, fire & rescue, supermarket and shop workers, bin men, Royal Mail delivers and lots, lots more, is a massive tribute to their selfless commitment. There’ll be another clapping next Thursday evening at 8pm. But please, no fireworks as it upsets and traumatises our pets.


• Both ‘Top Residents’ and ‘Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall’ Facebook sites have lots of useful information and chat about what’s going on during lockdown.

• Topcliffe Post Office (01845 577517) continues to operate post offices services, as well as the sale of newspapers and the usual product lines. Opening times are restricted – 7.30am to 2pm, Monday to Saturday.

• 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

• Isolation and lockdown may well have a significant impact on the mental health of some people. If you want any advice during this period go to: , or

• Community Works 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.

• Coronavirus Health Information – there is 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 a high temperature (this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back) or 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.

• Topcliffe Surgery requires seven working days’ notice for repeat prescriptions.

• The AA is offering free roadside assistance to any NHS worker if they have a breakdown on route to or from work. The number to call is 0800 072 5064.

That’s all until next Sunday. Stay at home. Keep safe and keep well.