Posted on

Sunday Email: Issue 60

Welcome to the 60th issue of this regular Sunday Email.


07785 223707

The week’s Covid statistics

• 39 million people have now had a first dose vaccination. The number of second doses is over 25 million. 74% of the adult population has now had the first jab and over 47% the second.

• There have been 4.5 million confirmed cases of Covid in the UK. A further 3,398 people tested positive for Covid in the last 24-hour reporting period. That’s a 23% increase over the week before.

• Over 6.1 million Covid tests were conducted last week.

• There are 870 Covid patients in hospital, latest government figures show, compared to the peak of 39,249 in January. The head of NHS Providers said very few Covid patients in hospital in England have

received two coronavirus jabs – showing the vaccines provide high levels of protection. He also said patients tended now to be younger – meaning there was a lower need for critical care.

• There were 7 deaths reported in the UK yesterday and 59 in last seven days.

• The total number of UK deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test now stands at 127,583. Separate figures show there have been more than 150,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid was

mentioned on the death certificate. Worldwide, the global death toll is 3,467,722.

The R value increases

The coronavirus R value in England is now above 1, according to the latest government figures. R represents the average number of people each Covid-19 positive person goes on to infect. When the figure is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially but when it is below 1, it means the epidemic is shrinking. An R number between 1.0 and 1.1 means that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 10 and 11 other people.

Single-shot jab approved

Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine has been approved for use in the UK. Trials have shown the jab to be 67% effective overall at preventing moderate to severe Covid-19 and is thought to be 85% effective in preventing severe disease or admission to hospital. The government has secured 20 million doses of the jab, produced by the Belgian-based pharmaceutical company. It’s expected to be available at the end of the year.

Over on the Continent, the EU’s medicines’ agency has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for 12-15 year olds – the first jab allowed for this age group.

The Roadmap out of Lockdown

The next stage of easing is scheduled for Monday 21 June. It’s anticipated that on that date all legal limits on social contact will be removed. It’s also the date that the government has stated that nightclubs can reopen and restrictions will be lifted on the number of guests allowed at weddings and at large events such as festivals. However, some health experts believe the 21 June date should be delayed until a much higher proportion of people are vaccinated with two doses. The government will announce its decision on Monday 14 June.

Covid Testing

A full list of NHS testing sites can be viewed at

Lateral Flow Testing Kits – these tests are available free of charge to everyone. Seen as a significant step forward, the test kits can be obtained to use twice a week. One in three people with Covid do not experience any symptoms and may be spreading the virus unwittingly. Rapid testing detects cases quickly, meaning positive cases can isolate immediately. You can order here:

Music @ Junction 50

Three concerts will be held over the summer months in the lovely church at Baldersby St James as part of the Music @ Junction 50 event.

• 30 June at 7pm – Ian Watt presents an evening of classical guitar music. Described by Classical Guitar Magazine as a guitarist of outstanding skill and originality, Ian is a rising star in demand around the

world. A multi award winner in competitions he has performed with many major orchestras as a soloist and is often heard on radio stations in many countries. Ian’s programme includes works by Sor,

Grieg, Turina and de Falla.

• 24 July at 11am sees the return of local harpist Mary Reid who has played in Baldersby St James a number of times. In this shorter more informal ‘coffee concert’ she will perform pieces from composers

such as Bach, Paganini and Salzedo.

• 2 September at 7pm the Genovia Bassoon Quartet will provide a whirlwind musical tour which will showcase items from various musical genres and will demonstrate the amazing versatility of the bassoon.

Each member of the quartet is a top orchestral player.

Tickets are available from Sue Brown at the shop in Baldersby – 07840 381558 or Colin Reid on 01765 640624 or can be purchased at the door.

Well done Miss Talbot

Over the past year, North Yorkshire County Council has run a campaign to identify the county’s ten most important sons and daughters. It looked at widely unknown people from our county’s history who have made North Yorkshire what it is today. After a public vote the winner of the accolade is Miss Bridget Elizabeth Talbot, a formidable political campaigner who fought for decades to restore and save Kiplin Hall. Her invention of the watertight torch, which was used to rescue naval crew and boats at sea, helped to save thousands of lives during World War Two.

Dalton plan – final chance to comment

The planning application for a major development at Dalton Industrial Estate will be decided by Hambleton Council in the next week or two. Thirty six local people have so far commented on the plans and generally given their support to creating more jobs and boosting the local economy, but are emphatic that it must not happen at the expense of more traffic problems in Topcliffe and Asenby. The view is that any planning approval must be accompanied by strong and enforceable rules that will stop illegal traffic on weight-restricted village roads. To add your views simply go to: insert the reference number 21/00331/HYB in the search box and follow the instructions.

Parish Council meetings

• The next meeting of Asenby Parish Council will be at 7.30pm on Wednesday 21 July 2021 in the main hall at the Village Hall.

• The next meeting of Topcliffe Parish Council will be at 7pm on Thursday 3 June in the main hall at the Village Hall. topcliffeparishcouncil Covid safety arrangements will be in place at the Village Hall.

Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall

Existing hirers will have free use of the hall until 31 December 2021. Fee use of the hall is also available to new group activities (this does not include commercial one-off or private hires for parties and social functions). This is intended to encourage a new range of activities to get going. Confirmed bookings so far:

• Pammy’s Pilates – 6 to 7pm, every Thursday evening.

• My Time Yoga – 12.30 to 4pm (two classes) – every Monday.

• Topcliffe Parish Council – 7pm, Thursday 3 June.

• Soup and sweet lunches will start again on Wednesday 23 June and then fortnightly thereafter.

• Asenby Parish Meeting – 7.30pm, Wednesday 21 July.

• Topcliffe & Asenby Produce Show will be held on Saturday 28 August.

• Attic Auction – Saturday 5 September.

Bookings for new activities and for events such as parties will be possible from 21 June. Events planned for last year that had to be postponed due to the pandemic will be rescheduled in due course. Watch out for details of the Big Race Night and Challenge Quiz.

The Tattler – June edition

The summer edition of The Tattler will be published and delivered door to door this coming week.

How to: protect yourself from scam callers

The majority of frauds reported to the police involve victims being contacted by the scammer via the telephone. There are a number of ways you can protect your phone and help prevent scam or nuisance calls:

  • If you have a landline, purchase a new phone with a built-in call blocker or purchase a stand-alone call blocker.
  • Contact your phone provider to discuss what call blocking services they offer.
  • Register your phone number/s with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) – this can help to stop nuisance calls. You can register online at the TPS website:
  • Be careful where you share your phone number and what opt ins you choose when providing your information to companies and organisations.
  • If you receive a call that doesn’t feel right, hang up.

Ask the experts

The next online ‘Ask the Experts’ event at which police officers talk about online banking safety will be on 22 June between 7 and 9pm. To register go to

Zoom talk about LS Lowry

The Arts Society Hambleton is staging a lecture entitled ‘LS Lowry; A Visionary Artist, A painter of the human condition’. It will be an online Zoom event presented by Michael Howard, artist and teacher at

the Manchester School of Art. 2pm on Tuesday 1 June. Tickets: hambleton or check out the website at

Mad Hatters Tea Party

There’s an opportunity to learn how to make your very own colourful ceramic cups and saucers inspired by the story and characters of Alice in Wonderland. This event is being staged at Rural Arts, Westgate, Thirsk at half term – Wednesday 2 June 10.30am-noon. Tel: 01845 526536 or book online at

Northern Dales Farmers’ Market

There’ll be a fantastic selection of food and drink producers selling a wide range of goodies at next Sunday’s Farmer’s Market at Thirsk’s Market Square. Sunday 6 June.

Thirsk Hall gardens open to view

Thirsk Hall in Kirkgate, Thirsk is taking part in the NGS Open Gardens day on Saturday 12 June. There are 20 acres of grounds and gardens which have been sensitively restored. There’s even a sculpture park.

Homemade teas will be available. Wheelchair access. 2 to 5.30pm. Tickets at the gate.

St Columba’s Church

Services planned are:

• Tonight – 30 May, 7pm – Compline for Trinity Sunday

• Sunday 6 June, 6.30pm – Choral Evensong

• Sunday 13 June, 10.45am – Festival Eucharist for St Columba’s Day led by the Archdeacon of Cleveland, the Venerable Dr Amanda Bloor

• Sunday 20 June, 10.45am – Holy Communion (Modern Language) Rev’d Mary Rolls

• Sunday 27 June, 10.45am – Sung Matins

Celebration of St Columba’s Day 13 June

John Phillips writes: “As we emerge from months of pandemic and lock-down, and summer at last now seems to be with us, it is rather fortuitous that the feast of St Columba appears just at this time, giving us a chance to celebrate with a special Choral Eucharist on Sunday 13 June at 10,45am. We are very pleased to be welcoming the Archdeacon of Cleveland, the Venerable Dr Amanda Bloor to lead us. This annual service celebrates our Patron Saint Columba and the centuries of Christian worship that have taken place on this holy spot in the heart of our village over nearly 1,400 years. St Columba’s Choir will sing a favourite setting of the service composed by our own Kit Norris. Please do join us, in numbers if you can, as a show of support for the continued work of the church in our villages. The planned historical events usually associated with this weekend have had to be postponed again until next year, but nevertheless we invite you to also join us for a ‘Village Picnic’ in the churchyard to follow the service from 12 noon onwards. Please bring your families and friends, food, drinks, rugs, chairs and surround the church with colour, laughter and fun. Groups will need to be suitably distanced, but I am sure we can still make this a great occasion. For those unfamiliar with the long history of our church, descriptive tours will be available from time to time during the course of the afternoon, and we should also be able to offer the ever-popular climb up the church tower to admire the fabulous views. Covid risk assessments have been prepared and will be regularly monitored and updated before and during the weekend to ensure everyone’s safety. Naturally the whole event is subject to the Covid situation, but we plan to proceed unless there is any government announcement about gatherings.”

Anyone wishing to join in the preparations for the event would be welcome to join working parties to tidy up the churchyard next weekend – Sunday 6 June between 10am to 1pm. Please take whatever tools you might feel appropriate. Any help will be very much appreciated. If you have queries about any of this please contact John Phillips on 01845 577034.

St Robert of Newminster

Everyone knows the well-known Yorkshire saints, such as St Hilda of Whitby, but there are many others less famous such as the catholic St Robert of Newminster whose feast day is celebrated on 7 June, the day of his death. Robert was born in Gargrave near Skipton and after studying in Paris returned to serve Gargrave as parish priest. He later became a Benedictine joining the monks of Saint Mary’s Abbey in York, but not finding the life strict enough, he helped establish a monastery in a valley near Skelldale in 1132. Because of the many natural springs in the area, the monastery was called Fountains Abbey. In about 1138 he headed a group of monks sent out from Fountains to establish Newminster Abbey west of Morpeth in Northumberland where he became abbot and where he is buried. The small monastery was one of the first to be dissolved in 1535 by Henry VIII.

Local traders

Asenbee Honey – as well as selling local honey, this Asenby-based business makes beeswax candles and a range of hand-carved spoons and oak chopping boards.

The Swan is now operating normal hours again. George, Jane and the team are looking forward to welcoming customers old and new for drinks, meals and good company.

The Elm Gallery – Opening times are: Wednesday to Saturday, 10am to 5.30pm; Sunday, 12noon to 5.30pm; Monday and Tuesday – closed. Covid safety arrangements are in place with two households/bubbles in the gallery at any one time. Call 01845 577316 or 07709 223920 or check out the website at:

The Milk Churn Farm Shop -The café is now open again. It offers a selection of hot and cold drinks, homemade cakes, traybakes and scones. Wheelchair access is available at the rear of the property. Customers are still required to keep to social distancing rules so the café is providing tables each with just three chairs as the seating area is too small to have more. Takeaway teas and coffees with cake is still available. Open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9-5pm. Thursday and Saturday 9-1pm. Check out Facebook page for information about new lines in fresh and frozen foods. 01845 400446.

The Little Yorkshire Hamper Company – currently based at the Milk Churn farm Shop but due to lack of space is planning to return to Melmerby sometime soon. The company provides beautiful hampers for all occasions. Hampers contain the best of produce from small Yorkshire food and drink producers. Tel: 07793 775987

Topcliffe Post Office – opening hours are: Shop – weekdays 7am to 5pm and Saturday 7 to 11.30am. Post Office – weekdays 8.30am to 5pm and Saturday 8.30 to 11.30am. Both closed on Sundays.

Chip ‘n Dales – the Fish & Chip van is in Topcliffe on Fridays between 5 and 7pm.

Studio 18 Hairstylist – unisex hairdressing salon run by Nicola James at 18 Long Street (opposite the surgery). Open Monday to Saturday. Male and female adults as well as children. For an appointment call Nicola on 07851 034815.

The Thirsk Food Bank now has a collection point at the Milk Churn Farm Shop. The following foodstuffs are welcomed: tins, pasta, rice, biscuits, cereals, jars, crisps, juices, bottled products, soups, crisp breads, anything in packets. But please, no fresh products as there’s a risk they will go to waste.

John Aston Flooring Ltd – operating from The Old Hatchery in Asenby. There’s a large selection of carpets and flooring to suit all tastes. Appointment only. 01845 421111 –

The Angel at Topcliffe – now reopened fully with a new menu. Please call to book indoor tables. Breakfast is served 8 to 10am to non-residents every day. • Lunch is served Monday to Friday, 12noon to 2.30pm and dinner 5 until 9pm. • The restaurant is open 12noon to 9pm on Saturdays and 12 noon to 8pm on Sundays. • The bar is open Monday to Thursday, 12 noon to 11pm; Friday and Saturday 12 noon to midnight; Sunday 12 noon to 10.30pm. • The tents and gazebos in the garden are being retained for a few more weeks, so those who are still reluctant to eat inside can still enjoy a meal. • The Angel at Home service will continue until further notice Wednesday to Sunday (please try to book in advance and check the new menu before ordering). • Comedy Night is planned to resume on 6 July, tickets will be available next week (£10 in advance, £12 on the day). Check out full details at or follow The Angel on Facebook to get regular updates.

Jobs at The Angel

The Angel is looking for front of house staff to work evenings and weekends. Anyone interested please call Greg or Steve on 01845 578000 for more details.

Bin Collections

Hambleton (Topcliffe):

• Recycling & green waste – Friday 4 June (one day later than normal due to Bank Holiday)

• Refuse – Mondays 7 and 21 June

Harrogate (Asenby):

• Refuse – Tuesday 1 June (one day later than normal due to Bank Holiday) and Mondays 14 and 28 June

• Garden waste – Friday 4 June (one day later than normal due to Bank Holiday)

• Recycling – Mondays 7 and 21 June

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