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Sunday Email: Issue 68

Welcome to the 68th issue of this regular Sunday Email.


07785 223707

The week’s Covid statistics

• The R number remains 1.2 and 1.4. This means that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 12 and 14 other people.

• 46.5 million first doses given. 36.8 million second doses. 87.9% of the adult population has now had the first jab and over 69.5% the second.

• 309,742 people tested positive for Covid in the last week. That is an increase of 11% on the week before.

• Covid cases nationally are down for the fourth consecutive day. There were 31,795 new infections on Saturday – down from 46, 558 on Wednesday.

• 5,322 people were admitted to hospital with Covid between 18 and 24 July.

• There were 86 deaths reported yesterday and 447 in the last seven days. That’s a 57% increase on the previous seven days.

• The total number of UK deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test now stands at 129,044.

• 154,000 deaths registered in the UK had Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate.

• Worldwide, the global death toll is 4,098,967.

North Yorkshire figures

The Covid picture in North Yorkshire is stark. The average number of cases is 570 per 100,000 people, the highest seen in the county, a significant rise on last week and above the England average of 520.

Vulnerable 12 to 15 year olds to get vaccination

The UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has recommended vaccinating children aged 12-15 if they are at higher risk of Covid due to:

  • Severe neurodisability (which could include conditions such as cerebral palsy, autism or epilepsy).
  • Down’s syndrome.
  • A severely weakened immune system, including some children with cancer.
  • Profound and multiple learning difficulties.

Those at higher risk who are already aged 16 or 17 can be vaccinated under existing rules. The JCVI has also recommended immunising 12-17 year olds who live with people who have a suppressed immune system, as a form of indirect protection. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the only vaccine that has been approved for use in children in the UK, with a licence already granted for the vaccine to be used in the over 12s.

Many 18-30 year olds appear reluctant to get jabbed

Many young adults are still to get their first vaccine. Infections among people in their 20s are at record levels, with 1,155 in every 100,000 in the population testing positive, official figures suggest. Although more than 4 million under-30s received their first jab in the first three weeks after they became eligible, about 3 million have yet to come forward.

Self-isolation is a crucial tool against Covid

Government experts say self-isolation is still one of the main tools being used to try and stop Covid spreading. At the moment, you must self-isolate for 10 days if you have symptoms, test positive for Covid, live with someone who tests positive or has symptoms, or are told to isolate by contact-tracers. You must also isolate if you arrive in the UK from a red list country, or from an amber list country and are not fully vaccinated. If you are pinged by the NHS Covid app saying you have been in close contact with someone with Covid, you’re advised – but not legally obliged – to self-isolate for 10 days.

Covid Testing

• Test and Trace – Full details about the purpose of Test & Trace and how it works can be read at

• PCR Test – must be booked If you have symptoms. A full list of NHS testing sites can be viewed at

• Lateral Flow Testing Kits – these tests are available free of charge to everyone. Rapid testing detects cases quickly, meaning positive cases can isolate immediately. You can order here:

The Topcliffe & Asenby Produce Show

The 2021 Produce Show will be held on Saturday 28 August. The event is open to all residents of Topcliffe and Asenby, and individuals who grow produce on allotments within the boundaries of our two villages. There’ll be 47 horticultural classes. There’s also 16 baking/preserves classes, 3 floral classes, 10 hobbies classes and 5 classes just for children to enter. The full list of rules, categories and classes is available on both village websites – and or from Produce Show Secretary Judith Lowe (577911).

Blue Cross worker undertakes squats challenge

Rachel Gudgeon, an Animal Welfare Assistant at the Blue Cross animal rescue centre near Topcliffe has accepted the Blue Cross 3,000 Squats in August Challenge. The proceeds from her efforts will help to fund the tremendous work undertaken at the centre. Anyone wishing to sponsor Rachel can do so via this link:


Oliver’s latest Asenby News (see attachment)

Eight-year old Oliver Robertson has issued the 5th edition of his newsletter, Asenby News. The main story promotes a picnic in the park to celebrate the end of Covid restrictions and community lockdowns. His proposal is that the picnic should be held on Asenby playing field starting at 2pm on Sunday, 22 August. The colourful publication is also full of news, jokes and riddles.

Seedlings Nursery

The Seedlings Nursery attached to Topcliffe Academy is desperately trying to raise funds to replace a storage shed in which equipment is stored. The old hut has been condemned and a new one is likely to cost as much as £1,000. Several people in the village have offered to help raise cash, including Debbie Roberts at The Milk Churn Farm Shop who is organising a ‘guess the number of the seeds in a jar’ challenge. Karen Morley and Linda Carver have also agreed that any surplus raised at the next Soup and Sweet lunch at the Village Hall on Wednesday 4 August will be donated to the Seedlings Shed project. There’ll also be a raffle at the Afternoon Tea at the Village Hall on Sunday 1 August to raise more funds. If anyone can kindly offer a prize for the raffle please contact Karen on 01845 577426.

Sunday afternoon tea

There’s to be a Sunday afternoon tea at the Village Hall on 1 August between 3 and 5pm. Those so inclined are welcome to bring along their own bottle of wine or fizz! And if anyone would prefer to just pop in to collect their afternoon tea and take it away to consume elsewhere, that’s ok. Instead of paying a set price, those attending will be invited to leave a donation, which will go to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. As mentioned above, there’ll be a raffle to raise cash for the Seedlings Shed project.

Help needed: it would be much appreciated if villagers would help by making cakes, scones, quiches, biscuits or sandwiches. Just bring them along on the day between 1 and 2pm so that there is time for them to be set out.

Soup and sweet lunch

The next soup and sweet lunch will be held on Wednesday 4 August at 12 noon. Instead of paying a set price for lunch, customers are asked to make a small donation according to their means. Any surplus is donated to a different charity each week. Last Wednesday’s lunch raised £72 for The Boot Shop in Easingwold, which provides opportunities for people who have disabilities and learning difficulties to undertake handicraft and other activities. The event on 4 August will raise cash for the Seedlings Shed project.

It’s not a secret any more!

Northallerton’s Secret Garden is having an Open Day on Saturday 7 August from 10 am till 3pm. This place is so secret that many visitors to the town’s High Street probably don’t know that it exists at all. But look down the alleyway next to Kitson butchers and Ramsdens and you’ll find this ‘island of tranquillity’ adjacent to the Zion United Reformed Church. The secret garden was created from several neglected gardens and is now a safe space where both people and wildlife can flourish. Volunteers tend the floral beds and grow an amazing range of fruit and vegetables for the town’s food bank. On the Open Day there’ll be lots to see and admire, refreshments will be available, and there’ll be plants, bird boxes and bug hotels for sale. Topcliffe resident Wendy Jeffries is a volunteer at the Secret Garden and she hopes that lots of villagers will take the time to pop in to see the wonderful work undertaken there.

New council for whole of North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire’s county and district councils are to be scrapped and replaced with a single authority covering the whole county. Though City of York Council will remain separate. Under the reorganisation plans, the current two-tier system, which has been in place since 1974, will be replaced with a unitary authority covering a population of 618,000. Currently, services including social care and education are run by North Yorkshire County Council, while the districts look after areas including planning and bin collections. It is expected that the new council will deliver all public services in the county from April 2023.

Classic cars and motorcycles on show

Stokesley Showground (TS9 5ER) on Saturday, 7 August between 10.30am to 4pm.

RAF Leeming holds flying exercises

RAF Leeming is warning residents in our area that there will be increased aircraft movement from the airfield from 26 – 29 July. During exercises, there’ll be short periods of low flying, along with some night flying. A spokesman for RAF Leeming said: “We understand our responsibility as good neighbours to inform the local community of such events that are additional to our normal flying activities and every effort will be made to keep the disturbance to a minimum.”

SummerTime Fest

The Staveley Arms at North Stainley on Saturday 21 August. The programme stars The Dunwells and also features Lucy May-Walker, Megan O’Neill, the Solow Choir and Freddie Cleary. For more details check out the pub’s Facebook page or email info


The third and final concert in the series is on 2 September at 7pm when 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. If you want more information contact Sue Brown at the shop in Baldersby – 07840 381558 or Colin Reid on 01765 640624.

Northern Dales Farmers’ Market

The next farmers’ market will be held in Thirsk Market Place on Sunday 1 August between 9am and 2pm.

Yorkshire Day

Sunday, 1 August, is Yorkshire Day. This year York will be host to the Yorkshire Society and the official Yorkshire Day Civic Celebration.

Events on at The Forum

There are some great events coming to The Forum in Northallerton in the coming months, including:

• Sunday 1 August at 12 noon – Big Band Era –The fabulous sounds of the big band era.

• Saturday 7 August at 6pm – Children’s Summer Disco – Children aged 2 to 11.

• Friday 20 August at 7pm – ‘Woman Like Me – The Little Mix Show’. Live vocals and pop-video choreography. Suitable for kids, tweens, teens and adults alike.

• Tuesday 24 August at 7pm – Andre Rieu – The King of Waltz handpicks his all-time favourite tunes and presents them on the big screen.

• Thursday 26 August at 7.30pm – Francis Rossi – The legendary Status Quo lead singer will share the extraordinary secrets of his 50-plus years in rock’n’roll when he takes to the stage for an intimate evening of chat and music.

• Saturday 28 August at 7.30pm – The Unravelling Wilburys – A band of good ‘ol boys reproduce the sound and songs of the late 80s super-group The Traveling Wilburys.

• Friday 3 September at 7.30pm – Quo Experience – An excellent show that captures the essence of the real Stutus Quo.

Enquiries to 01609 776230. Book tickets online

Parish Council meetings

• The next meeting of Topcliffe Parish Council will be at 7.15pm on Thursday 5 August in the main hall at the Village Hall. topcliffeparishcouncil

• The next meeting of Asenby Parish Council will be at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 15 September 2021 at the Village Hall.

Reasonable Covid safety arrangements continue to be in place for all meetings and activities at the Village Hall.

St Columba’s Church

Services planned are:

• Today (25 July) at 10.45am – Holy Communion.

Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall

• Art classes – the next series of art classes will be held in September.

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

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

• Boot Camp – every Tuesday and Friday evening, 7 – 8pm.

• Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall Committee – 7pm, Thursday 29 July.

• Sunday Afternoon Tea Party, 3 – 5pm, 1 August.

• NEW! Boccia Club is planning to start again on Tuesday 3 August. 2 – 4pm. All welcome.

• Soup and sweet lunch – 12 noon Wednesday 4 August.

• Topcliffe Parish Council meeting – 7pm, Thursday 5 August.

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

• Attic Auction – Saturday 4 September.

• Asenby Parish Council meeting – 7.30pm, Wednesday 15 September.

• NEW! Indoor Carpet Bowls – if there is enough interest, the bowls club will start to meet again in September. Expressions of interest please to Mel Arkley 01845 578728.

In line with the government’s relaxation of restrictions, the Village Hall Committee has decided to strike a balance in fully reopening the hall whilst maintaining personal safety. It is recognised that some members of the public want to get back to some level of normality as soon as possible whilst others will still feel uneasy or nervous if arrangements are relaxed too quickly. The hall is again available for any type of booking in the normal way, there is no capacity or special limits, social distancing is voluntary, kitchen and catering services can operate as normal, and there is no need for one-way systems within the hall. However, NHS Test and Trace will continue. Hirers and users will be asked to take responsibility for the way they operate. The new guidelines are available on the village website –

Existing hirers of the hall will have free use until 31 December 2021. To encourage a new range of activities to get going, free 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). Bookings for new activities and for events such as parties are now possible. 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.

Local traders

The Angel at Topcliffe – Check out full details at or follow The Angel on Facebook to get regular updates.

Asenbee Honey – this Asenby-based business sells honey but also makes beeswax candles and a range of hand-carved spoons and oak chopping boards.

• 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 – info

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

• 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:

• Fotiá Candles – Nikki and Sam Key’s home-based business producing hand poured soy wax candles, wax melts and reed diffusers. Perfect gift ideas. Bespoke orders for special occasions such as wedding favours. Info

• The Little Yorkshire Hamper Company – The company, which is now based at Melmerby, provides beautiful hampers for all occasions. Hampers contain the best of produce from small Yorkshire food and drink producers. Telephone: 07793 775987.

• The Milk Churn Farm Shop & Cafe – Customers continue to be asked to wear a mask/face covering (unless of course exempt) and also to maintain social distancing. This is out of respect for staff and more vulnerable customers. At both doors, there is hand sanitiser provided. Opening hours: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9am – 5pm; Thursday 9am – 1pm; Saturday 9am – 4pm and Sunday 10am – 3pm. Closed on Mondays. Takeaway teas and coffees with cake is still available. Wheelchair access is available at the rear of the property. Check out Facebook page for information about new lines in fresh and frozen foods. 01845 400446.

• 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 Swan – Providing traditional home-cooked food with a new menu and ‘specials board’. Extra choices on Wednesday Pie Night. Take-away meals every day. Sunday lunch served 12 noon to 4pm. On Saturdays food is served 12 noon until 8.30pm and the bar stays open until late.

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.

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. Closed on Sundays.

Bin Collections

Hambleton (Topcliffe):

• Recycling & green waste – Thursdays 29 July, 12 and 26 August.

• Refuse – Mondays 2 and 16 August.

Harrogate (Asenby):

• Refuse – Mondays 26 July, 9 and 23 August.

• Garden waste – Thursdays 29 July, 12 and 26 August.

• Recycling – Mondays 2 and 16 August.

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

Asenby Hally News 5e.pdf