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Sunday Email: Issue 69

Welcome to the 69th issue of this regular Sunday Email.


07785 223707

The week’s Covid statistics

• The R number for England as a whole is currently 1.1 and 1.4. This means that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 11 and 14 other people.

• 46.8 million first doses given. 38.1 million second doses. 88.5% of the adult population has now had the first jab and over 72.1% the second.

• 192,251 people tested positive for Covid in the last week.

• There were 26,144 new infections yesterday. The daily number continues to fall.

• 6,341 people were admitted to hospital with Covid between 25 and 31 July.

• There were 71 deaths reported yesterday and 488 in the last seven days. That’s a 10% increase on the previous seven days.

• The total number of UK deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test now stands at 129,654.

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

• Worldwide, the global death toll is 4,229,747.

North Yorkshire figures

The weekly rolling average of new cases In North Yorkshire is 286 cases per day, slightly better than it was the previous week.

UK opens its borders to some international travel

From tomorrow, residents of the US and the EU will be able to travel to Britain without quarantine if they’re fully jabbed. The news will pave the way for families and friends to reunite without the threat of isolation and will provide a much-needed bounce for the UK’s inbound tourism industry. The plan to allow overseas visitors – and UK expatriates vaccinated abroad – to avoid self-isolation on entry from amber list countries will apply to arrivals into England, Scotland and Wales. The news comes ahead of an update to the traffic light system – the green, amber and red lists – due next week. Questions remain over the status of France (currently on the bespoke ‘amber plus’ list) and the ongoing infection surge in Spain.

Pregnant women urged to have jabs

England’s chief midwife has stepped up her call for pregnant women to get the Covid jab as soon as possible. Estimates based on GP records and Public Health England data suggest hundreds of thousands have not had the jab, as the number of mums-to-be in hospital with the virus rises. In the last three months, 171 pregnant women with Covid needed hospital care – but none had had both jabs. Now pregnant women are being proactively encouraged to get vaccinated. Since mid-April 2021, mothers-to-be have been offered the Pfizer or Moderna coronavirus jab, with the second dose recommended eight weeks after the first. Public Health England data suggests about 51,724 pregnant women have received one Covid vaccine so far. Of these, around 20,648 have had their second dose. This is out of approximately 606,500 pregnant women in England in 2020-21, based on estimates from GP records.

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:

Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)

You may not have heard of this yet, but it will become very familiar once everyone starts travelling abroad again. The Global Health Insurance Card is replacing the European Health Insurance Card or EHIC, which is being discontinued following Brexit. Both cards offer equivalent protection for emergency and medically necessary healthcare needs when in the European Union on a temporary stay. This includes holidays, study, and business travel. It’s important to understand what the GHIC covers – its name is a bit misleading as it’s not technically ‘global’, nor ‘insurance’. Check the expiry date if you already have an EHIC. You can carry on using an EHIC until it expires. EHICs are issued for five years so the expiry date might be several years away. If your EHIC has expired, is close to expiry, or you don’t have one, you should apply for a GHIC. Every member of a family requires their own GHIC, including children. You can apply online and the card will take about 10 days to arrive. Make sure you apply for your GHIC in plenty of time in case of delays with the card or the post.

Dog waste problems return

The problem of dog waste on village footpaths is back! This last week or two has seen dog dirt left on Whin Lane and Deans Square. Some villagers are so annoyed by the careless behaviour of a few, that they will report the offenders if they are seen and identified. Dog owners can be fined between £50-£80 on-the-spot if they fail to clear up after their dog’s mess. You have been warned.

Netball Summer Camp

Thirsk Netball Club has announced it is organising a netball summer camp based at Queen Mary’s School, Topcliffe. Players will work on their ball handling skills, footwork patterns and agility, learn and develop their attacking and defending strategies, play fun games, develop their game sense and play netball matches. The camps are being held between 9am and 3pm on Mondays 9 and 16 August. The cost is £25 per session. Participants will need to take suitable footwear and attire for the typical English weather as well as a packed lunch. Open to new and existing members. To book please email thirsknetballclub

Volunteers needed to help tourists…and local residents.

Thirsk’s information centre is entirely volunteer-run and is looking for a few more volunteers. It is interesting work meeting both visitors and lots of local people too! New volunteers will always be guided by an experienced volunteer Duty Manager. The centre is continuing to maintain sensible Covid safety precautions as it is important that volunteers and visitors feel safe and secure, so hand sanitisation, wearing of a face covering and the keeping of safe distance from one another is the rule. The general requirements include: willingness to agree a regular attendance, an average of one morning or afternoon three-hour shift a week is great. Experience in a customer-facing role would be helpful, but not essential. Knowledge of, and interest in Thirsk and North Yorkshire would be good, although other volunteers will help in this regard…and there’s lots of sources of information to check out. Basic IT skills, such as finding information online is always useful, but training will be given. If you might be interested in volunteering, please phone Jocelyn Caramello for a chat about it on 07482 084643.

Team tackle Himalayan Balsam

A team of volunteers rolled up their sleeves to tackle a huge clump of Himalayan Balsam at the Sheep Wash yesterday. Parish councillors Malc Morley and Ben Collard put out an appeal for helpers and were joined by Andrew and Karen Cussons (and their nephew Christopher Styles who is visiting), Doug Allan, Mandi Labuschagne, Karen Morley and Linda Bumby. Josh Barningham kindly supplied a trailer and carried the dreaded plant away to be burned. There’ll be another working party to finish the job at 9am on Saturday 14 August. Volunteers welcome!

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).

Baldersby St James Book Fair

The annual book fair will be held in St James’ church at Baldersby St James on Saturday 11, Sunday 12 and Monday 13 September, 10am-5pm each day.

2021 Grand Attic Auction

Saturday, 4 September at 2 pm in Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall. The organisers are appealing for items for the auction, so please do not discard anything during your house cleaning which could be sold at the auction. Anything clean and saleable such as books, furniture, bric-a-brac…even antiques! (But please, no TV sets, beds, clothes, computers or used soft toys). Items for the sale should be dropped off at the Village Hall on Saturday morning between 8 and 11am on 4 September. Limited storage might be available if items cannot be held until the sale day. It may be possible to arrange transport for any bulky items. Contact John Phillips Tel: 01845 577034.

Buyers can come and browse to see what is available between 12 noon and 2pm. All proceeds to St. Columba’s Church Funds.

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 this afternoon between 3pm and 5pm. Those so inclined are welcome to bring along their own bottle of wine or fizz! 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. There’ll be a raffle to raise cash for the Seedlings Shed project. If you have made anything to help this event, please deliver to the Village Hall between 1 and 2pm.

Soup and sweet lunch

There’ll be a soup and sweet lunch this 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 and this week it’s the Seedlings Shed project that will be assisted.

North Yorkshire Police say scamming fraud is rife in our county

North Yorkshire Police this week reported that two frauds are ‘absolutely rife’ in North Yorkshire and they asked if their warning message could be included in today’s email as a way of possibly preventing more people falling victim.

  1. Number Spoofing: More and more fraudsters are using technology which enables them to appear to be calling from a known phone number. For example, fraudsters may call victims from a number which appears as the same number as your bank. This clearly adds a layer of legitimacy to scams and underlines the fact that you cannot trust that the number displayed on your phone is actually the number the caller is using. The police or your bank will never ring and advise you to move or withdraw money so if you receive a call like this, you can be certain it is a scam. The only way to verify if a caller is who they say they are is to hang up the phone, dial a number of a friend or family member and check that it connects to them – this is because sometimes fraudsters can ‘hold’ your phone line and will still be on the line if you make another call after speaking to them. Once you have checked the fraudsters are not still on the line, find the phone number for the organisation who claimed to have called you before, such as your bank’s customer service number on their website or dial 101 to speak to the police. They will be able to verify if the call you received was genuine or not.
  2. Delivery text message scam:This scam involves you receiving a text or email from Royal Mail, DPD, Yodel, or another courier telling you that you have a parcel waiting to be delivered but that there is a charge to pay before you can receive it. The message asks the recipient to follow a link to input their details and pay the fee. This is simply a way for fraudsters to access your bank details. If you receive a message like this, delete it immediately. This type of fraud is often followed up by a telephone call from the fraudsters claiming to be your bank asking if you have answered a text from Royal mail, DPD etc (which you might have) and then telling you to move your money to a safe account i.e. the fraudsters account! Don’t fall for it.

Remember: The bank or Police will never ask you to move money.

Thirsk Ladies Club

Here’s news of an opportunity for ladies to meet new people and try out new experiences. The club organises regular speakers, arranges outings and visits to theatres. Meetings are held in the annexe of Thirsk & Sowerby Town Hall at 7.30pm on the 4th Thursday of the month. The cost of the membership is £36 payable in January each year (or pro-rata). Visitors pay £3 per meeting and can attend two meetings before being asked to join. Just turn up, or telephone Janet on 01845 522819.

Northern Dales Farmers’ Market: The farmers’ market is on today in Thirsk Market Place between 9am and 2pm.

Yorkshire Day: Today is Yorkshire Day.

Northallerton’s Secret Garden: There’ll be an Open Day on Saturday 7 August from 10 am till 3pm. You’ll find it down the alleyway next to Kitson butchers and Ramsdens on the High Street. There’ll be lots to see and admire, refreshments will be available, and there’ll be plants, bird boxes and bug hotels for sale.

Classic cars and motorcycles: Stokesley Showground (TS9 5ER) on Saturday, 7 August between 10.30am to 4pm.

SummerTime Fest: The Staveley Arms at North Stainley is staging a SummerTime Fest 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

Music@Junction50: 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.

Events on at The Forum

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

• Today – 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. The Clerk to Topcliffe Parish Council can be contacted at

• 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

Sunday 1 August, 6.30pm – Choral Evensong

Sunday 8 August, 10.45am – Holy Communion

Sunday 15 August, 10.45am – Matins

Sunday 22 August, 10.45am – Holy Communion

Sunday 29 August – no service announced.

The wearing of masks and social distancing is still expected. There will be congregational hymn singing at all services, with the exception of the Holy Communion on 8 August. Refreshments will be served in the Percy Chapel after the morning services and the congregation is invited to linger for a bit of a chat once again.

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.

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

• Boccia Club will 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.

• 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.

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 –

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. 07879447953

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 – 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):

• Refuse – Mondays 2 and 16 August.

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

Harrogate (Asenby):

• Recycling – Mondays 2 and 16 August.

• Refuse – Mondays 9 and 23 August.

• Garden waste – Thursdays 12 and 26 August.

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