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Sunday Email: Issue 70

Welcome to the 70th issue of the Sunday Email.


07785 223707

The week’s Covid statistics

• The R number for England as a whole has dropped from between 1.1 and 1.4 to a range of 0.8 to 1.1. This means that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 8 and 11 other people.

• 47 million first doses given. 39.2 million second doses. 88.9% of the adult population has now had the first jab and over 74.1% the second.

• 188,060 people tested positive for Covid in the last week.

• There were 28,612 new infections yesterday. This is a small decrease on the previous week.

• 5,328 people were admitted to hospital with Covid between 1 and 7 August.

• There were 103 deaths reported yesterday and 627 in the last seven days. That’s a 28% increase on the previous seven days.

• The total number of UK deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test now stands at 130,281.

• Over 154,500 deaths registered in the UK had Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate.

• Worldwide, the global death toll is 4,232,713.

North Yorkshire figures

The Covid infection rate is falling in North Yorkshire. The county’s average is 251 per 100,000 people, compared to an England average of 282 – but this is still high and it’s too early to be sure this is a sustained trend. The weekly rolling average of new cases a week earlier was 286 per 100,000.

16 and 17 year old to get jabs

All healthy 16 and 17 year olds in the UK are now eligible for a Covid jab. Walk-in centres began accepting this age group on Friday, but they are currently unable to book an appointment using the NHS website. The government has accepted advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JVCI), which said evidence shows the benefits of vaccinating 16 and 17 year olds far outweigh the risks. But while they’ll be offered their first jab, it is not clear how long they’ll need to wait for the second. Apparently the JVCI wants time to assess data from first doses before setting out how long the delay should be before the second.

Some young people are already eligible for a vaccine – 12 to 15 year olds at increased risk to Covid-19 and over 12s living with an immune-suppressed adult – leaving 1.4 million 16 and 17 year olds eligible for the jab.

Covid targets younger people

One in five people being admitted to hospital in England with Covid is aged between 18 and 34. NHS sources said the latest figures on hospital admissions reflected the success of the vaccination programme in protecting older age groups. So it makes sense for those aged18 to 34 to get the jab and fast.

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:

Milk Churn Farm Shop Covid scare

Yesterday a customer informed Debbie that they had taken a PCR test because they felt unwell. The results are awaited. As a precaution, Debbie has decided to close until the customer knows for sure if they have Covid or not. Debbie apologises for the inconvenience that this may cause but hopefully she will know in the next day or so, if the shop needs to remain closed. There’ll be an update on the Top Residents Facebook page.

Ned the Donkey RIP

The village is mourning the death of Ned the donkey which was kept as a pet by Mike and Heather Collinson on their farm off Station Road. Ned was well over 30 years of age and very popular with local children who often took carrots and other treats to feed him. Last Thursday, Ned was attacked and had his tail cut off by mindless yobs. After a few nights of loving and intensive care and attention from Mike and Heather, Ned regretfully died from his injuries.

More concerns about troublemakers in Topcliffe

Whilst referring to ‘mindless yobs’ it is worth raising the issue of young people who are regularly creating concerns in Topcliffe. Recently the Top Residents Facebook page has carried reports that make Topcliffe sound like an inner-city estate, rather than a rural retreat. Rob Roberts, a former policeman, yesterday posted this message: “It’s clear that a group of youths are committing theft (from Anne-Marie Barningham’s fridges), causing criminal damage (painted graffiti on Winn Lane), damaged the roof tiles of the shelter at the play park and being responsible for antisocial behaviour around the village. It’s alright making people aware of what is happening on Facebook, but the police are the ones who need to be made aware …. they don’t monitor Facebook! As far as the police are concerned, there won’t be any issues in the village if they haven’t been told about them. Each incident like those listed above needs reporting, not ones where the youths are just ‘sat on a street corner’. The more reports the police get, the more attention the village will get from them, even if it’s just a couple of PCSOs walking about and engaging with the youths. If you have cause to report anything, get an incident number and by all means Top Residents. There’s just a chance that the parents of the youths will see that some official interest is being taken, and they might take some action to control their children.” Well said Rob.

Can you help tackle Himalayan Balsam at The Sheepwash?

Last week a team of Topcliffe volunteers rolled up their sleeves to tackle a huge clump of Himalayan Balsam at the Sheepwash. They made a huge dent in the area infested with the weed but there’s still more to be pulled up. Parish councillors Malc Morley and Ben Collard are organising another working party to finish the job and they hope that a few residents will give up an hour or so to help. Meet at The Sheepwash at 9am next Saturday, 14 August and bring gardening gloves. Josh Barningham will kindly supply a trailer to transport the uprooted plants ready to be burned.

Soup and sweet lunch – Wednesday 18 August

The next soup and sweet lunch will be held on Wednesday 18 August at 12 noon. Instead of paying a set price for lunch, customers are asked to make a small donation. Any surplus is donated to a different charity each time.

Sunday afternoon tea goes down a treat

The Afternoon Tea held last Sunday was a great success with over 60 villagers attending. The event raised £320 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and a raffle for the Seedlings Shed project raised £61. Huge thanks to Karen Morely and Linda Carver for organising this brilliant community event and to everyone who contributed and/or attended.

Seedlings Nursery Shed Project

Karen and Linda have also handed over nearly £300 to the Seedlings Nursery to help towards purchasing a replacement storage shed. The nursery, which is attached to Topcliffe Academy, needs to raise around £1,000 to replace a dilapidated storage shed in which equipment and toys are stored. As well as raising £61 from the Afternoon Tea raffle for this project, Karen and Linda also raised £81 at the last Soup and Sweet lunch at the Village Hall. Doug and Mary Manning of Mill Rise on Station Road have kindly made a £150 donation to boost the fund. The Milk Churn Farm Shop is also running a ‘guess the number of the seeds in a jar’ challenge and anyone can join in for £1 and potentially win a £30 hamper containing meat and salad products, kindly donated by Debbie Roberts.

In memory of Patrick

It’s ten years since Topcliffe lad, Patrick Hooker, was diagnosed with a rare cancer and eight years since he died, aged 13, at the Royal Infirmary in Newcastle. In his memory, Patrick’s mother Lois is organising a Macmillan coffee morning at her home at 17 Manor Close. The event will be held between 11am and 2pm on Sunday 26 September. Anyone who is willing to bake scones or cakes, donate prizes for a Magic Square, help on the day or provide a boiling water dispenser, is asked to get in touch with Lois via Messenger or email loisjeantopcliffe in advance of the day.

Bags2School recycling event planned

There’s to be a further Bags2School textile recycling event at the Village Hall this autumn. It will be held on Thursday 7 October between 8.30am and 12noon. If you are having a clear out of cupboards and wardrobes please consider keeping bags of textiles for this charity collection. If you have trouble storing the bags, please let the organisers know and they will try to make arrangements for storage until the day. The proceeds of the event will be shared between the Village Hall and 1st Topcliffe Scouts.

(Organisers: Donna Fleming 07591 438766 and Doug Allan 07785 223707).

The following items are welcomed: men’s, ladies and children’s clothing – paired shoes (tied together or elastic band around) – handbags – hats – bags – scarves and ties – jewellery – lingerie – socks – belts – soft toys – household linen – household curtains – household towels – household bedding (bed sheets, pillow-cases and duvet covers). We are unable to accept duvets and blankets, pillows and cushions, carpets, rugs and mats (including bath, shower and toilet mats), soiled, painted, ripped or wet clothing, school uniforms, corporate clothing and workwear or textile off cuts or yarns.

Wheelchair available

The Village Hall has a wheelchair in store which the committee is more than happy for residents to borrow if they have a temporary need. Contact Judith Lowe on 01845 577911.

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

The Topcliffe & Asenby Produce Show

Just a reminder that it’s only three weeks to the 2021 Produce Show. It will be staged in the Village Hall 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. The full list of rules, categories and classes is available on both village websites – and or from Produce Show Secretary, Judith Lowe (577911).

Versatile bassoons

The third and final concert in the Music@Junction50 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.

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.

Help Wanted

John Phillips is appealing for a few volunteers to help distribute flyers about the Attic Auction to Topcliffe households next week (Asenby is already covered). If you have a few minutes to spare and could deliver in even just one street, please call John on 01845 577034).

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.

Events on at The Forum

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

• 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 2 September 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.

Asenby Parish Council

Following the resignation of Asenby parish councillor, Don Crompton, a Notice of Vacancy has been issued by Harrogate Borough Council and is on display in the village. This notice gives the option for an election to be requested by parishioners. If no request is received the Parish Council has the ability to co-opt.

St Columba’s Church

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

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

• Boccia Club – 2 to 4pm every Tuesdays. All welcome.

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

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

• Soup and sweet lunch – 12 noon Wednesday 18 August.

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

• Topcliffe Parish Council meeting – 7pm, Thursday 2 September.

• Attic Auction – Saturday 4 September.

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

• Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall Committee – Wednesday 29 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.

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

The hall is again available for any type of booking in the normal way, though NHS Test and Trace arrangements are still in place. 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 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 – The Old Hatchery, Asenby. Large selection of carpets and flooring. 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 remain in place. 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 – run by Kerry parker and based in Melmerby. Provides beautiful hampers for all occasions, containing 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. Foodstuffs such as tins, pasta, rice, biscuits, cereals, jars, crisps, juices, bottled products, soups, crisp breads, anything in packets, are very welcome. 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 12 and 26 August.

• Refuse – Monday 16 August.

Harrogate (Asenby):

• Refuse – Mondays 9 and 23 August.

• Garden waste – Thursdays 12 and 26 August.

• Recycling – Monday 16 August.

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