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Sunday Email: Issue 72

Welcome to the 72nd issue of the Sunday Email.


07785 223707

The week’s Covid statistics

• The R number for England as a whole is 0.9 to 1.2. This is a slight worsening of the position last week. It means that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 9 and 12 other people.

• 47.6 million first doses given. 41.5 million second doses. 87.5 of the population aged 16+ has now had the first jab and over 76.3% the second.

• 221,888 people tested positive for Covid in the last week. That’s a 10% increase on the previous week.

• There were 26,982 new infections yesterday.

• 5,869 people were admitted to hospital with Covid between 14 and 21 August. That’s a 6% increase week on week.

• There were 104 deaths reported yesterday and 699 in the last seven days. That’s a 14% decrease on the previous seven days.

• The total number of UK deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test now stands at 131,591.

• Nearly 156,000 deaths registered in the UK had Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate.

• Worldwide, the global death toll is 4,366,290.

Antibody tests

The government today announced that antibody tests are to be widely offered to thousands of adults each day in a new programme that aims to find out more about how much natural protection people have after getting coronavirus. Anyone over 18 will be able to opt in when having a PCR test from Tuesday. 8,000 of those who test positive will be sent two home antibody tests. The first of the finger-prick tests will have to be done as soon as possible after the positive result, so the body would not have time to generate a detectable antibody response to the infection. The second will be taken 28 days later and measure antibodies generated in response to the infection. The results will be used to monitor levels of antibodies in positive cases. The Department of Health said as well as helping it improve understanding about antibody protection, the scheme could give information about any groups of people who did not develop an immune response after getting coronavirus. Antibody tests have been used previously in the UK during the pandemic but in limited numbers, largely on people involved in studies or surveys.

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:

CO2 monitors for schools

Around 300,000 carbon dioxide monitors will be made available to schools in England to help improve ventilation and lessen the spread of Covid. The Department for Education says the portable monitors could be used to identify where more air-flow is needed. Teaching unions have been calling for urgent extra ventilation measures with masks and social distancing rules scrapped for the coming term.

Euro 2020 ‘generated significant risk’

More than 9,000 cases of Covid were linked to people who attended Euro 2020 football matches, according to a paper published by Public Health England. Euro 2020 and England’s progress to the final "generated a significant risk to public health across the UK", PHE concluded. But other mass events, including Wimbledon and the British Grand Prix, saw lower numbers of cases connected to them and the government says the data shows mass participation events can be conducted safely.

The Tattler – September 2021

Work has started on the next edition of The Tattler. It will be printed and ready for distribution on 15 September. A volunteer is needed to join the delivery team and distribute around 60 copies to Long Street addresses in Topcliffe. There are only four editions each year. If you are prepared to help, please contact Doug Allan on 578526 or email doug

RAF Leeming

There will be additional noise from the airfield next week as the RAF Station hosts visiting aircraft. A spokesman said “movements will be within the normal working day and every effort will be made to keep disturbance to a minimum. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused.”

Community Safety Consultation

The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Philip Allott has launched a major consultation about the priorities for policing, fire and rescue and victims’ services across North Yorkshire. New Commissioners are required by law to set out their plans for the length of their term and Mr Allott wants to hear from as many people before Sunday 7 November as he develops his Police and Crime Plan, and Fire and Rescue Plan for 2021-2024. Find out more here:

Boccia Club needs new members

The Boccia Club started up again a few weeks ago and those who are attending are enjoying the exercise and company. But the club could do with a few more members to make it viable. It takes place each Tuesday between 1.30 to 3.30pm at Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall. Anyone interested can just turn up on the day or if you want more information ring organiser Judith Lowe on 577911.

Asenby Picnic in the Park – TODAY!

Don’t forget that there’ll be a picnic on Asenby’s playing fields starting 2pm this afternoon. It’s a celebration of the end of Covid restrictions and community lockdowns. Everyone’s welcome. Just bring your own chairs and blankets, as well as food and drink.

Puppy smuggling

Apparently during the 18 months of the Covid pandemic there has been a massive rise in puppy smuggling with thousands of them being brought from abroad to meet the demand. It’s estimated that 66,000 dogs were imported legally into the UK in 2020 but that many more were smuggled into the country in cars and by other means. The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs says that poor treatment and smuggling is on the increase, with prices for some puppies in some areas more than doubling to an average of almost £1,900 each. New plans include raising the minimum age for imported puppies from 15 weeks to 6 months and banning the importing of dogs with cropped ears or docked tails. Bringing heavily pregnant dogs into the UK will also be banned.

The Topcliffe & Asenby Produce Show

The 2021 Produce Show will be held in the Village Hall next Saturday (28 August). The event is open to all residents of Topcliffe and Asenby, registered owners at Swaleside Holiday Park 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).

Timings for the event:

  • Entries must be registered at the Village Hall between 9am and 11.30pm on the day.
  • The entry fee per entry is 50p (25p for children aged 15). Only one entry allowed in any class.
  • Judging takes place between 12 noon and 2pm (the public are excluded during this period).
  • Public viewing of the exhibits starts at 2pm.
  • Raffle draw and presentation of trophies at 3pm.

Raffle prizes needed

Can you help by donating a prize for the raffle? Any contribution would be very much appreciated. If you can help, please bring your donation to the Village Hall on Saturday morning – 28 August, or call Doug Allan (578526) or Judith Lowe (577911) if you need us to collect it.

St Columba’s Church

Sunday 22 August, 10.45am – Holy Communion with Rev Mary Rolls.

Sunday 29 August – no service.

Sunday 5 September, 6.30pm – Choral Evensong.

Sunday 12 September, 10.45am – Holy Communion.

Sunday 19 September, 10.45am – Sung Matins.

Sunday 26 September, 10.45am – Holy Communion.

There will be congregational hymn singing at all services. The wearing of masks and social distancing is still expected.

Soup and sweet lunch – Wednesday 1 September

The next soup and sweet lunch will be held on Wednesday 1 September at 12 noon. Instead of paying a set price for lunch, customers are asked to make a small donation. Any surplus will be donated to the Blue Cross. The last lunch on 18 August raised £97 for the Herriot Hospice.

Final concert at Baldersby St James

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.

Local artists’ work on view

Asenby residents Eric and Chris Moss are joining four other local artists to exhibit their art at Angela Hall’s ‘Art Farm’ at Pilmoor Hall. The Open Studio event will be open to the public between 10am-5pm on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 September. Entry is free and all work is for sale. A flyer about the event is attached. Details about the artists taking part can be viewed here –

Thirsk Festival

The three-day Thirsk festival takes place from Friday 3 to Sunday 5 September. The aim of the festival is to place the arts at the heart of the community and to celebrate the creativity of those within the region. These are the events:

– Friday 3 September – St Mary’s Church, Chorus and Orchestra, 7.30pm. Tippett, Handel, Mozart, Mascagni, Grieg & Vivaldi.

– Saturday 4 September – Thirsk Hall, Community Day, 11am-5pm. An event for all the family.

– Saturday 4 September – The Barn, Thirsk Hall, ‘Before the Dawn’, 8pm. Music and prose from the worlds of jazz, contemporary, fusion and folk.

– Sunday 5 September – The Barn, Thirsk Hall, ‘Stories & Music – The Little Prince’, 12 Noon.

– Sunday 5 September – St Mary’s Church, Peter and the Wolf, 5pm. Holst, Bach, Prokofiev.

Tickets for any of the events can be booked online at elle for free tickets.

2021 Annual Attic Auction

The much delayed 21st Annual Attic Auction returns to Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall on Saturday 4 September at 2pm. The event offers the perfect opportunity to clear your house of unwanted items and to donate them for sale at this much loved village auction in aid of St Columba’s Church. The organisers are looking for donations of anything clean and saleable including china, glass, pictures, furniture, bric-a-brac, decorative items and much else besides, new or old, even antiques! (But please no TV sets, beds, clothes, computers or used soft toys.) Please bring items to the Village Hall from 8am to 11am on the day of the sale (the earlier the better), and, once catalogued, the sale will be available to view from 12 noon. Help may be arranged for anyone who should need to drop things off before the sale day, but there’s only limited storage available. It may also be possible to arrange transport for particularly bulky items. In either event, please contact John Phillips on 01845 577034 as soon as possible, and no later than Friday 3 September.

Buyers, this is your opportunity to find that hidden treasure, things that you always wanted and items that you never knew you needed! Recycling in its truest form.

Tea, cakes and other refreshments will be available on the Auction Day from 12 noon. See you there, come and enjoy the fun!

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.

Macmillan coffee morning in memory of Patrick

A very special Macmillan coffee morning will be held between 11am and 2pm on Sunday 26 September. 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 the coffee morning at her home at 17 Manor Close. 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).

Events on at The Forum

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

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

• The next meeting of Topcliffe Parish Council will be at 7.15pm on Thursday 7 October in the main hall at the Village Hall. topcliffeparishcouncil

Asenby Parish Council

Following the resignation of Don Crompton there is a vacancy on the Parish Council. Harrogate Borough Council has advertised the vacancy and invited residents to call for an election. The Parish Council is waiting to hear if there were any requests received from residents by last week’s deadline. A notification is anticipated early next week. If there have been no requests, the Council will seek to co-opt a resident.

Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall

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

• Boccia Club – 1.30 to 3.30pm every Tuesday. All welcome.

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

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

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

• Soup and sweet lunch – 12 noon Wednesday 1 September

• Attic Auction – Saturday 4 September.

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

• Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall Committee – Wednesday 29 September.

• Topcliffe Parish Council meeting – 7.15pm on Thursday, 7 October.

• 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.

To encourage existing and a new range of activities to get going again after the pandemic, group activities are being offered free use of the hall until 31 December (this does not include commercial one-off or private hires for parties and social functions). The Big Race Night and Challenge Quiz & Curry Night will hopefully be rescheduled before the end of the year.

Local traders

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

Asenbee Honey – a local business selling honey but also making beeswax candles, a range of hand-carved spoons and oak chopping boards.

John Aston Flooring Ltd – The Old Hatchery, Asenby. Big 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 – 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 26 August and 9 September

• Refuse – Tuesday 31 August (one day later than usual).

Harrogate (Asenby):

• Refuse – Mondays 23 August and 6 September.

• Garden waste – Thursdays 26 August and 9 September.

• Recycling – Tuesday 31 August (one day later than usual).

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