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Sunday Email: Issue 73

Welcome to the 73rd issue of the Sunday Email. I hope you are all having a very pleasant Bank Holiday weekend.


07785 223707

The week’s Covid statistics

• The R number for England as a whole is 1.0 to 1.1. It means that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 10 and 11 other people.

• 48 million first doses given. 42.5 million second doses. 88.2% of the population aged 16+ has now had the first jab and over 78.2% the second.

• 239,585 people tested positive for Covid in the last week. That’s a 8% increase on the previous week.

• There were 32,406 new infections yesterday and 239,585 in the last seven days.

• 6,294 people were admitted to hospital with Covid between 21 and 28 August.

• There were 133 deaths reported yesterday and 785 in the last seven days. That’s a 12% increase on the previous seven days.

• The total number of UK deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test now stands at 132,376.

• Over 156,500 deaths registered in the UK had Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate.

• Worldwide, the global death toll is 4,490,00.

Vaccine protection weakens within six months

A study published last week shows that the protection provided by two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines starts to wane within six months. The Pfizer jab was 88% effective at preventing Covid infection a month after the second dose, but after five to six months the protection decreased to 74%, suggesting protection fell 14 percentage points in four months. With the AstraZeneca vaccine, there was a protection against infection of 77% one month after the second dose but after four to five months protection decreased to 67%, suggesting protection fell by 10 percentage points over three months.

The scientist leading the study said waning protection is to be expected and that plans for booster jabs need to be made urgently. It’s anticipated that booster jabs will be available from September.

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 Tattler – September 2021

Work is well underway on the next edition of The Tattler. It will be distributed door to door in Topcliffe and Asenby on 15 and 16 September.

Tattler distribution

A big thank you to Linda Carver who answered the appeal for a volunteer to help deliver The Tattler following the departure from the village of Wendy Jamieson, who has moved to Scarborough.

Snooker AGM

The snooker club annual general meeting will be held in the snooker room at the Toll Booth at 7.30pm on Sunday 5 September. All club members are welcome to attend.

Art Classes start again in September

Talented artist, Rebecca Jayne, is launching another series of classes at Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall. They’ll be held on Monday mornings from 10am to 12 noon starting on 13 September through to 18 October. Rebecca is a professional artist and experienced teacher based in Thirsk. She states: “The classes are interesting with weekly topics and the opportunity to learn lots of skills. People of all abilities and experience are very welcome and it is a supportive and inclusive learning environment with lots of encouragement. It is a lovely time to relax, unwind whilst mindfully focusing on creating. All you need is a wish to start creating!” Attendees are asked to bring their own materials and a full list of what might be required is available, though participants can choose to work in whatever medium they prefer. Refreshments are provided. Places need to be pre-booked. The two-hour classes cost £12.50 weekly or all five sessions can be booked in advance at an early bird offer of £60. Please contact Rebecca on 07704 819806 or email on rebeccajayneartanddesign . If you would like to check out her website go to

The Boccia Club needs you!

The Boccia Club, which restarted a few weeks ago, is still hoping to attract a few more members. Currently, those who are attending the weekly session are really enjoying the exercise and company, but it would be better all-round if half a dozen more residents were to attend. Boccia Club meets Tuesdays 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

Last Sunday’s picnic on Asenby’s playing field may not have attracted a massive crowd but those who did attend had a wonderful afternoon. It was the idea of eight-year old Oliver Robertson and planned as a celebration of the end of Covid restrictions. Plenty of local people seemed extremely happy to get together to mark the relaxation of recent lockdowns and to see the Asenby playing field back in use. Maybe the playing field will once again become a village hub and other community events will be organised?

The Produce Show – Results

The Topcliffe and Asenby Produce Show, held yesterday in the Village Hall, was a tremendous success. Lots of residents turned out to see a large display of horticultural produce, floral displays, baking and some remarkable items made by very talented villagers. The winners were:

  • Horticulture – Doug Allan was the over all winner and also received a second trophy for the most firsts in the show.
  • Floral – Joan & Ray Fothergill.
  • Baking – Cath Towers (with a special commendation for Fiorella Shepherd).
  • Hobbies – Karen Hargreaves.
  • Children’s – there were some excellent entries in the children’s painting and baking section.

The event raised £175 for Village Hall funds.

St Columba’s Church

Sunday 29 August – there is no service today.

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.

Another scam doing the rounds

Neighbourhood Watch reports that a gift card scam is currently targeting North Yorkshire residents. An email is received which appears to be from a friend or colleague asking you to buy a number of gift cards using Google or Apple Pay. The email will usually be from someone you know (their email may have been hacked) and explains that they can’t buy the gift cards themselves because they are in a meeting or can’t get to the shop but that they will pay you back as soon as they can. The email will also likely ask you to photograph the cards once purchased and send them photos of the unique codes printed on each card. This allows the scammer to use the gift cards to make online purchases and needless to say you will never see your money again. The value of the gift cards requested varies but has been as much as £500. It goes without saying, that if you receive an email like this, do not purchase any gift cards. If it is from someone you know, ring them to alert them to the fact their email may have been hacked.

Soup and sweet lunch – Wednesday 1 September

The next soup and sweet lunch will be held next Wednesday (1 September) at 12 noon. Rather than having a set price for lunch, customers are asked to make a small donation. Any surplus will be donated to the Blue Cross.

Final concert at Baldersby St James

This week sees the third and final concert in the Music@Junction50 series. It’s on 2 September at 7pm and features the Genovia Bassoon Quartet. They’ll 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.

Annual Attic Auction

The much delayed 21st Annual Attic Auction returns to Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall next 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 needs 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!

Local artists’ work on view

Here’s a reminder that Asenby residents Eric and Chris Moss and four other local artists will be exhibiting 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. 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 or via Zillah Bell Gallery on Kirkgate (Monday to Saturday 10am-5pm). Any family entitled to benefits-related free school meals should contact for free tickets.

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 or help on the day is asked to get in touch with Lois via Messenger or email loisjeantopcliffe in advance of the day.

And a coffee morning for Asenby too!

The Parker family is also organising a coffee morning as part of The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning for Macmillan Cancer Support at their home at Meadow View, Asenby. It’ll be on the afternoon of Saturday 25 September. Everyone’s invited to pop along and raise some cash for an excellent cause, as well as socialise and enjoy a very pleasant afternoon.

Textile recycling collection day

There’s to be a further Bags2School textile recycling event at the Village Hall 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).

Village Tidy Up Day

Parish councillors Ben Collard and Malc Morley are organising a village tidy up day on the morning of Saturday 16 October. There’ll be more details in future Sunday Emails, but anyone interested in helping out is asked to note the date in their diary.

Events on at The Forum

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

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

• Thursday 23 September at 7.30pm – Comedian Pete Firman, one of the UK’s most popular magicians, is back on the road!

• Friday 24 September at 7.30pm – The Rod Stewart Songbook – an amazing tribute band plays Rod’s best songs from the last 50 years.

• Saturday 25 September at 7.30pm – Comedian and musician Jon Courtenay, the first ever Golden Buzzer act to win Britain’s Got Talent.

• Friday 1 October at 7.30pm – Britain’s Got Talent 2020 finalist, comedian, juggler and variety star Steve Royle presents his Royle Variety Performance – a fun-filled evening for all the family!

• Saturday 2 October at 7.30pm – Almost the Bee Gees – a great tribute to one of the best bands ever.

• Re-scheduled – Friday 5 November at 7.30pm (was 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.

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.

The Clerk to Topcliffe Parish Council can be contacted at topcliffeparishcouncil

Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall

• Art classes – the next series of art classes starts on Monday 13 September. (see separate article).

• My Time Yoga – 1.30 to 2.45pm – every Monday.

• Boccia Club – 1.30 to 3.30pm every Tuesday. More participants welcome. Please come along.

• 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 1 September.

• Attic Auction – Saturday 4 September. (see separate article)

• 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 – the indoor bowls club will start to meet again on Thursday evenings in September if there is sufficient interest. If you are interested in joining the group, please call Mel Arkley 01845 578728.

To encourage existing activities to get going again – and new ones to be introduced – 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 or 07879447953.

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):

• Refuse – Tuesday 31 August (one day later than usual) and Monday 13 September.

• Recycling & green waste – Thursday 9 and 23 September.

Harrogate (Asenby):

• Recycling – Tuesday 31 August (one day later than usual) and Monday 13 September.

• Refuse – Mondays 6 and 20 September.

• Garden waste – Thursdays 9 and 23 September.

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