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Sunday Email: Issue 74

Welcome to the 74th issue of the Sunday Email.


07785 223707

The week’s Covid statistics

• The R number for England as a whole is 0.9 to 1.0. It means that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 9 and 10 other people.

• 48.2 million first doses given. 43.3 million second doses. 88.7% of the population aged 16+ has now had the first jab and over 79.6% the second.

• 245,354 people tested positive for Covid in the last week. That’s a 2.4% increase on the previous week.

• There were 37,578 new infections yesterday and 245,354 in the last seven days.

• 6,566 people were admitted to hospital with Covid between 25 and 31 August.

• There were 120 deaths reported yesterday and 785 in the last seven days.

• The total number of UK deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test now stands at 133,161.

• Over 156,119 deaths registered in the UK had Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate.

• Worldwide, the global death toll is 4,570,000.

North Yorkshire Covid Situation

In the eighteen months of the pandemic, nearly 51,000 positive tests have been reported in North Yorkshire. Last week alone, a further 1,609 cases were confirmed. The seven-day rate for North Yorkshire was 312.1 cases per 100,000 people, higher than the England seven-day rate of 306.5.

Covid is still with us, so follow the guidelines

  • Get your first and second dose of the vaccine.
  • Continue to think about the vulnerability of loved ones.
  • Outdoors is always safer than indoors.
  • Keep getting tested regularly, even without symptoms.
  • Continue to follow social distancing where possible, when out with friends and family, including workplaces, pubs and restaurants.
  • Hands. Face. Space. Fresh Air.

Vaccines – a double benefit

Research by King’s College London shows that being fully vaccinated against Covid not only cuts the risk of catching it, but also of an infection turning into long Covid. It shows that in the minority of people who get Covid despite two jabs, the odds of developing symptoms lasting longer than four weeks are cut by 50% compared with people who are not vaccinated. The study reports that many people who get Covid recover within four weeks but that some have symptoms that continue or develop for weeks and months after the initial infection – often referred to as long Covid.

Third jab for vulnerable

People who have a severely weakened immune system will be offered a third coronavirus vaccine. Advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation states that protection against Covid provided by vaccines is significantly reduced in those who are immunosuppressed, and so they should be the first to receive a top up dose. The NHS will contact eligible people as soon as possible to discuss their needs and arrange an appointment for a third dose. This third jab is not the same as the proposed ‘booster’ jab, which everyone will be invited to have – an announcement is anticipated at any time.

Jabs for 12 to 15 year olds?

There’s still no decision about whether 12 to 15-year-olds should be vaccinated against Covid. The education secretary acknowledged that parents would find it "deeply reassuring to have a choice of whether their children should have a vaccination or not" and that Ministers are awaiting definitive advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. He suggested that the system was ready to deliver jabs as soon as a decision is made.

Changes to travel restrictions

Last Monday seven destinations joined the green list as part of a review of travel restrictions. They are Canada, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Liechtenstein and The Azores. Travellers arriving from these destinations no longer need to quarantine. On the same day two countries – Thailand and Montenegro – were added to the red list. People returning from red list countries need to pay to quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days.

Covid Testing

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

• Anyone who is showing coronavirus symptoms is eligible to book a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test to find out if they have the virus. You can also book a PCR test if you are self-isolating after being in contact with someone who has tested positive. Tests can be booked from 8pm the night before. If test sites are fully booked they will not appear on the government’s website. People who don’t have access to the internet, or who have difficulty with the digital portals, can ring the 119 service to book their PCR test.

• Lateral Flow Testing Kits – 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

The next edition of The Tattler is now at the printers. It will be distributed door to door in Topcliffe and Asenby on 15 and 16 September.

Annual Attic Auction

The annual attic auction, held in the Village Hall yesterday, was a great success, raising £1,260 for St Columba’s Church. Asenby resident and former Sotheby’s auctioneer John Phillips led the proceedings and gave the event a very professional feel. Around 50 buyers attended the sale at some point during the afternoon and took the opportunity to purchase hidden treasure that they always wanted, plus some items that they never knew they needed! That’s recycling in its truest form.

Snooker AGM

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

The Milk Churn Farm Shop

Due to a family wedding, the farm shop will be closed on Tuesday 7 September.

Thirsk Garden Centre café

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the café at Thirsk Garden Centre will be closed every Sunday in September.

Topcliffe Surgery rated very good by its patients

Our village surgery has been rated as very good by 85% of its patients. In a recent national survey it came 66th in England and 9th in Yorkshire. Well done to all concerned.

Seedlings Shed Project

The Milk Churn Farm Shop is running a ‘guess the number of the seeds in a jar’ challenge to raise funds for the replacement shed needed by the Seedlings Nursery. Anyone can join in for £1 and potentially win a £30 hamper containing meat and salad products, kindly donated by Debbie Roberts. The competition will run until 160 guesses have been ‘purchased’ or until the end of September, whichever comes first. Pop in and have a go. It could be your lucky day!

The Catton Kitchen

There’s a new market garden and refreshment shack opened just outside the village of Catton, on the Skipton-on-Swale side. The Catton Kitchen, run by Hugo and Amy, is open Thursday and Fridays 8am to 2pm; Saturday 10 to 2pm; Sunday 10 to 12 noon. Bacon sarnies served until 1pm most days – but only until 12 noon on a Sunday. Takeaway food or veg boxes can be pre-ordered – 07747 083155. Check out

Amy and Hugo are organising a few events that might be of interest to Topcliffe and Asenby residents:

  • Pizza night – 4.30-8pm Thursday 23 September. It’s a takeaway service and pre-ordering is essential.
  • Autumn Garland making, with Sahra Rayner of Willow View Farm, Topcliffe – Saturday 23 October 2-4pm. £25 per person. Arrive at 1.30pm for tea/coffee and cake, which is included in the price.
  • Christmas wreath making – Thursday 2 December 6-8pm. £30 per person. Arrive at 5.30pm for mulled wine and mince pie, which is included in the price.
  • Christmas wreath making – Saturday 4 December 2-4pm £30 per person. Arrive at 1.30pm for mulled wine and mince pie, which is included in the price.

Sutton Bank closed

Sutton Bank will be closed for three weeks so that annual maintenance can be undertaken to ensure it remains structurally safe. North Yorkshire County Council’s highways team will take two weeks to carry out the work which includes the inspection and maintenance of the rock face on the route on the A170. Then BT engineers will spend the final week carrying out some essential utility works. It means a full road closure will be in place from the morning of Sunday, September 12 until the evening of Sunday, September 26 September.

Asenby parish councillor needed

Following the resignation of Councillor Don Crompton, Asenby Parish Council is looking for a replacement councillor. Any Asenby resident interested in joining

the parish council should contact parish council chairman Peter Palmer on 578057.

Road closure in Asenby

The main road through Asenby village, near to the entrance to Jamesville Way, will be closed for three days between 15 and 17 September. Then, on the following three days, there’ll be carriageway ‘incursion’ works to allow Northern Powergrid to complete a new customer connection. It’s presumed ‘incursion’ means roadside works, but no closure!

Art Classes start again in September

Another series of art classes start on Monday 13 September at Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall between 10am to 12 noon. People of all abilities and experience are very welcome to attend. Attendees are asked to take their own materials. A full list of what might be required is available. 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

The Boccia Club is still looking to attract a few more members. The 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.

St Columba’s Church

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.

E10 is the new standard for petrol

Last week saw the start of garages supplying a more eco-friendly petrol for our cars. Until now motorists bought petrol known as E5, which contained up to 5% ethanol, with the other 95% being regular unleaded petrol. The replacement, E10, sees the ethanol percentage increased to 10% – a proportion that brings the UK in line with countries such as Belgium, Finland, France and Germany. This new standard petrol grade contains less carbon than other motor fuels. Apparently, introducing E10 could cut carbon emissions by 750,000 tonnes a year, the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off the road. Every petrol vehicle built after 2011 should accept E10, but it will not be compatible with as many as 600,000 older vehicles on our roads, says the RAC.

Local artists’ work on view

Today is the last opportunity to visit the Open Studio ‘Art Farm’ event at Pilmoor Hall. It’s open between 10am-5pm. Asenby residents Eric and Chris Moss and four other local artists are exhibiting. Entry is free and all work is for sale. Details about the artists taking part can be viewed here –

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.

Soup and sweet lunch – Wednesday 15 September

The next soup and sweet lunch will be held on Wednesday 15 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 Animal Rescue Crew. The lunch on 1 September raised £83 for the Salvation Army (not the Blue Cross as was previously reported).

Macmillan coffee mornings

· 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.

· 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 will be a 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:

• 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. 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 15 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 – 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 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 (but see notice re closure on 7 September), 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 9 and 23 September.

• Refuse – Monday 13 September.

Harrogate (Asenby):

• Refuse – Mondays 6 and 20 September.

• Garden waste – Thursdays 9 and 23 September.

• Recycling – Monday 13 September.

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