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Sunday Email: Issue 76

Welcome to the 76th issue of the Sunday Email.
07785 223707
The week’s Covid statistics

  • The R number for England as a whole remains 0.9 to 1.1. It means that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 9 and 11 other people.
  • 48.6 million first doses given. 44,4 million second doses. 89.3% of the population aged 16+ has now had the first jab and over 81.6% the second.
  • There were 29,547 new infections yesterday and 206,929 people tested positive for Covid in the last week. That’s a 20% decrease on the previous week.
  • 6,627 people were admitted to hospital with Covid between 7 and 14 September. That’s a 5% decrease on the previous week.
  • There were 164 deaths reported yesterday and 1,003 in the last seven days.
  • The total number of UK deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test now stands at 135,314
  • Over 157,669 deaths registered in the UK had Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate.
  • Worldwide, the global death toll is 4,697,647
North Yorkshire Covid Situation

Since the start of the pandemic there’s been 55,121 positive tests in North Yorkshire. There were 1,553 new cases reported last week. The weekly rolling average of new cases is 222 cases per day. The seven-day rate for the county was 318 cases per 100,000 people, considerably higher than the England seven-day rate of 296

Covid Winter Plan
The government has published its plan for tackling Covid during autumn and winter and it includes booster jabs for millions. There’s a Plan A promoting vaccines and testing and a Plan B with measures including face masks and Covid passports – which would be held in reserve and aim to prevent the NHS being overwhelmed. Economic and social restrictions would only be considered as a last resort.

Plan A will:

  • encourage the unvaccinated to be jabbed
  • offer vaccines to 12 to 15-year-olds
  • begin a booster jab programme for millions
  • continued testing, tracing of cases and self-isolation for those who catch the virus’

Plan B will:

  • urge us to act more cautiously
  • mean mandatory vaccine passports could be used for mass events and other settings
  • mean face coverings could be legally mandated in some places
  • mean guidance on working from home may also be issued

Plan A will move to the stricter Plan B if the risks and state of the disease intensify.

Booster jabs on the way
The roll out of Covid booster jabs will begin next week. The government has accepted advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) that around 30m people should be offered a third dose at least six months after a second dose – with the Pfizer jab recommended. Those eligible include over-50s, younger adults with health conditions and frontline health and care workers.

The recommendation from the JCVI comes amid concern about waning immunity. If current levels are sustained throughout winter, the NHS will struggle, and it’s believed that even a small dip in vaccine effectiveness could make a big difference to hospital admissions. However, the good news is that big surges in infection levels are probably behind us, given the amount of immunity built up in the population.

The announcement about booster jabs comes after the government confirmed that all children aged 12 to 15 in England would be offered one dose of the Pfizer jab, with invitations going immediately. It follows advice from the UK’s chief medical officers, who say the jab will help reduce disruption to education.

Announcement from Topcliffe Surgery.

Following the government’s Covid booster announcement on 14 September, Topcliffe Surgery plans to work with other Hambleton GP Practices to co-administer Covid boosters and flu vaccines from a site in Northallerton. 1st and 2nd vaccines, as well as 3rd doses for those who are severely immunosuppressed, will also be available. The most vulnerable will be called for vaccination first. Please don’t contact the surgery at this stage as everyone will be contacted when it’s their turn. Check out the surgery website for updates.

Traffic Light System to be scrapped
Last Friday the government announced that international travel rules are to simplified with the heavily criticised travel traffic light system being dumped from 4 October. Instead, the green list is set to become dozens of countries longer, the amber list will be scrapped and the red list shortened. Effectively it means that ‘green means go’ and ‘red means don’t go’.

As part of the changes, eight countries – Turkey, Pakistan, the Maldives, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bangladesh and Kenya – will be removed from the red list from next Wednesday, 22 September. People returning from these destinations will no longer have to stay in hotel quarantine.

From 4 October, fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to take a pre-departure test when returning from countries not on the red list. That includes all of Europe and many other popular destinations.

They will still have to take a PCR test two days after arrival, but this will be replaced by a cheaper and simpler lateral flow test later in October.

The government will continue to review the rules for each country every three weeks, but they are expected to remain the same at least until the New Year.

Anyone who hasn’t been double-jabbed with a vaccination recognised under England’s travel rules, will still have to take a pre-departure test. They will also need a PCR test on days two and eight after arriving, and will have to self-isolate for 10 days on returning from a non-red list country.

To check the exact details and requirements please consult the government’s website at:

Covid Testing

  • Test and Trace – For details about Test & Trace and how it works go to Test and Trace
  • 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
Dalton Plan up for decision
The major planning application for commercial and industrial development at Dalton Industrial Estate will be considered by Hambleton District Council’s planning committee at 10am on Thursday 23 September at the Civic Centre in Northallerton. The recommendation attached to the application is that it should be approved.
Anyone with an interest in the application can attend. Those who would like to speak at the meeting must contact the council in advance to register their interest (ring 01609 767015), but anyone can just go along to listen to the discussion.
The Catton Kitchen

The Catton Kitchen is open Thursday and Fridays 8am to 2pm; Saturday 10 to 2pm; Sunday 10 to 12 noon. Bacon sandwiches 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

Catton Kitchen upcoming events:

  • Pizza night – 4.30-8pm NOW Thursday 30 September (not 23rd as previously advertised). 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. Fully Booked.
  • Christmas wreath making – Saturday 4 December 2-4pm. Fully booked.
  • Christmas wreath making – An extra class to cope with demand! – Sunday 5 December 2-4pm £30 per person. Arrive at 1.30pm for mulled wine.and mince pie, which is included in the price.
Looking forward to Halloween

The Milk Churn Farm Shop will shortly be getting in pumpkins for Halloween. The owners are also planning a pumpkin painting competition for children in the run up to Halloween. It aims to be a fun afternoon painting pumpkins under the watchful eye of Sally Machen. Watch out for more details soon.

Kind offer for Christmas
Debbie Roberts who is soon to be the proprietor of both the Post Office and Milk Churn Farm Shop has offered again to provide the Christmas tree for Topcliffe. She is also planning to provide materials that children can use to make baubles to decorate the village’s and their own Christmas tree at home.

Trees and Turkeys
This Christmas, trees and turkeys will again be provided to order by the Milk Churn Farm Shop.

Squirrels build a drey
1st Topcliffe Scout Group is leading the way in national scouting by being one of the first in the country to launch a Squirrel Drey, a section for four and five year old boys and girls. The drey will run along the same format as our other sections, with squirrels wearing a uniform and group neckerchief, there’ll be investiture ceremonies and members will be expected to follow the scouting values. 1st Topcliffe Squirrels are meeting 5 to 6pm every Tuesday at Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall. The section is starting small with only ten children already recruited, but if you would like to add your child to the waiting list for Squirrels or any of our other sections, please get in touch with Sarah Rands at: TopcliffeSquirrels or call 07852 584344.
Asenby parish councillor needed

It’s a couple of weeks since Asenby Parish Council announced it is looking for a replacement councillor following the resignation of Don Crompton – but so far no one has come forward. If the parish is to continue to operate for the benefit of villagers, it is imperative that volunteers come forward to serve the community. Any Asenby resident interested in joining the parish council should contact parish council chairman Peter Palmer on 578057.

Indoor Bowls Club – future in doubt!
The number of members of the Indoor Bowls Club is reducing year on year and the age range of those continuing to participate is at the higher end of the scale! That means that the continued existence of the club is in doubt unless more younger residents join and give it a new lease of life. The club meets at the Village Hall on Thursday evenings between 7.30 and 9.30pm and this season will just be playing friendlies, rather than entering competitions or leagues. If you’re interested in giving the sport a try please just pop along and join in. There’ll be no membership charge for the rest of this year. If you want to chat about getting involved, please call Mel Arkley on 01845 578728.
Community Works seeks befrienders and helpers
Anyone who has an hour or two to spare each week could help make a big difference to the lives of older people who are lonely and isolated or have dementia.
Thirsk-based Community Works is always looking for male and female befrienders, but right now needs a few male volunteers to take out male clients for a coffee or a walk, or just sit and chat in their homes whilst their wife or carer has a break. It is a great way to give a little back. The photo shows Barry enjoying a walk with two volunteers, Ben and Farina. There are many more like Barry looking for befrienders.

The charity is also looking for helpers who can drive a van used for collecting and delivering furniture to and from the Reuse Store. There are always two van hands to help with the lifting and carrying so if you can’t do that that is fine. Van drivers are required Monday to Thursday. There is great comraderie and a lot of banter involved too. If you are interested or know someone who could help please contact Helen Ashworth, Volunteer Coordinator on 01845 524494 or email: helen

The popular Ritz cinema will be reopening on Friday 24 September. Audience members must wear a face covering or mask at all times whenever they are not seated. The first film to be shown will be ‘The Last Bus’ (12A) – a heart-warming tale of Tom (Timothy Spall), a pensioner whose wife, Mary (Phyllis Logan), has just passed away, who travels from Britain’s most northerly point, John O’Groats, to his original hometown at its most southerly point, Land’s End, using his free bus pass. From Friday 1 October the film will be the drama/romance ‘The Last Letter from Your Lover’ (12A). This has a pair of interwoven stories set in the past and present following an ambitious journalist determined to solve the mystery of a forbidden love affair at the centre of a trove of secret love letters from 1965. Check out all showings at
New Homes must have electric charging points
It has been announced that from 2030 all new homes and offices in England will have to be built with EV charging points included. The measure has been agreed to address serious concerns around the lack of infrastructure which is preventing people from adopting electric technology.
St Columba’s Church
With Covid restrictions now easing, St Columba’s is getting back to normal with its usual monthly routine of services, namely:

  • 1st Sunday – Choral Evensong 6.30pm (3 Oct, 7 Nov, 5 Dec)
  • 2nd Sunday – Holy Communion 10.45am (10 Oct, 14 Nov, 12 Dec)
  • 3rd Sunday – Sung Matins 10.45am (19 Sept, 17 Oct, 21 Nov, 19 Dec)
  • 4th Sunday – Holy Communion 10.45am (26 Sept, 24 Oct, 28 Nov)
  • 5th Sunday – No service (31 Oct)

Morning services are always followed by refreshments and a chat in the Percy Chapel. There are a number of special seasonal services coming up:

3 October 6.30pm, Choral Evensong for Harvest Festival. A service with harvest hymns and readings, giving us time to thank God for his abundant goodness and to appreciate the rural, farming community in which we live. This will be followed by a ‘finger buffet’ and drinks, including wine.
2 November 7.30pm, Choral Requiem Mass for the Feast of All Souls. November is the season of Remembrance and on the 2nd we are invited to remember those known to us who have died. The service is open to all, of any denomination or none, and provides the space and tranquillity to reflect on and give thanks for the lives of family and friends we see no more. The unaccompanied choir sing the glorious and contemplative 1605 setting by Tomas Luis de Victoria composed in six-part harmony. During the service there will be the opportunity to remember people by name, or, if preferred, silently by the placing of names on the altar. As we emerge from the Covid pandemic this will be particularly relevant and poignant.
14 November, Remembrance Sunday 10.45am, Holy Communion with Act of Remembrance. With the cancellation of this service last year, it will be good to see it return to our calendar once again, particularly as we remember the sacrifices our forces have endured in Afghanistan over the past twenty years. We hope that service personnel from Alanbrooke Barracks will join us and participate in the laying of wreaths.

The search is on for the UK’s best neighbour

People across the UK are being invited to take part in the annual hunt for the country’s ‘Neighbour of the Year’ and ‘Young Neighbour of the Year’ – a nationwide search undertaken in partnership by Co-op Insurance and Neighbourhood Watch. 2021 also sees the introduction of a new category: Community of the Year. This award will celebrate the nation’s most outstanding community (could be a street, a sports club, village hall, a faith collective, or anything in between) and the lengths its members have gone to to support others and make a real difference. To nominate your choice and to find out more about these awards please visit

Soup and sweet lunch success
The fortnightly soup and sweet lunches organised by Linda Carver and Karen Morley have proved to be an outstanding success. Each week they choose a different local charity to support and so far close to £750 has been raised and shared between Friends of Topcliffe School, Community Works, The Boot Shop, Seedlings Nursery Shed Project, Herriot Hospice, Salvation Army and Animal Rescue Crew.

The next lunch will be held on Wednesday 29 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 Blue Cross animal rescue centre in Topcliffe.

Annual Steam Gala on the North York Moors Railway

Between Thursday 23 and Sunday 26 September. You can ride behind one of the guest locomotives or home fleet engines, with services calling at stops along the line. Online booking –

The Duncombe Park Antiques & Fine Art Fair
Friday 24 and Saturday 25 September 10.30am to 5pm and Sunday 26 September 10.30am to 4.30pm. Nationally known antiques & fine art dealers will be exhibiting a wide range of antiques and fine art. Tickets:
The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning for Macmillan Cancer Support

  • The Parker family is organising a coffee ‘morning’ at their home at Meadow View, Asenby between 1 and 3pm on Saturday 25 September.
  • The Hooker family is holding a coffee ‘morning’ between 11am and 2pm on Sunday 26 September at their home at 17 Manor Close, Topcliffe.

Everyone’s invited to pop along to one or both of these events to help raise some cash for an excellent cause.

Masham Sheep Fair

This popular sheep and old-time fair will be held on Saturday and Sunday, 25 and 26 September. Check out:

Textile recycling collection day

It’s only four weeks until the next Bags2school textile recycling event at Topcliffe Village Hall. It’s 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.

Ian McMillan – Yorkshire Poet

An evening at Husthwaite Village Hall with Ian McMillan and Luke Carver Goss. Words, music, laughs, joy, thoughtfulness, singing and plenty of audience participation. Friday 8 October. Doors and bar open at 7pm. For tickets contact Andrew Coulthard on 01347 868130.

Village Tidy Up Day

There’s to be a village tidy up day in Topcliffe 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.
  • Sunday 3 October at 7.30pm – Ed Byrne in his show ‘If I’m Honest …’ a masterclass in observational comedy.
  • Re-scheduled – Friday 5 November at 7.30pm (was Saturday 28 August) – The Unravelling Wilburys perform songs of the super-group The Traveling Wilburys.

Enquiries to 01609 776230. Book tickets online

Parish Council meetings

  • 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 next meeting of Asenby Parish Council will be at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 17 November 2021 at the Village Hall.
Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall

  • Art classes – 10am to 12 noon each Monday to 18 November.
  • My Time Yoga – 1.30 to 2.45pm – every Monday.
  • Boccia Club – 1.30 to 3.30pm every Tuesday. More participants welcome.
  • Squirrels – 5 to 6pm every Tuesday
  • Beavers – 6.15 to 7.15pm every Tuesday
  • Soup & Sweet lunch – 12 noon to 1pm on alternate Wednesdays
  • Boot Camp – 6 to 7pm every Wednesday.
  • Cubs – 7 to 8pm every Wednesday.
  • Pammy’s Pilates – 6 to 7pm, every Thursday evening.
  • Indoor Carpet Bowls – 7.30 to 9.30pm every Thursday.
  • Boot Camp – 7 to 8pm every Friday.
  • Scouts (from October onwards) – 7.30 to 10pm every Friday.
  • Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall Committee – 7.15pm Wednesday 29 September.
  • Topcliffe Parish Council meeting – 7.15pm on Thursday, 7 October.
  • Asenby Parish Council meeting – 7.30pm on Wednesday, 17 November.

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). This is to encourage existing activities to get going again and new ones to be introduced. The Big Race Night and Challenge Quiz & Curry Night will hopefully be rescheduled before the end of the year or early in 2022.

Local traders

  • The Angel at Topcliffe – Check out full details at info
  • Chip ‘n Dales – the Fish & Chip van is in Topcliffe on Fridays between 5 and 7pm.
  • The Elm Gallery – Open Wednesday to Saturday, 10am to 5.30pm; Sunday, 12noon to 5.30pm; Monday and Tuesday – closed. Call 01845 577316 or 07709 223920 or check out the website at: Info or 07879 447953.
  • 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 – 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. 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 23 September 7 and 21 October.
  • Refuse – Mondays 27 September and 11 and 25 October

Harrogate (Asenby):

  • Refuse – Mondays 20 September & 4 and 18 October
  • Garden waste – Thursdays 23 September and 7 October
  • Recycling – Mondays 27 September.and 11 October
That’s all for this week. Keep safe and remain well.