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Sunday Email: Issue 77

Welcome to the 77th issue of the Sunday Email.
07785 223707
The week’s Covid statistics

  • The R number for England as a whole remains 0.8 to 1.0. It means that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 8 and 10 other people.
  • 48.7 million first doses given. 44.7 million second doses. 89.6% of the population aged 16+ has now had the first jab and over 82.2% the second.
  • There were 31,348 new infections yesterday and 235,417 people tested positive for Covid in the last week. That’s a 14% decrease on the previous week.
  • 5,602 people were admitted to hospital with Covid between 15 and 21 September. That’s a 16% decrease on the previous week.
  • There were 122 deaths reported yesterday and 942 in the last seven days.
  • The total number of UK deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test now stands at 136,105.
  • Over 158,664 deaths registered in the UK had Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate.
  • Worldwide, the global death toll is 4,757,639
North Yorkshire Covid Situation

Since the start of the pandemic there’s been 56,708 positive tests in North Yorkshire. There were 1,599 new cases reported last week. The weekly rolling average of new cases is 228 cases per day. The seven-day rate for the county was 270 cases per 100,000 people, still higher than the England seven-day rate of 264.

Cold or Covid: how to tell the difference
With so much crossover of current symptoms between Covid and a cold, it can be difficult to know what is making individuals unwell. Here are some tips supplied by the ZOE Covid Study, the app that thousands of people use to record their health each day. Essentially we need to know which virus we have – Covid or common cold – and whether a Covid test ought to be taken.

At the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, the main distinguishing symptoms of Covid were thought to be fever, cough and loss of smell. Thanks to millions of health reports on the ZOE app more than 20 symptoms of Covid, including headache, runny nose, sneezing and sore throat, are listed.

Over the past 18 months the pattern of symptoms has changed as the virus has evolved and more people have been vaccinated. Many symptoms of Covid are now the same as a regular cold, especially for people who have received two doses of the vaccine, making it hard to tell the difference. Data shows that loss of smell or loss of taste are still the most important predictors of testing positive for Covid rather than a regular cold, so it’s an important symptom to look out for, whether you’ve been vaccinated or not.

Anyone feeling newly unwell, especially if suffering from any of the common Covid symptoms, should stay home and get a Covid test, even if fully vaccinated. This is particularly important if there’s any changes to your sense of taste or smell.

A positive result from a lateral flow test is highly likely to be true. However, a negative result from a lateral flow test is not reliable enough to be sure you’re definitely not infected, so if the symptoms persist it’s best to get a PCR test to be sure.

Booster jabs underway
The roll out of Covid booster jabs has started. Around 30m people will be offered a third dose at least six months after their second dose. Those eligible include over-50s, younger adults with health conditions and frontline health and care workers. Vaccination of children aged 12 to 15 is also underway.
Information for Topcliffe Surgery patients
Topcliffe Surgery is working with other Hambleton GP practices to give Covid boosters and flu vaccines to from Northallerton High School from early October onwards.

Flu vaccines will not be available via the Surgery this winter.

Some patients may have already received texts or emails inviting them to book their Covid booster vaccine via the NHS vaccine national booking service. Appointments booked in this way are likely to be at vaccination centres which are further afield, such as Knaresborough, Darlington or York. But only the booster jab will be available at these appointments – not the flu vaccination.

If you wish, you can ignore the NHS invitation and await an invitation via the Surgery, so that you can have both jabs together. Please don’t contact the Surgery at this stage. You will we contacted when it’s your turn.

International travel
The key dates for changes to international travel are:

  • 4 October – travel rules simplified with the travel traffic light system being scrapped.
  • also 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 rules will be reviewed 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:

Respect and Protect
North Yorkshire County Council has launched a campaign calling for kindness and consideration to ease the community through the next phase of the pandemic during autumn and winter. Covid is still around so as people go about their daily lives, the idea is reassure those who continue to be vulnerable and uncertain. Simple steps to respect and protect others can include:

  • Accepting that some people want to carry on with social distancing.
  • Helping people find their feet by looking out for neighbours and friends.
  • Suggesting meeting outdoors in a quiet place for people who feel anxious.
  • Helping people to go at their own pace and to seek support if they are lonely.
  • Getting both doses of the vaccine, continue to test regularly and isolate if necessary.
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
Post Office Closed this Tuesday
The Post Office will be closed all day on Tuesday (28 September) to allow the transfer of business from John Mulley to Debbie Roberts. The former and new owners are sorry for any inconvenience this will cause.
John Mulley retires and a new Post Office era begins
As readers will see from the item above, the change of ownership deal on the Post Office will be finalised on Tuesday when John Mulley hands over the keys to Milk Churn Farm Shop owner Debbie Roberts.

John has been a constant presence in the village for many years, maintaining the Post Office and shop service for villagers, local businesses and people passing through. He deserves a big thank you for opening up early mornings, no matter what the weather, and we wish him every success in whatever he intends to do next.

In the longer term, Debbie has big plans for the internal layout of the Post Office in order to accommodate new business ideas, but for the time being she’ll be giving the shop front a freshen up, replacing some signs and installing a new door. Debbie says that both sites in the village will continue in business, but as one business enterprise. We wish her well in this new venture.

Dalton 49 planning application approved
The major planning application for commercial and industrial development at Dalton Industrial Estate was, as anticipated, approved by Hambleton District Council’s planning committee last Thursday. Details of the decision and conditions agreed will be reported next week.
Asenby Litter Pick
There’s to be a litter pick in Asenby next Sunday (3 October) starting at 10am. All volunteers to to meet at the bus shelter. Bring your own gloves. Littter-picking sticks and bags will be provided. Coffee and cake afterwards at Green End Dairy.
Rural Crime in the spotlight
Here’s something that might be of particular interest to local farmers and recipients of this email who are concerned about the level of rural crime around Topcliffe and Asenby. This online meeting hosted by Philip Allott, North Yorkshire’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner will explore how North Yorkshire Police work to address rural crimes and aim to mitigate the impact of Covid post-pandemic. Check out the link for more details and how to attend and participate:
Public accountability meeting – 28 September 2021 – Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner North Yorkshire (
Scam TV Engineers
In a new scam, fraudsters are posing as TV engineers and offering to help local residents retune their TVs following the Bilsdale mast fire. They charge a fee of £200. Action Fraud report that this is not legitimate activity and advise everyone to reject unsolicited offers of help. So, if anyone knocks on your door to offer this service, do not let them into your home and do not give them any money. Arqiva, the company which owns the Bilsdale mast, say they are developing an official support plan with local organisations. Details of this plan will be shared in a future Sunday Email.
Halloween painting fun!
As part of its celebration of Halloween, the Milk Churn Farm Shop will be holding two pumpkin painting events this half term. There’ll be eight slots available on both the afternoon of Tuesday 26 October and the morning of Thursday 28 October. The cost is £5 per child. Craft materials and refreshments will be supplied, though pumpkins themselves must be purchased separately. Parents are welcome to join the fun or relax in the farm shop’s tearoom. Call 01845 400446 to book your place(s).
The Catton Kitchen

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 – Thursday 30 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. Fully Booked.
  • Christmas wreath making – Saturday 4 December 2-4pm. Fully booked.
  • Christmas wreath making – Sunday 5 December 2-4pm (An extra class to cope with demand). £30 per person. Arrive at 1.30pm for mulled wine.and mince pie (included in the price).
IMPORTANT NOTE: The Ritz Cinema has been experiencing technical difficulties with its projector resulting in the postponement of its re-opening until Friday 01 October. This has meant that the film programme has altered.

  • Friday 1 October to Thursday 7 October – ‘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.
  • Friday 8 October to Thursday 14 October – ‘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

Audience members must wear a face covering or mask whenever they are not seated.

St Columba’s Church
Services at St Columba’s are getting back to normal with the 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 (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.

Soup and sweet lunch
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.
Coffee Morning for Macmillan Cancer Support

Lois and Julian Hooker are holding a coffee ‘morning’ between 11am and 3pm today (26 September) at their home at 17 Manor Close, Topcliffe. Everyone’s invited to pop along to help raise some cash for an excellent cause.


Yesterday’s event held by the Parker family at their home in Asenby raised over £1,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support. That’s truly amazing and it just shows how generous local people are. A big thank you to everyone who gave their support.

Textile recycling collection day

Less that two 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.

Topcliffe Tidy Up Day

The Topcliffe big tidy up will take place on the morning of Saturday 16 October. Parish councillors Ben Collard and Malcolm Morley are preparing a list of small projects to be tackled and more details will be revealed in next week’s Sunday Email. 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 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.
  • Friday 8 October at 7.30pm – Dom Jolly’s Holiday Snaps.
  • Sunday 10 October at 7.30pm – An evening with Julian Norton, the North Yorkshire vet.
  • Friday 15 October at 7.30pm – An evening with John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten of The Sex Pistols.
  • 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, 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. Trees and turkeys will again be provided to order this Christmas. 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 – Mondays 27 September and 11 and 25 October.
  • Recycling & green waste – Thursdays 7 and 21 October.

Harrogate (Asenby):

  • Recycling – Mondays 27 September and 11 October.
  • Refuse – Mondays 4 and 18 October.
  • Garden waste – Thursdays 7 and 21 October.
That’s all for this week. Keep safe and remain well.
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