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Sunday Email: Issue 78

Welcome to the 78th issue of the Sunday Email.
07785 223707
The week’s Covid statistics

  • The R number for England as a whole has increased slightly to 0.8 to 1.1. This means that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 8 and 11 other people.
  • 48.9 million first doses given. 44.9 million second doses. 89.8% of the population aged 16+ has now had the first jab and over 82.5% the second.
  • There were 30,301 new infections yesterday and 243,983 people tested positive for Covid in the last week. That’s a 3% increase on the previous week.
  • 5,095 people were admitted to hospital with Covid between 22 and 29 September.
  • There were 121 deaths reported yesterday and 800 in the last seven days.
  • The total number of UK deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test now stands at 136,910
  • 159,716 deaths registered in the UK had Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate.
  • Worldwide, the global death toll is 4,811,923.
North Yorkshire Covid Situation

Since the start of the pandemic there’s been 59,922 positive tests in North Yorkshire. There were 2,792 new cases reported last week. The weekly rolling average of new cases is 399 cases per day. The seven-day rate for the county was 471 cases per 100,000 people, still higher than the England seven-day rate of 332. The situation appears to be worsening week by week.

Information for Topcliffe Surgery patients
Topcliffe Surgery and other Hambleton GP practices are working together to give Covid boosters and flu vaccines at Northallerton High School from Tuesday 5 October.

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.

Covid Testing

  • Test and Trace – For details about Test and 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
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. The following report is copied from the village website –

The application for outline planning permission for Dalton Industrial Estate development was heard by Hambleton District Council Planning Committee on 24th September and approved after some discussion. The meeting was attended by members of Topcliffe and Asenby Parish Councils who were allowed time to express the concerns of both villages that the development without some degree of control/enforcement would lead to significantly increased traffic through both villages. This particularly applies to HGV traffic where North Yorkshire Highways and Trading Standards have failed to impose the current weight restrictions and show little interest in the impact of the development.

We received a lot of support from members of the Planning Committee for our position which was that the development should be approved with strict conditions imposed through a Section 106 legally binding agreement with the developer. The following conditions were agreed by the committee:
1. The developer would pay for new and significantly enhanced road signage showing the routes to and from the development and making the HGV enforcement zone around Topcliffe and Asenby clear. This would include signs further along both sides of the A168 highlighting the correct exit for Dalton and other signs saying “no access to the industrial estate” at the Crab and Lobster exit.
2. A traffic plan which the developer will make clear to new tenants.
3. A £50,000 bond to be lodged with Hambleton Council by the developer. The use of the bond would be triggered by the Parish Councils reporting increased HGV traffic in the villages:
a). In the first instance the bond would pay for surveillance to establish the extent of the traffic increase.
b) Step 2 would be to implement enforcement measures using the bond. For example, this could be used for automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras or surveillance teams.

There was support for installing cameras now but overall the feeling was that the traffic plan plus new signage should be effective and given time to work before cameras are installed. We (the two parish councils) do not share this view given the current lack of action on enforcement of the existing non HGV zone.

Further Actions
1. Continue to press Highways and Trading Standards to move the HGV enforcement zone near to Topcliffe.
2. Continue to press for enforcement action against illegal traffic.
3. Monitor traffic volumes as the development progresses.
4. Provide evidence of increased traffic/HGVs and trigger use of the bond..

Coffee Mornings for Macmillan Cancer Support

The two coffee mornings held last weekend were a tremendous success and in total over £1,500 was raised for Macmillan Cancer Support.

  • Lois and Julian Hooker of Manor Close, Topcliffe raised £508
  • The Parker family of Asenby raised over £1,000

That’s a tremendous effort by everyone involved. A big thank you to everyone who gave their support.

Bilsdale Mast – latest update
Arqiva, the firm responsible for the Bilsdale transmitter mast, which was damaged by fire in early August, says it has been working around the clock to return vital signals to homes in North Yorkshire. So far, a number of small temporary masts have been erected around the region and on Tuesday this week an 80-metre mast erected at the original site in Bilsdale will be switched on. It’s anticipated services will then be restored to more than 95% of households.

CEO Paul Donovan met representatives of 15 regional organisations last week to discuss ‘Project Restore’, which is the company’s plan to restore services to all homes and help those who will still not have a full service once the big mast is switched on.

A dedicated call centre will open shortly, and a new online hub will be launched providing updated information and a place where people can register their postcodes and details to get support. Engineers will be sent out to help households that need extra support. At the outset, people aged over 65 and those who are either clinically vulnerable or vulnerable will be prioritised for support.

The company also announced that it was donating £150,000 to three regional charities who can support elderly and vulnerable people affected by the loss of their TV service.

Rogue Sheep
Anyone who lives near Topcliffe playing fields or who reads the Top Residents Facebook page will be very familiar with the problems of rogue sheep escaping from a field off Whin Lane and messing up the playing field and eating plants in local gardens. Sheep always think the grass is greener anywhere else but their own field, so it’s natural they’ll try to get to better pasture if they can. In response to many complains from residents Topcliffe Parish Council has been actively seeking a solution and this message was issued last week’

"Topcliffe Parish Council has been identifying and blocking as many gaps as it can find along the hedge between the playing field and the sheep field. We have discussed the matter with the farmer, who has also been blocking gaps on his side of the hedge. We will be installing wires along the entry lane fence between the horizontal latts to reduce the space available for potential ‘escapees’.

"In the meantime, can we ask anyone using the playing fields to please shut the pedestrian gate on entry and exit. We will also be putting signage on the gate to request this.

"Unfortunately, sheep are quite adept at finding passages to greener pastures and we will need to have ongoing monitoring and checks on whether they have new escape routes!"

Contactless card transactions going up to £100
From Friday 15 October the UK the limits for contactless card transactions will increase from £45 to £100 for each individual payment and from £130 to £300 for cumulative spend. Transactions for higher amounts will need to be made by Chip and PIN in the usual way.
Hambleton Heroes
Hambleton residents have just over a month left to nominate their ‘Hambleton Heroes’ for an award. The council scheme is aimed at recognising those who’ve gone above and beyond in 2021 and gives people the opportunity to say thank you to a Hambleton Hero who has supported them. Since the start of the Covid crisis, there have been many acts of kindness and generosity as well as examples of communities pulling together and going that extra mile to help and support those who need it. More information and the nomination form is available at Nominations can be made for an individual or organisation and must be submitted by 31 October 2021.
Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal
Light up your evenings this October at Fountains by Floodlight. Wrap up warm, grab a torch and have an adventure you won’t forget as the sky grows dark and the abbey ruin shines through the night. Wander through glowing archways, chase shadows and hear live music ringing through the air while you enjoy delicious local treats. Booking is essential. For tickets and everything you’ll need to know visit:
Halloween painting fun
The Milk Churn Farm Shop still has a couple of places left on each of its two pumpkin painting sessions this half term. The sessions are on 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).
Spilmans pumpkin festival
The annual Spilman’s pumpkin festival is being held over several weekends in October at Church Farm, Sessay (YO7 3NB). As well as being able to pick your own pumpkin, there’s plenty more to see and do for all the family, including tractor rides, pumpkin washing, wood-fired pizzas, takeaway food and drink, fun fair, carving barn, spooky walk, corn cannon and bale mountain.

  • Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 October
  • Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 October
  • Saturday 16 and 17 October

Timed sessions from 9.30am through to 3.30pm. Tickets only – available online.

Christmas Fayre – 10am to 2pm – Saturday 13 November
Linda Carver and Karen Morley are organising a Christmas Fayre and coffee morning at Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall on Saturday 13 November. Anyone who would like to have a stall should contact Linda (578014) or Karen (577426). Tables are available at £5 and virtually anything can be offered for sale. Already there are cake and homemade stalls booked. If anyone would like to donate items for these stalls that would be appreciated. ‘Homemade’ is basically anything. Jams, chutneys and other edibles or hobby items such as knitted items like gloves and hats. Refreshments will be tea/ coffee and sausage sandwiches.
Order in the Courthouse
The Courthouse in Thirsk is the base of Rural Arts, a North Yorkshire charity dedicated to offering a regular programme of workshops, performances, events and exhibitions for all ages and abilities. It’s also afriendly, vibrant venue and cultural hub for residents of Thirsk and the surrounding area. The award winning cafe offers homemade cakes and lunches and unique art by independent artists is available in the shop..

The Catton Kitchen
The Catton Kitchen is closed this weekend as Amy and Hugo have been getting married. Congratulations to them both.

Normal opening times are: Thursday and Fridays 8am to 2pm; Saturday 10am to 2pm; Sunday 10am 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:

  • 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 – Sunday 5 December 3,30 to 5.30pm (An extra class to cope with demand). £30 per person. Arrive at 3pm for mulled wine and mince pie (included in the price).
  • Please note that the wreath making sessions on 2, 4 and 5 December are fully booked.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The Ritz Cinema has been experiencing technical difficulties with its projector resulting in changes to its film programme.

  • Until 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

  • TODAY Sunday 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.
  • Sunday 10 October, 10.45am – Holy Communion with hymns.
  • Sunday 17 October, 10.45am – Choral Matins (Book of Common Prayer) with hymns and readings
  • Sunday 24 October, 10.45am – Holy Communion with hymns.
  • Sunday 31 October – No Service

Morning services are always followed by refreshments and a chat in the Percy Chapel.

Special seasonal services coming up:

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 sings 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.

Textile recycling collection day

The Bags2school textile recycling event will be held at Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall this Thursday (7 October) between 8.30am and 12noon. Please bring bags of textiles along on the day. The proceeds of the event will be shared between the Village Hall and 1st Topcliffe Scouts.

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.

Parish Council meetings

  • The next meeting of Topcliffe Parish Council will be at 7.15pm on Thursday 7 October in the main hall of the Village Hall.
  • The next meeting of Asenby Parish Council will be at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 17 November in the main hall of the Village Hall.
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.

Thirsk & Sowerby Pop Up Market
On 10am to 3pm on Saturday 9 October at Thirsk & Sowerby Town Hall. There’ll be a wide range of stalls and lots of local businesses offering a variety of goods and products.
Soup and sweet lunch
The next lunch will be held on Wednesday 13 October at 12 noon. Rather than having a set price for lunch, customers are asked to make a small donation. On this occasion all cash received will be donated to help support Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall. The last lunch on 29 September raised £81 for the Blue Cross rescue centre in Topcliffe.
Flea Market
There’ll be a Twilight Flea market at Thirsk Auction Mart on Saturday 16 October from 11am to 6pm. Great selection of indoor pitches selling antiques, vintage, salvage, mid-century and curios. Licensed cafe and free parking.
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 leading on this project and they hope that a few community-minded residents might join them to tackle a few jobs that need attention in the village, including:

  • Litter picking on all streets and alleyways
  • Maintenance of hedges and ivy around Jubilee Gardens
  • Painting of the long fence between the Swan and the school
  • Weeding and litter removal on paths close to Topcliffe bridge
  • Cleaning of road signs around the village
  • General tidy up of Long Street near the Post Office
  • Removal of nettles along the playing fields entrance track
  • Removal of damaged fence panels and picnic table near play area at the playing field.

Would volunteers please meet at the Village Hall 8.45am for coffee and to be allocated to working parties. Bacon sandwiches will be served around 11 to 11.15am. All helpers should wear long sleeves and protective/gardening gloves. Hi-vis vests and most equipment will be supplied. If anyone would be able to bring their own gardening tools, that would be much appreciated.

Bedale Book & Postcard Fair
After being cancelled last year, this popular book and postcard fair is back. It will be held on Sunday 24 October between 10am and 4pm at Bedale Hall, which is at the north end of the High Street opposite the parish church. Admission is £1.50 for adults with under 14s free of charge. Refreshments are available and there’s ample free parking.
Events on at The Forum

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

  • Tonight – Sunday 3 October at 7.30pm – Ed Byrne in his show ‘If I’m Honest’ a masterclass in observational comedy.
  • Wednesday 6 October at 8pm – Comedian Mark Thomas presents ’50 Things About Us’ – using stand-up, storytelling, subversion and very well-researched material, Mark explains why we are where we are today.
  • 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

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 Parish Council meeting – 7.15pm on Thursday, 7 October.
  • Christmas Fayre – Saturday 13 November .
  • Asenby Parish Council meeting – 7.30pm on Wednesday, 17 November.
  • Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall Committee – 7.15pm on Wednesday 24 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. Bar times: Monday to Thursday 5pm to close; Friday 4pm to close; Saturday 3pm to close and Sunday 12 noon until close.
  • 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 7 and 21 October.
  • Refuse – Mondays 11 and 25 October.

Harrogate (Asenby):

  • Refuse – Mondays 4 and 18 October.
  • Garden waste – Thursdays 7 and 21 October.
  • Recycling – Mondays 11 and 25 October

The final garden waste collections in Harrogate district this year will be the week commencing 15 November. The service doesn’t operate during the winter and will return in March. If you subscribed this year, the council will be in touch in January to explain what you need to do if you want to have your garden waste taken away in 2022.

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