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Sunday Email: Issue 79

Welcome to the 79th issue of the Sunday Email.
07785 223707
The week’s Covid statistics

  • The R number for England as a whole has has returned to to 0.9 to 1.1. This means that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 9 and 11 other people.
  • 49.1 million first doses given. 45.1 million second doses. 85.4% of the population aged 12+ has now had the first jab and over 78.5% the second.(note this is now based on +12s)
  • There were 34,950 new infections yesterday and 256,652 people tested positive for Covid in the last week. That’s a 5% increase on the previous week.
  • 5,153 people were admitted to hospital with Covid between 30 September and 5 October.
  • There were 133 deaths reported yesterday and 790 in the last seven days.
  • The total number of UK deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test now stands at 137,697
  • 160,824 deaths registered in the UK had Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate.
  • Worldwide, the global death toll is 4,859,207.
North Yorkshire Covid Situation

Since the start of the pandemic there’s been 62,624 positive cases of Covid in North Yorkshire. The weekly rolling average of new cases is 327 cases per day. The seven-day rate for the county was 434 cases per 100,000 people, still slightly higher than the England seven-day rate of 331.

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. 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. You will be contacted when it’s your turn, starting with over 75s. Please let the surgery know if you are over 75 and have already received your Covid booster jab through the national booking service but still require a flu jab.

Cases on the rise again
On Thursday last week, for the first time in over a month, the number of daily Covid cases rose above 40,000 in a 24-hour period. The previous time that more than 40,000 cases were reported in a day was on 6 September. The total number of cases confirmed since the start of the outbreak in the UK now stands at 8,046,390.

The UK now has one of the highest rates of Covid infection in Europe. Most of the big nations have significantly lower numbers, with only Serbia and Romania being higher.

Should you get the vaccine if you’ve had Covid?
Scientists analysing data collected via the ZOE app have found anyone who has had Covid before receiving two vaccines is likely to have much greater protection. The research found that a previous infection alone gave only 64% protection against catching Covid again, but together with a Pfizer jab the protection rises to 94% (the AstraZeneca jab gives slightly less). This obviously supports the call for everyone to get vaccinated even if they’ve already had Covid.
More travel restrictions lifted
From tomorrow the red list of countries will be reduced to just seven – mainly in south and central America. The UK will no longer advise against travel to the majority of countries on Covid-19 grounds, except in exceptional circumstances, such as if the local healthcare system is overwhelmed. This will make it easier for people visiting those locations to obtain travel insurance.

If you are fully vaccinated:

If you are not fully vaccinated:

  • You must still take a pre-departure test (PCR or lateral flow) within three days before travelling to the UK
  • You must self-isolate for 10 days upon your arrival
  • You must take a day two and day eight PCR test
  • You may take an additional day five PCR test and be released from isolation early if you test negative.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The government is failing to publicise which countries are putting the UK on their red lists. As our infection rates remain stubbornly high and our vaccination programme slows down, many countries are seeing travellers from the UK as the real danger. You only find out about potential restrictions when you try to book travel to these countries. But be warned, the UK is being red-listed by more and more nations.

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
Soup and sweet lunch
The next soup and sweet lunch will be held this Wednesday, 13 October at 12 noon. There’s no set charge for lunch but customers are asked to make a small donation. Money raised goes to a different charity each time and on this occasion will be donated to help support Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall.
Topcliffe Tidy Up Day

Get ready for the big Topcliffe Tidy Up Day. It’s 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 (paint supplied by the parish council)
  • 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 by Karen Morley at around 11 to 11.15am. All helpers should wear long sleeves and protective/gardening gloves. Hi-vis vests and plastic bags are being provided by Hambleton District Council. If anyone would be able to bring their own gardening tools, that would be much appreciated.

Thank you to Asenby litter-pickers
Judith Lowe, Vice Chair of Asenby Parish Council would like to offer a big thank you to the fifteen volunteers who turned out last Sunday to pick up litter in the village. Many bags were filled and as a result the village is looking spic and span again.
Post Office opening times
Debbie Roberts is the village’s new Post Master. She has announced the following set of opening times:

Shop sales, including newspapers
7am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and 7am to 12.30pm Saturday.

Post Office services
8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and 8.30am to 12noon on Saturdays.

Newspaper vouchers.are now being accepted. New lines already in the shop include frozen foods, a selection of cleaning products, tinned food items and lots more. The range of items will continue to be added to and it is anticipated that alcohol sales will be available before too long.

Textile recycling collection day

The Bags2school textile recycling event was held last Thursday and around 150 bags were collected. The weight of the bags was 650kg and £195 was raised, which will be shared between the Village Hall and 1st Topcliffe Scouts. A huge thank you to everyone who supported the event

Autumn Wedding Event at The Crab
TODAY! – 12 until 2pm, Crab Manor Hotel is holding an Autumn Wedding Open Day. Anyone looking for a wedding venue can check out this beautiful hotel on our doorstep. As well as seeing the fantastic rooms in Crab Manor, there’ll be a chance to see the Crab & Lobster restaurant and the splendid gardens. There’ll also be a range of wedding suppliers on hand to offer advice and information.
Seedlings Shed Project
Around 25 children from the Seedlings Nursery, part of Topcliffe Academy ,are doing a sponsored walk on Wednesday 13 October to raise cash for the shed project. They’ll be walking about two miles around Topcliffe, finishing at the Milk Churn Farm shop to have a hot chocolate drink and a biscuit.

The Shed Project is a campaign to raise cash to replace a dilapidated storage shed in which the nursery stores equipment. Around £1,000 is needed for a new shed and so far over £300 has been raised within the village.

Leisure Centre to reopen later this month
Thirsk & Sowerby Leisure Centre will open its doors on Wednesday 27 October after undergoing a £4 million makeover. Work on the centre began in February this year with planned upgrades and extensions now complete, bringing it bang up to date. It now boasts a gym three times the size of the old facility which is fully equipped with market leading ‘Technogym‘ equipment which, for the first time, will be operational 24/7. A new studio for exercise classes and meetings, as well as a cycling studio, will help provide a vibrant range of classes for customers. The pool changing area and showers have also received a makeover.

Outdated plant equipment has been replaced with greener, more environmentally sustainable equipment, the building now has a much-needed new roof and the reception area has been transformed into a light and airy modern space.

Leader of the Council Councillor Mark Robson said: “The £4 million investment made to improve this essential community facility shows the council’s commitment to improving and developing our area. It’s never been more important for people to have easy access to facilities that can benefit their health and wellbeing and the new look leisure centre will offer just that. The leisure centre is looking fantastic, and I hope people will come along and enjoy the new facilities.”

New 159 number to protect against bank fraud
It’s hoped that a new fraud hotline for banks’ customers will stop scammers in their tracks. If someone is contacted by a person claiming to be from their bank and they are unsure if they are genuine, they can hang up and call the trusted number 159 to check. It’s eventually hoped it will become a universal number, like 999, with people able to use it from all phones and for all banks. The pilot scheme, which will run for at least a year, is a collaboration between banks, telecoms firms and technology companies and is being spearheaded by anti-fraud coalition Stop Scams UK.
Bilsdale Mast – services still not restored
The fifty-year old Bilsdale mast, which was badly damaged by fire in August, was safely demolished last Wednesday. Arqiva, the firm which operated the 1,030 ft-high mast said that the 500 ton structure was unsafe and had to be removed. TV and radio signals to homes in North Yorkshire have been badly disrupted since the fire. The company has erected a number of temporary masts and will soon switch on a temporary 80-metre tower close to where the original mast stood .This will restore TV services to about 95% of households across the region. Arqiva has also set up an online hub to provide up-to-date information on help and support for priority groups affected by the loss of TV services, including how to retune or re-direct TV aerials. It can be found at
North Yorkshire New Weather Stations
The signs are that this winter could be a tough one with the promise of some colder-than-usual weather. So it’s good to know that North Yorkshire County Council has installed ten new state-of-the-art weather stations with solar-powered cameras on some of the county’s highest routes, including Ribblehead, Blakey Ridge and the Hole of Horcum. These new stations mean that North Yorkshire has the most up-to-date, extensive range of weather stations in the country to help travellers have better and more detailed knowledge of the prevailing weather conditions. The new sites will go live soon and have their images displayed on the county council’s website.
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.

  • TODAY! Sunday 10 October
  • Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 October

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

Halloween painting fun
Last few places are available on the Milk Churn Farm Shop’s 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).

Seed count!
Have you had a go at guessing the number of seeds in the jar at the Milk Churn Farm Shop? There’s a few spaces left – – just £1 a go – and the winner will get a special food hamper as a prize. The ‘rafflle’ is raising cash for the Shed Project at the Seedlings Nursery.

Christmas Fayre – 10am to 2pm – Saturday 13 November
Thank you to all the kind and generous people who responded to the appeal for stallholders at this year’s Christmas Fayre. The response has been fantastic and the organisers, Karen Morley and Linda Carver, say they are nearing capacity.

The event at Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall on Saturday 13 November will have a wide range of interesting stalls, including crafts, lampshades, crocheted items, Christmas cards, calendars, decoupage, upcycling, gift wrap and coasters. There should be lots of great ideas for Christmas presents.

Linda and Karen will be providing two stalls themselves – one selling home-baked cakes and another selling homemade produce. They would welcome any donations from the many talented bakers and preserves bottlers in the village. Refreshments including, sausage sandwiches, will be on sale.

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 three other wreath making sessions on 2, 4 and 5 December are fully booked.

See contact details in Traders section below.

CLOSED – Until Further Notice
Once again The Ritz Cinema is in the unfortunate position of being unable to open. due to an equipment malfunction. The replacement server has broken down and despite the volunteer team working tirelessly and for long hours to remedy the situation, they haven’t been able to fix it. Right now the cinema is unable to give any firm date as to when it will be re-opening, but it will certainly be as soon as possible. Given the situation it is unclear what the film programme will be at that time of reopening. Please keep checking the website for the latest details.
St Columba’s Church

  • TODAY: 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
  • 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. 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.
  • Sunday 7 November, 10.45am – Holy Communion with hymns.
  • 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.
Flea Market
There’ll be a 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.
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 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 4 November in the main hall of the Village Hall.http://
  • The next meeting of Asenby Parish Council will be at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 17 November in the main hall of 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 – next 13 October.
  • 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, 4 November.
  • Christmas Fayre – Saturday 13 November .
  • Asenby Parish Council meeting – 7.30pm on Wednesday, 17 November.
  • Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall Committee – 7.30pm on Tuesday 23 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
  • The Catton Kitchen 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 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):

  • Refuse – Mondays 11 and 25 October.
  • Recycling & green waste – Thursdays 21 October and 4 November.

Harrogate (Asenby):

  • Recycling – Mondays 11 and 25 October.
  • Refuse – Mondays 18 October and 1 November.
  • Garden waste – Thursdays 21 October and 4 November.

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.