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Sunday Email: Issue 82

Welcome to the 82nd issue of the Sunday Email.

Don’t forget that British Summer Time ended at 2am this morning and clocks went back an hour.

07785 223707

The week’s Covid statistics

  • The R number for England as a whole is now 1.1 to 1.3. This means that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 11 and 13 other people.
  • 49.9 million first doses given. 45.7 million second doses. 86.8% of the population aged 12+ has now had the first jab and over 79.4% the second.(note this is now based on +12s).
  • 7.6 million have now had a booster or third jab. That’s 13.2% of those eligible.
  • There were 41,278 new Covid infections yesterday and 286,011 people tested positive in the last week. That’s a 14% decrease on the previous week.
  • 6,981 people were admitted to hospital with Covid between 23 and 30 October – that’s a 6% increase on the previous week.
  • There were 166 deaths reported yesterday and 1,097 in the last seven days.
  • The total number of UK deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test now stands at 140,558.
  • 163,515 deaths registered in the UK had Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate.
  • Worldwide, there have been 247 million infections and the global death toll is 5,006,932.
Advice from the top
Professor Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer for England recently tweeted the following message:
"COVID-19 cases are rising and winter is drawing closer.
1) If you have not been vaccinated, now is the time.
2) If you are offered a booster please take up the offer.
3) Ventilation, masks in crowded indoor spaces and hand washing remain important."
Current international travel rules
From 4am tomorrow the Covid travel red list will be empty! From that time the last seven countries classed as red will be removed, meaning passengers arriving from them will no longer have to pay for a 10-day quarantine in a hotel. While there will be no red nations left, the red list will remain in place as a precautionary measure and countries could be added if needed.

Vaccinated or not, travellers are no longer required to take a PCR test two days after arrival, following a rule change on October 24 which means they can take a cheaper lateral flow test instead. There’s also no need for fully vaccinated travellers to take a Covid test before setting off, after a relaxation of the rules on 4 October.

Unvaccinated people are still required to quarantine for ten days at home, no matter which foreign country they are returning from. They are also required to take coronavirus tests, either a PCR or lateral flow, in the three days before travelling to the UK, another on or before day two and again on or after day eight after returning.

Finally, travellers are also advised to check entry requirements of their destination countries before they book.

Oldies Christmas Lunch
Plans are being put together for the annual Christmas lunch for the elderly folk within our community. It will be held in the Village Hall on Wednesday 15 December and participants can look forward to a welcome drink, a three course Christmas lunch with wine…and a very merry atmosphere. All for just £10 a head. The organisers have started to collect the names of those who would like to attend. Anyone aged 65 and over is very welcome to add their name to the list by calling Judith Lowe on 01845 577911. There’s a maximum of forty places available so it’ll be first come, first served.
Take to the floor for Salsa and Bachata
The range of events taking place at our Village Hall is impressive and continues to expand! The latest news is that a salsa and bachata session will start this month, bringing a touch of the exotic to Topcliffe. The first two-hour session will be held on Saturday 20 November starting at 6pm.

A professional tutor will take the classes and he’ll guide you through the basic moves of salsa and bachata. There’s no need to worry about your current ability, everything will be broken down into steps to make sure everyone can follow. The two-hour session includes an hour of salsa and an hour of bachata. You can stay for both or just one. For more information and to book your place call Joanne Brierley on 07732 941758.

Soup and sweet lunch
There’ll be a soup and sweet lunch next Wednesday, 10 November 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 the Jennyruth workshops in Ripon. The last lunch raised £124.50 for The Royal British Legion.
Community Works Christmas parcels
Last year Community Works organised a highly successful appeal for food donations which were parcelled-up to be delivered to the needy in and around Thirsk. In all, 192 Christmas food parcels were packed and delivered by 50 volunteers and it’s thought that over 500 people benefitted. This year the charity is planning a similar event and is again asking for food donations and looking for volunteers to help out. Parcels will be delivered door to door on 21 December, just in time for the festive season. Call 01845 524494 to offer your help. Donations can be delivered to the charity’s base at Church Hall, St James Green, Thirsk.
Local food bank collections continue
For many months the Milk Churn Farm Shop has had a food collection box to support Community Works in Thirsk and the scheme has been a tremendous success. Now Topcliffe Post Office, which is part of the same village business, is also acting as a collection point. The Post Office has hessian bags that can be taken away and returned containing food donations. The bags also contain details of the types of food in greatest demand, and other information about other ways people can help Community Works.
Milk Churn Farm Shop – revised opening hours
As winter approaches, the Farm Shop has revised its opening hours and is now closed on Sundays
Wreath-making at the Milk Churn
To cope with the extra demand for places at the wreath making event an additional session has been organised on Saturday 13 November between 1 and 3pm (the 6 November session is now fully booked). You’ll be able to make a bespoke Christmas wreath using hoops, feathers and other natural materials. Mulled wine, hot drinks and mince pies will be served. Book your place for £32.50 by calling 01845 400446.
Police, Crime & Fire Service Plans – have your say
There’s just one week left to give your views on the Police and Crime Plan and Fire and Rescue Plan for North Yorkshire. The consultation closes on Sunday 7 November. Despite the vacancy in the elected position of Commissioner, the team in the Office of the Commissioner want to ensure everyone has their say so that whoever is elected as the new Commissioner knows the views of residents. Have your say at:

Note: The election for a new Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire will be held on Thursday 25 November.

Grants you’d be MaD to miss!
Hambleton District Council has launched it’s Making a Difference funding scheme and has £250,000 on offer as grants to community projects. The fund helps local groups across the district deliver projects they cannot afford to fund themselves. Sometimes the amount awarded may be small but the difference to the community can be massive.

Thirsk and its surrounding villages have access to £50,000 (Bedale, Easingwold, Northallerton and Stokesley have similar amounts). Applications, which can be submitted up to Sunday 5 December, should be for £2,000 or more and must be supported by the local ward councillor. Cabinet Members will give final approval for accepted schemes in March 2022. For more visit

Well done Topcliffe Surgery
Topcliffe Surgery has been named as one of the best in Yorkshire when dealing with appointments. In a GP Patient Survey conducted by Ipsos MORI, over 72% of Topcliffe patients said their experience was very good and nearly 24% said it was fairly good. There were 256 survey forms sent out to patients at Topcliffe Surgery and the response rate was 57 per cent.

Topcliffe results were in line with those for Yorkshire surgeries generally, with the majority of patients (71 per cent) reporting a good experience booking an appointment. It would seem that patients’ satisfaction with booking a GP appointment is on the rise, despite a public row brewing over whether doctors are seeing enough people face-to-face.

iCan one to ones
Here’s a chance to sort out your technical glitches, learn new skills or get your device set up and running with friendly iPad and Tablet expert Claire Ford. You can book more than one session if you have a lot to cover. The 30-minute sessions are between 1pm-4pm on Saturday 6 November at Rural Arts, The Courthouse, Thirsk. Tickets priced at £15 per half hour session bookable online at
Sporting Memories Foundation club planned at Thirsk Community Library
Thirsk Community Library, with funds secured from Thirsk Co-op, is planning to start a Sporting Memories Foundation (SMF) club. For over ten years SMF has been using the power of remembering and talking about sport – along with physical exercise and social activities – to tackle dementia, depression, loneliness or other long-term conditions. At the moment, the nearest clubs are at Bedale, Northallerton and York, so having a local club should be very beneficial.

The organisers are looking for present or past sports participants, who would be willing to support the weekly club in the library, probably on a Wednesday morning. All that is needed is willingness to share your experiences of sport with older members of the community who are no longer able to actively participate but continue to have a passionate interest in sport

Anyone interested should email Helen Ashworth – or call 07826 335255. For more information about SMF clubs and the tremendous work they do, follow this link.

Parish Council meetings
Both Parish Councils meet at Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall.

Northern Dales Farmers’ Market
The next farmers’ market will be held in Thirsk Market Place between 9am and 2pm on Sunday 7 November. There’ll be a fantastic selection of produce on sale.
Christmas Fayre – Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall – 13 November
There has been a tremendous response to the appeal for stallholders at this year’s Christmas Fayre. All spaces have now been taken. The fayre is on at Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall on Saturday 13 November between 10am and 2pm. There’ll be a wide range of interesting stalls, including crafts, lampshades, cakes and bakes, 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 (and a vegetarian version) will be on sale.

Funds raised on the day will go towards a range of initiatives aimed at improving Topcliffe, such as bulb planning and possibly a new bench.

Verdi Requiem at Ripon Cathedral
Ripon Choral Society with John Dunford conductor, four soloists and the Orchestra D’Amici will present an exhilarating live performance of Verdi’s large-scale choral classic with its operatic drama and emotional intensity in a setting worthy of such a masterpiece. 7.30pm on Saturday 13 November. Tickets can be purchased online at or in person at the Cathedral Shop. 07986 861332.
Fancy a kayak experience?
A two hour Santa kayak experience on the River Ure at Boroughbrdige is aimed at people who are complete beginners wanting a ‘have a go experience’, those looking for a fun few hours with like-minded people doing something a little different or those looking for a fun and exciting family day. Minimum age 10 years. Saturday 4 December, 10am-3pm.
Dalton Christmas Fair
There’ll be a Christmas Fair at Dalton Village Hall on Saturday 4 December, 10am to 12 noon. Admission is £2 for adults and £1 for children (which includes a gift from Santa). There will be various stalls, a tombola, singing from Dalton Voices, and bacon butties! Pop along and enjoy a browse through the stalls and a chat over a cuppa and butty.
Sunday Lunch with Santa
The Angel at Topcliffe has made arrangements for Santa to visit on Sunday 5 December Santa…and apparently it’s the only visit he’ll be making this year! The event includes a three course Sunday lunch followed by a visit to Santa in his Magical Winter Wonderland. 12 noon to 5pm. Pre bookings only. Call 01845 578000, email or visit the website
Autumn arrives at Catton Kitchen

  • The autumn takeaway lunch menu available from Thursday to Saturday each week includes a range of hot and cold sandwiches/paninis and soups – all made from home grown produce where possible.
  • The Kitchen’s own orchard pork and home-raised lamb is now stocked in the freezer.
  • 07747 083155 or check out or Facebook page.
Friday 29 October to Thursday 11 November – No Time To Die – James Bond has left active service. His peace is short-lived when Felix Leiter, an old friend from the CIA, turns up asking for help leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.

There is no matinee. Please keep checking the website for the latest details.

All Souls Service at St Columba’s – 2 November
To celebrate the Feast of All Souls, St Columba’s will be holding a Choral Requiem Mass at 7.30pm on Tuesday 2 November. The service will be taken by the Rev’d Canon Keith Punshon, formerly of Ripon Cathedral. 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. Although names of people to be remembered can be brought to the church on the night, it would be helpful if they could be submitted by email in advance to John Phillips at As the community emerges from the Covid pandemic this service will be particularly relevant and poignant.
Other upcoming church services at St Columba’s

  • Sunday 31 October – there’s no service today.
  • Sunday 7 November, 6.30pm – Choral Evensong.
  • Sunday 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.
  • Sunday 21 November, 10.45am – Choral Matins with hymns and readings.
  • Sunday 28 November, 10.45am – Holy Communion with hymns.
Events on at The Forum

Events coming to The Forum in Northallerton soon:

  • TODAY! Sunday 31 October 2021 at 7.30pm – Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, a brand-new touring comedy from the writers of the hugely successful comedy show Hormonal Housewives.
  • Friday 5 November at 7.30pm – The Unravelling Wilburys perform songs of the super-group The Traveling Wilburys.
  • Saturday 6 November at 8pm – Failing Upwards – a comedy with Iain Stirling.
  • Thursday 11 to Saturday 13 November at 7.30pm – The Allerton Players present Inspector Drake and the Time Machine.
  • Sunday 14 November at 7.30pm – Festival of Remembrance – an evening of reflection and entertainment through words and music. All proceeds will to the Ben Hyde Memorial Trust.
  • Thursday 18 November at 7.30pm – Psychic Sally – an ordinary woman with an extraordinary gift.
  • Friday 19 November at 7.30pm – Swede Dreamz – ABBA tribute band.
  • Saturday 20 November at 7.30pm – The Real Thing – with original vocalists Chris Amoo and Dave Smith, and a live five-piece band.
  • Friday 26 November at 7.30pm – The UK Rock Show – Get ready to be transported back to the 80s heyday of classic rock, combining the feel of a rock festival with the atmosphere of a top end rock arena tour.

Enquiries 01609 776230. Tickets online at

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 is on 10 November
  • 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.
  • Salsa and Bachata dancing – Saturdays – 6 to 8pm from 20 November
  • Topcliffe Parish Council meeting – 7.15pm on Thursday, 4 November.
  • Christmas Fayre – 10am to 2pm, Saturday 13 November.
  • Asenby Parish Council meeting – 7.30pm on Wednesday, 17 November.
  • Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall Committee – 7.30pm on Tuesday 23 November.
  • Election for new Police , Fire & Crime Commissioner – all day Thursday 25 November.
  • Elderly folks Christmas Lunch – 12 noon – Wednesday 15 December.

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 – 07747 083155. Check out or folllow on Facebook.
  • Chip ‘n Dales – the Fish & Chip van is in Topcliffe on Fridays between 5 and 7pm.
  • The Elm Gallery – Call 01845 577316 or 07709 223920, check out the website at: or follow on Facebook.
  • Fotiá Candles – Nikki and Sam Key’s home-based business producing soy wax candles, wax melts and diffusers – or call 07879 447953.
  • The Little Yorkshire Hamper Company – Kerry Parker runs this business supplying beautiful hampers containing the best of produce from small Yorkshire food and drink producers. 07793 775987.
  • The Milk Churn Farm Shop & Cafe – Opening hours: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9am – 5pm; Thursday 9am – 1pm; Saturday 9am – 4pm. Closed on Sundays and Mondays. Trees and turkeys – you can now place your order for Christmas. t follow on Facebook or call 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. 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.
  • Topcliffe Post Office – New opening times are: 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 now being accepted. New lines are being added every day so don’t forget to pop in for more than just your stamps or newspaper.
Bin Collections

Hambleton (Topcliffe):

  • Recycling & green waste – Thursdays 4 and 18 November and 2 December.
  • Refuse – Mondays 8 and 22 November.

The garden waste collection on 2 December will be the last regular collection until 24 February. However, there will be a one off collection on 13 January to take Christmas trees. Normal garden waste is accepted during this collection.

Harrogate (Asenby)

  • Refuse – Mondays 1 and 15 November.
  • Garden waste – Thursdays 4 and 18 November
  • Recycling – Mondays 8 and 22 November.

The garden waste collection on 18 November will be last until March. 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.