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Sunday Email: Issue 86

Welcome to the 86th issue of the Sunday Email.
07785 223707
Surprise award for two Hambleton Heroes
There was a surprise in store for two Topcliffe residents – Karen Morley and Linda Carver – who have organised the fortnightly soup and sweet lunches at the Village Hall since July. During last Wednesday’s lunch Mark Robson, the leader of Hambleton District Council, and our local district councillor, popped in to present special Hambleton Hero awards to the pair to mark their amazing contribution to community life in Topcliffe. Since launching the regular lunches Karen and Linda have created a great opportunity for locals to meet together and also raised around a thousand pounds for local charities. A great achievement and congratulations to you both.

Next soup and sweet lunch
The next soup and sweet lunch will be on Wednesday, 8 December at 12 noon. Money raised at this lunch will help subsidise the cost of the Over 65s Christmas lunch on 15 December.

The lunch on 24 November raised £71.50 and this too will be used to subsidise the Christmas lunch.

Get your kids a letter from Santa
Christmas may still be a four weeks away, but Santa’s grotto is now open to receive letters from children. They could then receive a personalised reply from the man himself closer to Christmas. This service is free and comes courtesy of Royal Mail. The deadline is 11.59pm on Friday 10 December, but you are advised to write as soon as possible to stand a good chance of getting a reply. Technically, it isn’t 100% free as you’ll need to post your letter to Santa with a stamp (85p first class, 66p second). Just remember to include full names and addresses, so Santa knows where to send his reply. Write to:

Santa/Father Christmas, Santa’s Grotto, Reindeerland, XM4 5HQ

Free festive parking at Hambleton Council sites
Hambleton District Council is giving the local economy a massive festive boost by making car parking free for four weeks from next Wednesday. Parking in every district council car park will be free through to 4 January. That includes Thirsk and Northallerton, as well as Stokesley, Bedale, Great Ayton and Easingwold.

It’s hoped that suspending parking charges for a month in the build up to and immediately after Christmas will encourage shoppers to use the shops, restaurants and cafes in the district’s market towns, and support local businesses as they emerge from the pandemic.

The free festive parking will apply to over 900 car parking bays across the district council’s car parks. The district council no longer manages Crosby Road car park in Northallerton, therefore this car park is not subject to free parking.

New Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner elected
Conservative candidate Zoe Metcalfe won 41,760 of the first and second-preference votes in the by-election held last Thursday. The ballot was triggered after the previous commissioner, Philip Allott, resigned following criticism of comments he made about the murder of Sarah Everard. Ms Metcalfe said in order to regain trust in the office following Mr Allott’s resignation she would be "open, visible and transparent in promoting her work and will focus on improving safety for women and girls across North Yorkshire, supporting victims of crime and tackling serious and organised crime."

Labour’s Emma Scott-Spivey got a total of 26,895 votes, putting her in second place. 86,973 votes were cast from an electorate of 623,821 in North Yorkshire, a turnout of just 13.94%. Three other candidates were knocked out in the first round, with independent Keith Tordoff gaining 14,988 votes, Liberal Democrat James Barker 9,499 and Sarah Barham-Brown of the Women’s Equality Party 8,837.

Avian Influenza Prevention Zone
On 21 November, a new Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) was declared in parts of North Yorkshire, including the districts of Harrogate, Hambleton and Richmondshire. Until further notice it is a legal requirement for all bird keepers in these areas to keep their birds indoors and to follow strict bio-security measures to limit the spread of and eradicate the disease. Additional bird housing measures, as well as necessary disease control and prevention, must be taken to help minimise the risk from wild birds and other sources, both at the perimeter of properties and within the premises to prevent disease being spread between different bird houses.

LATEST NEWS! As from 00:01 on Monday 29 November the Poultry Housing Order under which the above AIPZ was established, is extended to cover all poultry in England.

The December Tattler
The Christmas/Winter edition of The Tattler will be published on Wednesday 8 December.
Topcliffe Village Christmas tree (Sunday 28 November)
This evening Topcliffe’s Christmas tree will be lit for the first time. During the course of today, volunteer residents will put up the tree and make sure it’s ready before dusk. The lights will be on every night of the festive season. Once again the village tree has kindly been donated by Debbie Roberts and Hannah Alderson of the Farm Shop and Post Office. A big thank you to Tara Kniveton of Allanbrooke Barracks for the huge bag of tree decorations she has donated.
Christmas lunch places going well
Twenty five residents have so far put their name down for the Over 65s Christmas lunch on Wednesday 15 December, leaving only fifteen places left to be taken. Anyone wanting to join in should get in touch soon as it’s first come, first served. The three-course lunch is being held in the Village Hall and it’s only £10 per person. Anyone aged 65 and over is very welcome to add their name to the list by calling Judith Lowe on 01845 577911.
Take to the floor for Salsa and Bachata
Eighteen dancers attended the first Salsa and Bachata class at the Village Hall on 20th November and were taken through the steps by a professional tutor. There are further sessions planned for 11 and 18 December…with more in the new year if interest is maintained.

There are still places available and you don’t need to be experienced as everything is 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. It’s £5 for an hour or £7.25 for the two-our session. For more information and to book a place, call Joanne Brierley on 07732 941758.

Christmas at the Farm Shop
As Christmas rapidly approaches, the Milk Churn Farm Shop is gearing up to ensure it can meet local demand for trees, meat and poultry, veg boxes and everything else you need to make the festive season go well.

  • Christmas trees delayed! Because of the atrocious weather we have been having, the display and sale of Christmas trees has been held over until Tuesday 30 November. There’ll be many sizes of tree available and pre-orders can be made.
  • Fresh free range turkeys from Pollards of Thirkelby. From 4kg upwards. Orders now being taken.
  • Other meat and poultry such as goose, chicken and pork plus special meat boxes from Johnson’s of Thirsk – please check website for details.
  • The Farm Shop is preparing bespoke fruit and vegetable boxes with all the essentials for the festive season. Order by 14 December and collect to suit.
  • Milk Churn Hampers – a range of delicious treats carefully packaged and hand-wrapped in an Emma Bridgewater tin.
  • Christmas treats from the cafe – gingerbread latte topped with whipped cream, cinnamon and a gingerbread man or white hot chocolate topped with whipped cream, sprinkles and mini candy cane. Yummy!

Check out the Milk Churn Facebook page or website –
http://Christmas | Milkchurn (

Services at St Columba’s

  • TODAY! Sunday 28 November, 10.45am – Holy Communion with hymns.
  • Sunday 5 December, 6.30pm – Choral Evensong
  • Sunday 12 December, 10.45am – Holy Communion.

Services planned for the Christmas period will be listed in December emails.

Christmas & New Year at The Angel
Everyone deserves something special for the festive season so The Angel at Topcliffe has lined up a few treats to enhance your Christmas and New Year celebrations.

  • Festive Menus – evenings from 1 to 24 December – Monday to Saturday – 3 courses for the price of 2. Similar deal for lunches Monday to Thursday.
  • Party Nights – limited availability left on 3, 10 and 11 December.
  • Christmas Day – two sittings for a festive dinner – between 12 noon to 4.30pm.
  • Boxing Day – lunch from 12 noon until 4pm
  • New Year’s Eve – 12 to 2.30pm – the last lunch of 2021.
  • New Year’s Eve – Big Charity Party Night raising funds for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Tickets only £20 to include entry and buffet.
  • New Year’s Eve – Dinner – 5 until 9pm – with DJ in the bar area and festivities until late.
  • New Year’s Day – Brunch – 11am until 5pm.

Call 01845 578000 or visit the website for more details and bookings.

Parish Council meetings

Village Hall Committee meeting

  • The next meeting will be at 7.15am on Tuesday 25 January 2022.

Both parish councils and the Village Hall Committee meet at Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall.

Latest from Catton Kitchen

  • Breakfast baps available Thursday to Sunday each week and lunch options served Thursday to Saturday each week, all made from home grown produce where possible.
  • 07747 083155 or check out hello
Thirsk Christmas Lights
Thirsk Yarnbombers are having a Christmas craft stall on Thirsk Market on Saturday 4 December.
2FA is good for you
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a way of strengthening the login security of your online accounts. It’s similar to how an ATM works – ie you need both your debit card (first factor) and your PIN (second factor) to get access your account and withdraw cash. The main objective is better security. If your card is stolen, they still need your PIN. If your PIN is stolen, they still need your card. Enabling 2FA will help to stop hackers from getting into your computer online accounts, even if they have your password.

Here are links you can use to enable 2FA on some of the most popular online services and apps:

For more of the government’s latest advice on how to stay secure online, visit the Cyber Aware website:

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 sandwiches!
Farmers’ Market
There’ll be a Farmers’ market in Thirsk Market Place on Sunday 5 December between 9am and 2pm. You’ll find lots of stalls displaying a fantastic selection goodies!
Handel – Messiah
A performance by Ripon Choral Society in the grandeur of Ripon Cathedral. on Saturday 11 December. Tickets:
Cathedral shop or phone 07986 861332.
Northallerton Male Voice Choir – Christmas Concert

There’s a real treat in store this festive season when the excellent Northallerton Male Voice Choir, accompanied by their guest (the Easington Colliery Band), present their Christmas concert. It’s at the Forum in Northallerton and there’ll be two performances – 3pm and 7.30pm on Saturday 18 December. Tickets are £10 and you book via the Forum website at

  • To Thursday 2 December – The Last Duel – King Charles VI declares that Knight Jean de Carrouges settle his dispute with his squire by challenging him to a duel.
  • Friday 3 to Thursday 9 December – Dune – Feature adaptation of Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel, about the son of a noble family entrusted with the protection of the most valuable asset and most vital element in the galaxy.
  • Friday 10 to Thursday 16 December – Spencer – During her Christmas holidays with the royal family at the Sandringham estate, Diana decides to leave her marriage to Prince Charles.

There are no matinees on any of these films. Please keep checking the website for the latest details –

Events on at The Forum

  • Thursday 2 December at 7.30pm – Jenny Eclair: Sixty! Having hit 60 (but still a year younger than Madonna), Jenny Eclair confronts a new decade of decrepitude.
  • Saturday 4 December at 7.30pm – The Upbeat Beatles – This is a rockin’ band with tight musicianship and powerhouse vocals. You’ll be jumping from the word go!
  • Sunday 5 December at 7.30pm – ‘Anything Goes, the musical’ – Filmed live at the Barbican in London, this production features an all-star cast. A heart-warming romance with spectacular dance routines and some of theatre’s most memorable songs.
  • Tuesday 7 December at 7.30pm – Firefighters’ Carol Concert with the Lockwood Brass Band.
  • Thursday 9 December at 8m – An Evening with Shaun Ryder – As the frontman of The Happy Mondays and Black Grape, Shaun Ryder is part of the Madchester phenomenon that spread across the globe.
  • Friday 10 December at 7.30pm – Elvis the Legend – J D King impersonator extraordinaire!
  • Friday 17 December at 7.30pm – Katey Brooks at The Forum – a rebellious songwriter and artist with sound blending folk, soul, blues and country.
  • Saturday 18 December – 3pm and 7.30pm – Northallerton Male Voice Choir present their Christmas concert, with special guests, the Easington Colliery Band.

Enquiries 01609 776230. Tickets online at

Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall
1. Weekly Activities
Art classes – 10am to 12 noon.
My Time Yoga – 1.30 to 2.45pm.
Boot Camp – 7 to 8pm.
Boccia Club – 1.30 to 3.30pm.
Library – 1.30 to 3.30pm.
Squirrels – 5 to 6pm.
Beavers – 6.15 to 7.15pm.
Soup & Sweet lunch – 12 noon to 1pm (alternate Wednesdays).
Cubs – 6.45 to 7.45pm.
Pammy’s Pilates – 6 to 7pm.
Indoor Carpet Bowls – 7.30 to 9.30pm.
Boot Camp – 6 to 7pm.
Scouts – 7.30 to 10pm.
Salsa and Bachata dancing – 6 to 8pm (currently fortnightly).

2. Regular meetings and other events

  • Topcliffe Parish Council meeting – 7.15pm on Thursday, 2 December
  • Elderly folks Christmas Lunch – 12 noon – Wednesday 15 December
  • Carols at the village Christmas tree – 7pm Wednesday 22 December (led by members of St Columba’s Choir). Mulled wine and mince pies afterwards in the Village Hall.
  • Asenby Parish Council meeting – 7.30pm on Wednesday, 19 January.
  • Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall Committee – 7.15pm – Tuesday 25 January.

To encourage existing and new group activities, use of the Village Hall is being offered free of charge until 31 December (this does not include commercial one-off or private hires for parties and social functions). The Big Race Night and Challenge Quiz & Curry Night will hopefully be rescheduled 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. 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. 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):

  • Refuse – Mondays 6 and 20 December
  • Recycling & green waste – Thursday 2 December.

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 29 November and 13 December
  • Recycling – Mondays 6 and 20 December.
  • Garden waste – no more collections 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.

The week’s Covid statistics

  • 50.9 million first doses given. 46.3 million second doses. 88.5% of the population aged 12+ has now had the first jab and over 80.5% the second.
  • 17.1 million have now had a booster or third jab. That’s over 30% of those eligible.
  • There were 39,567 new Covid infections yesterday and 307,979 people tested positive in the last week. That’s a 8% increase on the previous week.
  • 5,430 people were admitted to hospital with Covid in the week to 23 November.
  • There were 131 deaths reported yesterday and 858 in the last seven days.
  • The total number of UK deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test now stands at 144,742.
  • 167,927 deaths registered in the UK had Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate.
  • Worldwide, the global death toll is 5,214,945.
Omicron is the new Covid danger
The Covid pandemic rollercoaster took another dramatic twist this week with the news of a new variant called Omicron. It originated in Botswana and is rapidly taking a grip across south African countries. On Friday flights from six southern African countries were suspended and those nations have been added to the travel red list. From 4am this morning anyone arriving in the UK from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini and Zimbabwe must quarantine in a hotel for 10 days at their own expense.

The Omicron variant has not yet been given the title ‘variant of concern’ in the UK, but one senior health expert said it is the worst variant we have seen so far. Having around twice as many mutations as the Delta variant it could potentially be more transmissible and resist the protection given by prior infection or vaccination. The emergence of this Omicron variant has triggered fears among some scientists that its significant number of mutations could be resistant to current vaccines, however this has not yet been proved.

Tougher guidance on Covid in run up to Christmas
Official guidance about Covid has been toughened to prevent a surge in cases before Christmas. The focus is on more rapid tests and home working. Around 1 in 3 people with Covid do not have symptoms and shed the virus onto others in the vicinity. People are now advised to take a Lateral Flow Test if they expect to be in a high risk situation that day, such as spending time in crowded and enclosed spaces and where there is limited fresh air.

It is important to check using a Lateral Flow Test. You can get a pack of seven from pharmacies or online from:

Cold and Covid symptoms are very similar
Research at London’s Kings College and Zoe Covid Study shows there’s more to Covid than the three classic symptoms, but many people remain unaware of all the symptoms they should be looking out for. They are: sneezing, headache, runny nose, loss of smell, cough, sore throat and fever. The problem is that the symptoms are similar to those of a cold, which leaves people at risk of wrongly believing they have a cold, when in fact they could have Covid..Check out this link:
Vaccination booster programme
Across the UK full vaccination is now three jabs for most people. If you are in one of the following groups you should
get the booster to maintain protection::
– You’re 40 or over
– You’re 16 or over, with a health condition that puts you at high risk from Covid
– You’re a front-line health or social care worker
– You’re an adult living with an immuno-suppressed person
You can pre-book your booster five months after your second dose. You will be offered an appointment six months after your second jab. Or, after six months, you can go to an NHS walk-in centre. Check details:
That’s all for this week. Keep safe and remain well.