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Sunday Email: Issue 88

Welcome to the 88th issue of the Sunday Email.
07785 223707
Recognition for two more heroes
Two weeks ago I reported that Karen Morley and Linda Carver had been presented with Hambleton Hero Awards in recognition of their work in the community, specifically organising the fortnightly Soup & Sweet lunches at the Village Hall which have raised well over a thousand pounds for local charities.

Now there is news of two more Hambleton Heroes recognised for their contribution to community life in our villages. The first goes to Charles Collinson who designs the quarterly Tattler newsletter and for many years provided and maintained the Topcliffe website. He has never charged a penny for either task. His behind-the-scenes work, especially with Tattler, has been essential in ensuring the two villages of Topcliffe and Asenby have what must be one of the best community newsletters in North Yorkshire.

The fourth award is unusual, if not unique, in terms of Hambleton Hero Awards. The council decided to make a special award to a youngster who lives outside of Hambleton but who has nonetheless shown the qualities of a Hambleton Hero. That’s nine-year-old Oliver Robertson of Asenby who throughout the pandemic has published his own village newsletters, which have featured in Topcliffe publications, including The Tattler and the Sunday Email.

Congratulations to all four heroes. You are all a credit to your community.

The December Tattler
The Christmas/Winter edition of The Tattler is out! Households in Topcliffe and Asenby should have had their copy through the door during the week. If you haven’t received a copy, please get in touch. And if you don’t live in either village and would like a copy via email, please let me know – doug
Christmas lunch this Wednesday
The over 65s Christmas lunch will be held this coming Wednesday (15 December) at the Village Hall. Guests are invited to arrive for a pre-lunch drink from 12 noon onwards. There are just a few places still available for anyone who hasn’t added their name to the list. Anyone from Topcliffe or Asenby aged 65 and over is very welcome to join in. It costs just £10. Call Judith Lowe on 01845 577911 to confirm a place.
Help needed to plant spring bulbs
Are you available for an hour next Saturday morning (18 December) to help plant a few crocus bulbs in the grass verges along Long Street in Topcliffe? Weather permitting, it’s intended that volunteers will meet at 10.30am outside the Surgery. Karen Morley and Linda Carver have purchased around 1500 bulbs using cash raised at the recent Christmas fayre in the village. Planting bulbs is just the first of a few plans Karen and Linda have for village improvements.
Next soup and sweet lunch
The next soup and sweet lunch will be on Wednesday, 22 December at 12 noon. Money raised at this lunch will be donated to Cancer Research.
Festive break for fish & chip van
Paul and Karen have announced that they are taking an extended break in December and much of January. The van will not be visiting Topcliffe until Friday 28 January. Paul and Karen wish all of their customers a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.
Post Office gets busy at Christmas
As Christmas gets closer it’s starting to get busier and busier day by day at Topcliffe Post Office. To cope with the demand for parcel and mail postings, opening times have been brought forward to 7.30am so that those heading to work can make their postings on route.

This extra time will also aid couriers who drop off parcels for customers to collect. But an appeal has been issued to those due to collect packages to please collect their items on schedule as storage space is a bit tight! Because of the potential of the Post Office being totally overwhelmed with parcels, as well as Post Office rules, it is possible that parcels left unclaimed will have to be returned to their sender.

Post Mistress, Debbie Roberts says she is planning to have an extension built on the building, which will considerably increase the space available, but unfortunately that won’t be until sometime next year.

Last Call for Over 80s to make themselves known to Feoffees
The trustees of the Charities of Topcliffe – known as Feoffees – are aiming to deliver a small Christmas surprise to residents in Topcliffe and Asenby who are aged over 80 years of age. The Feoffees representing both villages believe they have the names of the majority of residents who qualify for the gift…but they would be happy to hear from anyone who qualifies and hasn’t in previous years received a gift. All details will be treated in strict confidence. Please get in touch and supply your contact details (name, age, address, telephone number) to either:

  • Asenby Feoffee – Carole Ford on 01845 577718
  • Topcliffe Feoffees – Anne-Marie Barningham 07740 175311 or Doug Allan 07785 223707
Christmas at St Columba’s
There’s to be a full range of Christmas services and events at St Columba’s this year, though the Parochial Church Council will always have an eye to adapting them if Covid considerations make that necessary. It’s hoped that there’s something on the agenda to suit most people and everyone will be most welcome.

► Sunday 19 December at 6.30pm – Service of Nine Lessons and Carols. The traditional telling of the Christmas story with an abundance of congregational and choir carols. St Columba’s Choir led by Linda Hewlett, Organist Matthew Atherton. Followed by refreshments including wine and finger food.
► Wednesday 22 December at 7pm – ‘Come and Sing’ carols for all, around the Christmastree, accompanied by a small group of brass instrument players. Meet outside the Village Hall to start singing at 7pm. Followed by mince pies and mulled wine inside the hall.
► Christmas Eve Crib Service, Friday 24 December at 2pm, with an informal telling of the Christmas story. For all the family, especially those with young children.
► Christmas Eve Midnight Mass – Friday 24 December at 11.30pm – The First Christmas Eucharist to bring you into Christmas Day, with choir and carols.
► Christmas Day, Saturday 25 December at 9am. An informal Christmas Day service for all the family.

In addition, the usual Sunday services continue as follows;

  • 12 December 10.45am, Holy Communion
  • 19 December 10.45am, Matins
  • There will however be no service on 26 December
School goes in to bat!
Topcliffe Academy is the joint winner of a Facebook competition and has won a full junior cricket set for pupils to use. The competition was launched by local cricketing coach Pete Keighley who invited parents to vote if they wanted their children’s school to win a fabulous cricket set. Lots of parents must have voted as Topcliffe Academy and South Kilvington Primary attracted so much support that Pete decided they’d both get a set.
Thirsk Community Library – Lego Club
The library’s activities coordinator is calling Lego fans who might like to join a weekly after-school Lego Club. Since September the library has run a weekly club for primary school children during term time which is proving to be extremely popular. In fact, so many youngsters wanted to join in that a waiting list had to be opened. There’s now just about enough interest to start a second club, but there’s space for a few more youngsters.

A volunteer is required to run the weekly sessions – with help from a small support team. If you are interested, as a participant or volunteer, please contact Helen Ashworth at the Library. You can email: helen or phone 07826 335255.

Zoom with Zoe
Zoë Metcalfe, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire and York, will host her first advice surgery between 5 and 6.30pm on Tuesday 14 December and is inviting the public to make an appointment if they have a policing, fire or community safety issue they want to discuss. The Commissioner is planning on hosting regular advice surgeries, street surgeries and meetings in towns and villages across North Yorkshire in the months and years ahead, but due to current Covid restrictions the first surgery will be held online.
You can book an appointment:
online at:
by email info
or telephone 01423 569 562.
An evening of poetry
BBC Radio York’s poet laureate Olivia Mulligan will be making a special appearance at Thirsk Hall at 6.30pm on Friday 17 December. Tickets for the evening of poetry are on sale at £10 and all proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Herriot Hospice and the Lambert Hospital. Includes a welcoming drink on arrival. Other refreshments will be on sale. Limited space available so early booking advised.
Christmas at the Farm Shop
Here’s a reminder of what’s in store this Christmas at the Milk Churn Farm Shop in Topcliffe.

  • Christmas trees are now on sale. Buy local and support your local shop.
  • 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.

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

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 to 24 December – Monday to Saturday – 3 courses for the price of 2. Similar deal for lunches Monday to Thursday.
  • Christmas Day – two sittings for a festive lunch – between 12 noon and 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.

Northallerton Male Voice Choir – Christmas Concert
Last chance to order tickets for the Northallerton Male Voice Choir’s Christmas concert on Saturday 18 December. It’s on at the Forum in Northallerton and there’ll be two performances – 3pm and 7.30pm. Tickets are £10 and you book via the Forum website at
Important Note: Under the latest government instructions patrons over the age of 11 are asked to wear a face mask at all times, i.e. when both standing and seated. Patrons are thanked for their co-operation.

  • To Thursday 16 December (matinee Wednesday15 December) – Spencer – During her Christmas holidays with the royal family at the Sandringham estate, Diana decides to leave her marriage to Prince Charles.
  • Friday 17 to Thursday 23 December (matinee Wednesday 22 December) – Gucci – When Patrizia Reggiani, an outsider from humble beginnings, marries into the Gucci family, her unbridled ambition begins to unravel their legacy and triggers a reckless spiral of betrayal, decadence, revenge, and ultimately…murder.
  • Monday 27 to Thursday 30 December (no matinees) – King Richard – A look at how tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams became who they are after coaching from their father Richard Williams.
  • Sunday 2 to Thursday 6 January (matinee Sunday 2 January and no evening performance) – Ghostbusters: Afterlife – When a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind.

The cinema will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas day, Boxing Day,, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Please keep checking the website for the latest details –

Events on at The Forum

  • Saturday 18 December – 3pm and 7.30pm – Northallerton Male Voice Choir present their Christmas concert, with special guests, the Easington Colliery Band.
  • Monday 20 to Friday 24 December – multiple performances each day – a magical family pantomime, The Nice List.
  • Sunday 16 to Saturday 22 January (various performance times) – The Northallerton Variety Company present the pantomime Cinderella – undoubtedly the best known and most popular panto of them all.

Enquiries 01609 776230. Tickets online at

Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall

Under the recently introduced Plan B rules, face masks must be worn by users of the village hall, except when eating, drinking or undertaking exercise.

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

  • Over 65s 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.
  • Topcliffe Parish Council meeting – 7pm on Thursday, 3 February.

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 – 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. If you would like to receive The Catton Kitchen’s weekly email about what’s on offer, please email Amy at hello Contacts: 07747 083155, Facebook page or
  • 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. 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 – Monday 20 December and 3 January 2022
  • Recycling & green waste – There’ll be a special one off collection on 13 January to take Christmas trees. Normal garden waste is accepted during this collection. Bin lids must be closed.

Harrogate (Asenby)

  • Refuse – Monday 13 and Friday 24 December (changed due to a bank holiday) and Tuesday 11 January ((changed for operational reasons).
  • Recycling – Saturday 18 December (changed for operational reasons) and Wednesday 5 January (changed due to a bank holiday).
  • Garden waste – no more collections until March.
The week’s Covid statistics

  • 51.2 million first doses given. 46.7 million second doses. 89.1% of the population aged 12+ has now had the first jab and over 81.2% the second.
  • 22.6 million have now had a booster or third jab. That’s over 39.3% of those eligible.
  • There were 54,073 new Covid infections yesterday and 355,618 people tested positive in the last week. That’s a 12.6% increase on the previous week.
  • 5,556 people were admitted to hospital with Covid in the week to 6 December.
  • There were 132 deaths reported yesterday and 836 in the last seven days.
  • The total number of UK deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test now stands at 146,387.
  • 170,001 deaths registered in the UK had Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate.
  • Worldwide, the global death toll is 5,315,395.
Plan B rules now apply
England has moved to Plan B in a bid to tackle rising numbers of Covid cases as the Omicron variant continues to spread throughout the UK. So far, close to 2,000 cases of the variant, first reported in South Africa, have been identified in the UK, with that number expected to rise significantly in the coming days.

Thanks to the vaccination programme, the government has said that it should be possible to handle outbreaks with less damaging measures than the lockdowns used in the past. But the key message is that getting jabbed, and particularly getting the booster, is the best course of action.

Under Plan B the following rules will apply:

  • The mandatory wearing of face coverings is now required in more locations (in addition to public transport and shops). On Friday 9 December this was expanded to venues such as cinemas, theatres and places of worship…and even village halls. They won’t be needed when eating, drinking or exercising.
  • From Monday 13 December, people should work from home if they can.
  • Covid passports will be required from Wednesday 15 December in order to enter some indoor and larger outdoor venues, including nightclubs, music venues, festivals, sports stadiums. This will include proof of vaccination or proof of a negative lateral flow test. The NHS Covid pass will act as a certificate, with exemptions for those unable to get jabbed.

Currently anyone in close contact with someone who tests positive for Covid, but who is not in their household, should isolate and take a PCR test. If the test is negative, they can leave isolation – if they are double-vaccinated. However, if someone comes into contact with someone who has tested positive for the Omicron variant, they must self-isolate at home for 10 days, regardless of their vaccination status. But the government has indicated that daily testing may be introduced instead of isolation for those who come into contact with Omicron infected people. No date for when this would start has been given.

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