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Sunday Email: Issue 89

Welcome to the 89th issue of the Sunday Email.

We are now firmly in the midst of a further wave of Covid infection with the Omicron variant causing massive problems across the country. 90,418 confirmed cases were announced on Saturday, the highest number of daily cases since the pandemic began. The government has launched a major campaign to get as many people as possible booster-jabbed, but although there hasn’t been a significant rise in the number of deaths, hospitals are again under huge pressure and face perhaps the biggest test of the pandemic. Things are again looking extremely bad as we approach the festive season and the government has left us to make our own choices about how we act, particularly in terms of partying and other gatherings.

Whatever you decide to do I hope you keep safe and well. Despite the problems and uncertainty, I hope you have a really good Christmas and a much-improved new year.

I will be taking a break from producing a Sunday Email on Boxing Day. The next email will be circulated on Sunday 2 January.

Best wishes
07785 223707

Christmas lunch went down well!
The over 65s Christmas lunch held in the Village Hall last Wednesday was a tremendous success with over 30 lunches being served. Guests had a welcome Bucks Fizz, prawn cocktail starter, turkey dinner and Christmas pudding, followed by coffee and mince pies. Talented magician, Matthew Cope, entertained diners with amazing card tricks at their tables and later gave a wonderful performance with more tricks and skilled juggling.

A big thank you to all the residents who came along to the lunch, to Judith Lowe who organised the event, and the team who prepared the hall, cooked and served the meal and did the washing up afterwards – Karen and Malcolm Morley, Linda Carver, Peter Lowe, Liz Hall, Clare Phillips, Chris Wiggins, Vicki Moores and Doug Allan.

Spring bulbs planted
Thanks to the few keen volunteers who turned out yesterday to help plant crocus bulbs in the grass verge opposite the Surgery on Long Street in Topcliffe. It was wet and cold but that didn’t stop Karen and Malcolm Morley, Martin Hexter, John Pearson and his children Jake and Amelia, and myself from getting around 1,500 bulbs into the ground. We look forward to a carpet of colour in the spring.
Next soup and sweet lunch
Don’t forget that the last soup and sweet lunch of 2021 will be on Wednesday, 22 December at 12 noon. Money raised at this lunch will be donated to Cancer Research. The fortnightly lunches will continue in the new year starting Wednesday 5 January.
Festive break for fish & chip van
Just a reminder that the fish and chip van will not be visiting Topcliffe until Friday 28 January.
Feoffees deliver festive cheer
The trustees of the Charities of Topcliffe – known as Feoffees – have decided who will benefit from a share of this year’s investment surplus and those selected can expect a little bit of festive cheer in the run up to Christmas.
8th edition of Asenby News
Young Oliver Robertson has produced the 8th edition of his colourful newsletter for Asenby. Oliver, aged 9, who was recently honoured as a Hambleton Hero, a special honour usually reserved just for Hambleton residents but given to Oliver for his regular newsletter (which is enjoyed by both Topcliffe and Asenby residents) has filled his latest edition with lots of facts, jokes and Christmas stories…and even included a story written by his younger sister Evelyn, aged five. Read it here
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.

► This evening – 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.

There will however be no service on 26 December

The Elm Gallery at Topcliffe
This information may be of particular interest to customers who need to be extra careful at the current time and need to avoid contact with other people as far as possible. The Elm Gallery will be open normal hours up to and including Christmas Eve. But for anyone who would like to come to the gallery on Monday and Tuesday when they are closed, Liz and Dave are prepared to open the gallery at a mutually convenient time. If you wish to bring friends or other family members, that is fine. Liz and Dave will also arrange to open by prior arrangement any evening up to Christmas. They live in the building so they say it is no trouble at all. Contact them via Messenger, email (lizanddave) or phone 01845 577316.
Christmas at the Farm Shop
It’s getting very close to Christmas and the Milk Churn Farm Shop has now closed its orders book and is concentrating on packing items ready for deliveries during the coming week. If there’s anyone out there who hasn’t yet purchased a Christmas tree, then don’t despair as the Farm Shop has half a dozen left on sale.

The full range of produce will be available throughout this week, alongside some Christmassy items such as pigs in blankets. And the cafe is open as normal.

The Farm Shop is open for longer on Wednesday, 22 December – 9am-6pm – and on Thursday 23 from 8.30am-6pm (though the cafe hours remain 10am to 4pm). Closed Christmas Eve through to 4 January. Check out the Milk Churn Facebook page or website –
http://Christmas | Milkchurn (

Topcliffe Post Office – festive openings
Christmas Eve – 7am to 12 lunchtime. Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day.and 27 and 28 December. On 29, 30 and 31 December 8am to 12 noon. Closed New Year’s Day and 2 January. Normal opening from Monday 3 January.
The Angel – Christmas & New Year festivities
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.

Thirsk Garden Centre
The Garden Centre and Coffee Shop will be closed over the Christmas period Apparently, this gesture to staff is part of the owner’s thank you for the loyalty and extra effort given throughout the pandemic. So the centre is open 9 until 2pm on Christmas Eve and then closed through to 10am on Sunday 2 January.

The centre would like to wish all of its customers an enjoyable Christmas and New Year and offer a big thank you for the continued support and custom throughout 2021

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.

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 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

  • 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

  • Carols at the village Christmas tree – 7pm Wednesday 22 December. Led by members of St Columba’s Choir accompanied by a few brass instrument musicians. 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

All the businesses in the Topcliffe and Asenby area would like to wish their customers a merry Christmas and a very happy and prosperous New Year.

  • The Angel at Topcliffe – Check out full details at info
  • The Catton Kitchen – Thursday 23 Dec,10am to 12 noon; Fri 24 to Sun 26 Dec – closed; Thurs 30 Dec, 10am to 12 noon; Fri 31 Dec – closed; Saturday 1 Jan, 10am to 12 noon; Sunday 2 Jan – Closed. If anyone requires anything out of these times please call 07747 083155 and Amy & Hugo will try to help you.
  • 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 – Closed until 28 January 2022.
  • 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 – Christmas opening hours – Tuesday 21, 9am to 5pm; Wednesday 26, 9am to 6pm; Thursday 23 8.30am to 6pm; Christmas Eve until Monday 3 January – Closed.. 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 – Christmas Eve – 7am to 12 noon. Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and 27 and 28 December. On 29, 30 and 31 December 8am -12 noon. Closed New Year’s Day and 2 January. Normal opening from Monday 3 January.
Bin Collections

Hambleton (Topcliffe):
There are nochanges to refuse and recycling collections due to the Christmas and New Year bank holidays.

  • Refuse – Monday 20 December and 3 January 2022
  • Recycling – Thursday 30 December and 13 January 2022
  • Green waste – There’ll also 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)

Recycling Sat 18 Dec 2021 Changed due to operational reasons
Refuse Fri 24 Dec 2021 Changed due to a bank holiday
Recycling Wed 5 Jan 2022 Changed due to a bank holiday
Refuse Tue 11 Jan 2022 Changed due to operational reasons
Recycling Mon 17 Jan 2022
Refuse Mon 24 Jan 2022
Recycling Mon 31 Jan 2022
The week’s Covid statistics

  • 51.4 million first doses given. 46.9 million second doses. 89.4% of the population aged 12+ has now had the first jab and over 81.7% the second.
  • 27.2 million have now had a booster or third jab. That’s over 47.2% of those eligible.
  • There were 97,418 new Covid infections yesterday and 513,574 people tested positive in the last week. That’s a 44% increase on the previous week.
  • 6,056 people were admitted to hospital with Covid in the week to 13 December.
  • There were 125 deaths reported yesterday and 787 in the last seven days.
  • The total number of UK deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test now stands at 147,173..
  • 170,911 deaths registered in the UK had Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate.
  • Worldwide, the global death toll is 5,368,305..
Vaccination Centre – Northallerton

This message from Dr Mark Duggleby was initially posted on the Northallerton Noticeboard Facebook page last week and has subsequently been mentioned on several other local Facebook pages. The Grammar School vaccination centre is also operated by our own surgery in Topcliffe.

Good morning all,

As one of the lead GPs at the vaccination centre at the Grammar School in Northallerton I would like to let you all know what the plan is going forward. The centre will remain open every day apart from Christmas Day and Boxing Day until the end of the year. It will be open for 12 hours each day 8am to 8pm apart from Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve when it will be open for 6 hours in the morning 8am to 2pm.

As of Saturday 18 December we are offering boosters to those under 50. We will be aiming to provide 1,200 booked appointments per day. We will not have capacity to offer walk in appointments in the first instance. Booking an appointment will be in response to receiving a text from your GP practice. This is different to receiving a text or letter from the NHS that allows you to book through the National Booking System. We potentially have 22,000 vaccines to deliver so everyone cannot be done in the first few days so please bear with us.

If people are unable to wait they can access the national system but will not be able to book for Northallerton. Anyone can still attend the advertised drop in clinics in other areas.

Please bear in mind staffing of the vaccine centre is all being done by local practices and volunteers. This will mean a reduction of services at your GP for this time. Please can I ask you to recognize this and only contact surgeries with urgent problems. Also can I please ask everyone to be respectful of the staff and volunteers at the centre. Many are giving up their own holiday time to staff the programme.

Hopefully this will give the population of Hambleton a chance to get vaccinated locally and allow us in General Practice to complete the job we started in December 2020.

Dr Mark Duggleby, GP Stokesley, Clinical lead PCN vaccination centre

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