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Sunday Email: Issue 9


Welcome to this week’s Sunday email – the 9th edition since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic. Last week I suggested that as lockdown eases and life begins to return to normal it might not be necessary to have a weekly email. Quite a number of you got in touch to say that you would like the email to remain a regular weekly village communication, so I am happy to keep going for the time being. There’ll be another email next Sunday so If you have any information that you would like me to include please feel free to contact me.


07785 223707

A degree of freedom!

Groups of up to six people from different households will be able to meet outside from tomorrow. They can meet in gardens – in addition to places like parks – as long as households keep two metres apart. The advice is that you should try not to see people from too many households in quick succession to help to avoid the risk of transmission from lots of different families.

The great reopening begins

It started with garden centres last week. From tomorrow department stores, outdoor markets and car showrooms will be allowed to reopen. From 15 June all non-essential shops will be allowed to reopen. This includes chemists, hardware/homeware stores, fashion shops, shoe shops, bookshops, electronics, mobile phone shops, charity shops, betting shops, tailors, car dealerships, auction houses, antique stores, retail art galleries, craft fairs, photography studios, gift shops and retail spaces in theatres, museums, libraries, heritage sites and tourism sites. All these premises must be able to meet new social distancing and hygiene measures to protect customers and staff from the virus.

NHS England and the Chief Dental Officer have now confirmed that dental practices can provide face-to-face patient care from 8 June. This could see varying levels of treatments made available, with individual practitioners exercising their professional judgement on the pace of change.

There is still no news about when hospitality venues such as pubs, restaurants, clubs, cafes, cinemas, theatres or places such as hairdressers, beauty salons, caravan parks, hotels, holiday accommodation or libraries will get the all-clear to reopen, though some lobbying is taking place to bring forward dates when they might reopen.

Advice for over 70s

The current government advice for those aged 70 and over continues to be that they should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their household. If they do go out more frequently, they should be careful to maintain distance from others. They and everyone should continue to comply with any general social distancing restrictions. Those aged 70 and over can be absolutely fit and healthy and it’s not the case that everybody over 70 has a chronic health condition or an underlying disease, but unfortunately, it’s also known that as you get older, there is a higher risk of coronavirus having a more serious impact with infection. Complications and deaths are more common in the elderly, even those without pre-existing conditions.

And those advised to shield

Anyone who has been advised to shield by the NHS or their GP, including those 70 and over, should continue to do this until at least the end of June.

Track and Trace

The government announced that it’s Track and Trace scheme got underway last Thursday. Contact tracing is a system used to slow the spread of coronavirus, or other infectious diseases. The long-awaited initiative will see a team of 25,000 contact tracers tracking down people who have been near those testing positive for coronavirus. The infected person will be asked to list all the people with whom they’ve recently been in ‘prolonged’ contact. Those people will then be obliged to self-isolate for 14 days, whether sick or not. You will not be tested and the rest of the household need not isolate. Also, anyone who develops symptoms of coronavirus – a persistent cough, fever or a sudden loss of taste or sense of smell – must isolate for seven days and the rest of their household for 14 days. From now on, everyone with symptoms should ask for a test online or telephone 119 to arrange a test. Under 5s can also now be tested too. If the test is negative, everyone in the household can go back to normal. But if positive, the NHS Test and Trace or local public health will get in touch via text, email or phone to discuss where the person has been and with whom they have been in contact. The requirement to self-isolate isn’t enshrined in law, but complying is described as a civic duty.

If NHS Test and Trace calls you by telephone, the service will be using a single phone number 0300 0135 000. The only website the service will ask you to visit is

Later on, an app will be available which will tell people if they have been near to someone with the disease and may need to self-isolate. The app will be a much more sophisticated system able to identify people an infected person may have been close to in a crowded place, such as on a bus or a train. I guess once the restrictions on our freedoms are lifted, we’ll all have to start keeping a list of the places we’ve been and the names of anyone we meet.

Clapping for heroes

Last Thursday was the 10th and final week of official clapping for our heroes… though I note from Facebook that many people are enthusiastically calling for informal clapping to continue. The weekly event has been a tremendous national demonstration of our support for NHS frontline staff, care home staff and other key workers…unlike any outpouring of public support ever seen before. I guess individuals and neighbours will have to decide for themselves what they do this coming week and beyond.

Louise calls it a day

After weeks of tireless effort to help support a number of village residents…and having provided over a hundred afternoon teas on VE Day, Louise Bumby has decided to take a break and concentrate on other pressing matters (supplying food banks in Thirsk and Northallerton) as well as her day job – being a chimney sweep. She finished on high last Sunday with mince and dumplings, followed by apple crumble, for those who had a full meal, and with a range of cakes and custard tarts for those who received her little Sunday treats. It’s clear that Louise has been one of Topcliffe’s outstanding heroes during this pandemic and I am sure you’ll all join me in saying a big THANK YOU to her.

News from Topcliffe Surgery

  • Surgery Staff changes: dispensary team member, Leanne, has gone off on maternity leave this week. Leanne, whose baby is due in late August, will be back at the surgery next Summer. In the meantime two new members of staff – Fiona and Michelle – will be joining the dispensary and reception teams in June.
  • New Service: Social Prescribing Link Workers are a new service in the Hambleton area. Two Social Prescribers – Anneli and Victoria – will be supporting Topcliffe Surgery, offering a wide range of support to all patients and families from bereavement to wellbeing. They will also be able to direct you to activities and community led services which may help you. If you are struggling with anything at all, they will be able to give help and support and guide you in the right direction. Please call the surgery and ask to be put in touch with either Anneli or Victoria.

Bags 2 School – bring out your textiles for recycling

Just a reminder about the ‘Bags 2 School’ recycling event being staged on Wednesday 10 June. Topcliffe Village Hall and Topcliffe Scout groups are organising the event to raise funds for the two organisations. You are encouraged to have a cupboard and wardrobe sort out and bag items that you are prepared to donate. On this occasion we won’t be delivering bags to every house – please just use black bags. On the 10 June please deliver your bags to the village hall garden between 9am and 12 noon. If you are unable to deliver bags yourself because you are elderly or still in lockdown, the organisers will provide a home collection service – ring Doug Allan on 07785 223707 to request a pick up.

We would welcome any of the following items: – Men’s, Ladies’ and Children’s clothing – paired shoes (tied together or elastic band around) – handbags – hats – bags – scarves and ties – jewellery – lingerie – socks – belts – soft toys – household linen – household curtains – household towels – household bedding (bed sheets, pillow cases and duvet covers). Please note that we are unable to accept duvets and blankets, pillows and cushions, carpets, rugs and mats (including bath, shower and toilet mats), soiled, painted, ripped or wet clothing, school uniforms with and without logo, corporate clothing and workwear or textile off cuts, yarns or threaded material.

Bus Shelter Library Expands

Last week we appealed for the donation of an extra bookcase to cater for the ever-expanding collection of books and games in Asenby’s bus shelter library. Well thanks to Claire Phillips and Geoff Varley there’s now all the

extra capacity required. The new arrangement also frees up the seats in the bus stop. The village library and games exchange has been a remarkable success. Please note that users are required to wear gloves and should sanitise books before leaving them or picking them up. Heather Allon also organises a magazine and book loan scheme in the village. Those who are housebound or in lockdown who would like to be involved should telephone her on 01845 595080.

Car maintenance during lockdown

Charge your battery – your battery worked extra hard during winter but now it’s probably not being used as much. So, keep an eye on your battery and if it’s running down, give it a charge. If your battery keeps going flat, you may want to consider replacing it or getting it checked – especially if you’re using your car for essential work during these challenging times.

  • Turn your engine over – most of us are only using our cars for essential trips such as food shopping, collecting medicines, work and volunteering. These trips are usually sufficient keep your battery charged. Even if it’s a quick drive to the shops for some milk, any trip can help in maintaining good engine performance. If you’re not going out, you can keep battery issues at bay by turning the engine over until your vehicle is up to working temperature, while stationary in a parking space or on your drive. If you do this and notice any engine warning lights come on, many garages are still open to carry out essential work.
  • Check your car and tyres – make sure your lights, rear reflectors and both indicators are clean and working and that no lenses are cracked. Regularly checking your tyres is always important, no matter how often you use your car or how far you drive. The minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm across the central ¾ of the tyre and around its circumference. However, you should replace your tyres well before they get to the legal standard.

So, while we’re all spending more time at home and less time in our cars, let’s not neglect them. Give them a clean, check their essentials and look forward to the day when you can get in and head out for a drive to meet your loved ones or visit your favourite places.

Hambleton Council Business Survey

Anyone running a business in Hambleton is invited to complete a survey about the impact the coronavirus outbreak has had. The council wants to understand how local businesses have managed so that they can assess how to help with economic recovery. Please complete the survey at by Friday 5 June 2020.

North Yorkshire Adult Learning

There’s currently a wide range of online courses e.g sewing machine skills, basic sign language, bookkeeping and lots more, available free of charge from NYAL. For more details telephone 01609 780780 or checkout the website at or email:

Rural Arts takes a crafty approach to lockdown

Rural Arts is inviting residents of Topcliffe and Asenby to get involved with three initiatives they have launched this week.

  1. Tuesday Talks – every Tuesday via its social media sites Rural Arts shares a talk or tutorial about art, culture or something to do with wellbeing (like Yoga!). Now they want to extend this to ‘live’ chats with anyone who is feeling lonely and fancies a good talk. This could be a one-off or weekly, it’s completely up to you. You can arrange this by emailing Sorcha McCabe at or by leaving an answerphone message on the main telephone number – 01845 526 536.
  2. Craft Packs – Rural Arts believes is really important that people can stay creative during this time. They are posting workshops on their Facebook page every Wednesday. Now they are offering to send craft packs, containing a wide range of materials and instructions, and a link to a video for participants to watch and follow. These would be completely free and the contents will depend on what materials are available and can be easily posted, but might include origami, collage, printing, drawing, painting, textiles and calligraphy. To sign up to receive one of these, follow this link and fill out the form: If you don’t use the internet, please leave a message on the answerphone – 01845 526 536 – and it will be sorted for you.
  3. Online Exhibition – Rural Arts was due to have its first Hearts and Crafts exhibition from the 7th – 14th May but it had to be postponed due to the pandemic. There’s still a commitment to having a ‘real life’ exhibition at The Courthouse, Thirsk once things return to normal, but for now there are plans for an online exhibition to try and create a feeling of togetherness, even though everyone’s still apart. So the organisers are asking interested parties to submit one piece of work that’s either: something they’re particularly proud of creating over the last year or a piece of work created that responds to the theme ‘The World In Which We Are Living’. This could be lots of things – the view from your window, a portrait of loved ones, or a representation of something that makes you hopeful or happy during this time. You can submit as much or as little information about the work as they want, and it can be submitted anonymously if they would like. Simply take a picture of your work and email it to by Monday 29th June. It’s hoped the works can be exhibited from Monday 13th July to Sunday 26th July (Subject to change).

Bin Collections

• Hambleton – collections are now back to normal – recycling and green bins Thursday 4 June, refuse Monday 8 June.

• Harrogate – collections are now back to normal – refuse Monday 1 June, garden waste 4 June and recycling Monday 8 June.

Roll of Honour

This week the following people have been added to the villages’ Roll of Honour:

• Richard Byas of Topcliffe as an acknowledgement of his unstinting effort on behalf of parishioners.

• Donna Fleming of Alanbrooke Barracks for coming up with the idea and helping organise the Bags2School recycling event and fundraiser.

Topcliffe Post Office

John Mulley has announced that the Post Office will go back to normal opening hours from tomorrow (Monday 1 June). Social distancing rules will still be in place. Opening times: Mon-Fri: 7am-5pm, Sat 7.30am-11.30am and Sun: closed. Tel: 01845 577517.

Chip n’ Dales

Paul and Karen Bumby will be back in Topcliffe serving their fish & chip suppers next Friday between 5 to 7.30pm. Customers are pleased ask to adhere to social distancing with only one person at a time at the counter. They are still not taking advance or telephone orders.

Thirsk Garden Centre Now Open

The garden centre is now open Monday – Saturday 10am -5pm. The later start time is to allow staff time to stock up the shelves and water the plants before the public arrive. The online contactless Click and Collect service Monday – Friday is continuing for customers who would prefer not to enter the centre. The coffee shop and Edinburgh Woollen Mill Clothing remain closed. Toilets are closed to customers. Strict social distancing guidelines apply, along with a one-way system. The number of people in the centre at any one time will be limited, so it is possible customers may have to queue. At the till you will be asked to park your trolley and then move back two metres so the member of staff can scan the items in the trolley. Trolleys will be sanitised between uses. Staff will be on hand to help answer any questions and explain how the new system works. Card and contactless payments only at this time.

Just Plants

Just Plants (Thirsk) is a new retail business selling high quality bedding and perennial plants produced on-site by one of the UK’s leading growers. They offer garden plants for all seasons and will be open weekends 10am-4pm for the next few months. They’re located at the A19 towards York, just outside Thirsk. Email or phone 07375 352737

Opening times for Local Shops (please note, there are changes in this section since last week)

This is a compilation of supermarket, convenience store, pharmacy, Post Office and other outlets in our area. It includes opening times, and it priority times for elderly, vulnerable and key workers where known.

• Adam Jackson Plants, Sessay – take orders for delivery the following week. The fixed bundles may differ each week (no compost is available). See the Facebook page AdamJacksonPlants for details. To order send your

address, post code, phone number and which bundles you would like. Payment will be taken on delivery in cash or by contactless card. tel: 07743 870205.

• Aldi, Topcliffe Road – Mon-Sat: 8am-10pm and Sun: 10am-4pm.

• Bland of Ripon – home delivery service for supply milk, yoghurt, cream, bread, oil, water, fruit and vegetables. Ring 01765 603049.

• Boots Pharmacy, Market Place – Mon-Sat: 9am-5.30pm, Sun: Closed.

• Boots Pharmacy, Chapel Street – Mon-Fri: 8.30am-6.30pm (closed noon-1pm), Sat and Sun: Closed.

• Buck Inn, Maunby is supplying fresh produce and household essentials. Free delivery on orders over £25 or to any NHS cardholder. Email:

• Carl’s Fruit, salad and vegetable boxes. Orders only by Facebook or email: Requires payment by Bacs two days in advance of delivery.

• Carlton Miniott Post Office – Mon-Fri: 7am-6pm, Sat: 7am-5pm and Sun: 8am-noon.

• Cooperative, Market Place – Mon-Sat: 7am-10pm, Sun: 11am-5pm. Priority for elderly and vulnerable people, NHS workers and carers – Mon-Sat 8-9pm and Sun 10-11am.

• Greengrocers, Thirsk will deliver boxes (£15 or £20) to Topcliffe every Monday. Plants and compost can be added if you order fruit and veg. You can put in an order any time before the delivery day. 01845 527899.

• Heron, Market Place – Mon-Sat: 8am-6pm and Sun: 10am-5pm.

• Johnson’s the Butchers, Thirsk, are supplying the usual meats, plus fish and ready-made meals. Ring 01845 523212 or via Facebook.

• Kristinas Gift Shop, Thirsk will deliver to Topcliffe a range of ethical, Fair Trade and sustainable products, including washing up liquid, hand wash and laundry liquid. The range is eco, vegan and cruelty free. There’s also

a range of gifts – from baby clothes to homeware. Deliveries on an evening or a Saturday or Sunday. Call 01845 574573, email or check out the website at

• Lidl, Station Road – Mon-Sat: 8am-8pm and Sun: 10am-4pm.

• Mooshakes, Mocktails and Munchies – orders for milkshakes and cakes must be in by 12pm for afternoon deliveries or 4.30pm for evening deliveries. Topcliffe deliveries Wed 1.30 to 2.30 and Allenbrooke 5.30 to 7.30.

• Morrisons, Boroughbridge – Mon-Sat: 7am-9pm and Sun: 9.30am-4pm. Priority openings for NHS workers and carers – Mon-Sat: 6am-7am, Sun 9am-9.30am. Morrison’s offer a special ‘essential’ delivery service to

vulnerable and elderly members of the community who are unable to shop in-store. There’s an order form on the company’s website – you download it, tick your choices and then call 0345 611 6111 and press option 5

to place the order. Orders take 24 hours to process and payment is taken by contactless card by the delivery driver. Cash and cheques cannot be accepted.

• Nisa, Long Street – Mon-Sun: 7am-10pm.

• Occasions, Thirsk – an independent card and gift store is operating through their online website offering a wonderful selection of gifts, homewares and cards. Gifts by Joma Jewellery, Ashleigh and Burwood, Inis

fragrance to name but a few. Secure online payment with free delivery. Contact on 07946 404492, via Facebook, by email to, or online at

• Tesco, Station Road – Mon-Sat: 8am-10pm, Sun: 10am-4pm. Priority for elderly and vulnerable people – Mon, Wed and Fri 9-10am. Priority for NHS workers – Tue, Thu and Sat 9-10am. All the time: care workers, NHS

and emergency services will be invited to come to the front of the queue.

• Tesco Pharmacy – Mon: 8am-10.30pm, Tue-Sat: 6.30am-10.30pm and Sun: 10am-4pm.

• Thirsk Garden Centre is now open for click & collect. Orders taken on their webshop – Staff will ring you to confirm day and time to collect from their car park. Operating days initially are

Monday to Friday. Any orders taken over the weekend period will be picked on Monday and we will ring you to arrange collection Monday/Tuesday.

• Thirsk Post Office, in Cooperative Supermarket – Mon-Sat: 7am-10pm and Sun: 11am-5pm.

• Upstairs Downstairs Deli, Thirsk are delivering to all YO7 postcodes. Check them out on Facebook.

If you order from Johnson the Butchers, the Greengrocers and Upstairs Downstairs everything can be delivered together in one go. That’s an excellent service.

Take Away Food (please note, there are some changes in this section since last week)

• Bagels & Bakes, Kirkgate, Thirsk – takeaway open from 10am for bagels, salads, coffees, ice cream milkshakes, smoothies. Friday is Burger Night 5-8pm. Pre order only on 07989 753420.

• Bambudda Oriental Cuisine, Ripon – 01765 278020 – Orders by phone only. Demand is very high so there may be a delay in getting through. On weekends the line opens at 3pm for pre-orders. Delivery charge £5.

• Bianco Ristorante, Thirsk – takeaways, 4-9pm Wednesday to Sunday. Pizza, pasta, burgers and chicken are available. NHS workers have 10% discount on production of ID. Order online by Messenger at or phone 01904 412405.

• Bliss Café, Thirsk – Soup, main meals and puddings for the elderly and infirm. Can be delivered frozen or ready to eat within a five mile radius, 7 days a week. Ring two days in advance to discuss your needs, Phone 07584

633669 or email Pay by card over phone, bank transfer or cash by special arrangement. Please phone 8am-1pm.

• Fantinos Italian, Sowerby – takeaway wood oven pizzas available on Fridays and Saturdays from 4 to 9pm. Italian beers and wines also available. For menu check them out on Facebook and Instagram or call 01845


• Grand India, Long St, Thirsk – takeaway service 6 to 11pm every day. 01845 526917 / 526866

• Mozzarelli’s, Ripon 01765 603333

• The Old Red House, Thirsk has organised Carvery Sundays and also do free deliveries to Topcliffe 5-8pm Wednesday to Saturday. Ring 01845 525769 for bookings and information.

• Pizza Pronto, Catterick Garrison – 01748 833777

• Racha Thai Bistro in Thirsk is offering take aways and deliveries – 01845 524265. There is a 50% discount for NHS and emergency worker staff who can provide ID.

• Regency Pizza, Thirsk Industrial Estate – 01845 522331

• The Bay Horse, Rainton – 01845 578697 – on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Wide range of take away meals on offer.

• The TeaTime Café, Thirsk – Bake Boxes with varied contents changing each week, or individual items. Delivery on Thursdays is free to Topcliffe and Asenby. Orders by 2pm Tuesday. Full details are on the café’s website


• Uno Momento, Thirsk – takeaway pasta, pizza, chicken, burgers and more. 4-10pm. Card payment only. Message Facebook page to order or call 01845 591777.

• Westgate Fisheries will accept orders by telephone 07703 686774 – ring from lunchtime onwards to place an order for evening pick up (no deliveries to Topcliffe and Asenby). Open Monday to Saturday 4 – 9pm

• White Horse Café – Fish & chips – open Monday to Friday 11.30am to 2pm and 4 – 8pm, and Saturday 11.30am to 2pm and 4 – 7.30pm.


• ‘Top Residents’ and ‘Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall’ Facebook sites have lots of useful information and chat about what’s going on during lockdown.

• Our two Parish Councils are not meeting during the crisis. However, our Parish Councillors and Parish Clerks remain available to deal with any urgent matters. Details are on the two parish council websites – and

• Topcliffe Surgery requires seven working days’ notice for repeat prescriptions. Practice nurse Lesley Lowe is assisting Asenby residents who are in isolation and who don’t pay for their medication and are worried about

leaving home to collect their medications from Topcliffe Surgery. Ask when you order your prescription.

• The AA is offering free roadside assistance to any NHS worker if they have a breakdown enroute to or from work. The number to call is 0800 072 5064.

• Freecycle Stall – every Saturday and Sunday, the Burnett family, who live in Pear Tree Cottage on Long Street in Topcliffe, organise a Freecycle Stall so that other villagers can pick up books, Magazines, toys and more.

Feel free to pop by the stall, but don’t forget to observe social distancing when you’re there…and appropriate hygiene when handling the items.

• Asenby’s community Facebook page ‘Asenby Institute Community Space’ is keeping villagers well informed and in touch with each other.

• Peter Palmer (01845 578057) and Judith Lowe (01845 577911) co-ordinate volunteers to assist any resident who needs help with shopping or collection of medicines….or maybe just wants a ‘phone chat.

• Asenby Village Trails have been developed for village children (and adults) taking their daily stroll. Walkers should look out for rainbows and teddy bears in windows.

• Asenby Bus Shelter Library – has become a ‘community hub’ with village library and games exchange. Please note that users are required to wear gloves and should sanitise books before leaving them or picking them up.

• Heather Allon organises a magazine and book loan scheme in the village. Those who are housebound or in lockdown who would like to be involved should telephone her on 01845 595080.

• Sowerby Waste Site – Only for the disposal of waste that is a risk to be kept at home. Opening times are 8.30am to 5pm seven days a week (including Wednesdays).

That’s all until next Sunday. Try to stay at home. Stay alert, keep safe and keep well.