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Sunday Email: Issue 91

Welcome to the 91st issue of the Sunday Email.

07785 223707

Survey leads to changes for Topcliffe shops
Late last year, a survey was undertaken by Debbie Roberts and Hannah Alderson to find out what changes customers using the Post Office and Milk Churn Farm Shop would like to see now that the two shops are under the same ownership. The feedback was extremely positive and helpful and now a range of changes are about to be put in place.

Debbie said: "The survey was developed with some professional guidance from Charlotte Burdett who recently moved to the village and lives at The Mount in Church Street. Her expertise has been invaluable and I would like to thank her for all the help she has given. I would also like to thank all of the customers who took the time to fill out our survey and let us know what they think of existing services and what they would like to see in the future.

"Whilst we do not want to compromise on the quality of the select range of locally produced produce we supply from the farm shop, which we believe are competitively priced in comparison with other farm shops in the vicinity, we recognise that customers would like to be able to buy a range of essentials at cheaper prices. So, one major change will happen with immediate effect. This coming week all the grocery and household products currently on sale at the Post Office will be moved over to the Milk Churn Farm Shop. So the higher priced specialist products will now be available alongside cheaper products – giving the best of both worlds!

"We have significant plans for the broadening of services on offer from the Post Office, including the supply of foreign currency (if Post Offices Services will give us approval), and we are investigating whether a laundry service can be introduced. We also have well-developed plans to supply hot and cold takeaway food, plus a wider range of sweets, crisps, chocolate and drinks…giving customers much greater choice.

"I hope that customers will agree that we have listened to their comments and taken action to try and meet the needs of the community. The ideas outlined above are just the start: we will continue to introduce new services and respond to customer suggestions."

What a mess! Which dog owners are responsible?
Dog mess is perhaps the most unacceptable and offensive type of litter on our streets. And dog fouling is an issue that many members of the public are very concerned about. So it is with regret that once again dog fouling has become a talking point in both Topcliffe and Asenby this past week or two. This scourge of our times is rife again and is raising anger levels among many villagers.

The Top Residents Facebook site has seen many residents angrily complaining that there’s dog poo everywhere – Front Street, Long Street, Winn Lane, various alleyways, country paths between Queen Mary’s and Asenby – and that some dog owners appear not to understand their responsibilities to pick up after their pet.

While most dog owners are caring, responsible individuals, there are still some people who do not clean up after their pets. The law states that being unaware a dog has fouled or not having a suitable bag is not a reasonable excuse. As we don’t have a dog warden or police patrols, the threat of a Fixed Penalty Notice of up to £100 is probably no deterrent in Topcliffe and Asenby. But maybe, as a community, we should be investigating ways of deterring offenders and promoting greater responsibility among dog owners?

Brrrr.. did you feel the cold?
Because of the existence of a weather station attached to Topcliffe airfield, Topcliffe is often mentioned in national weather reports. On Thursday morning the BBC’s Today programme mentioned that overnight (4am) Topcliffe had recorded a temperature of -8 degrees, making it the UK’s coldest place that night.
Next soup and sweet lunch
The next soup and sweet lunch at the Village Hall will be on Wednesday 19 January at 12 noon. The cash raised will be donated to Community Works, a charity based in Thirsk but which does lots of excellent work in local villages too.

The last lunch on 5 January raised £103 which was presented to the Boccia Club to help it pay its weekly rent for classes at the Village Hall.

Fish & chip van
Don’t forget that the fish and chip van will not be visiting Topcliffe until Friday 28 January.
Save the Salsa
A few more participants are needed to secure the future of the Salsa and Bachata classes that Joanne Brierley launched in the Village Hall a month or two ago. Some classes were reasonably well attended but the numbers need to increase to make it worthwhile for the tutor to travel to Topcliffe from his home in Leeds. The classes are scheduled to begin again on 22 or 29 January but before then an idea of the number of people interested is needed. If you would like to learn these wonderful dances, get in touch with Joanne on 07732 941758.
How much are you prepared to pay?
Residents across North Yorkshire are being urged to tell Crime Commissioner Zoë Metcalfe how much they are willing to pay for policing and fire and rescue services. One of Crime Commissioner Zoë Metcalfe’s roles, required by law, is to set the police and fire precepts – the amounts dedicated to policing and fire and rescue services in North Yorkshire from every household. This is your chance to have a say before the amounts are decided in February. The online survey runs until Thursday 13 January at

2022 Big Garden Birdwatch

This year’s Big Garden Birdwatch, which is taking place between Friday 28 and Sunday 30 January, is open to everyone whether they are complete beginners or a birding experts. Simply count the birds you see in your garden, from your balcony or in your local park for one hour on one of the mentioned dates. Last year over a million people took part, making it one of the biggest bird watching events in the world. You can register to join in the bird count here:

Rural Arts to start monthly classes at our Village Hall
Rural Arts has announced a new programme of monthly classes for over-70s that it intends to put on at Topcliffe and Asenby Village Hall. The first class, on Tuesday 22 February between 10am and 12 noon, will be painting and brusho. The subject matter on 22 March will be ceramics and subjects for 19 April, 17 May, 21 June and 19 July will be announced at a later date.
Thirsk Community Library
Thirsk Community Library has received funding to help isolated and/or elderly people from villages around Thirsk access its services. This can include using the Thirsk community minibus to collect people from their homes and to transport them to the library, so that they can become a member, borrow books, (including large print and audiobooks), DVDs and jigsaws or just visit for a cuppa and chat. The Library is looking to organise the first trip fairly soon so if you or someone you know would be interested in this service please contact Helen Ashworth, Activities Coordinator, at the Library on 07826 335255 or email: helen
Sporting Memories Foundation
Thirsk Community Library is starting a Sporting Memories Foundation club and is looking for volunteers who would be willing to help run the weekly club. All training and materials will be provided by the Sporting Memories Foundation so all you need is a love of sport.

The club will particularly aim to help older adults who are isolated, living with depression or dementia or other long-term conditions, but who have a common love of sport. The Foundation uses sporting memories and physical activity to help its members, who might be sports fans, former players or members from a sporting family. At the moment the nearest clubs are Northallerton and York, so it will be great to have a club serving Thirsk and surrounding villages.

If sport is one of your loves and you think you could help support the club, please get in touch with Helen Ashworth on 07826 335255 or email:helen

Services at St Columba’s

  • TODAY! 9 January at 10.45am – Holy Communion
  • 16 January at 10.45am – Choral Matins
  • 23 January at 10.45am – Holy Communion
  • 30 January – No Service
Catton Kitchen winter opening hours

  • January – Friday and Sundays 10am to12 noon.
  • February – Closed – as the team are very busy getting everything seeded and prepped for spring!
  • March – Thursday 3 and Friday 4, 9am to 2pm; Saturday 5, 10am to 2pm; Sunday 6,10am to 2pm.

Opening times will be reviewed again in the spring.

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.

  • Until Thursday 13 January (with matinee Wednesday 12 January) – West Side Story – an adaptation of the 1957 musical, which explores forbidden love and the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds.
  • Friday 14 to Thursday 20 January – Spider-Man: No Way Home – with Spider-Man’s identity now revealed, Peter asks Doctor Strange for help. When a spell goes wrong, dangerous foes from other worlds start to appear, forcing Peter to discover what it truly means to be Spider-Man.
  • Friday 21 to Thursday 27 January – The Matrix Resurrections – return to the world of two realities; one, everyday life and the other, what lies behind it!

Important Notes:
1. 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.

2. Normal adult/concession ticket pricing will be in operation on Monday nights. The upstairs seating will be closed; Downstairs seating only.

Please keep checking the website for the latest details –

Events on at The Forum

  • 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.
  • Wednesday 19 January at 7pm- Tosca – (live-streamed from The Royal Opera House) – into the romantic world of an idealistic painter Cavaradossi and his sensuous lover Tosca comes the malevolence of Baron Scarpia, Chief of Police, with fatal results.
  • Thursday 27 January at 7pm – Leopoldstadt – this new award winning play by Tom Stoppard is a passionate drama of love, family and endurance. (Live-streamed from the National Theatre).
  • Wednesday 9 to Saturday 12 February at 7.30pm (matinee Saturday at 2pm) – Legally Blonde – Crash Bang Wallop are back performing to a live audience in 2022. Since you last saw them, they have been awarded ‘Best Youth Show in the North East’, by NODA.

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 exercising.

1. Weekly Activities
Art classes – 10am to 12 noon.
My Time Yoga – 1.30 to 2.45pm.
Boot Camp – 7 to 8pm.
Rural Arts – monthly ‘Heart and Craft’ classes starting 22 February.
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

  • 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.

The Big Race Night and Challenge Quiz & Curry Night will hopefully be rescheduled in the spring.

Local traders
Most of these traders also have a Facebook page where you can check out latest information.

Bin Collections

Hambleton (Topcliffe):

  • Recycling – Thursday 13 and 27January.
  • Refuse – Mondays 17 and 31 January.
  • Green waste – There’ll be a special one off green bin collection on 13 January to take Christmas trees from residents who subscribe to the green waste collection service. Trees must be cut and fully contained within the bin: trees left whole by the kerbside will not be collected. Normal garden waste is accepted during this collection.

Harrogate (Asenby)

  • Refuse – Tuesday 11 January (Changed for operational reasons) and Monday 24 January.
  • Recycling – Mondays 17 and 31 January.
  • Green Waste – Subscriptions for 2022 open this month. Watch out for an announcement soon!
Hambleton Green Waste 2022/23
Subscriptions for Hambleton District Council’s garden waste collections for 2022/23 are now open. The cost has been held at £40 for the third year running. New and existing customers can now sign up at or call 01609 779977.

Garden waste collections will resume mid-February for those who have subscribed to the current year’s service which runs until March 2022.

Vaccination Centre – change of operator
Local GP surgeries are no longer running the vaccination centre in Northallerton. Homecare Pharmacy has taken over the site and offers Covid vaccines on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays & Sundays from 8am to 6pm. This will include some specific clinics for children aged 12-15.

Homecare is happy for patients to attend without an appointment whenever the centre is open. An appointment can also be booked via the national booking system or by ringing 119.

Please note that Topcliffe Surgery does not have access to the national booking system so cannot book an appointment for you.

Flu jabs are not on offer at the Northallerton vaccine centre, so if you still need a flu vaccine please contact the Surgery direct.

Omicron hits one in 15 people
Figures from the Office for National Statistics estimates that more than one in 15 people would have tested positive for Covid in the last week of December. That equates to 3.7 million people infected, with rises in all regions of England except London. In the capital, one in 10 is estimated to be infected but there are signs infections are slowing. Infections are rising fastest in northern England – at least doubling in the North East, North West and Yorkshire and The Humber.
Booster is doing its job!
Figures from the UK Health Security Agency show that the vaccine booster is 90% effective against admission to hospital from the Omicron variant for the over-65s after three months. But protection for those with just two doses dropped to about 70% after three months and to 50% after six months.

Taking this data into account, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has advised the government that for the time being a second booster (or fourth jab) is not necessary, though the situation will be kept under review. It added that priority should continue to be given to rolling out the first booster dose, and that unvaccinated people should come forward for their first two doses as soon as possible.

The week’s Covid statistics

  • 51.9 million first doses given. 47.6 million second doses. 90.3% of the population aged 12+ has now had the first jab and over 82.8% the second.
  • 35.2 million have now had a booster or third jab. That’s 61.3% of those eligible.
  • There have been more than 14.3 million confirmed cases of Covid in the UK.
  • There were 146,390 new Covid infections yesterday and 1.2 million people tested positive in the last week. That’s a 10% increase on the previous week.
  • 15,812 people were admitted to hospital with Covid in the week to 3 January.
  • There were 313 deaths reported yesterday and 1,271 in the last seven days. An increase of 38% compared with the previous week.
  • The total number of UK deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test now stands at 150,057..
  • 173,248 deaths registered in the UK had Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate.
  • Worldwide, the global death toll is 5,499,416.
That’s all for this week. Keep safe and remain well.