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Sunday Email: Issue 98

Welcome to the 98th issue of the Sunday Email.

Since the first Sunday Email was published, there has only been two weeks in which an email has not been issued – both over the Christmas festivities of 2020 and 2021. Unfortunately I can’t prepare an email next week (6 March), so issue 99 will be out on 13 March and the centenary edition will be circulated on 20 March.

07785 223707

Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
The second public meeting to discuss village plans for the Platinum Jubilee will be held at The Angel at 7.30pm on Sunday 6 March. Everyone will be welcome.

Tree Planting in Topcliffe
Our local district councillor Mark Robson is personally providing a Lime tree which will be planted in the village as a permanent reminder of the Platinum Jubilee. The tree will be planted on the triangle of land in front of Topcliffe Academy at 11.30am on Friday 11 March. That date marks the 70th day of the 70th year of The Queen’s reign. It’s hoped that children from the school will be able to assist with the planting and that those villagers who can, will pop along to witness the planting. Arrangements have been made for a plaque to be erected at the tree, but it’s unlikely it will be ready by the 11th, so it will be put up as soon as it is available.

Topcliffe Bridge – Request for repairs
Apparently I wasn’t stepping on anyone’s toes by communicating with the county council appealing for repairs to Topcliffe Bridge. But the request it turns out certainly wasn’t the first lodged with the highways department. Peter Palmer, Chairman of Asenby Parish Council, says that he has a pile of correspondence with the Area Office in Boroughbridge complaining about the lack of action to in getting the repairs undertaken, but no action has been taken on the grounds that there’s nothing in the budget.

Just to remind everyone, this is how the Head of Highway Operations responded to my request to have the bridge repaired in its 400th anniversary year and before the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

"Please treat this email as acknowledgement of your communication. Whilst our standard timescale for responses to correspondence is 20 working days, I will speak with colleagues and come back to you as soon as possible on this matter."

It’s hoped that this answer suggests that the county council may understand the importance of putting the bridge right, but it is worrying that the appeals of a parish council have been ignored for so long.

Crematorium open day a huge success
Quite a few residents of Topcliffe and Asenby were among crowds of visitors who went along to the open day at the new Hambleton Crematorium near Busby Stoop last Thursday. It was a great opportunity to take a look at the inside of the building and the attractive gardens. The Crematorium’s proper name is Maple Park and that’s to mark the link of Skipton-on-Swale airfield with Canadian airmen who flew from the site during World War 2. Ninety-eight maples have been planted to commemorate the bombers from the airfield lost in operations.

Below: Hambleton Council Leader and Topcliffe ward councillor, Mark Robson, explains how the gardens of remembrance are shaping up.

Swale reached danger levels after storms
There were a few sleepless nights for businesses and residents in Topcliffe last weekend as storm after storm brought water levels in the Swale to danger levels. Many locals were on river watch, particularly during the night, making sure their properties were secure and the water didn’t overcome defences. It looks like the worst was avoided, but it was certainly a testing time and one which those affected would rather not have faced.

The high level of the River Swale at Topcliffe Mill did provide one bright spot as otters played in the fast-flowing river and on its banks opposite the Mill. At times a family of up to four otters were seen.

Does your TV need re-tuning?
If you receive television signal from the Bilsdale transmitter you should probably retune your TV again. Last Wednesday a new and better interim mast was switched on at Bilsdale on the North York Moors. It will provide Freeview television until a permanent mast is constructed. Some channels have changed or have been added, so re-tuning is needed to ensure that you are not missing out. (You can ignore this if you receive your signal from Emily Moor, if you only use a Sky or FreeSat dish, or only stream TV from the Internet).
Analogue switch off in 2025
Most people won’t be aware that BT intends to switch off analogue telephones in 2025 and there’ll be a roll out of digital service to take its place. But there are concerns in rural communities that in times of emergency, digital communications will not work for everyone, so until guarantees can be given, campaigners are demanding that migration to full digital in rural areas should be delayed.

During the recent storms, some rural communities lost power for up to ten days and broadband/phone signal for fourteen days. Mobile masts were down, and broadband signal strength was next to non-existent. People had no means of contacting emergency services, unless they had an analogue phone. With no access to a power supply, mobile phones could not have been recharged even if there was a signal.

Now a petition has been launched to get support for such a delay. To sign the petition follow this link: http://

Cross Talk newsletter published
The March edition of the local church magazine, Cross Talk, has been published. You can read it on several church websites –http:// and

You can also have the newsletter emailed direct to your inbox. Just send a request to:kitnorris

Next soup and sweet lunch
The next soup and sweet lunch at the Village Hall will be held on Wednesday, 2 March at 12 noon. The cash raised will be donated to The Salvation Army.
The Tattler – Spring 2022
The next edition of The Tattler will be published on 8 March and delivered door to door over the following couple of days.
Sunday Brunch
It’s two years since a Sunday Brunch was served at the Village Hall, but now that the worst of the pandemic is over, plans are being made to hold another. It will be held on Sunday 24 April between 10am and 12 noon and there’ll be bacon, sausage and fried egg sandwiches on offer, with plenty of tea or coffee. Any funds raised on the day will be donated to Call for Back Up, a charity that offers mental health support to blue light emergency services personnel, including fire fighters, police officers, ambulance drivers and paramedics.
Fish & Chip Van
Please note that the fish and chip van will not be in Topcliffe on Friday 11 March as Karen Bumby will that week be having hospital treatment. We hope that you have a speedy recovery, Karen.
The Elm Gallery
The gallery is currently closed and will re-open on Saturday 5 March.
Wedding Open Day
The Crab & Lobster will be holding a wedding open day between 12 noon and 2pm on Sunday 20 March. This is an opportunity for those looking for a fantastic venue to look at the rooms and facilities and talk to the Wedding Manager about their special day.
Bags2school recycling collection day
The next Bags2school textile recycling event at the Village Hall will be on Thursday 28 April. Please save all recyclable articles for the big collection day.
Services at St Columba’s

  • TODAY Sunday – 27 February at 10.45am – Holy Communion.
  • Sunday – 6 March at 6.30pm – Choral Evensong
  • Sunday – 13 March at 10.45am – Holy Communion (traditional language)
  • Sunday – 20 March at 10.45am – Sung Matins
  • Sunday – 27 March, Mothering Sunday, at 10.45am – Holy Communion (modern language).
Parish Council meetings

  • Topcliffe Parish Council – the February meeting has been cancelled, so the next meeting will be at 7pm on Thursday 3 March –
  • Asenby Parish Council will meet at 7.30pm on Wednesday 16 March –

Village Hall Committee meeting

  • The next meeting will be at 7.30pm on Tuesday 5 April.
  • The AGM and an Ordinary Meeting of the Committee will be held consecutively starting at 7.30pm on Tuesday 7 June.

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

Rural Arts classes
The first Rural Arts class in the latest series was held at Topcliffe & Asenby Village Hall last week, though only three villagers turned up, which is a great shame. Hopefully a few more will attend future classes on 22 March, 19 April, 17 May, 21 June and 19 July. You can simply turn up on the day (it’s free to attend) or if you want more information call Judith Lowe on 577911.
Book-cafe books a place in final
White Rose book-cafe in Thirsk been selected as the North of England regional finalist in the Independent Bookshop of the Year awards 2022. The Book-café is open 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Saturday.
Thirsk Community Library
There’s a range of new services on offer at Thirsk Community Library, including:
1. The library has received funding to help the isolated and/or elderly access its services from villages around Thirsk. This can include using the Thirsk Community Minibus to bring people to visit the library, become a member, borrow books, large print and audiobooks, DVDs and jigsaws, or just visit for a cup of tea and have a chat. The Library is looking to organise its first free trip so if you or someone you know would be interested in this service, please get in touch.
2. Construction Play – a new drop-in session for pre-school children – meets every Friday during term time, 10.30 to 11.30am. All little builders welcome to come and play with Duplo, Mega Bloks and wooden train sets. Just turn up, no booking required and the session is free to attend.
3. Storytime Mondays – all pre-school children welcome and it’s free. Come and enjoy stories, rhymes and songs and activities. Every Monday during term time, 1.30 to 2.15pm. Just turn up – no booking required.
4. Warhammer Wargames Club – suitable for both beginners and more experienced players/model makers aged 8 to 14. Mondays during term time, 3.45 to 4.45pm. Cost £2 per child with booking essential.
5. Lego Clubs – Lego supplied for budding builders and creators. Classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays (3.45 to 4.45pm) for children aged 5 and over and for 7 to 11 year olds. £1 per child. Booking essential.
6. Get Crafty – Saturday mornings craft table from 10.30 to 12 noon. Suitable for children of all ages.
Just turn up and free to attend.

For further information or to express an interest please contact Helen Ashworth, Activities Coordinator at the Library: phone 01609 534589 or email and mark it for Helen’s attention.

Events at The Angel

  • Tuesday 1 March – Hilarity Bites Comedy Night – doors open at 7.30pm and show starts at 8pm. Tickets £10 in advance or £12 on the night.
  • Sunday 27 March – Mother’s Day – one of the busiest days at The Angel, so book early. Free glass of Frizzante for all mums.
  • Sunday 3 April – 12 noon to 3pm – Wedding Fayre – with a glass of Frizzante and canapes for all who call in, plus expert advice from experienced coordinators and suppliers.
  • Friday nights – 5 to 9pm – Land & Sea – steak or fish for two with a bottle of wine for £35.95
  • Sunday roast – 12noon to 8pm – traditional Sunday Lunch.

Check the website at or call 01845 578000.

Catton Kitchen winter opening hours

  • February – Closed.
  • Fancy home-reared lamb at Easter? Orders now being taken.
  • March – Thursday 3 and Friday 4, 9am to 2pm; Saturday 5, 10am to 2pm; Sunday 6,10am to 2pm.
  • Thursday 17 March – Pizza Night.
North York Moors Railway – Shed tours
Shed tours at the heritage North York Moors Railway will take place every Friday afternoon at 1.30pm from 8 April through to October. You can see what goes on behind the scenes in the locomotive sheds at Grosmont and find out what it takes to maintain the NYMR’s fleet of steam locomotives and see close up a range of engines being restored. The tours are for a minimum of two hours and cost £15 for adults and £7.50 for children 10-15 years of age.
  • To Thursday 3 March – Belfast – a young boy and his working-class Belfast family experience the tumultuous late 1960s.
  • Friday 4 to Thursday 10 March – Nightmare Alley – an ambitious conman with a talent for manipulating people with a few well-chosen words hooks up with a female psychiatrist who is even more dangerous than he is.
  • Friday 11 to Thursday 17 March – Death on the Nile – while on vacation on the Nile, Hercule Poirot must investigate the murder of a young heiress.

Please keep checking the website for the latest details –

Rural Arts events at The Courthouse, Thirsk

  • Wednesdays from 2 March, 6.30pm – 8pm – Life Drawing – £8 per session. Take part in brand-new fortnightly sessions to hone your observational drawing skills as part of a friendly, peer-led group.
  • Thursday 3 March at 7.30pm – Katie Spencer – Full: £10, Concessions: £8. Katie Spencer is a progressive folk singer-songwriter and guitarist from Yorkshire who writes songs imbued with the northern landscapes of her home. “Intensely captivating” – Folk Radio.
  • Thursday 10 March at 7pm – National Theatre – Live performance – Book of Dust – Full: £10, Concessions: £8. Philip Pullman’s prequel to the epic His Dark Materials trilogy. Two young people and their demons find themselves at the centre of a terrifying manhunt. In their care is a tiny child called Lyra, and in that child lies the fate of the future.

For more information and to book places, go to

Events on at The Forum

  • Friday 4 March at 7.30pm – Bulsara & His Queens – this internationally recognised Queen tribute band returns for an exciting new show.
  • Monday 7 March at 7.30pm – An Evening with John Pilkington – the award-winning author and photographer is one of Britain’s most experienced adventurers and public speakers.
  • Tuesday 8 March at 8pm – Andy Zaltzman: Satarist for Hire – the chair of The News Quiz (Radio 4), host of the global hit satirical podcast The Bugle, and Test Match Special statistician, returns with his unparalleled interactive stand-up show.
  • Thursday 10 March at 7.15pm – Rigoletto live-streamed from The Royal Opera House – this special anniversary screening of Verdi’s Rigoletto celebrates 171 years since its premiere in 1851.
  • Wednesday 23 March at 8pm – Lost Voice Guy: Cerebral LOLsy.
  • Saturday 26 March at 7.30pm – Bon Jovi Forever – 2022 – Back by popular demand! The only Bon Jovi tribute show you need to see!
  • Sunday 27 March at 7.30pm – Jasmine Harrison – My World Record Row – The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge rower tells her dramatic story of her Atlantic crossing.
  • Wednesday 30 March at 7.30pm – Jenny Eclair at Sixty – having hit 60 (but still a year younger than Madonna) the comedienne tells it as it is!

Enquiries 01609 776230. Tickets online at

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

Bin Collections

Hambleton (Topcliffe):

  • Refuse – Mondays 28 February and 14 March.
  • Recycling – Thursday 10 March
  • Garden waste – Thursday 10 March.
  • Subscriptions for 2022/23 are now open. The cost is £40. New and existing customers can now sign up at or call 01609 779977.

Harrogate (Asenby)

  • Recycling – Mondays 28 February and 14 March.
  • Refuse – Mondays 7 and 21 March
  • Green Waste – Subscriptions for 2022/23 are now open and the cost is £41. Sign up at
Covid Restrictions
All Covid restrictions, including the legal requirement to self-isolate after testing positive, came to an end last Thursday, though advice to stay at home remains in place until the 1 April. But after that the public will be encouraged to exercise personal responsibility, just as people who have flu are encouraged to be considerate to others. On the same date, free symptomatic and asymptomatic testing will come to an end too, with the Prime Minister citing the ‘vast cost’ of the testing programme as a reason for this.
Fourth jab
Around eight million over-75s and immunosuppressed people will soon be offered a fourth Covid vaccine, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has advised. More people are likely to be offered a fourth jab later this year.
The week’s UK Covid statistics

• 52.6 million first doses given – that’s 91.5% of the population aged 12+.
• 49 million second doses given – that’s over 85.1%.
• 38.1 million booster or third jabs given – that’s 66.3% of those eligible.
• There have been nearly 18.9 million confirmed cases of Covid.
• 31,933 new Covid infections yesterday and 260,924 people tested positive in the last week. That’s a 21% decrease on the previous week.
• 10,767 people were in hospital with Covid in the week to 21 February.
• 120 deaths reported yesterday and 845 in the last seven days. A decrease of 18% compared with the previous week.
• 161,224 UK deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test.
• 182,609 UK deaths had Covid mentioned on the death certificate.
• Worldwide, the global death toll is 5,959,718.

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