Email Archive

In a televised address on 23 March 2020, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced new strict rules applicable to the entire United Kingdom with the aim to slow the spread of the Covid-19. The hope was to reduce transmission of the disease between different households.

The public were instructed to stay at home, except for certain very limited purposes such as shopping for food and medicine, one form of outdoor exercise each day, essential travel to work and a few other very specific reasons. All non-essential shops, libraries, places of worship, playgrounds and outdoor gyms were closed, and police were given powers to enforce the measures, including the use of fines.

The first ever lockdown restrictions in the UK came into force on 26 March. The number of deaths at that time had reached around 450, Nightingale hospitals were being opened and the NHS was beginning to feel the impact of coronavirus on their services.

Doug Allan issued the first email to around 150 village contacts on 4 April 2020. It was an attempt to help circulate information about Covid, the restrictions and how important services – health and everyday needs – could be accessed.  The introductory message stated:

“I hope that you are keeping well and keeping safe during these unprecedented times. I have brought together a few bits and pieces that might be of interest to you whilst we are all in isolation and lockdown.

There are other ways of keeping in touch but I think email communication might prove to be a useful additional method of spreading information, advice and news. There are about 150 villagers on this system so it has a significant reach. Ask your friends and neighbours in our two villages if they are recipients and if they aren’t, but would like to be, get them to drop me an email asking to be added to the circulation.
Unless there’s disagreement, I would suggest a weekly message might be beneficial.”

So, the Sunday Email was born and, with the exception of one weekend at Christmas 2020, has been issued every Sunday since then. The number on the circulation has continued to increase and in September 2021 had reached around 260 direct recipients, with lots of copies distributed further afield by residents of Topcliffe and Asenby.

In May 2021, Mark Robson, the Leader of Hambleton District Council, contacted Doug Allan to say that he had been nominated by several residents for a Hambleton Heroes Award in recognition of his communications initiative within the local community during 2020. Doug was presented with a specially designed heroes badge and the story of the Sunday Email was reported on the council’s website.

It was never anticipated that the Sunday Email would still be in existence eighteen months later. Edition 75 was issued on 12 September! Comments received from readers suggest that the information is valued and the weekly read much anticipated and eagerly consumed. How long it will continue is an uncertain…but we’ll see.
The Sunday Email works in tandem with the quarterly 12-page full colour newsletter, The Tattler, which is also edited and produced by Doug Allan.

Read the latest issues here: