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Thirsk's information centre

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Thirsk's information centre in the Market Place is closed but volunteers are on duty from home 10am to 4pm every day except Sunday. We want to help you with anything, whether you are a visitor or local resident. Phone 01845 522755 or email info@visitthirsk.uk

If you would like regular free copies of this newspaper or want to print it see www.visitthirsk.uk/whatson

We distribute information. It could be news of a bargain deal or a favourite walk, or maybe a service or product you are offering as a business – be sure to let us know.

If you have something to tell the community send it to

The all-important curve

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These are the total confirmed cases in England by specimen date. There is some delay in reporting so the past week's numbers are not shown here.

The big question is: Will the curve now uptick to indicate a second wave of Covid-19 cases and, delayed by a few weeks, an increase again in deaths?

It all depends how well we behave ourselves!

Do you run a business?

Hambleton District Council would like to know how coronavirus has affected you. They want to understand how local businesses are being impacted by the coronavirus so they can help with economic recovery.

Please complete the survey at the link below by Friday 5 June 2020.

Please help

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For the over 70s

Does easing restrictions apply to healthy 70 year olds and over?

The following is the current exact Government advice, see tinyurl.com/y7kx7wdh


The 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.

We know that 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, we also know 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.

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.

Glimpses of Eden

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by local author Jonathan Tulloch

I stood in the middle of a crossroads on the main route between York and Teesside, and listened. Skylarks drifted high overhead; lambs called. After a few minutes, some traffic could be heard coming – a young family out on their bikes. If there’s been any silver lining in these stormy Covid-19 days, perhaps it’s been the chance for people to rediscover the lost freedom of bicycles. I greeted the family as they passed, their laughter filling the normally thundering crossroads. I waited; still no vehicles hurtled by.

From the oak tree standing over the road signs, a chaffinch began to softly call its ‘rain song’. This single-note call was once believed to foretell rain, but it’s most often used by the male during the breeding season to tenderly tell the nesting female he is close at hand. Some green lacewings drifted over the empty carriageway, and the chaffinch flew in pursuit. Catching a beakful of the insects in mid air, the bird then landed right in the middle of the tarmac to wolf down the bonanza. Suddenly, the evening clouds parted, and a fan of sun ladders leant against the sky. The chaffinch flew jauntily back into the oak. Moments later, the pleasant notes of his full song tinkled over the hushed highway.

The people doing the science

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Labs across the country have converted to the genetic sequencing of coronavirus samples to track its mutation and spread.

"We get samples from Public Health England about 10am, then finish about 7pm";
"You look at the diversity in the genome and try to wind the clock back";
"Virus clusters in Wales, for example, had contributions from all over the world - there’s not a single Welsh strain".

Read about it from one of the scientists lending their time and expertise. Go to

Changes 1st June

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From Mon 1 Jun Hambleton car parks will not be free of charge any more, you'll need to pay the usual charges. Note that parking for one hour in Thirsk Market Place is free. The Government has announced its intention to allow outdoor markets to reopen from June 1, subject to all premises being made COVID-secure, but we cannot confirm yet when Thirsk's market will be open for stalls other than food.

Ritz Cinema Thirsk in 1999

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See people you know in this 21-year old video of the Ritz Cinema from Sky Movies. Starring are Mo Penson (traffic warden), Freda Roberts, John Potter, David Humphries, Graham Denison, Michelle I'Anson and others. Watch at

Rubbish back to normal hours

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Most Household Waste Recycling Centres in North Yorkshire are open and have now reverted to their normal hours of 8:30am to 5pm everyday except Wednesdays. West Harrogate is open seven days a week. Harrogate Stonefall is still closed.

There are local recycling centres in Sowerby, Northallerton, Leeming Bar, Ripon and Tholthorpe.

Birth of a Naturalist

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Here is Jonathan Tulloch's podcast ‘Lady's smock and damselflies’:

Thirsk Youth Dance Company

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Coming up on Sat 6 Jun and Wed 10 Jun are live Zoom workshops for young people aged 9-16yrs in Thirsk. (No previous dance experience needed).

Once it's safe to do so this youth dance company will resume meeting one Saturday afternoon a month for high energy inspiring contemporary dance workshops. These include a fun warm up, technique class, creative choreographic work, partner lifts & group work. For information email Katy Hewison at

City Tailors, Thirsk

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City Tailors in Finkle Street, Thirsk, are busy making masks for everyone's safety. The new fabric is reusable and washable, 100 % cotton for extra protection, inside a lining which covers any size you want.

Sizes available: Adults large( for big men) £5 each or 4 masks for £15.. Adults medium (ladies or skinny men) £5 each or 4 masks for £15. Teenage (13 to 18) £2.50 each and kids (4 to 12) £2.50 each. Phone
01845 525636

Order your books

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From Mon 1 Jun White Rose Books in Thirsk will be taking orders for collection. The doors will be closed. Email sales@whiterosebooks.co.uk or telephone (Mon, Thu, Fri or Sat 10am-4pm)
01845 524353


The County Council is advising schools to prepare to be open from Mon 1 Jun. Some schools may be ready to follow Government advice to allow them to open then, but many will have staggered dates and approaches depending on their individual circumstances. Around half of the schools are expected to re-open to some year groups.

The council is working with schools, head teachers and the unions to support each school and the decision to open by the head teacher and governing body.

Parents will be encouraged to send their children to school. However, attendance has not been mandated by the Government. Parents will not be penalised for not sending their children to school during this time. In the meantime more than 200 schools in North Yorkshire remain open to vulnerable children those of key workers

Thirsk and Sowerby Festival on the Flatts

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Only for this year The Festival on the Flatts is cancelled. Next year will see the return of many events & celebrations and the organisers look forward to bringing back the festival of all Festivals in August 2021.

Tucker Talks

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By courtesy of the Thirsk Weekly News

All lined up
The District Council has taken advantage of the absence of traffic in the town centre to reline the parking spaces. The team carried out the job with great speed and the new spaces were in use by the end of the day. Sadly parking charges will come back into force on June 1st. I shall miss being able to park up for free, but the Council needs the money.

Thirsk Yarnbombers, who would doubtless have had a whole display of their craft on display but for the coronavirus lockdown have responded to the crisis with a mini Ken Dodd and the message to keep smiling. Thank you, ladies.

Meanwhile our postal workers have also been seen on occasion dressed in somewhat irregular kit. I encountered Janet as she made her rounds, all in pink. How charming to have post delivered by a ballet dancer cum bathing belle!


When I had the idea of looking forward to changes triggered by our experiences during the present crisis, I did not foresee the need to call for a clean-out the Stygian stable of government. The wealth of figures about infection and the R rate have given way to calculations of the distance between Islington and County Durham. The actions of Mr Dominic Cummings, the government’s chief adviser, have become the topic of close debate. Mr Cummings is credited, not least by himself, with turning the foregone ‘remain’ result of the European Union referendum into a narrow but sufficient vote to leave. He is the magician. But instead of acting behind the scenes he became the news. I rarely delve into Twitter, with its plethora of strong opinions, but over the bank holiday weekend the level of satire and mockery and sheer disbelief of the things that the public were being told was remarkable. One wit turned the Spec Savers slogan into ‘should have gone to Barnard Castle’, a scathing reference to Mr Cummings’ account of driving there as a test of his eyesight after being ill. My lawyer’s reaction is that it is not good driving practice to test yourself in that way; a driver should feel fit and able at all times, and not take the chance of an accident. Another tweet showed a Barnard Castle sign with the words in decreasing sizes of type, like an optician’s test chart.

I have been looking back through my press cuttings about the crisis, and quite a pile it is. I see that as March came to an end there was a high level of anxiety that a ‘tsunami’ of virus cases was about to engulf the capital and its hospitals. During the great plague of 1665 many Londoners panicked, and fled to the country for their own protection, as recorded by that great servant of the state, Samuel Pepys. Pepys sent his wife out of London – to Woolwich, and himself moved base to Greenwich while the “sickenesse” persisted.

Although we can laugh in disbelief at some of what we have been told, it remains very important to have confidence in our leaders. Instead at present there is a high degree of public anger and disappointment. If this government plans to remain in office for the full 5 years allowed by the present law, they need to clean up their act.


The impact on our health systems of the coronavirus emergency has been immense, and of all sectors of life is likely to have a permanent effect on how services are delivered. I asked The Lambert Medical Centre for a view – see below.


Our railway system has been turned upside-down. Trains that were once cattle wagons now rattle along almost empty. I invited Chris Purser, who is an ambassador for Grand Central Trains to reflect on what the future holds – see below.

Health – Lambert Medical Centre

The past few weeks have been a challenge for everyone and at the Lambert Medical Centre we have had to change the way we deliver services to our patients almost overnight.  We’ve made some exciting changes and have really embraced the use of technology which is helping us keep everyone as safe as possible.

All appointment requests are discussed over the phone in the first instance and in a lot of cases can be resolved this way. We can accept photos sent via your mobile phone and the Doctors can also consult with you via a video call where appropriate. To minimise risk, we are also providing some procedures and assessments in the car park. Vaccinations and some blood tests are essential and we would strongly encourage everyone to attend these appointments if asked to do so.   

We have already noticed a significant increase in the number of people self-managing minor illnesses which has made a substantial difference to how well we have been able to deal with Covid-19 thus far. In order to facilitate social distancing, it is likely we will need to continue minimising the number of people coming into the surgery for many more months to come. We are actively looking at changes we can make to enable us to provide as many services as possible in a way that minimises risk to everyone. Your ongoing understanding and support with this is very much appreciated.

Do not forget that we are always here for you so please do contact us if you are concerned about your health.

Railways – Chris Purser

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I am just reading an account of the life and works of railway pioneer Robert Stephenson, who with others spun a comprehensive spider’s web network over England. This was comprehensively edited in the 1960s, by Lord Beeching. Before the virus, there were recognitions of the increasing demand for rail services, and proposed extensions of the network. Now, we have a skeletal service with largely empty trains, and thoughts are turning to provision for recovery.

The government effectively abandoned the franchise system, where operators pay annual fees (sometimes running into tens of millions) to operate defined routes. Now, the Department for Transport pays operators, who collect fares from whatever travellers (outside the major cities) can justify their journey.

Until the coronavirus either disappears, or an effective vaccine has been discovered operators face the problem of enforcing physical distancing. The operators covering the East Coast Main Line and Transpennine routes have all signalled their proposals – involving severely limiting the number of passengers allowed in each carriage.

The presumption is that tickets will have to be booked in advance, with seat reservations.  Catering on trains will probably be abandoned. The big question is: how many regular travellers will be willing to swap the comparative luxury of working from home for the old pattern of early morning commutes and the evening rush hour? When will theatres, attractions and hotels in London reopen to visitors from the north?

There is another category of train operator – the ‘track access companies’ who get a licence to fill up gaps in the timetable without a franchise agreement. In Thirsk and York, that means Grand Central. They suspended their services when the government refused an agreement to subsidise their services. It is possible that they will be unwilling to resume until passenger demand and distancing have been resolved. The days when Sunday afternoon services to London were crammed to capacity with weekly commuters may not return for a long while, if ever. Despite government claims to have the interests of the ‘Red Wall’ voters in the North at the forefront, the lack of main line services penalises areas like Sunderland and Hartlepool, and also Hull, where their Hull Trains services are presumably suspended.

Moved bin collections

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Waste and recycling collections will be one day late across Hambleton this week.

Collections roll forward one day to cope with the bank holiday on Mon 25 May, with Friday collections now taking place on Saturday 30 May.

Just Plants Thirsk

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This is a new business, founded only a few days ago. It is a retail outlet selling high-quality bedding and perennial plants produced on-site by a leading UK grower. They offer garden plants for all seasons and will be open at weekends 10am-4pm for the next few months. You'll find them on the A19 towards York, just outside Thirsk. Email contact@justplantsthirsk.co.uk or phone
07375 352737

Restaurant deliveries and takeaways

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Some restaurants and cafes are doing deliveries and/or takeaways to help them survive. They can help you and you can help them.

Fantinos Italian, Sowerby
Takeaway wood oven Pizzas available on Fridays and Saturdays from 4pm to 9pm. Italian beers and wines also available. For menu check them out on Facebook and Instagram or call 01845 523655.


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


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


Uno Momento, Thirsk
Takeaway pasta, pizza, chicken, burgers etc. 4 to 10pm. Card payment only. Message Facebook page to order or call 01845 591777.


The White Horse Café
Walk-in takeaway fish & chips, scampi, pies, sausages, chicken, burgers. 11.30am-2pm and 4 to 8pm (7.30 Sat). Closed Sundays.


Westgate, Thirsk, Fish and Chip Shop
Takeaway and delivery to local area. We will email you a menu on request by phone. Telephone orders to 07703 686774 on the day required as soon as possible from lunchtime onwards. Kids menu and Gluten free available on request. Open Mon-Sat 4-9pm, deliveries 5-9pm. Pay by card on phone or exact cash at door by special arrangement. There is a £1 delivery charge on top of menu prices.


Bliss Cafe
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 blisscafe@mail.com. Pay by card over phone, bank transfer or cash by special arrangement. Please phone 8am-1pm.


Upstairs Downstairs delicatessen
Free delivery for orders over £10 of all the produce you’ve seen in the shop; bread, milk, eggs, cakes etc. plus all your home baking needs, ready made hot meals, baked potatoes and sandwiches. To order, or to request list of available products for collection or delivery, phone 01845 526067 or email to emily.boynton8@gmail.com. Shop open for collections 8am-3pm and deliveries made Monday to Saturday. Payment by card over phone preferred or cash by special arrangement.


Tea Time Café
Will deliver delicious homemade baking to YO7 postcode doorsteps on Thursdays. Payment must be made by every Tuesday at 2pm. Flavours change weekly, announced every Friday.

The  bake box contains 1 loaf cake, 4 scones, 4 pieces of traybake and 4 biscuits. You can also order individual options.

Tel. 01845 523869 / 07492 750991, www.teatimeyorkshire.co.uk, rosa@teatimeyorkshire.co.uk


Bianco Ristorante, Thirsk
Takeaways and deliveries withn a 3 mile radius of the Market Place are now available, along with takaways, 4 to 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 m.me/biancothirsk or phone 01904 412405.


Old Oak Tree, S. Kilvington
Home deliveries to Village only and takeaway meals on Wed and Fri evenings and Sunday lunch. Menus posted on Facebook page on Mondays for the week, ring to order and book a time slot, 01845 523276


Racha Thai Bistro
Takeaways and home deliveries on Tuesdays to Sundays from 5-8pm to Thirsk, Sowerby, Carlton Miniott and South Kilvington. Payment is by card with order over the phone only, tel. 01845 524265. There is a 50% discount for NHS and emergency worker staff who can provide ID. The menu is available on the website www.racha.co.uk


The Old Red House, Carlton Miniott
Home deliveries to Sowerby, Thirsk, Carlton Miniott and Sandhutton, Wed to Sat evenings 5 to 8pm and Sunday lunches. See Facebook and Instagram pages for menus and phone 01845 525769 to book a meal and a time slot.

Local food deliveries

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Johnson’s Butchers, Thirsk
Delivery and collection service to whole YO7 area. Place your orders by phone on 01845 523212 or Facebook, pay by card over the phone. We also supply fish and ready made meals.

Shop open 8am-3pm Mon.-Sat. Closed Sunday.


Lee’s Butchers, Thirsk
Deliveries to Vulnerable People only in Thirsk and Sowerby (not surrounding villages).

Order and pay by card on phone: 01845 522113. Phone orders for collection also available for anyone else at Castlegate shop, open 7am-4pm Mon. to Sat. (Market Place shop closed).


The Greengrocer, Thirsk
Fruit, vegetable, salad and eggs available in £15 or £25 boxes for collection or delivery to YO7 area six days a week. We can’t do specific shopping lists but will substitute a few items on request. Pay by card over phone or contactless card on collection.


Plants and compost can be added if you are ordering fruit & veg.

Shop open from 8am till 4pm. To place orders pop in, or phone us on 01845 527899 in the afternoon.


Carl’s Fruit & Veg
Deliveries are made on: Mon & Sat Thirsk area, Tue-Ampleforth area, Wed-Northallerton area, Thu-Easingwold area. You can also collect from Thirsk market, on Saturdays only.

The boxes are Fruit (£10), Veg (£15) and Salad (£10).

You have to pay via bank transfer before 4pm, two days prior to your agreed delivery date. To place an order send your choices from the above boxes. Be sure to include your address and telephone number. Facebook Messenger: m.me/2166723116754542, Email: carlsflowers@btinternet.com, Tel: 07591 694577.

Community resources

Local & Tourist Information
Thirsk's information centre is there to help you with any kind of question, whether you are local or not. Despite the lockdown we are answering the phone 10am-4pm every day except Sundays. Please call 01845 522755 or email info@VisitThirsk.org.uk or visit us at www.VisitThirsk.org.uk.
To receive your own weekly copy of 'Local Events' go to


Community Works, Thirsk
is the merger between The Clock and Thirsk Community Care.
The advice to anyone self-isolating is to ask for help from family, friends, neighbours and trusted local groups. For anyone who doesn’t have someone they can call on for help and lives in Thirsk or one of its villages, please ring Community Works on 01845 523115 for help.
If you would like to register with Community Works as a volunteer please call 01845 524494 during office hours.


Hambleton Community Action, Northallerton
If you have no other means of support such as family, friends or neighbours
Tel: 01609 780458 or see


Hambleton District Council’s homelessness service: 01609 779977.


Covid-19 advice: 111.nhs.uk/service/COVID-19.
If the above website tells you to do so, or you do not have Internet access, then telephone 111.


Emergency Services
Police: 101, Emergency only: 999


Local radio
Minster FM
Listen on the radio at 102.3, 103.5 & 104.7FM, on DAB, online at minsterfm.com, via mobile apps or on smart speakers.
BBC Radio York
Listen on the radio at 95.5, 103.7, 104.3FM, on DAB, online at www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/live:bbc_radio_york or on the BBC Sounds mobile app.


Domestic Abuse
Guidance and support for potential victims (also those worried about friends and loved ones): www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk or call for free and in confidence, 24 hours a day, on 0808 2000 247.
In an emergency with immediate danger, call 999. If you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999 and then press 55. This will transfer your call to the police who will assist you without you having to speak.


Pet welfare
Blue Cross: 0300 777 1540.

Local opening times

Tesco, Station Road
Mon-Sat: 8am-10pm, Sun: 10am-4pm.
Priority for:
Elderly & Vulnerable people: Mon, Wed & Fri 9-10am.
NHS workers: Tue, Thu & Sat 9-10am.
All the time:
care workers, NHS and emergency services will be invited to come to the front of the queue.


Cooperative, Market Place
Mon-Sat: 7am-10pm, Sun: 11am-5pm
Priority for:
Elderly & Vulnerable people,
NHS workers and Carers: Mon-Sat 8-9pm, Sun 10-11am.


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


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


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


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


Boots pharmacy, Market Place
Mon-Sat: 9am-5.30pm,
Sun: Closed.


Boots pharmacy, Chapel Street
Mond-Fri: 8.30am-6.30pm (closed noon-1pm), Sat & Sun: Closed.


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


Thirsk Post Office
In Cooperative Supermarket
Mon-Sat: 7am-10pm, Sun: 11am-5pm.


Carlton Miniott Post Office
near Thirsk Station
Mon-Fri: 7am-6pm, Sat: 7am-5pm, Sun: 8am-noon.


Topcliffe Post Office
Long Street
Mon-Fri: 7.30am-2pm, Sat 7am-11.30am, Sun: closed.

Local non-food deliveries

Thirsk Garden centre
is not open for public access just yet but the webshop is up and running for click & collect at thirskgardencentre.co.uk/products. Once you have placed your order they will ring you to confirm collection day and time and also let you know the procedure when arriving into the car park (currently Mon to Fri).

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


Adam Jackson Plants, Sessay
Take orders for delivery the following week covering Thirsk, surrounding villages and Northallerton. 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. Facebook Messenger: m.me/AdamJacksonPlants, tel: 07743 870205.


Northdale Nurseries for plants
are reopening for plant sales from Mon 1 Jun, Mon - Fri 10-4pm.

They are also still taking telephone orders. Climbing plants, upright plants, vegetable plants and basket & trailing plants. You complete an order form from the website and email it to northdalehort@aol.com. They will then phone you to arrange payment and delivery time. If you have any problems with that please phone 07873 350478 10am–noon Mon, Wed or Fri to place your order, make payment and book a delivery.

Northdale is registered charity providing training and work-based activities for adults with learning disabilities and or physical disabilities from across the Hambleton and Richmondshire districts of North Yorkshire.


Occasions, Thirsk
An independent card and gift store based in Thirsk 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 occasionthirsk@btconnect.com, or online at


Kristinas, Thirsk
Home delivery of ethically made products including Bamboo toothbrushes, Yorkshire made soap, Yorkshire made chocolate, personalised signs and more.

Also, a beautiful children's range including organic cotton Frugi clothing, wooden toys, baby rattles, sleeping bags and so much more.

There is a refill section and, although at the moment cannot refill, they will supply pre-filled bottles of washing up liquid, shampoo, laundry liquid etc. Also washing powder, dishwasher tablets etc.

Delivery is to your door in the Thirsk and Ripon areas adhering to safe distance rules and contactless payment, or by post. Email your order and phone number to kristinas@hotmail.co.uk or see Facebook page www.facebook.com/KristinasThirsk


Ewe and Yarn
Wool & craft deliveries.
01845 527978, www.eweandyarn.co.uk


Crafts of Thirsk
Wool & craft deliveries.
07979 157243, craftsofthirsk@aol.com


Alina Florist, Thirsk
Deliver fresh flowers and plants. Send flowers to loved ones and friends or to yourself to brighten lives in these difficult times. The delivery area is wide, covering Rawcliffe to Darlington and Ripon to Helmsley. You can order by phone to 01845 574410 or online