Monkey-back madness returns

May 29, 2019

Far from being the kind of thing that causes outbreaks of flesh-eating tropical disease – or indeed that prompts calls to animal charities – Munching Monkeys is Bankstone’s latest charity fundraiser.

In what will be an improbable eighth outing for the Brighouse-based professional claims handling business (and friends), Munching Monkeys will see grown adults ride 300 miles round Yorkshire on undersized motorcycles.

It’s all in aid of life-saving charity Yorkshire Air Ambulance and in no way related to some weird and otherwise indefensible desire to spend a weekend riding in convoy round some of Britain’s most picturesque and underpopulated landscapes – on tiny little bikes.

Roadside eating has always played an important part in these events – right back to the early ‘experimental’ days of the ill-fated Monkey Monopoly back in 2007. But, this year, organiser DeKhan Tice-Oar has fully embraced the food theme, organising the multi-stop route around biker-friendly pubs and cafes where good things may be eaten (and possibly drunk – once the day’s ride is safely concluded).

But it won’t all be happy eating, Tice-Oar warns. Far from it: “This is a serious test of endurance, requiring stamina, concentration and the ability to shrug off the pain induced by hours spent in a cramped riding position, brutally inadequate suspension, and the jarring discomfort that comes from combining small wheels and big potholes.”

Participants can at least console themselves with the thought – a welcome fillip for anyone who finds themselves shivering in sodden leathers on some godforsaken moor, doggedly chewing on grisly greasy burger meat – that it’s all for a very good cause.

Don’t let their suffering be in vain, Dear Reader. Show your support and sympathy by visiting the Munching Monkeys Just Giving Page and donating generously.

On Ilkley Moor wi’ ‘at: Tice-Oar on a recent warm-up run


May 29, 2019

All the latest evidence suggests the UK may be moving into a new golden age for car theft.

Government figures recently revealed that total car thefts (TCF) were up almost 10% YoY. Cars with no keys have played a key role in this dramatic car-nick uptick.


Back in the bad old days when cars mostly had the keys of the kind that have teeth – and with which things can be locked – TCF had dropped as low as the 70,000 mark (2013/4). But now, with more and more models dispensing with old-fashioned analogue keys, around 115,000 motors go missing each year.

Back in those days, only Range Rovers and other such ‘premium’ vehicles came keyless, but now, when even Ford Fiestas have outgrown the humble key, there’s a vast array of models from which bleeping criminals can take their pick.


Now insurer body ABI claims car theft insurance payouts have risen by more than 20%, thus soaring to a sensational seven-year high.

And paying insurance claims doesn’t come cheap. Forking out for all those missing motors cost insurers a whopping £1.2bn in the first quarter of 2019, the ABI claims.


Today’s tech-wielding vehicle thieves, the insurer body reckons, can get into your car in as little as 20 seconds. That’s almost eight minutes fewer than it takes to soft-boil a standard hen’s egg – which, coincidentally, is the same as the average time that elapses between one motor insurance theft claim getting paid and the one after it.


Not only is exciting new technology making cars easier to pinch, it’s also making them more expensive to patch up post prang. No wonder motor insurers spend so much time railing bitterly about how cars just aren’t the classic key-operated thin-skinned death-trap tins they used to be and ‘why must it all be so complicated?’

They probably don’t do that really. But Bankstone News senses this story has probably achieved an adequate length now, and wonders absent-mindedly who could possibly blame it for lapsing into contrafactual incoherence. Surely no one reads these things right down to the final line, do they?

May 29, 2019

If you only attend one insurance-themed kart racing event this year, you’d better make PD sure that insurance-themed kart racing event is Insurance Endurance.

Just twelve months on from last year’s similarly titled Insurance Endurance 2018 event, Insurance Endurance 2019 takes place at the globally renowned PFI Kart Track near Grantham, Lincolnshire, on Tuesday June 25. And, as the more calendrically literate of our readers will not be slow to appreciate, that’s less than a month away now!!!

This hugely popular motor karting endurance event is open to firms from across the insurance industry looking to network with and/or test themselves against the absolute cream of this exciting and dynamic industry sector. There are just a few prized places still up for last minute grabs, so unless you want to miss out, you’d best accelerate your digital withdrawal plans.

With last year’s surprise winners Bankstone Racing having promised not to repeat this freakishly improbably, suspicious and, frankly, unhostly feat, the field, as they say, is wide open.

Although, don’t imagine you can just rock up with your broadly adequate basic driving skills and blow off the competition. If you and your seven friends/acquaintances fancy your chances of getting your filthy paws on the coveted IE crown, you’ll first have to endure a truly gruelling kart ordeal.

The winning team will need to have completed the impressive 1382-metre track (with its 10 hair-raising bends and several challengingly linear straights) a very large number of times – and to have done so pretty briskly.

The reek of burning rubber, the weirdly persistent metallic aftertaste of some kind of sausage sandwich type affair, the high-pitched whine of those bloody karts: could there be a better way to spend your Tuesday morning?

We’d suggest not.

So what are you waiting for?!?! Get yourself along immediately to the Insurance Endurance website and click on the little button that says register. You won’t be sorry you did!*

There, look, that thing with the wheels. That, my friend, is a kart!

*Prediction not guarantee.

May 28, 2019

Tailgating can mean many things. Not all of those things are the kind of thing you’d catch us talking about in a nice, clean, family-oriented e-Zine like Bankstone News. And none of them are the kind of thing anyone in their right mind would want to be caught doing.

Not unless you’re the kind of hooligan who considers it perfectly respectable to fire up a barbie in the back of your station wagon whilst slurping your way through a six-pack. But that’s another story. Something perhaps for a future issue.

The particular kind of tailgating we’re concerned with here is tailgating by vans on the UK’s roads. This kind of tailgating involves driving too close to the vehicle in front – which may or may not, whatever the publicity tries to tell you, be a Toyota (although, curiously, Fact Fans, if it is indeed a Toyota, it’s statistically more likely to have a tailgate).

Unlike covered wagons or the aforementioned station wagons, vans tend not to have gates in their tails these days. More often it would be a couple of bi-fold doors or one of those roller-shutter thingies, if it was made in Luton. 

Nor, for that matter, do most of the vehicles up whose arses they’ve recently been accused of driving. But if they did have tailgates and their drivers could press a button on their dashboards marked ‘Activate Tailgate’  as they bowled along whichever highway or byway they happened to be on – and those tailgates then swung down, there’s a good chance they’d hit the bonnet of a van in close pursuit.

That’s because according to important new research carried out by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, UK vans are forever driving into other vehicles from behind. 

According to figures from HMG D4T, tailgating (by all types of vehicle) causes more crashes than speeding, drink driving and poor weather conditions, which, you’re bound to admit, certainly sounds like a potent combination.

Almost 10% of an average annual tally of six-thousand-odd tailgate prangs involved what are euphemistically termed ‘light commercial vehicles’. Unhelpfully for the premise of this story, the figures don’t specify whether the LCV’s role was as perpetrators or as victims. Although, to be fair, as comedians like to say, when it comes to white van man, guilty until proved innocent seems a reasonable assumption.

Neil Greig, who insists ‘I AM RoadSmart’ claims tailgating is a bugbear – and a pretty sizeable example of that mythical species at that. “Tailgating is the biggest single bugbear that motorway users in particular report,” he says. “Drivers feel scared and get angry about it,” Neil claims. As indeed a growing number of them appear to feel about most things in contemporary Britain.

Something must be done! 

That’s what we say here at Bankstone News. 

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