Caught like a tiny trembling faun in the remorseless path of a terrifying weather bomb, leading outsourced professional claims handling provider Bankstone was braced for carnage as Storm Doris brought winds of over 25mph to parts of Yorkshire yesterday, blowing leaves hither and thither and forcing a plane landing at Leeds Brad Pitt Airport to wobble about quite a bit, before eventually touching down.

The day had started calmly enough. As dawn broke over Brighouse, Bankstone News caught up with an anxious Deacon Tithebarn, head honcho at Bankstone, as he struggled to affix protective lengths of timber to the front facade of The Bankstone Building. Speaking gingerly around an unruly row of rusty nails clenched firmly between his distinctively muscular tuba player’s lips, a hammer-wielding Tithebarn revealed that “It could get blowy”.

Even as we spoke, wuthering winds whipped seven shades of brownish foam from the roiling surface of the nearby Brighouse Canal ‘Basin’, threatening at one point to lift Tithebarn’s flat cap clean off his head. ‘What?’, Bankstone News asked, straining to interpret Deacon’s dentally deficient diction over the raging breeze. “Ah fed. Akoog et bwowy!” He mumbled emphatically. It was no good: we’d have to ask him later.

At this point Bankstone News took the probably prudent precaution of repairing to the local hostelry recently rebranded as Badgerz (where, in striking contrast to the howling zephyr outside, we anticipated no worse hazard than a nasty draught and some slightly past sell-by pork scratchings), leaving Deacon to the task of prying a few boards loose again, so that he and various members of staff could gain ingress to the building and therein commence their daily toil.

By mid-afternoon the worst of the weather has passed and a handful of brave Bankstonians ventured out to inspect the damage. This consisted mostly of some storm-tossed leaves, paper cups, crisp packets etc that had rendered the car park more than a little untidy, plus a certain amount of superficial damage occasioned by a couple of dozen bits of old plank having been roughly nailed to the building’s exterior.

It had been, they all concluded, a close run thing, but the Bankstone Building had withstood everything Doris had to throw at it. Waxing reflective as the storm subsided, Tithebarn took time out from managing the professional outsourced handling of claims to briefly compose the following commemorative verse marking the day that Doris blew in to make Brighouse one windy city!

The day that Doris came to town, the people were afrighted
They feared that by a loathsome blast Sweet Brighouse would be smited

The day that Doris came to town, conditions were quite blustery
I resolutely braved the storm with stern unruffled mastery

The day that Doris came to town, brought howling and moaning
I told my staff to ‘knock it off, get back to telephoning!’

The day that Doris came to town, it wasn’t very pretty
The wind blew lots of stuff about and make the place look messy

The day that Doris came to town, we never will forget
It’s fair to say, at least, that is: we’ve not forgotten yet.


One of a number of local residents who took shelter yesterday in Brighouse Cathedral.



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