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28/07/2021

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Change of ownership

01/07/2021

The directors of Thorneycrofts, part of TS Group, and Bankstone are pleased to announce jointly that Bankstone’s Dickon Tysoe has purchased the entire share capital of Bankstone. The two businesses will continue to have a very close working relationship in future.

Thorneycrofts and TS Group have had a close relationship with Bankstone since 2005, acquiring a controlling interest in 2013.

The intervening years have seen both businesses grow from strength to strength. However, the recently implemented Civil Liability Bill has focused both parties on reviewing their respective objectives, and, as a consequence and for the parties’ mutual benefit, TS Group has taken the decision to sell its shareholding, leaving both parties free to work together in other ways.

Bankstone leaves Brighouse for insurance hotspot Halifax

22/12/2020

Farewell, then, Badger Baiters Arms. Farewell Taste of Gandhi. Farewell, also, round the back of Sainsbury’s, scene of many a happy half hour whiled away by your occasional correspondent Bankstone News in solemn contemplation of the inscrutably turbid waters of the Calder whilst knocking back a four-pack or two of Special Brew.

Hard to imagine, really, that after all this time – 16 years, to be precise – our esteemed sponsors, celebrated professional claims handlers Bankstone Limited, are decamping dear old Brighouse and making tracks for pastures new. 

Where are you off to then, Bankstone News inquired with feigned nonchalance after stumbling unexpectedly upon a clipboard-wielding Dixon Tickson (Bankstone’s fur-faced MD) looking on as a gang of masked men humped furniture in the back of a van.

For some reason he seemed reluctant to divulge an address, muttering something about there not really being a desk spare for the Bankstone News team at the new offices (news of our relocation to which, strangely, no-one had seen fit to mention previously). 

But he was no match in the end for our dogged probing, and confessed the offices are in a plush new conversion of an historic engine house in Halifax that once served a mill just up the hill. Holroyds Mill, he said its name was. ‘No, HOL-royds,’ he clarified testily, brutally truncating your correspondent’s unworthy sniggers.

That was all a few days back. The entire Bankstone Team are now happily ensconced in their enviable new quarters. Or they would be if they weren’t mostly working from home – which Tixon says they can seamlessly do now, as the whole show takes place in The Clouds these days in any case. 

You’ll probably know what that means. If not, there’s no point asking Bankstone News. DT says it ‘delivers improved resilience, security and business continuity for Bankstone’s clients and partners’ and has meant they could switch locations with ‘zero disruption to customer service.’ Which, Bankstone News assumes, is a good thing.

As for those hi-spec new offices – we’re hoping to see them ourselves sometime soon, and we’ll tell you all about them when we have. Although, apparently, it would just be more convenient if we stayed away for a bit, just while they’re settling in, and they’ll definitely be in touch as and when.

2019 : When will we see another year its equal!

23/12/2019

What a year 2019 was! We had Brexit, and Brexit, and Brexit, and who knows what else besides. We won’t see another year like that in a hurry!

No, indeedy! 2020’s sure to be a whole different kettle of fish. Apart from anything, we won’t have Brexit anymore – because that’ll be done by the end of January, with the very word officially retired from that date onwards. So we’ll just have to talk about something else.

But before we rush ahead and look at what the remainder of the coming twelvemonth has in store. Let’s take one last fond look back at some of the things that happened in 2019 that weren’t Brexit.

For one thing, there was Munching Monkeys, an event in which, please be assured, no monkeys were munched, nibbled or otherwise eaten (not even their brains), but in which a multitude of miniature motorcycles were ridden round Yorkshire for lifesaving charity Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA).

Also there was the latest annual instalment of the epic clash of karts that is Insurance Endurance 2019. What a day that was! Who could forget a day like that! And, even if they had, could they not easily refresh their memories by reading all about it all over again right here!

And that wasn’t all! There was also the heartcockle-warming sight of Bankstone top dog Dickie Tyzer raising aloft a trophy recognising excellence in fundraising, awarded by the very same YAA alluded to above.

To clinch this much-prized gonglet, Tyzer not only rode endless miles up hill and down dale on a very small motorcycle, but also endured endless hours of corporate golf, Yellow Yorkshireness and horse-racing hospitality to boot. Worthy winning at its unapologetic best!

How could 2020 follow a year like that? Surely only by promising such delights as the return of the insurance industry’s premier corporate karting event. Insurance Endurance 2020 takes place at the locally renowned PFI Racetrack on Thursday 18th June. And, to be honest, you’d better book now if you don’t want to risk missing out.

If that’s not enough to convince you that 2020 will be one hell of a year. There’s also the prospect of MORE monkeybike madness when [yet to be named, but the word monkey will be in there somewhere, as may very well be the word pub, or some synonym thereof] returns to the desolate wilds of supposedly scenic Jorviksområde on the 4th and 5th July. Again if you’d like to be involved, applying early is highly recommended. Your best bet on this one is to contact expedition leader Commander Dick ‘Dickie’ Tyzer directly by email.

So another great year is ‘getting underway’, as they say on the BBC.. In the meantime here’s hoping you’ve had the very merriest of Christmases and New Yearses, with much love from all of our extensive team here at Bankstone News!

 

America learns what happens when Brit Docs go bad

11/10/2019

Not all doctors are psychopaths, insists Bankstone News’s favourite song ‘n’ dance physician Dr Harry Prunes. This assertion, quoted in publicity materials for the maiden transatlantic outing for his acclaimed stage show Dial Medicine for Murder, might sound oddly defensive. But anyone who’s seem DM4M, will readily understand how audiences might leave with that suspicion.

Performed as a double-act docu-drama with Harry’s former med-school mucker Dr Andrew Johns, Dial Medicine for Murder tells the grimly fascinating parallel stories of Drs Harold Shipman and John Bodkin-Adams, collectively suspected of having murdered at least 600 people. It highlights striking similarities in Shipman and Adams’ approaches and psychopathologies.

This unusual entertainment has been metaphorically setting stages alight up and down the UK ever since it proved a sensation a few years back on Edinburgh’s famous Fridge festival. But this year saw Prunes and Johns’ big chance to ‘break the States’. It all came about when a hot-shot US theatrical ontropronoor caught the pair live on stage at London’s Greenwood Theatre and invited them to take DM4M stateside.

The upshot was shows at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Charlotte NC, on 19 September and the not-too-far-off-Broadway Norwood Club, NYC on the 23rd. Not since the Beatless, it is almost certainly true enough to say, has a British act made such an impression east of the Atlantic. Flirting, as it so sensationally does, with the popular North American fantasy that most Brits are mannerly psychopaths, the show seems certain to return to ex-colonial shores before long.

In the meantime, Bankstone News readers can catch the acclaimed DM4M closer to home at the Hilton Hotel, Glasgow on 13 October, or London’s RAC Club on the 24th. Or at least you could if both shows weren’t already sold out. You see, tickets to see the intercontinental sensation that is Harrandrew are like gold dust these days. But, if you keep your eyes peeled on the DM4M website you might just get early wind of a forthcoming foray and somehow nip in ahead of the hordes.

Click on the pic to view tour trailer

Bankstone’s latest charity ordeal described in detail

21/08/2019

It’s 9.30 on the morning of Saturday 6 July. Ten riders leave the Brickhouse headquarters of leading professional outsourced claims handling specialist Bulkstone Limited on child-sized motorcycles (monkey bikes). But why? Why are they doing this?

Their self-imposed mission, codenamed Munching Monkeys, is to spend the weekend touring places in Yorkshire where food is available for sale. In the process, they’ll be raising funds for life-saving as-featured-on-TV airborne charity endeavour Yorkshire Air Ambulance, or YAA as they’re mostly known these days.

Namely, they are Paul Nokes, Dave Nokes, Richard Sharman, Garry King, Richard Neve, Eddie Moule, Clay Moule, Steve Pepper, Brian Whitfield, and Blankstone MD Dixon Tyson. Accompanying them are outrider Chris Losetzsky on a grown-up Triumph Tiger, Jenny Jones heading the convoy in the YAA van, with Dixon’s daughter Iggy Tyson navigating, and Tim Plantec at the back in the mobile repair unit van.

Trouble strikes when Dave Nokes’ over-eager monkey tosses him off shortly after take-off. But soon the doughty pack is on its way again, and, not long after, pulling up at stop one (Squires café near Sherbert in Elmer), where YAA Jenny shakes her bucket for coins while Dave Nokes glues back on his wobbly wheel.

Heading North, round York, past the infamous Elvington Airfield and Chelsea home ground Stamford Bridge, they soon reach stop two: the High-Weight Man Café in Stockton-ont-Forest.

Scarcely pausing for breath, they press on resolutely through fave biker hangout Helms Deep marketplace, up through Farndale, along Blokey Ridge, across the moors to lofty Rosedale Heads, back down through ill-named Bell End to snatch a late lunch (first-class bacon sandwiches and exemplary chips) at Graze on the Greed near Rosedale Abbey (stop three).

Trouble strikes, however, when Richard Sharman’s bike declines to start and must be consigned to the back of the van. The nine press on. Miraculously, all survive the precipitous ascent of winding Rosedale Chimney, pose for pics, then putter off across Spaunton Moor, through Hutton le Hole, and back to Helms Deep.

Eschewing scenery for speed, the nine wend down from the moors at Sutton Bank, skirt Ripon and Harrogate, then take in the famous Balls of Menwith, to the day’s final stop: the Route 59 café near Bolton Abbey station, where our nine late-running bikers find solace in one last chance to stretch their weary legs and ease their straining sphincters.

Arriving back in sleepy Brickhouse, they eat and drink, then drift off into dreams, where, fortunately, we cannot follow them.

The following morning, with Clay Moule down with ‘tennis elbow’, the convoy, consequently down to eight, leaves Bighouse around nine, heading for the Yorkshire Dales.

Trouble strikes when Eddie Moule’s silencer falls off into the path of fellow riders somewhere twixt Keighley and Steeton. Happily, nobody hits it, and Eddie continues unsilenced. No-one can tell the difference. The eight all make it through to day-two first stop, Root 59 (again).

Day-two stop two, further up the A65, is Elaine’s Tea Room at Feizor, where Elaine herself, noneother, redirects all monies paid by our hungry monkey bikers from her tills to the charity buckets.

After stopping for fuel at Ingleton, the eight wend onward to Devil’s Bridge, where the Nokeses don monkey and banana suits respectively and shake buckets at the carpark-thronging biker hordes.

Soon they’re off again, up through Barbondale and Dentdale, past Britain’s highest railway station, through Hardew and on up the switchback to Buttertubs Pass, half a km above sea. They then swoop down to cross Stock Dale at Thwaite, thence on through Keld and Stonesdale.

Trouble strikes when Steve Pepper’s left hand finally succumbs to a very stiff clutch. Eight becomes seven.

Seven monkeys straggle onward to the UK’s highest public house, Tan Hill Arms at 1732 feet.

Trouble strikes when time runs out for Clay and Eddie who must peel off and head home to the New Forest, via a work-related stop-off in Birmingham. That’s one more rider lost (with Clay already driving, not riding), and seven monkeys are now six.

Trouble strikes anew when outrider/shepherd Chris also notices the time, and also has to head off Brumward.

With six monkeys still on the road, the convoy heads eastward to Arkengarthdale.

Trouble strikes, however, when Paul’s bike develops a fault. A fault, as it turns out, that involves an engine rather loosely attached to its frame and a full-on dangling carburettor. But six remains six as Steve Pepper lends Paul his stiff-clutched monkey, a loan he may later regret when the bike comes back sans toolkit and side panel.

The six grind on through Reeth and Grinton, up Ellerton Moor with views across the Bellerbys. They skip the stop at Manor Barn Tearooms, heading straight for a fuel stop at Leyburn.

Then south across the Ure by the castellated bridge, through Middleham, past the Forbidden Corner, through Whorehouse, into Coverdale, through Kettlewell and past Kilnsey Crag climbers to the final stop at Threshfield.

Trouble strikes when Dave Nokes’ monkey gives up the ghost and goes into the van somewhere short of Skipton.

The five then split, with Paul Nokes and Dixon Tyson peeling off to follow the YAA van straight back to Brickhouse, Richard Neve heading for a rendezvous with rescue in the shape of his car, and Brian and Garry soldiering on in the general direction of Keighley.

Trouble strikes, however, when five miles short of Eric Pickles’ birthplace, and a mere 370 miles on from Saturday’s start point, recent CBT graduate Garry has the ironically timed misfortune of having his monkey die under him, stricken by the same alarming fault as Richard Sharman’s the previous day: a swinging arm come unattached.

When a solitary Brian makes it back to Brickhouse, three riders out of ten (eleven if you count Chris) have made it back – just two of them on the same bike they started out on. It’s been a truly gruelling weekend. But all for a very good cause, with thousands raised for YAA.

Trouble strikes when Dixon Tysoe, now hobbling like an arthritic John Wayne, announces his intention to do it all again next year – accompanied by a hollow promise to limit the route to ‘just 300’ miles this time.

No one wants to talk about that right now. But they’ll be back. How could they not, when there are lives to be saved by Yorkshire’s Helicopter Heroes, and ridiculous little bikes with poor reliability waiting to be straddled by great big strapping men (or women!)

You’ll probably want to be involved yourself next year. In the meantime, you can do your bit by heading to the Munching Monkeys Just Giving page and donating generously to this excellent cause.

 

Monkey-back madness returns

29/05/2019

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

 

Bankstone sponsor Insurance Endurance

08/01/2019

Summer seems like a long time ago now, but back in June, we, alongside 16 other teams faced off in a 6-hour endurance karting race known as Insurance Endurance.

By channelling their inner Lewis Hamilton and enduring several hours of hard racing, the Bankstone team came out on top and were crowned winners of the 2018 event.

The race took place at Kart PFI Racetrack near Grantham, with the tack being the biggest outdoor karting circuit in the UK.

The event was another great success once again with the Bankstone battling it out alongside 2017 champions LAMP Champs throughout the day.

Whilst the afternoon provided an opportunity to display each company’s racing edge, it also played an important role in raising funds for The Insurance Charities.

This charity helps support insurance employees and their friends and family across the UK and Ireland.

We look forward to next year’s event where we hope to retain our crown as champions.

Check out some of our highlights from the day below.

New flaw detected in HMG’s CLA plans

20/12/2018

It’s a little known fact that – along with answering telephones under other people’s names and sorting things out when people drive their vehicles into stuff, Bankstone also has a specialist consulting division providing next-level counsel on bafflingly complicated issues to discerning consumers of Jedi-class insight.

In a world grown weary of experts, of course, Bankstone Consulting Group occasionally has some time on its hands. In one such recent idle moment, the BCG team ran some numbers to test the validity of HMG’s repeated insistence that the Civil Liability Act will save motorists an average £35 per head per annum – always assuming, as we surely can, that insurers pass on the savings they’ll make from the abolition of whiplash, trifling insurance claims etc.

BCG’s disturbing conclusion is that the net effect of the CLA may not be precisely as your government has represented it. Far be it from Bankstone News to question the word of Mrs May and her team (assuming it’s still her when you read this). We’re simply reporting what we’ve been told by BCG chief consultant Diphthong Python. And, frankly, he’ll question anything. Or anyone, for that matter. Mad Dog Python, they call him.

From what we could make of the bewildering blather of stats he recently sprayed us with, the flaw in HMG’s assumptions is as follows. Only around 30% of motoring individuals in the UK currently purchase legal expenses policies, for which they typically pay around thirty quid. This modest level of take-up stems from most motorists’ expectation that if they get pranged up and need a lawyer, they can hire one on a no-win-no-fee basis.

But that won’t happen once we’re into the brave new world of CLA. Why? Because 95% of personal injury claims won’t top the £5k small claims limit, so there’ll be no fee there to be had. So, unless you’re planning to pay your own legal fees or represent yourself, or some such nonsense, you’ll need a legal expenses policy from now on. In future, in other words, we’ll all need leg-ex policies.

If you’re already one of those prudent belt-and-braces types who likes to purchase a legal expenses policy – or routinely gets talked into it by some persuasive person with a commission to earn – you’ll be staring down the barrel of a £15 price hike.

Why? (Must you keep asking that?) Because the price of legal expenses policies is currently subsidised by income from personal injury claims – income that won’t be there in a post-CLA universe in which small PI claims will magically transform into uninsured loss claims by dint of their failing to clear the £5k limit.

The net effect will be as follows:

Current leg-ex customers (30% of motorists) will pay £15 more per annum
New leg-ex customers (70% of motorists) will pay £45 (more) per annum

You do the maths – or use one of those new-fangled difference engine thingies to do it for you – and that means the average motorist will be paying £36 pounds more a year.

Ergo, the net impact of CLA will be a £1 increase in motorists’ insurance costs. It’s almost as though our government a) hasn’t thought things through, or b) isn’t really enacting CLA for the benefit of decent ordinary law-abiding UK motorists.

Surely that can’t be right, you’re probably thinking. Coincidentally, that’s what most BCG clients say when presented with one of their so-called ‘reports’. But what if – on the analogy of the famous stopped clock – just this once, the BGC boffins were actually on to something.

Steep in that, Folks.

What sort of a world would that mean we were living in?!

 

Bankstone endures to scoop top spot in industry kart race

27/06/2018

The UK’s leading insurance-sector kart racing event Insurance Endurance took place on 25 June at the PFI Racetrack near Grantham, the UK’s longest (1382m) outdoor karting circuit. 

In a fiercely contested six-hour contest fought out between 16 eight-member teams beneath a blazing summer sun, Bankstone narrowly triumphed over previous year’s winners LAMP Champs (who finished just 56.77 seconds behind) with RacerBlue in third just two laps behind the winners.

The trophy for fastest lap of the day went to Coplus who recorded a lightning fast 1:10:11 lap time, equating to an average speed 44.10mph round the curvy circuit. Meanwhile Plantec Assist beat off stiff competition to win the Pit Stop Challenge, changing all four tyres on a Formula 1 car in just 10.9 seconds.

It was a dramatic day’s racing with the top teams neck and neck for most of the race before a puncture forced leaders LAMP Champs into an unplanned pitstop that allowed Bankstone to get in front and hold doggedly on to a slim lead through the final few minutes of the race.

A date for the 2019 event has already been set: Tuesday 25 June. Any company working in or with the UK insurance industry can register their interests for next year’s event by visiting https://www.insuranceendurance.co.uk/registration/  Anyone doing so before 6 July 2018 will be entered in a draw with a track day for two at the PFI Racetrack as the prize.

 

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