Bankstone’s latest charity ordeal described in detail

August 21, 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

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

 

Bankstone sponsor Insurance Endurance

January 8, 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

December 20, 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

June 27, 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.

 

NCI appoints Bankstone to handle its claims

June 15, 2018

Leading specialist professional claims handlers Bankstone have been appointed to provide the outsourced motor claims handling service for brokers NCI Insurance Services.

Brighouse-based Bankstone secured the deal after demonstrating its ability to extend and enhance its value proposition in a rapidly evolving insurance claims landscape.

NCI group commercial director Richard Sharman comments: “Having carried out a thorough review of potential suppliers, we were impressed with the very high level of service and the innovative solutions Bankstone brought to the table. I’m confident they will help us deliver the best possible standard of claims service to our customers.”

Bankstone director Dickon Tysoe adds: “We are delighted NCI ended up selecting Bankstone. We look forward to working closely with them to deliver a market-leading standard of service to their customers.”

Since it started trading in November 2004, specialist outsourced claims handling firm Bankstone has established itself as a leading provider of complete claims management solutions to brokers, insurance companies, and other claims management companies.

Bankstone has the expertise, the experience and the market-leading technology to offer a full menu of competitively-priced expert services including first notification of loss, claims management, ULR, compiling underwriting information and handling claims-related correspondence.

NCI is a UK-based insurance broker focusing on key personal lines products, including private car and pet insurance. NCI Insurance also operates the RescueMyCar.com brand, specialising in breakdown recovery.

All blazers gunning

April 16, 2018

There are basically just two things you need to make it in the world of insurance. One is a mile-wide competitive streak. There other, clearly, is a blazer.

But on certain special days of the year, even the blazer is optional. One such opportunity for informality occurs when the great and the good of the motor insurance market gather somewhere near Grantham to race karts. The name of that opportunity is Insurance Endurance.

And who better to fill you in on all details, you’re probably thinking, than Bankstone News!

You’re right, of course, who better indeed! But given that time waits for no man (nor woman neither) and that – even as we write this – they’ve already been serving at the Badgers for the best part of an hour, we’re going to leave that task to Insurance Business UK (a sort of a disintermediated news website that largely dispenses with the distorting lens of journalism to deliver the pure undiluted  truth, direct from the original press release).

Here’s how IBUK reported on the happy day this summer when insurance people will once set aside their habitual commercial rivalries (and their blazers) to buzz around a lengthy twisting stretch of tyre-lined tarmac for literally hours on end:

Insurers’ day to ditch the blazer and don racing suits

It’s a competitive industry all right, but who said people in insurance can’t enjoy themselves while trying to outdo each other? All in the name of good clean fun, of course. 

With everyday work feeling like a race to the top, here’s a literal race that insurance workers can participate in – a six-hour endurance kart race happening at the UK’s largest outdoor karting circuit. Teams of between four and eight drivers get to compete in Sodi GT5 karts at the PFI Racetrack in Grantham.

Insurance Endurance, aside from being a creative means to network with industry peers, also serves as a fundraising event for The Insurance Charities, whose beneficiaries are insurance employees in the UK and Ireland.

“We’re delighted to be chosen as the nominated charity for this event,” said marketing and communications executive Emma Bangar. “We welcome the opportunity to meet people working in insurance face-to-face and to tell them about The Insurance Charities and how we are able to help and support those working in this industry.”

The event, which has a practice round prior to the race, will also feature the pit stop challenge, wherein teams change the tyres of a Formula 1 car in the quickest time possible before returning to the endurance track.

More than 80 drivers took part in last year’s edition. Insurance Endurance 2018 happens on June 26.

He’d rather be karting!

 

The A-Z of a great day out

March 19, 2018

As everyone should know by now, Insurance Endurance is the UK’s leading self-drive kart track experience for those with a passion for all things motor insurance.

If you don’t know that already, then you J-well should (you can educate yourself by reading about it here or here or here).

In the meantime, we thought we’d have a go at encapsulating the enduring appeal of this most gruelling and time-consuming of motor-sports-themed competitive corporate entertainment and networking get-togethers. So, ahem, here we go:

 

I is for Insurance, motor Insurance in fact, but there’s no M in Insurance Endurance

N is for Nothing that immediately springs to mind

S is for Sexy which is how everyone will look in those snug-fitting all-in-one karting overalls

U is for Unisex (see sexy all-in-ones above)

R is for Really fast which is the speed at which those super-speedy new karts go

A is for A great day out, which is what you’re sure to have at Insurance Endurance

N is for No, I still can’t think of anything

C is for Catering, which will definitely be better than last year’s!

E is for Eating, which you can now safely do with C above

 

E is for Ever fancied yourself as a Formula 1 driver?

N is for Nothing. I still have Nothing

D is for Day, a great one of which you’re sure to have at Insurance Endurance 2018

U is for U – because it just wouldn’t be the same without U there!

R is for Rain which will certainly not be stopping play at this event!

A is for Anyone who is Anyone, who’s sure to be at Insurance Endurance

N is for Now this is getting ridiculous – could you please stop asking about N

C is for Catastrophe, which is what it would be if you were to miss this event

E is for the End, which this is of the list above, mercifully.

 

So that’s the nation’s number-one naughty but nice competitive karting experience in one neat little nutshell!

Now you know all that – don’t dilly-dally – get clicking/keying and book your team places today!

Like sponsoring Formula 1, but cheaper!

March 4, 2018

As regular readers will probably have spotted by now, at Bankstone News we spend a lot of time speculating about our readers’ dreams. Last week we wondered whether you might be harbouring secret hankerings after a career as an F1 driver. This week we’re forsaking such ludicrous delusions for the more realistic project of wondering whether you might ever have fancied yourself or your corporate vehicle of choice as the sponsor of an F1 team.

Imagine the thrill of seeing a brace of cars plastered with your firm’s branding lining up on the grid then senselessly colliding with one another on the first lap as intra-team rivalry leads to high-speed impact with barriers for both your beautifully branded cars.

That’s quite a thrilling kind of thrill, I’m sure you will agree. In fact, it’s so thrilling a thrill that it would probably be a bit much for you. What would suit you better, may we humbly suggest, is slapping a bit of your branding on the F1 Challenge car at this summer’s Insurance Endurance kart racing event.

That’s probably more than thrilling enough for you. And, better still, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than sponsoring a Formula 1 team, which is basically the only other way you’re going to get your branding on an F1 car.

Ignite did it last year (see below), and it certainly made them happy. And let’s just say, exposing themselves to a large audience of motor insurance movers and shakers in this manner certainly didn’t do this thrusting, go-ahead insurance software provider any harm!

So hurry, hurry, get your sponsoring hat on quick, and snap up this unique opportunity before someone else snaps it up first. Visit the Insurance Endurance website for further details.

And do it now, for heaven’s sake!

You too could feel this happy!

The kart track’s the fast track to living the dream

February 26, 2018

If you’ve ever fancied yourself as a Formula 1 driver, Bankstone News could be about to set you on the path to living that particular dream.

Because, you see, most, if not all, F1 drivers, began their careers racing what are known as karts.

Yes, yes, but what exactly is a ‘kart’, you query with touching innocence. Allow us to enlighten you.

Not to be confused with carts with a C, which tend to involve horses, malodorous agricultural cargos, and trudging joylessly along deeply furrowed rural back roads that entail creaking slogs up hill, lurching wallows down dale, and, if you’re lucky, some dull-as-ditch-water flat bits in between, karts with a K are like supercharged low-slung ride-on mowers, without the mowing bits. They’re faster than a ferret and more fun than three or four barrel-fulls of monkeys combined into one concentrated compendium of simian ludicity.

Well, on Tuesday 26 June this year (that’s right, this year, not next year, or the year after, and – obviously enough – not last year either, although there was one last year (Perhaps you were there? Shame. You really missed out there), but this very year, 2018) we’re giving you a rare and exciting opportunity to drive a kart yourself (at speed, for a really long time, and in company with other speeding kartists) and, who knows, maybe take the first step on the path to podiuming, trophy-lofting and showering in Champagne, while eager, lycra-clad lovelies… (Oh, ok. Lovelies are off, apparently).

All you need to do is click here to be whusk off to Insurance Endurance website where you can book team places for you, your friends and some people who may or may not be your friends but with whom you believe it might be advantageous to cultivate good relations in the way that only a hands-on day at the kart track can.

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up now and don’t be the one who’s left out, again.

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