15 Monkeys, 1 seven-foot bear

14/07/2009

Over the weekend (11-12 July 2009) Bankstone led a flotilla of 15 monkey bikes 250 miles round famous film locations in Yorkshire, raising money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance service (YAA). At each of 10 stops along the way they donned costumes appropriate to the famous films in question.

Leaving Bankstone’s Brighouse offices at 9am on Saturday 11 July, the convoy first rode to Halifax’s Piece hall to re-enact the  Floral Dance’ scenes from Brassed Off dressed as bandsmen and miners.

The YAA’s mascot, a seven-foot bear called Bernie, came along for the ride, and posed with riders at each of the ten stops. This involved a naked lady (suit) at Ilkley’s Cow and Calf rocks, Robin Hood and merry men at beauty spot Aysgarth falls, WWII pilots at Northallerton, vets in Thirsk and so on (see list of locations below, shown with approximate actual times of arrival).

The convoy reached overnight-stop Scarborough around 6pm‚ a mere three hours behind the original schedule‚ not that bad given that guiding 15 rugged individualists round the UK’s largest county on monkey bikes is a bit like herding cats‚ then made four further stops‚ including Whitby for Dracula and Goathland for Harry Potter‚ before finishing up pitch side at Elland Road for The Damned United and arriving back at Bankstone’s Brighouse headquarters in time for Sunday tea.

A somewhat saddle-sore Bankstone Director Dickon Tysoe commented: “What a weekend!
We’ve made good progress towards our target of raising £10,000 for the YAA and donations are coming in fast. In the process we rode through some of the best scenery Yorkshire has to offer under almost perfect weather conditions. We passed through gritty mill towns, over cobbles, up hill, down dale, crossing and re-crossing rivers, over bleak moorland, past rocky crags, dodging loose sheep and winos, slowing for horses and cyclists, getting lost, getting found, and generally riding over 250 miles on motorbikes small enough to fit in the boot of most cars.

“We saw monumental reminders of the area’s industrial past, ruined abbeys, beaches, fishing ports, picture postcard villages, stately homes, market towns, and even the inside of a football stadium (“Don’t touch the turf!”). Highlights included one rider left standing as his bike set off without him, the struggle up Sutton Bank, the lady at Goathland station who paid a pound for a bear hug, fresh strawberries at the Piece Hall, and horns worn out from tooting at pedestrians! As we did last year, we will be posting a video on You Tube as soon as we’ve finished editing it and there will be a gallery on Flickr. We will continue to accept donations for the rest of the year, so please dig deep and help us keep the air ambulance flying.”

The Piece Hall, Halifax Brassed Off Sat 9.30 am
Cow & Calf, Ilkley Calendar Girls Sat 11.00 am
Aysgarth Falls, Aysgarth Robin Hood Prince of Thieves Sat 12.30 pm
The Golden Lion, Northallerton The Way to the Stars Sat 3.00 pm
Herriot Museum, Thirsk All Creatures Great and Small Sat 4.00 pm
Coffee Bean Cafè, Scarborough Little Voice Sun 9.00 am
Whitby Abbey, Whitby Dracula Sun 10.00 am
Goathland Station, Goathland Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Sun 11.00 am
Castle Howard, Brideshead Revisited Sun 12.00 pm
Leeds United, Elland Road The Damned United Sun 2.00 pm

Taking part along with Bankstone were motorcycle hire and repair firm BLD, Premier Medical Group, Car Crash Line, Copart, Easy Rider and The Davy Group.

Anyone who would like to support this unique charity fundraising exercise can visit charity donations website Just Giving (see www.justgiving.com/monkeymoviestars).

Paul Gowland, fundraising director of YAA, comments “It costs us £7,200 per day to keep our helicopters and highly trained paramedics in the air. Monkey Moviestars is certainly one of the more unusual fund raising initiatives we have seen! Our sincere thanks go to Dickon and his team for their continued support of our life-saving charity”

For more on Yorkshire Air Ambulance click here.

05/07/2007

Full details of where Bankstone’s Monkey Monopoly bike convoy will be at what time this Sunday have now been confirmed (see below). All timings are all 24hr clock. For updates on the day (8 July) please call the Monkey Monopoly hotline on: 0870 420 3422

– Bankstone Limited, Brighouse 7:00 (coffee and bacon butties)
– The Huddersfield Daily Examiner, Huddersfield 7:14
– National Coal Mining Museum, Wakefield 7:33
– The Star, Sheffield 8:15
– Doncaster Station, Doncaster 8:58 (rider change-over)
– The Humber Bridge, Hessle 10:03
– Wilberforce House Museum, Hull 10:28 (rider change-over)
– Yorkshire Tourist Board, York 11:36 (rider change-over)
– Jorvik Viking Centre, York 11:47
– York Minster, York 11:55
– Castle Howard, Malton 12:32
– Heartbeat location Goathland, 13:21 (rider change-over)
– Lewis and Cooper, Northallerton 14:44 (rider change-over)
– Taylors of Harrogate, Harrogate 15:42
– Cow and Calf, Ilkley 16:31 (rider change-over)
– The Woolpack, Esholt 16:52
– Leeds Bradford International Airport, Yeadon 17:12 (home of the YAA)
– Bradford City AFC, Bradford 17:39
– Butterfield Signs Limited, Bradford 17:49
– Horizon Recruitment Limited, Bradford 17:58
– Leeds Prison, Leeds 18:19
– Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Leeds 18:34
– Galaxy 105, Leeds 18:47
– Leeds Teaching Hospitals, Leeds 18:47
– Yorkshire Post, Leeds 19:00
– Yorkshire Evening, Post, Leeds 19:00 (rider change-over)
– Biffa Waste Services Limited, Leeds 19:26
– Yorkshire Electricity Distribution, Leeds 19:55
– Leeds United Football Club, Leeds 20:03
– Halifax Train Station, Halifax 20:40
– Bankstone Limited, Brighouse 21:02 (beer and barbeque)

04/07/2007

With just four days to go until Bankstone’s charity epic Monkey Monopoly hits the roads of Yorkshire (see here and other previous Bankstone news stories), specialist vehicle hire company Car Crash Line has kindly volunteered the use of two seven-seater vehicles to ferry riders and support staff between change-over points along the 420-mile round Yorkshire route.

Support vehicles donated

03/07/2007

Bankstone’s charity fundraiser Monkey Monopoly (once round Yorkshire on a fleet of half a dozen 90cc monkey bikes) is set to be televised. Channel M’s The Biker Show will be on hand on the 8 July to film the flotilla as it traces a route that has now grown to 450 miles following last minute route changes to take in faster roads.

Biker Show presenter Natalie Quirk has even volunteered to ride one of the legs herself. And in a bid to capture the event from a first hand perspective Bankstone director Andy Jones is steeling himself for the prospect of having a camera attached directly to his helmet!

Our photo shows some of the Monkey Monopoly riders in a practice session at the Leeds Bradford airport headquarters of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance service, when the Biker Show’s cameras last visited the team, along with those of Calendar TV, the local BBC channel.

For further details on the Biker Show click here

Popular TV show the Monkies

29/06/2007

More than 100 mobile phones have so far been donated to Bankstone’s Monkey Monopoly charity initiative in support of Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Each old phone donated in specially printed Monkey Monopoly FreePost envelopes is worth an average £6 to the charity. Thanks to mobile phone and other donations (made by texting MONKEY to 84010 or via the monkey monopoly web page) the initiative is already one quarter of the way to reaching its target before even setting off.

To request a supply of phone recycling envelopes please contact us.

Don’t donate your phone to any old monkey ‚ save it for Monkey Monopoly

27/06/2007

With less than two weeks to go until the big day on 8th July, teams from Bankstone, bike insurance brokers MCE, motorcycle accident solicitors Fletchers, and two from bike hire firm BLD are limbering up to ride 350 miles round Yorkshire in a single day, taking in all 35 sites on the Yorkshire edition of popular board game monopoly ‚ on a flotilla of 90cc monkey bikes. Before even setting tyre to tarmac the Monkey Monopoly event has already raised around a quarter of its £10,000 target for charity Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Bankstone’s Dickon Tysoe spent a day early this week test driving the planned route which takes in Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, Hull, York, and a long loop round the North York Moors. The accompanying photograph shows him demonstrating the correct riding technique for monkey bikes in front of one of the way points, Ilkley Moor’s famous Cow & Calf beauty spot. To donate to the Monkey Monopoly fund please visit www.justgiving.com/monkeymonopoly or to make a £3 reverse billing donation text MONKEY to 84010.

Dickon Tysoe rides an invisible monkey bike at the Cow & Calf

18/05/2007

Bankstone plans to ride a fleet of monkey bikes the length and breadth of Yorkshire, covering over 350 miles in a single day‚ to raise money for charity Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Inspired by the Yorkshire edition of classic board game Monopoly, Brighouse-based we will be leading a convoy of at least 10 90cc monkey bikes around all 33 sites featured on the Yorkshire monopoly board. Hence the name: Monkey Monopoly.

The plan is to complete a full circuit during daylight hours on 8 July 2007, pausing very briefly at each site to take photos, refuel and answer calls of nature. Monkey Monopoly will be calling in at towns and villages including Bradford, Castleford, Doncaster, Esholt, Goathland, Halifax, Harrogate, Hessle, Huddersfield, Hull, Ilkley, Leeds, Malton, Northallerton, Sheffield, Wakefield, Yeadon and York.

Representatives of many of the venues en route have already volunteered to stage reception committees offering refreshment and encouragement. Alongside the Bankstone monkey bike (ridden in rotation by a team of five in two 35 miles stints each), other teams are also signing up to take part.

Bankstone director Dickon Tysoe comments: “Any companies, bike clubs or groups that wants to help raise funds for YAA is welcome to get involved. We will be providing logistical, navigational and mechanical support, and we can source monkey bikes at cost direct from the manufacturer for any teams who require this.”

The lead monkey bike is being fitted with a satellite tracking device, allowing anyone with Internet access to follow the riders’ progress around Yorkshire on a dedicated Monkey Monopoly web page.

Charitable donations are being sought in four ways: via gift-aided charity donations website Just Giving (see www.justgiving.com/monkeymonopoly), through reverse billing mobile phone donations (text MONKEY to 84010), via traditional sponsorship forms (to request these please email dtysoe@bankstone.co.uk) and by distributing special Monkey Monopoly mobile phone recycling bags.

Paul Gowland, fundraising director of YAA, comments “It costs us £3,600 per day to keep our helicopter and highly trained paramedics in the air. But this allows us to attend over 1000 incidents each year and save many lives that might otherwise have been lost. Monkey Monopoly is certainly one of the more unusual fund raising initiatives we have seen! We are delighted the idea seems to be taking off in such a big way and wish everyone involved the very best of luck.”

Dickon Tysoe adds: “There are lots of different ways for anyone to get involved: sponsoring participants, making a donation, distributing mobile phone recycling bags, entering a team (we really wouldn’t recommend anyone tries to drive 350 miles on a monkey bike single-handed!), or simply by coming out to cheer us on along the way. If you would like to take part in any way ‚ either as an individual or as a company ‚ please call me on 0870 442 7462 or contact us.”

For more on Yorkshire Air Ambulance see: www.yorkshireairambulance.org.uk

Ape Rider Dickon Tysoe

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