So what exactly did Bankstone and friends get up to over the weekend 29th-30th June?

Hint: it’s something to do with charity and with monkey bikes.

For further clues see virtually any edition of Bankstone News this year.

In the “special” report below, Sir Dickon of Tysoe picks up the story, promptly drops it, resolutely picks it up again, and, with occasional assistance from Bankstone News, staggers on a little further, until the narrative burden finally becomes too much and he collapses, utterly spent, along the margins of some dusty half-remembered Yorkshire byway…

At 326 miles in total, this year’s round-Yorkshire charity ride may well have been the longest yet! We set out full of hope and bacon rolls from Bankstone’s Brighouse HQ on the morning of 29 June.

Most of us were dressed as knights. Dan the Van Man dressed up as a helicopter. Sir Richard of Neve didn’t bother to dress up as anything, so we made him wear the Lady Godiva/Bubbles de Vere naked fat-suit costume in an attempt. This certainly raised a smile or two and must have helped to put YAA regional fundraiser Kerry Garner and other ladies present fully at their ease.

Following these preliminaries, we set off, barely late at all. By our standards.

First stop was the traditional ceremony of re-fuelage at one of Keighley’s finest stations of service. Thence, our knightly cavalcade of tiny motorcycles roared off towards the sun-soaked but not un-windy moors via Ilkley, shepherded by Sir Colin Whataman on his (relatively) giant charger.

The excitement of being in one of England’s finest spa towns proved too much for Sir Richard spilt the liquid contents of his gearbox outside Ye Olde Booth’s Supermarket in the aforementioned Ilkley, rendering his steed hors de combat and relegating Sir Richard to the lead cart, alongside the humble likes of Old Bankstone News editor Davy-Jane McManus and Izzy the Navigator.

Leaving ill-fated Ilkley, our brave band made off across the churning waters of the Wharfe, trundling up the moors alongside the giant balls of Menwith. Next stop, eventually, was Marmion Tower, where photographs were taken, the Bikesore Boys (Sir Grant and squires Luke, Christian and Jason) looking particularly fetching – if not entirely medieval – in musketeer outfits.

No less visually arresting were the jesters and damsels of the Bike Insurer crew lead by Baron Philippe de Wyldething. From Marmion to Mount Grace Priory (MGP) their contingent was represented by the almost all-female trio of Lady Jess, Lady Jo and Lady (Boy) Mike. More by luck than judgement, we all survived joining and crossing the 80mph traffic on the A19 dual carriageway to arrive at MGP. Friendly English Heritage natives supplied suitably medieval weaponry from the visitor shop for pics posed on the front terrace. Then it was lunch. Hurrah!

Lady Kathryn of Tysoe laid on a marvelous spread in the carpark. Not a single flapjack short of a picnic.

And there, alas, we must leave our tale for now, barely a quarter-way done, until such time as Sir Dickon sees fit to bestir himself sufficiently to explain ‘what really went on there’ in Part II of… MEDIEVAL MONKEYS 2013. Coming to these pages soon.

In the meantime, don’t forget to go here and donate massively to the stonkingly good cause that is the Yorkshire Air Ambulance service, or YAA, as they prefer to be called. Saves on stationery and signage costs.

Mount Grace


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