Plan take on the “Clock 2 Rock” journey for a great cause!The Directors of Plan Insurance Brokers have taken on a challenge laid down by their key insurer partner Tradewise Insurance. They’ll be attempting to cover the 1437 miles (including Channel crossing) from London, the home of Big Ben the world’s most famous clock to Gibraltar a.k.a. Lord Nelson’s Rock in under 36 hours……. in a 16 year old black cab that currently struggles to top 30 miles an hour and without a sat nav. As a result of a throw away comment over late night drinks, Plan’s management team will cross the continent in an iconic (but decommissioned and definitely seen better days) London Black Cab emblazoned with Union Jacks as the Brexit debate rages at home. The rally requires them to set off at the start of the working week on Monday June 6th and to arrive in Gibraltar at 5pm the next day in time for welcome drinks at Tradewise’s Annual Insurance Conference. In tribute to London cabbies’ and their ability to navigate the capital without the benefit of modern technology they’ll be going old school and using A-Z maps all the way. If they can do it they’ll certainly deserve a beverage and in the process they’re hoping to raise as close to £5,000 as possible for the Magical Taxi Tour Charity.
The Origins of the ChallengeOpinion varies as to whether Tradewise’s Chairman James Humphreys was impressed at just how long the men from Plan were able to talk about taxi insurance – or if he was desperate to change the subject. Either way witnesses agree that he uttered the sentence, “Bloody hell, you’ll probably turn up here in a taxi next year.” And with a throw away comment that he may come to regret he added, “If you do I’ll pay the fare.” That fare is estimated to be around £4,500 and Plan are set to take on the challenge to see if he’s as good as his word. As all funds raised will be going to the Magical Taxi Tour Charity they’re certain he will be. Hopefully for James a few more kind souls will chip in and help share the fare.
The Magical Taxi Tour CharityEvery year the Magical Taxi Tour Charity arrange a three day trip of a lifetime to Disneyland Paris for children with life threatening illnesses. Its a truly unique experience for the children and heart warming site to see for anyone involved. Travelling in a convoy of licensed London taxis over 200 children suffering from a range of chronic, debilitating illnesses and life limiting conditions are given the chance to savour great moments of joy and happiness. Organised annually by the Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers, the event is only possible with the help of donations. Each of the drivers give both their time and the use of their taxis free. Plan began supporting the charity last year and found sponsoring a cab to be both humbling and rewarding. This year with the money raised through the Clock 2 Rock challenge we hope to sponsor a minimum of 3 cabs. Plan will be covering the cost of purchasing a black cab and all expenses of the rally. They’ve also already pledged funds to cover one cab for the Magical Taxi Tour. Hopefully with the generous support of their friends, family and trade partners they’ll be able to promote this fantastic cause sufficiently to raise enough for two more.
The VehicleObviously as it’s for charity Plan are keen to keep the vehicle costs down. We perhaps tried to save a little too much with our first purchase which was bought in haste from Ebay for £400. What initially looked a bargain turned out to be a death trap. The exact words from Fosters Auto Centre were, “We’ve never seen a vehicle with a longer MOT fail list.” There were 28 in all.
But fear not!Luckily we found a man that has had a long held desire to use a black cab for banger racing. So we managed to recoup most of the funds by selling him the shell which he’ll fit with a beefed up V8 engine. Hopefully the chassis will hold together….but back to the Clock to Rock Challenge. Fortunately our friends at Hailo know a little more about cabs than us desk jockeys. They recommended we visit M & H Taxis on the Old Kent Road. We’ve subsequently found a beautiful TX1 Bronze in British racing Green with a walnut dash and chrome fittings but sadly no air con. Its currently awaiting wrapping.
Meet the #Clock2Rock Crew!
Co-Founder and Corporate Development DirectorThe challenge is Scott’s brain child and as a result he’s been tasked with two important jobs. Firstly of securing a road worthy vehicle (if you’ve read the above you’ll know he’s completed this role with varying degrees of success.) Secondly of encouraging corporate level sponsorship for the challenge from our trade partners – which he’s proved very capable of,
I can’t wait. It should be a great fun. I just hope the cab doesn’t break down in the middle of nowhere otherwise I’m getting the blame for buying a clapped out cab.
Sales DirectorAnother car fanatic and a man who will be much more comfortable in the role of driver rather than passenger. He outlines how he sees the trip going,
Judging by the current top speed of the cab we’re going to be up against it time-wise. So we may end up having to take it in turns to nap in the back as we go. That won’t be easy as the suspension is pretty shot. So we’ll be bouncing all over the place. The air con is also on the blink. But we’re all willing to put up with stifling heat, a bit of tiredness and potentially being car sick if it helps raise money for the kids.
Operations DirectorAs you’d expect from an Ops man Nick has carefully planned the route and itinerary. A petrol head and seasoned driver on the continent Nick will be behind the wheel for the lion’s share of the journey.
To stick to the schedule we need to average 60 mph outside of planned short breaks and not get lost, else we’ll be driving all night. So I’m currently looking into ways of eeking out some more power from the cab’s tired old engine and studying the A-Z.
Marketing DirectorNobody is keen to let him drive due to his heavy brake foot and his tendency to miss turnings but in this digital age they need someone to handle the social media. Grant will be posting and hash tagging his heart out in order to try and garner donations as they go.
I think its a great opportunity for Plan to help raise awareness of a fantastic taxi charity. Cabbies haven’t had it easy of late but The Magical Taxi Tour is a fantastic example of the bigger contribution the taxi trade makes. I’ll be doing my best to promote their efforts.