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Martins Bank 1928+

 

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When Martins Bank’s Oxford Circus Branch opens in 1948, athletes from all over the world are converging on London for the Games of the XIV Olympiad, putting up with post war austere accommodation and facilities a world away from the sophistication of those supplied at the London 2012 Games.  At this point, television is mostly confined to an area of about thirty miles’ radius from north London, food and clothing are still rationed and the latest banking technology is a hand operated adding machine. 

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From “The Victoria Line Report Number 2 – Down and Along”

British Transport Films, August 1963 ImageS © BFI National Archive

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From “The Victoria Line Report Number 2 – Down and Along”

British Transport Films, August 1963 Image © BFI National Archive

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The Bank’s newest London office, known officially as Oxford Circus Branch, opens in this handsome building at 251 Regent Street.  The images shown here were captured from British Transport Film’s “The Victoria Line Report Number 2 – Down and Along”. They are shown on this page courtesy of our friends at the BFI NATIONAL ARCHIVE.  The film from which they are taken throws the spotlight on Oxford Circus during the Bank Holiday Weekend of August 1963, when a special bridge was constructed to allow traffic to continue to flow above, whilst just under the ground, work on the new London Victoria Line and its stations could take place unhindered.  Martins’ Branch is next door to the Westminster Bank, which occupies the prime “corner spot”. We have just two short features for Oxford Circus, both from 1969 – a Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award awaits a member of the Branch Staff, and the retirement of a well regarded colleague is due…  Your memories of this Branch are of course most welcome at the usual address:  gutinfo@btinternet.com.

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Gold Standard

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1969 02 MBM.jpg1969 Kevin Pierson MBM-Su69P56.jpgWe congratulate Kevin Pierson (Oxford Circus) on his attainment of the Duke of Edinburgh gold award. The scheme consists of four sections: service, expedition, pur­suits and interests, and physical fitness. Kevin's achievement in­volved a course in fire-fighting with the local fire brigade, a four-day, fifty-mile cross-country expedition during which he had to cook at least two meals a day, qualifying as a drummer in the Boys Brigade band and helping to train new members of the band, plus a number of physical fitness tests including ath­letics.

Image © 1948 Martins Bank Archive Collection

 

In addition he acted as camp cook for a Boys Brigade contingent touring Europe and also helped out at Rochford General hospital.

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By hook, or by crook…

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Well, he won’t quite be LAST in the book, but pretty close – Mr Wildman retires in May 1969, and is one of last members of Martins Bank’s staff to have his retirement announced and covered by Martins Bank Magazine, before the merger with Barclays.  The story below appears in the final full version of the Magazine, which is issued in Autumn 1969…

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1969 03 MBM.jpg1963 to 1969 Mr G A Wildman Retirement Photo MBM-Au69P59.jpgPro Manager at Oxford Circus for the past fifteen and a half years, Mr G. A. Wildman retired at the end of May after nearly 44 years' service. He first joined the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank in Burnley, his native town, but for most of his time he served in the London District, with four years in H.M. Forces. His outside activities included the chairmanship of his local cricket club, and he is master-elect of his masonic lodge. A large number of colleagues attended his retirement party at the branch. Mrs Wildman, who received a bouquet from Miss P. Spreadborough, was accom­panied by their son and daughter. Mr D. E. Stevens (Manager, Oxford Circus) presented a cheque to Mr Wildman, who said he would buy a pair of binoculars and went on to delight the assembly with many reminiscences of the lighter side of his banking career.

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Martins Staff member, and current Secretary of the Grasshopper Pensioners’ Club, Dave Baldwin, took his trusty camera to Oxford Circus for us, to capture the contemporary view of the building that once housed the Westminster and Martins Banks. It is good to see that not too much has changed in more than fifty years, and that this part of the once “swinging” London is still a “dedicated follower of fashion”…

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From “The Victoria Line Report Number 2 – Down and Along”

British Transport Films, August 1963 Image © BFI National Archive

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Image © Martins Bank Archive Collection – Dave Baldwin 2014

We are also grateful to our friends at Royal Bank of Scotland Archives, for finding these two black and white images of Oxford Circus Branch, for us. At our suggestion, they very kindly looked through their collection of Westminster Bank Photos, from which it was possible to extract to these two views of the neighbouring Martins Bank Branch.

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The larger image was taken in 1956, the smaller in 1961. It is clear that between these two dates Martins Bank has refurbished the branch and added the signage to the windows of the branch – this can be seen more clearly in the main colour image at the top of this page.

 

IMAGES REPRODUCED BY KIND PERMISSION

OF ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND ARCHIVES

© 1956 and 1961

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1950 to 1957 Mr J A Richards MBM-Wi67P04.jpg

1950 to 1962 Mr R W Brown joined the bank here MBM-Wi65P05.jpg

1951 to 1953 Mr H A Packett MBM-Au62P26.jpg

1951 to 1956 Mr A E Holland joined the bank here MBM-Au67P08.jpg

1953 to 1961 Mr B W Mayo MBM-Wi66P04.jpg

1963 to 1969 Mr G A Wildman Pro Manager MBM-Au69P59.jpg

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Mr J A Richards

On the Staff

1950 to 1957

Mr R W Brown

Joined the Bank Here

1950 to 1962

Mr H A Packett

On the Staff

1951 to 1953

Mr A E Holland

Joined the Bank Here

1951 to 1956

Mr B W Mayo

Joined the Bank Here

1953 to 1961

Mr G A Wildman

Pro Manager

1953 to 1969

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1954 to 1966 Mr EA Stonebridge pro Manager from 1964 MBM-Su64P06.jpg

1954 to 1969 Mr R G Bunn pro Manager from 1966 MBM-Su66P06.jpg

1956 to 1958 Mr A W Sheldrick Assistant Manager MBM-Sp68P06.jpg

1956 to 1967 Mr E L Beaney Accountant MBM-Au67P51.jpg

1956 to 1969 Mr D E Stevens Deputy then Manager from 1965 MBM-Sp65P03.jpg

1957 to 1961 and pro Manager from 1959 Mr R D Beaumont MBM-Sp64P05.jpg

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Mr E A Stonebridge

Pro Manager

1954 to 1966

Mr R G Bunn

Pro Manager

1954 to 1969

Mr A W Sheldrick

Assistant Manager

1956 to 1958

Mr E L Beaney

Accountant

1956 to 1967

Mr D E Stevens

Deputy Manager 1956

Manager 1965 onwards

Mr R D Beaumont

On staff 1957 to 1959

Pro Manager 1959-61

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1958 to 1965 Mr D J Webber Assistant Manager MBM-Au65P03.jpg

1959 to 1963 Mr E J Hatton MBM-Wi66P05.jpg

1960 to 1965 Mr S W P Barter Manager MBM-Sp65P03.jpg

1961 to 1964 Mr A T Fosten pro Manager MBM-Wi65P03.jpg

1965 Mr A H M Brain Pro Manager MBM-Su65P06.jpg

1965 Mr NR Manser Deputy Manager then Manager from 1969 MBM-Su65P06.jpg

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Mr D J Webber

Assistant Manager

1958 to 1965

Mr E J Hatton

On the Staff

1959 to 1963

Mr S W P Barter

Manager

1960 to 1965

Mr A T Fosten

Pro Manager

1961 to 1964

Mr A H M Brain

Pro Manager

1965

Mr N R Manser

Deputy Manager

1965

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1965 Mr RHG Beatrip Assistant Manager MBM-Au65P02.jpg

1967 Mr DR Farrow Accountant MBM-Au67P05.jpg

1969 Kevin Pierson MBM-Su69P56.jpg

1969 Mr A W Wescombe Deputy Manager MBM-Au69P13.jpg

1969 Mr H R Hunt Pro Manager MBM-Au69P11.jpg

BW Logo

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Mr R H G Beatrip

Assistant Manager

1965

Mr D R Farrow

Accountant

1967

Mr Kevin Pierson

On the Staff

1969

Mr A W Wescombe

Deputy Manager

1969

Mr H R Hunt

Pro Manager

1969

 

Title:

Type:

Address:

Index Number and District:

Hours:

 

Telephone:

Services:

Manager:

11-00-80 London Oxford Circus

Full Branch

251 Regent Street London W1

456 London

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

01 734 6671

Nightsafe Installed

Mr D E Stevens OBE Manager

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London Oxford Circus is included in Martins’ London Account Number Allocation, where Branches due for automation are given “significant  digits” to identify them at the London Computer Centre by account numbers issued. The Branch Customer Accounts will be identified by either of the significant digits 8 or 9. In this mocked up example of an Oxford Circus Branch Cheque, the account number begins with 8 to indicate the Branch. During tests of Martins’ computer program “Branch Accounting” the Bank increased the number of digits in its account numbers from seven to eight…

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28 June 1948

15 December 1969

12 November 1984

Currently

opened by Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-64-89 Oxford Circus 251 Regent Street

Closed

French Connection UK

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