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North Eastern Banking Company

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The North Eastern Bank opens its branch at 261 Jesmond Road (an area known as Jesmond Dene) in 1908, and through the familiar run of amalgamations, the branch falls into the hand of Martins Bank.  By 1968 Jesmond branch has seen better days, and Martins decides to open a more modern office further down Jesmond Road, but to keep the original Branch on as a sub-Branch.  Whilst both offices are taken on by Barclays, it is 261 Jesmond Road that closes first, in the early 1970s.  At the end of November 1960, Mr J A Sutherland retires after fourteen years at the helm of Jesmond Branch, and a total of 44 years with the Bank.

In Service: 1908 to 29 June 1973

1960 s Jesmond Road Exterior BGA Ref 30-2006

Image © Barclays Ref 0030/2006

Martins Bank Magazine pays a quick visit to the Branch on 27 November 1958, and has just enough time to look around, and to have tea upstairs in the Manager’s flat with Mr Sutherland and his wife. We are grateful to Peter Galley for the street scene photograph . . .

Jesmond is the long thin branch on the Jesmond Road. At the moment, the counter is at right angles to the frontage and when it is eventually turned the other way some badly needed extra space will result. Here again we saw something we have never previously encountered—the strong room being part of and entered from the Manager's private office, of which its door occupied the farther wall.  Inspired possibly by the accounts which have appeared in these pages of some of our exotic Southern branches, the ceiling of the branch at Jesmond has been painted red, and remarkably effective it is, far more effective than it sounds. This branch too, is situated in a neighbourhood which has changed enormously in recent years and many of the old connections, though still retained, have drifted elsewhere. It is the kind of branch which has to fight to retain its business as more fashionable suburbs develop further out.  Mr. J. A. Sutherland, the Manager, took us upstairs for a cup of tea and we were very pleased to meet his wife in their house over the bank. We were interested to learn that though at first, they hated living over the branch on a main road, after being in the comparative quiet of a seaside town, they are now both completely acclimatised and very happy in their home. The nearby repertory theatre is one of the attractions of Jesmond, and they have made many friends in the district.

In the less “politically correct” times of the 1950s and 60s, Mr Sutherland is known – with great affection – as DARKIE, and reference is made to this a number of times in the following article from Martins Bank Magazine’s Summer 1961 issue…

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1961 01 MBM.jpg1946 to 1961 Mr J A Sutherland (known as Darkie) MBM-Sp61P53.jpgMr. Sutherland, affectionately known as “Darkie”, retired on November 30th after 44 years’ service. Mostly connected with the Tynemouth area he served at North Shields, Whitley Bay and at King Street, South Shields, opening Westoe Sub Branch in 1927. Such was his success that in 1932 he was asked to open Tynemouth branch where he stayed until 1942 when the Royal Navy claimed his services for the remaining war years. He served in destroyers, mainly in the North Sea and Atlantic Approaches. He returned to North Shields, taking up his appointment as Manager of Jesmond branch in 1946. He also served in the first world war for a few months at the end of 1918. He was immensely popular with the staff and customers alike and is held in high esteem by all. Such was his popularity that over seventy members of the staff and customers came to give him and Mrs. Sutherland their best wishes at a gathering at the Liberal Club in Newcastle. In making the presentation of a wallet and a handsome cheque, Mr. Prest referred to Mr. Sutherland’s successful, happy career and to his wide popularity. Mr. W. S. Blaylock, Inspector, N.E. District Office, spoke ap­preciatively of Mr. Sutherland’s loyal service to the Bank and also of his own personal friendship with Mr. and Mrs. Sutherland. Mr. L. J. Walton, District General Manager, had called earlier to express his best wishes for “Darkie’s” long and happy retirement. Miss Patricia Gray gave Mrs. Sutherland a bouquet which was delightfully presented and charmingly received. A little subdued but in his inimitable style, “Darkie” responded to the many tributes paid to Mrs. Sutherland and himself and spoke of the happy times he had had in the Bank and of the many sincere friendships made.

We are grateful to Martins Colleague Paul Thompson for several contemporary images of North Eastern District Branches.  Here we compare 261 Jesmond Road “then and now”, and you can see further examples on the Branch Network pages for Newcastle Wingrove, and Newcastle Market Street…

Image © Barclays Ref 30-2006

Image © 2015 Paul Thompson

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1919 to 1928 Mr R C Hall MBM-Sp58P46.jpg

1920 Mr N L Watson joined the bank here MBM-Wi64P54.jpg

1932 to 1944 Mr C G Whittingham Manager MBM-Sp57P52.jpg

1946 to 1961 Mr J A Sutherland (known as Darkie) CU MBM-Sp61P53.jpg

1947 to 1949 Mr A E Milburn MBM-Su64P03.jpg

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Mr R C Hall

On the Staff

1919 to 10928

Mr N L Watson

Joined the Bank Here


Mr D T Hall

On the Staff


Mr C G Manningham


1932 to 1944

Mr J A Sutherland

On the Staff

1946 to 1961

Mr A E Milburn

On the Staff

1947 to 1949

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1954 to 1955 Mr J H W Pepper joined the bank here MBM-Sp68P07.jpg

1960 to 1967 Mr A Galley Manager MBM-Sp67P05

1964 Miss A Smith Cashier MBM-Au64P42.jpg

1964 Mr David J Watson.jpg

1967 Mr JM Hogarth Manager MBM-Sp67P04.jpg

BW Logo

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Mr J H W Pepper

Joined the Bank Here

1954 to 1955

Mr A Galley


1960 to 1964

Miss A Smith



David J Watson

On the Staff

Summer 1964

Mr J M Hogarth


1967 to 1968






Two Branches













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Index Number and District:






11-01-50 Newcastle Upon Tyne Jesmond

Full Branch  - downgraded to sub branch 1968

261 Jesmond Road Jesmond Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 1LF

337 North Eastern

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Newcastle 813697

Nightsafe Installed

Mr J M Hogarth Manager


Newcastle Jesmond


7 August 1914

18 December 1918

3 January 1928

15 December 1969

29 June 1973

Opened by the North Eastern Banking Company

Bank of Liverpool

Bank of Liverpool and Martins Limited

Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-59-77 Newcastle 88/91 Jesmond Road


Keighley Cavendish Street

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