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A phantom Branch?

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Fact or fiction, there does seem to be evidence that Martins Bank offered a Banking service at Elterwater until 1935…

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Image © Kelly’s Directory of Westmorland 1925 & University of Leicester

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To begin with, our friends at Barclays have a record of both an opening and a closing year - Elterwater is originally opened by the Bank of Liverpool in 1898.    By the time of the creation of of the modern day Martins Bank in 1928, the Bank has a string of tiny sub branches and agencies right across the Lake District, some of which survive to this day.  Opening hours of “last Tuesday monthly 1000-1130” are also recorded, and in the above extract from Kellys Directory of Westmorland, we can see that a Saturday service is mentioned. What we don’t know, is whether the service was open on both days, or whether perhaps there was a change made opting for Saturdays over Tuesdays!. These hours are probably organised to coincide with a local market, and this market connection probably means that the branch will originally have been run as an agency by a trusted member of the local community, who may even have transacted the Bank’s business from their own front room.  If anyone can confirm this from memories within their family, please do get in touch with us at the usual address – . 

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Index Number and District:






11-031 Elterwater                     

Sub, probably Agency to 11-031 Ambleside

Elterwater Ambleside Westmorland

202 Northern

Last Tuesday Monthly 1000-1130

Saturday 1000-1130

No Telephone

Counter Service Only

Mr Arthur B Bell Manager (1929)



18 December 1918

3 January 1928


Opened by the Bank of Liverpool

Bank of Liverpool and Martins

Martins Bank Limited