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North Eastern Banking Company

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“Turn again Wilkinson, Mayor of Sunderland”…

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The North Eastern Banking Company opens a branch at Southwick in 1900.  The image above, displayed with the kind permission of our friends at the Sunderland Echo,  shows Southwick in the 1950s before the branch has a makeover.  The results can be seen below, a new exterior and bright welcoming interior. By the  time of the 1969 merger with Barclays, there have been a total of NINE Sunderland Branches, at Chester Road, Fawcett Street, Fulwell, Grangetown, Hendon, Millfield, Monkwearmouth, Pallion, and  Southwick.  Southwick is amongst the branches that are mothballed for part of the second world war, so that larger branches can be adequately staffed.  In 1964 Martins Bank Magazine meets a rather special member of the Sunderland staff.  By day he is the guard at Southwick and Fulwell sub branches, but by night he is something of a Dick Whittington character -  well, almost.  He’s had quite an eventful life; having spent fifty years working for a colliery, he has met the Duke of Edinburgh twice, and he is now leaving the world of being a bank guard behind, to become the Mayor of Sunderland…

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1964 02 MBM.jpg

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Mr Robert Wilkinson retired on May 9th after serving four-and-a-half years as bank guard at Southwick and Fulwell sub bran­ches.  Eleven days later he became Mayor of Sunderland. Always keenly interested in local govern­ment Mr Wilkinson was elected a member of Sunderland County Borough Council in 1945 and raised to the Aldermanic bench in 1959.

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1959 to 1964 Mr Robert Wilkinson Guard MBM-Su64P49.jpgDuring the past year, as Deputy Mayor, he has twice had the honour of meeting H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh. Before joining the Bank Mr Wilkinson worked at Wearmouth Colliery for fifty years, apart from service in Italy during the first world war. He has always been a keen sportsman. In his younger days he was wicket-keeper for Wearmouth Colliery C.C. and has been a life-long supporter of Sunderland Football Club.


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1960 s Sunderland Southwick Exterior 5 BGA Ref 30-2746

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Image © Sunderland Echo

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1960 s Sunderland Southwick Exterior 5 BGA Ref 30-2746 

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Images © Barclays Ref 30-2746

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1960 s Sunderland Southwick Interior 1 BGA Ref 30-2746

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His Bank service has been thoroughly enjoyable, he assures us, as it has enabled him to widen his circle of friends. Although both staff and customers are sorry to lose him, all wish him a very successful year as Mayor of Sunderland.

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1908  to 1910  Mr B Raine Clerk in Charge 1927 to 1947 Manager MBM-Wi47P10.jpg

1927 to 1934 Mr A E Mennear  MBM-Su57P49.jpg

1959 to 1964 Mr Robert Wilkinson Guard MBM-Su64P49.jpg

1966 Mr A Cuthbert Clerk in Charge MBM-Wi66P02.jpg

BW Logo

BW Logo

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Mr B Raine

Clerk in Charge 1908-10 Manager 1927-47

Mr A E Mennear

On the Staff

1927 to 1934

Mr Robert Wilkinson

Bank Guard

1959 to 1964

Mr A Cuthbert

Clerk in Charge

1966 onwards






Index Number and District:






11-10-80 Sunderland Southwick

Full Branch

13 The Green Southwick Sunderland County Durham

378 North Eastern

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Sunderland 3311

Nightsafe Installed

Mr A Cuthbert Pro Manager


7 August 1914

18 December 1918

3 January 1928



12 December 1969


Opened by the North Eastern Banking Company

Bank of Liverpool

Bank of Liverpool and Martins Limited

Martins Bank Limited

Closed for World War 2


Closed and business tranferred to Barclays Southwick 9 The Green

Tanning Salon

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