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Martins Bank opens its third Coventry Branch on the Daventry Road at Cheylesmore in 1966,  and this is only a part of the Bank’s changes in the City.  A dramatic new building that will supercede Coventry High Street as the Main Branch is unveiled in WARWICK ROAD and shared with the Royal Insurance Group. Coventry HIGH STREET, which remained standing after a direct hit from a bomb destroyed the building next door in World War II, is downgraded and closed at the time of the merger with Barclays.  Cheylesmore was the one surviving Martins Branch in Coventry, until June 2017, and can be seen below in our “then and now” feature…

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The images below make up what has to be one of the best of our “Then and Now” comparisons, because at 155 Daventry Road, so little appears to have changed on the outside.  The configuration of doors and windows, (so often changed at other branches) has remained the same, and the addition of a cash machine has caused only a slight relocation of the night safe.

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On the inside, is the arrangement of vinyl floor tiles of which Martins Bank is particularly fond, usually arranged in the “zebra crossing” style seen below, and use of this flooring is evidenced in our photo archive for many branches from around 1963 onwards.  Whilst the floor may now be seen as old fashioned, the ceiling tiles and lighting panels at Cheylesmore are still to be seen in many an office today.

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1966 Coventry Cheylesmore Exterior BGA Ref 30-0635

Martins Branch Images All © Barclays Ref: 30/727

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We don’t have an image of today’s interior at Cheylesmore, but we do note with some sadness that the advent of the bandit screen in the early 1970s put paid to the Bank’s open wooden counters. Cheylesmore Branch opens at the height of Martins Bank’s “Animals and Children” advertising campaign, and in the Branch Opening Announcements shown below, Percy the Wallaby is featured as being one of those who “can’t wait” to explore the new Branch…

Coventry Evening Telegraph 27 July 1966

Image © Trinity Mirror Image created courtesy of

THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. Image reproduced with

kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive

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Image © Martins Bank Archive Collection 2017





Index Number and District:






11-14-30 Coventry Cheylesmore


155 Daventry Road Cheylesmore Coventry CV3 5HD Warwickshire

593 Midland

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Coventry 26355

Nightsafe Installed

Mr K S Peal Manager Coventry


4 August 1966

15 December 1969

Friday 30 June 2017

Opened by Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank  Limited 20-23-61 Coventry Warwick Road

Closed permanently from 12 noon

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