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Martins Bank takes out this advertisement in the Western Daily Press, and on 15 March 1938, the waiting is over.  Bristol City Office, (which has been housed temporarily since January 1937 in the Refuge Assurance Building in Baldwin Street), is now complete and ready for occupation in its new surroundings.  These are certainly grand and will show the West Country that Martins Bank’s designs on being a National Bank are serious.

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In the intervening period, extensvie work has been taking place to restore the building at 47 Corn Street, to modernise it on the inside, and to tastefully clean and repair it on the outside.  Suites of offices are equipped with the the latest furnishings and materials, stone is cleaned and dressed, whole floors are redesigned and modernised.

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Branch Images © Barclays Ref 30/411



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This is the buidling that will later take on the mantle of South Western District Office, and its praises are well and truly sung in the following article, from  the Western Daily Press which is reproduced here by kind permission of the British newspaper Archive...

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WDP Article 15 Mar 1938Martins Bank  have today transferred to their new office at Corn Street, Bristol, the business which since the beginning of last year they have carried on in temporary premises in Baldwin Street.  Interest has been aroused in this event; firstly by the extensive alterations which have been proceeding for eight months past, transforming the old-fashioned building at the corner of Corn Street and Small Street into an edifice in keeping with modern ideas; and secondly, because the establishment of a “new” bank in Bristol is an event sufficiently rare to attract the attention of all business men.


The history of this great institution goes back to the 16th Century.  It is true that the Bank of Liverpool, out of which the modern Martins Bank has grown, was founded more than 100 years ago, but the predecessors of the original Martin’s Bank which was absorbed by the Bank of Liverpool in 1918, opened their doors in Lombard Street on the site of the Bank’s present London Office about 1563 in the days of Queen Elizabeth.  From 1918 to 1928 the Bank was known as the Bank of Liverpool and Martins Ltd., but when the business of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank Ltd. was absorbed in the latter year, the name of the combined bank was changed to the less cumbersome one of Martins Bank Ltd., and thus was preserved a name known in the City of London for nearly four centuries. In its long history the Bank has absorbed many well-established banking companies in various parts of the country, and thus has obtained its very extensive representation through the whole of the North of England, and in a less degree in the Midlands and the South.




1960 s Bristol City Office Exterior Close Up BGA Ref 30-411.jpgMartins Bank may be congratulated on bringing to Bristol the services of one of the foremost of our banking institutions, and on doing this in a way which has added to the attractions of Bristol’s chief commercial street. The banking office is situated in the Corn Street portion of the ground floor which with the basement has been entirely remodelled. A commodious strongroom has been constructed on the most up-to-date lines to provide all possible security, and a night safe for the deposit of cash, etc., after banking hours has been installed for the convenience of customers.


The heating throughout the building has been modernised, the boiler being fed by a mechanical stoker.  The lighting has been entirely renewed, sanitation remodelled, extended and refitted, and an up-to-date passenger lift installed.  The upper floors have been thoroughly modernised and now form attractive suites of offices for the use of the Bank’s tenants. The whole of the work has been carried out under the supervision of the architects, Mr Ernest C Aldridge of Liverpool, and Mr W H Watkins of Bristol. It is interesting to note that Martins Bank has over 560 offices.  It is a member of the London clearing house, has separate Foreign Branches where all descriptions of foreign business are transacted, and Trustee Departments which undertake all kinds of trustee business.  The Chairman of the Bank is Sir Richard D holt, Bart., LL.D., the Deputy Chairmen are the Right Hon. Lord Colwyn, P.C., D.L., LL.D., Mr G E B Bromley-Martin and Mr F A Bates M.C., A.F.C., D.L., and the General Manager is Mr J M Furniss.  The Bristol Branch is under the management of Mr J H Morrison.




The complete scheme of interior transformation was in the experiences hands of Messrs C A Hayes and Sons Ltd., builders and contractors, St. Thomas Street, Bristol, and it speaks much for their craftsmanship that this fine new building has been evolved out of the old. Walls have had to be knocked down, new doors cut, steps and stairways constructed, new basement vaults made – in fact the ground floor and basements had to be completely turned “inside-out”.  Messrs Hayes’s workmen have done this excellently. How many of the recently-opened licensed premises in Bristol testify still further to the merit of this well-known Bristol firm of builders and contractors?  Shop-front building and rebuilding is another of their specialities, while as an instance of their “capacity” it may be remarked that they are at present engaged on building extensive sewerage disposal works at Conham.




Excellent furnishings in the way of panelling, counters, etc., greatly enhance the artistic merit of the principal offices, and the new bronze outer doors are finely executed. This all-important work has been carried out by Messrs A Edmonds and Co Ltd., the well-known Birmingham firm, whose offices are at Constitution Hill. This firm are noted for their shop fittings and have equipped dozens of museums throughout the country with show-cases and panellings. Their factory, covering over three acres of ground, is equipped with the most modern machinery and their craftsmen are renowned for the excellence of their workmanship built up by years of experience.  Several of the firm’s showcases are in Bristol museum.




One of the most remarkable features of the building is the transformation of the exterior stonework which was carried out by Messrs William Tomkinson and Sons, Great Newton Street, Liverpool. This firm have carried out all the stone cleaning and restoration of the stone work as well as the cleaning up of the lead work on the cornices and the outside painting work. The result is pleasing in every way and makes the building “stand out” in fine relief as an attractive architectural addition to its distinguished surroundings.


Newspaper Image and copy © Northcliffe Media Limited Image created  courtesy of

THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD and reproduced with kind permission of

The British Newspaper Archive

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1949 03 MBM.jpgKnowing how keenly interested  many of our Staff, particularly the males, are in all that goes on under the comprehensive title of  “Head Office” we have in past issues been try­ing to give a series of pen pictures of those departments and their personalities which come into contact with every branch sooner or later. Within the limits of our space we have also given some indication of departmental workings. We hope to complete this series as time goes on. Not so very long ago the Chairman said: “Why don't you feature some of the branches, particularly the remote ones, for a change ?


1960 s Bristol City Office Exterior BGA Ref 30-411Put in pictures of the whole Staff and give them a bit of notice”.  At the rate of six branches per issue it would take us about 25 years to feature them all, but we can at any rate start with the outposts, and so, at the beginning of July, while the Staffs were still more or less together for the Balance, we paid a visit to the South-Western group of branches in search of “local colour”.  Bristol was our first port of call and Mr. Harry Douglas, the Manager, cheerfully permitted us to disorganise his whole day while we talked to his staff, recognised in A. M. Elliott a fellow Liobian, and indulged in a private reunion with John Sparke. a former Heywoods colleague, at that time on relief at Bristol.


To one who has spent all his banking life within a tram ride of Head Office it comes as something of a shock to realise that none of the girls in these branches has even been to Liverpool, never mind to Head Office. Of the male staff two started their banking careers in the Manchester District, one in the Craven District, one in the North-Eastern District, two in the Liverpool District and only one in Bristol itself. Without this link, this contact, it is indeed hard for members of the staff really to have the feeling of belonging to a larger family.   Mr. Douglas himself is a North-Easterner and after serving at various branches in the North-Eastern District he became Manager successively of Wingrove, Gosforth and Wolverhampton, before going to Bristol in 1940.  A. M. Elliott is his second. He entered the Bank in 1927 at Aigburth and went to Inspection Department the following year.


He has been at Bristol since 1938, signing since 1944. E. Armistead started at Colne in 1926 and, apart from war service, has been at Bristol since 1939.  He is covering himself with glory this year (assisted by J. O. Sparke) in taking one of the mobile branches round the country.  P. H. Mellor is an old Lancashire and Yorkshire man who, after service in the Manchester District, first went to Bristol in 1940, and returned there after war service in 1946 after a short spell at Taunton. E.J. Warburton is the other Manchester District man. He first went south in 1939 and, apart from war service has been at Clifton and Plymouth before settling at Bristol for a third spell.


F.J. Clee started his career in the Liverpool District and went to Bristol in 1938, returning there after the war. Of the girls only one, Miss D. E. Wilson, has been in the Bank longer than eighteen months. She entered the service in 1944. To a Liverpudlian, accustomed to the sight of her gaping war wounds, it was a surprise to realise the extent and severity of Bristol's air-raid damage. Quite near our branch is an area reminiscent, on a smaller scale, of the area near St. Paul's, and the shopping streets have many gaps. Our branch was not hit, though the building to which we intended to move was completely destroyed. The office is quite a pleasant one and we were constrained to wonder whether anyone ever had his mind taken off his work by the fairly close proximity of the tavern which was the original of that in Robert Louis Stevenson's “Treasure Island”. That and the nearby famous Theatre Royal are romantic companions for a prosaic banking business. 


In the late afternoon we paid a visit to Clifton branch to see Mr. Price and Mr. Milner. Our branch is attractively situated and Mr. Price gave us a cheery welcome, while D. B. Milner “held the fort”. Owing to housing difficulties Mr. Price lives over the branch but he has a cosy little place and seems very happy. D. B. Milner is a local boy who joined the staff in 1942. In the evening Mr. and Mrs. Douglas took us for a run to see the sights of Bristol and then through the Cheddar Gorge and we talked about banking, personalities and overdrafts until the day was nearly spent. We used to wonder in our own early managerial days in Liverpool exactly how one “went out to look for business”.  Mr. Douglas certainly opened our eyes and as we toured the countryside miles away from the city and realised the extent of his “field” we paid silent tribute to the pioneers, personified by him, who have blazed the Midland and South-Western trails.

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1937 to 1938 Mr H A Wilmot Manager MBM-Su62P54.jpg

1937 to 1940 Mr J H Morrison Manager MBM-Sp54P54.jpg

1938 to 1939 and 1946 to 1965  pro Manager from 1962 Mr F J Clee MBM-Wi65P06.jpg

1938 to 1943 Mr G A King Pro Manager MBM-Su62P56.jpg

1940 to 1941 Mr P H Mellor MBM-Au66P04.jpg

1949 to 1962 Mr H V Scott Pro Manager form 1958 MBM-Su68P51.jpg

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Mr H A Wilmott

Pro Manager

1937 to 1938

Mr J H Morrison


1937 to 1940

Mr F J Clee

Staff 1938/9 & 1946-62

Pro Manager 1962-65

Mr G A King

Pro Manager

1938 to 1943

Mr P H Mellor

On the Staff

1940 to 1941

Mr H V Scott

Pro Manager

1949 to 1962

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1954 to 1956 R H Shorland joined the bank here MBM-Sp68P06.jpg

1959 to 1962 Mr W A Hopewell Assistant Manager MBM-Wi66P02.jpg

1960 to 1962 Mr A B Hindmarsh Manager MBM-Su62P51.jpg

1962 to 1964 Mr D B Lucas Assistant Manager MBM-Au64P03.jpg

1964 Mr EJ Warburton First Cashier Bristol City Office MBM-Su64P23.jpg

1964 Mr JF Knowles Deputy Manager Bristol City Office MBM-Au64P03.jpg

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Mr R H Shorland

Joined the Bank Here

1954 to 1956

Mr W A Hopewell

Assistant Manager

1959 to 1962

Mr A B Hindmarsh


1960 to 1962

Mr D B Lucas

Assistant Manager

1962 to 1964

Mr E J Warburton

First Cashier


Mr J F Knowles

Deputy Manager


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1965 Miss AF Washbourne Bristol City Office Staff MBM-Su65P40.jpg

1965 Miss RIJ Chalk Relief Cashier MBM-Sp65P40.jpg

1965 to 1968 Mr A D Barlow pro Manager Bristol City Office MBM-Wi65P04.jpg

1966 Jean Stapleton Accounts SWD Relief Staff MBM-Sp66P39.jpg

1967 Mr E Russell Deputy Manager MBM-Su67P03.jpg

1967 Mr WT Williams Messenger Corn Street MBM-Wi67P39.jpg

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Miss A F Washbourne

On the Staff


Miss R I J Chalk

Relief Cashier


Mr A D Barlow

Pro Manager

1965 to 1968

Miss Jean Stapleton



Mr E Russell

Deputy Manager


Mr W T Williams



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1968 Mr FJ Lyons Deputy Manager MBM-Au68P07.jpg

1968 SJ Beese pro Manager MBM-Sp68P06.jpg

BW Logo

BW Logo

BW Logo

BW Logo

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Mr F J Lyons

Deputy Manager


Mr S J Beese

Pro Manager






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Index Number and District:






11-16-20 Bristol City Office

Full Branch

47 Corn street Bristol 1

190 South Western

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Bristol 294781/8

Nightsafe Installed

Mr A W Thomspon OBE MC TD Manager

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See also:



Temporary full branch 1937 to 1938

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4 January 1937

15 March 1938

15 December 1969

15 October 1982


Opened in temporary premises in Baldwin Street

Moved to 47 Corn Street

Barclays Bank Limited 20-13-43 Bristol 47 Corn Street

Closed and business transferred to 40 Corn Street

Public Bar and office space

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