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image024Martins Bank’s long association with Cheltenham begins in June 1939, just a few months before the outbreak of the Second World War.  The new branch opens on 1 June at 107 High Street, and stays at this address – unscathed by te actions of war - for a total of eighteen years, before moving to 155 High Street in 1957. 

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1939 Cheltenham 107 High Street 01-JUN Article WDP-BNA.jpg

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Ten years after that, the branch is knocked down as part of the re-development of cheltenham’s High Street. The rebuilt Branch is definitely a World away from its predecessor in terms of modernity, but today the older style of building would probably be more in favour as we now live in age age that clamours for all things nostalgic.  

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In 1966 a self accounting sub Branch is opened at Montpelier, converted from a shop front in a traditional looking building in Queens Circus.  We are grateful to our friends at the British Newspaper Archive, for the images on this page, which show the local newspaper coverage of the opening of 107 High Street.

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1939 Cheltenham 107 High Street opens 01-JUN Advertisement WDP-BNA.jpg

 

 

 

 

Newspaper Images are from the Western Daily Press, of 1 June 1939

 

Both Images © Northcliffe Media

 Limited Image created courtesy of

THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD

Image reproduced with kind

permission of

The British Newspaper Archive

 

 

 

 

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Martins Bank Magazine pays its first visit to Cheltenham in 1952, and with the kind of gentle but well-meaning snobbery we have come to expect of its copy at this time, suggests that the Bank’s employees in other parts of the country must be jealous that they do not have access to “cultural amenities” in their spare time…

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1952 04 MBM.jpgWhen visiting a famous place like Cheltenham for the first time there is a temptation to record what to many people is the obvious - the gracious Regency buildings, the beautiful tree-lined streets and avenues, flower beds and gardens everywhere, and shops which blind the eyes of lady visitors to almost everything else. And because Cheltenham is a spa, one thinks of it as being full of elderly ailing people who have come to take the waters. Well, it is quite true that many retired people do come to live here, and the waters are still drunk, but the fashion is declining. We spoke to one authority on the waters of Bath, Harrogate and Cheltenham and, speaking of Harrogate, he said that if 9000 glasses of water were not sold before breakfast time fifty years ago they thought business was slack. Now, there were occasions when only one customer would turn up before breakfast.

 

The interesting thing is that the popularity of the three places has not been affected by the decline in popularity of the rite of taking the waters. The first thing which struck us forcibly about Cheltenham was the faith of the Bank and the courage of its successive managers not only in setting up in a place where our rivals are so strongly entrenched but right opposite the biggest of them which maintains a staff of about a hundred. But the enterprise was justified and our branch has made a place for itself in the commercial life of the town. The glory of Cheltenham does not all lie in the past, however. For eight years now a week-long Festival of British Contemporary Music has been held and this year for the fourth time a Festival of Contemporary Literature has taken its place in the cultural life of the spa. There is also the Civic Playhouse as well as the theatre and opera house and as a centre for the lovely Cotswold country Time cannot date it. Readers may, therefore, be forgiven for envying Mr. Dash and his colleagues who work so hard for the Bank, but who can enjoy real cultural amenities in their spare time.

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Mr. Dash entered the Bank in 1922 and served at Water Street, Central, Irby, Custom House and on the Relief Staff before going as second to Bath in 1937. After service with H.M. Forces from 1941-1946 he returned to Bath and was appointed Manager at Cheltenham in 1947. We were sorry not to see Mr. P. G. Jones, the second man, who was on a course at Birmingham at the time of our visit but we were glad to meet once again our old friend Mr. D. Hall, who was deputising. Another happy meeting was with Charles Exley who has been on both the Swiss and Italian tours organised by the Magazine Department and who recently became engaged to Marjorie Hopkins of Coventry branch—a romance of the Italian Lakes Tour. W. G. Donaghue, who entered the Bank last year, was born and educated in Pondicherry and only recently came to this country. Miss P. I. Procter and Miss P. E. Wilcox are both local girls and have been in the Bank since 1946 and 1947 respectively.

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1939 to 1947 Mr C N C Windle Manager MBM-Au46P17

1947 to 1965 Mr W G Dash Manager MBM-Sp65P58

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Mr C N C Windle

Manager

1939 to 1947

Mr W G Dash

Manager

1947 to 1957*

 

 

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Title:

Type:

Address:

Hours:

 

Telephone:

Services:

Manager:

11-183 Cheltenham High Street

Full Branch

107 High Street Cheltenham Gloucestershire

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 1000-1200 

Cheltenham 52731

Night Safe Installed

Mr W G Dash (1957)*

* Mr Dash continues as Manager at

155 High St from 1957 to 1965

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1 June 1939

1957

Opened by Martins Bank Limited

Moved to 155 High Street

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