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North Eastern Banking Company

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Friend of the Archive Allen Williams contacted us to say he had spotted this fabulous image of Warkworth sub Branch.  It is part of a 1970 cine film of a school outing, and we are delighted that the owner, Frank Gillings has been able to capture such an amazingly clear still frame for us from his 8mm film stock! You can see the film in full, on Frank’s You Tube Channel by clicking HERE.

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Bank or surgery?

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1937 Warkworth Exterior Close Up BGA Ref 30-3071

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Here’s another atmospheric image of Warkworth Branch, this time from 1937. The Branch is seen with a doctor’s nameplate affixed above the Martins Bank wall sign. The North Eastern Banking Company opens four new branches in 1891 -  at Tow Law, Hetton le Hole, Wark and Warkworth.  The following year sees the North Eastern Bank actively looking for further expansion, which comes in the form of an amalgamation with Dale Young and Company of South Shields.  Warkworth is run as a sub branch to Amble and opens for ten and a quarter hours each week by the time of the merger with Barclays in 1969. The branch opens on three weekdays and Saturday morning, and is busier than other similar sized outlets in Northumberland and Durham. Amble has several sub branches, Acklington Auction Mart (closed 1967) ACKLINGTON RAF STATION (1969), RED ROW (1991)  and Warkworth, which survives the longest, and closes after one hundred and two years in business, in 1993.

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Image © 1970 to date Frank Gillings

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Image © Barclays Ref 30/3071

A Commemoration – and an anomaly…

We are grateful to Steve Booth for taking a photo of Warkworth Sub Branch whilst on holiday in the village in 2014.  There is quite clearly a lovely carving of the Martins Bank Coat of Arms to the right of image, but as you will see above in the original 1937 photo of the Branch, business appears to have been transacted via the door and window to the LEFT!  Steve spoke to the current owner, to try to establish just what is going on here…


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1937 Warkworth Exterior CU1 BGA Ref 30-3071

1937 Warkworth Exterior CU1 BGA Ref 30-3071

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{“Just had a chat with the owner. They took over when the bank closed 20 odd years ago. The stone shield was already in place and he believes that it was commissioned by Barclays sometime before that time in order to preserve the historical  provenance of the building which is in a very historic part of the village. He believes the commission was given to a local stonemason at a cost of £3000.”}


As Warkworth opened in 1891, it would follow that the one-hundredth anniversary of a bank in the Village would be worth commemorating.  It is nice to know that the legacy of Martins was considered important enough to mark in this way.

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Index Number and District:






Martins Bank Limited 11-20-00 Warkworth                                  

Sub to 11-20-00 Amble

18 Castle Street Warkworth Morpeth Northumberland

302 North Eastern

Mon Tue and Fri 1000-1230

Saturday 0930-1115

Warkworth 409

Counter Service Only

Mr J D Surtees Manager

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7 August 1914

18 December 1918

3 January 1928

15 December 1969

29 October 1993


Opened by the North Eastern Banking Company

Bank of Liverpool

Bank of Liverpool and Martins

Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-02-01 Amble


Gift Shop

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