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image020Some Martins Bank Branches have the most surprising history. We have already told the story many times elsewhere in our Online Archive, of the thousands of brave Martins Bank Staff who went to fight or took up civilian duties in World War Two.  We have also seen how Martins was able to bring in an army of women to run branches as well as looking after their families, and in many cases doing voluntary war work too. 23 Seaside Road Eastbourne, a former Barclays sub-Branch in the 1920s/30s, is home to Martins Bank’s Eastbourne Branch for the first nine years of its life. In the following extract from “Martins Bank Branches in Sussex” (A.F. Hill 1984, pictured below), we have a glimpse of life at this time in the town. Following the evacuation of thouands of people, the Branch keeps going through thick and thin – taking on the work of a nearby office which has to close for the duration of the war, and coping valiantly with the unexpected.  Oh – and having closed for good once, it is briefly opened again… 

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Danger: U X B…

Our representation in Eastbourne was first based at 23 Seaside Road (a former Barclays sub-branch) where Mr W H Kingham and his staff of three opened the office in May 1937.  Business was very slow in the first few years, but was given a boost by the closure of Bexhill Branch in December 1940, when that office was closed for the duration of the war and the business transferred to Eastbourne

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192x Seaside Road Eastboune - Grenville Godfrey

SEASIDE ROAD EASTBOURNE - With thanks to Grenville Godfrey

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Image © Barclays 1937

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Yorkshire Post 8 May 1937

Image © Northcliffe Media Limited Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD

Image reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive

www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

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1939 Phonebook Entry for 23 Seaside Road

            Image © B T 1939

 

 

 

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1957 Mr AF Hill MBM-Su67P06.jpgSandcastle.jpg. Another factor that restricted growth in the early years of the war was that the population of Eastbourne fell to approximately 15000 persons soon after the fall of France, with all non essential persons being evacuated.  During the early part of the war, Eastbourne was subjected to numerous hit and run air raids by German aircraft and although the Branch and staff suffered no casualities, on one occasion an unexploded bomb fell within 20 yards of the Bank and the staff were evacuated from the building for a fortnight.  During that time business was conducted from the customers waiting room at National Provincial Bank in Terminus Road, Nat. Pro. providing a cashing and clearing service, with the days work being held in a suitcase until the all clear was given to return to the office and bring the Ledgers up to date. Mr Murray was manager during this difficult time, having been appointed to the office in September 1939, coping with the upheaval of wartime and the expansion of the peace.  Martins’ spread of business in the town was largely private, with a business section made up of a good portion of hotel and guest house trade, together with allied trades.  In 1946 the Bank bought 130 Terminus Road and occupied part of the premises, the other half being occupied by Geo Brown Gentlemens' Outfitters.  The Branch outgrew its accommodation and in 1957 moved back to 23 Seaside Road whilst the whole of Terminus Road was rebuilt, returning there in 1958.

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1937 to 1939 Mr W H Kinghorn Manager MBM-Wi51P37.jpg

1939 to 1959 Mr J Murray Manager MBM-Au59P51.jpg

1946 Mr N Mereweather MBM-Wi67P02

1946 to 1947 Mr R St J Adcock MBM-Su67P58

BW Logo

BW Logo

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Mr W Kinghorn

Manager

1937 to 1939

Mr J Murray

Manager

1939 to 1946

Mr N Mereweather

On the Staff

1946

Mr R St J Adcock

On the Staff

1946 to 1947

 

 

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Title:

Type:

Address:

Index Number and District:

Hours:

 

Telephone:

Services:

Manager:

11-245 Eastbourne 23 Seaside Road

Full Branch

23 Seaside Road Eastbourne Sussex

439 London

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Eastbourne 20740 & 22000

Counter Only

Mr W H Kinghorn Manager (1937)

 

10 May 1937

1946

1957

1958

Used by Martins Bank as a Temporary Branch

Closed and business transferred to 130 Terminus Road

Used by Martins Bank as a Temporary Branch

Closed and business transferred back to 130 Terminus Road (Rebuilt)

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