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Martins Bank 1928+

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Bringing the Bank to the customer takes on a new meaning when in 1962 Martins Bank rents a customer’s front room for one hour each week to provide a banking service for the people of Warcop, Westmorland.

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This is a moderately remote and very beautiful part of the world. We were delighted to hear from Gerry Caygill, whose job it is in the 1960s to man the front room sub branch at Warcop each Friday Morning.  As Gerry recalls, thanks to a nearby army training camp, excitement in banking is not confined to the larger towns… 

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Exploding sheep and

    women in sports cars…

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In Service: 1962 until 18 December 1970

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1966 Warcop Exterior BGA Ref 30-3066

Image © Barclays Ref 0030/3066


I joined Martins at Appleby in Westmorland from school in December 1959. Memories of that particular  branch were mixed, suffice it to say that a somewhat ‘Dickensian’ attitude prevailed. Appleby had a sub branch in the small village of Warcop, just along the A66 before Brough. This was run by myself for a couple of hours each Friday morning, in the front room of a customer’s cottage. It was a beautiful rural setting with a stream trickling by over the road.  The usual situation - bag of cash, rubber stamps and a handful of bank credits and debits etc, all transactions entered on a hand written waste sheet*. They were then added to the parent branch waste* on return. My venerable taxi driver doubled as the guard and that was the sum of our security. I don't think that it ever crossed our minds that we may be robbed. Our customers were a regular bunch and would always enter the “bank” from the queue outside, one at a time, for privacy. They were mostly local farmers, the vicar and usually several officers from the nearby G.T.A. - an army tank training camp in the Pennines, where live ammunition was fired, despite the fact that flocks of sheep were grazing on the common fellside land. Inevitably there were casualties, so the War Department would pay a bounty for every sheep destroyed. The farmers had to produce a specified piece of a sheep, probably a horn or hoof, in order to qualify for the payment. It seemed mildly amusing at the time, unless you were a sheep of course! One day a wealthy local, lady landowner customer, pulled up in brand new white Jaguar sports car. When I complimented her on the gleaming car she confessed to being quite miffed at the chauvinistic attitude of the salesman in the Kendal garage. “Do you know”, she said, “he commented about ladies being careful when driving high powered sports cars”. “I wouldn't mind”, she said, “but I've done the Monte Carlo Rally – twice”! 


Text © Gerry Caygill June 2011

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The banking term ‘waste’ refers to the assortment of vouchers – cheques, paying-in slips etc., - that come into a bank branch from customers and other sources throughout the day, and specifically to the printed or handwritten records of these transactions. The information they contain is more important than the pieces of paper themselves, and once processed to accounts the vouchers are largely redundant unless requested by a customer or used to check for errors. They are stored for a number of years for reference, and eventually the ‘waste’ is shredded or burned to become REAL waste! Those who don’t work in a bank are often surprised that such seemingly valuable items are so named…


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Index Number and District:






Martins Bank Limited 11-25-00 Warcop

Sub to 11-25-00 Appleby

Brookside Warcop Appleby Westmorland

203 Northern

Fri 1000-1100

No Saturday Service

Brough 213

No Nightsafe Installed

Mr J A Henderson Manager (Appleby)

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15 December 1969

18 December 1970

Opened by Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-02-42 Appleby


Wark (Northumberland)

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