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Complete optimism…

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image024When Mr T H Kinder opens Exeter Branch, trumpeted by this advertisement in the Western Times, little does he know that within less than three years the building will be virtually levelled by German bombs?  In a press release to the local newspapers, the Bank proudly tells readers of Martins’ history its dominance of the North of England, and of its plans to expand in the Midlands and the South West.  There follows a description of the lavish and high quality fixtures and fittings that will make Martins Bank in Exeter a special place to do business:

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{Martins Bank announce the opening on Thursday next the 23RD instant, of their new branch at 5, Bedford Street Exeter, under the management of Mr T.H. Kinder who was formerly on the Inspection Staff at Head Office.}

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1939 24 MAR New Exeter Branch Western Times.jpg

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Western Times 24 March 1939

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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{The site of the new office in Bedford street is in the centre of Exeter, in one of the most important parts of the city. A complete reconstruction of ground floor and basement premises has been carried out and a new Portland stone elevation on classical lines provided. The interior of the ground floor is panelled with Australian walnut to dado height. The walls above being stippled with plaster paint and the ceiling coffered. The whole of the fittings and office furniture of modem design are also carried out in Australian walnut. In the basement a large and up-to-date strong room and book room has been constructed and a night safe will afford facilities for customers wishing to make deposits after banking hours.}

…complete devastation

Exactly three years and one months after the opening of the new Branch, the infamous Baedecker air-raid of 23 April 1942 wreaks a terrible destruction upon Exeter, and the images below speak for themselves as to what happened to the Branch, and so many of the other business and residential properties in and around Bedford Street.

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In 1942 the Bank moves into temporary premises at Queen Street, which becomes its home until the re-building of Bedford Street is completed in 1951. Martins Bank’s 1949 “Roman Towns” advertising campaign, includes a generic advert for Exeter Branch (see below), and the history of the town under its Roman Name – ISCA DUMNONIORUM.  The advertisement also makes reference to the destruction of the original branch, and the occupation of temporary premises at Queen Street.  With three different addresses, and a sub branch at the Cattle Market, the story of Martins Bank in Exeter is quite unusual, and continues across our Exeter pages, including  EXETER 6 QUEEN STREET, which includes the first visit to the branch in 1949 from Martins Bank Magazine. You can also see a contemporary photo of a building that is still watched over by the Liver bird and the Grasshopper…

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1939 to 1942 branch opened by Mr T H Kinder Manager MBM-Au63P57.jpg

1945 to 1960 Mr T S Collinge Manager MBM-Su60P52.jpg

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Mr T H Kinder Manager

Opened this Branch

1939 to 1942

Mr T S Collinge

On the Staff

1939 to 1942

 

 

 

 

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Title:

Type:

Address:

Index Number and District:

Hours:

 

Telephone:

Services:

Manager:

Martins Bank Limited 11-257 Exeter

Full Branch

5 Bedford Street Exeter Devon

--- Midland

Mon to Fri 1000-1500 

Saturday 0930-1100

Exeter 55818

Nightsafe Installed

Mr T H Kinder Manager

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24 March 1939

23 April 1942

1949 to 1950

Opened by Martins Bank Limited

Destroyed by enemy action and business moved to temporary premises at 6 Queen Street

Branch rebuilt and re-opened at 6 Bedford Street

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