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The saga of Martins Bank’s Exeter Branches continues in April 1942, when, after the destruction of 5 Bedford Street by German Bombs in the Baedecker air raid, the staff must move into what are meant to be temporary premises in Queen Street. The fact that the business is conducted here for nearly nine years is an occupational hazard where Martins is concerned.

Branches that are meant to be temporary have often had a fairly long life of their own before the desired new premises are built and occupied! When, for example, Martins opens its first branch in READING, those particular “temporary premises” are used for around twenty-one years.

Western Morning News 16 June 1942

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

Image reproduced with kind permission

of The British Newspaper Archive


In Service: 1942 until 1951

The only visit paid by Martins Bank Magazine to any of the Exeter Branches is in 1949, to the temporary Branch at Queen Street. This is a shame, as some branches were visited two, even three times, and sometimes as a result of having changed their location in respect of a move, rebuild, etc.. 

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When the staff from Martins Bank Magazine arrive at 6 Queen Strret, the dicsover that although Mr Collinge and his staff have been there “temporarily” for seven long years, they are remarkably upbeat, and the story begins with a recap of the work that followed the Baedecker Air Raid of April 1942…



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1949 03 MBM.jpgWhilst at Torquay we went to Exeter to see Mr. Collinge and his little crowd. Our original branch in Exeter suffered a direct hit in the famous Baedeker raid on the city and the business is at present conducted from temporary premises. Mr. Collinge was in charge of the branch at the time of its destruction and helped with the work of digging down to the strongroom.

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After the demolition squad had finally cleared the entrance to the strongroom they reported to him that all was clear. However, when he arrived with the keys to open the door there was no sign of it. In the interval another bomb, which had been quietly ticking away all the time the digging had been in progress had exploded and completely buried the strongroom again. Exeter branch was the last place in which we expected to find an Australian girl. Miss M. E. Draper, who joined the service in 1944 was born in New South Wales and came to this country for her education and has remained here ever since. The other girl is Miss M. L. Pyne who joined our Staff in 1948. She is a local girl. Mr. Collinge himself has been Manager at Exeter since 1945. He is an old Lancashire and Yorkshire man who started his career at Bury in 1926 and served for varying periods at Whitefield, Heywood, Oldham, Haslingden and Waterfoot before going to Exeter in 1939.  From 1940 until he joined H.M. Forces in 1942 he was in charge of the branch during his pre­decessor's absence on service. T. J. Stafford is second man. He started his career at Southport in 1929 and after spells at Liverpool City Office, Formby, 99 Stanley Road, Blundellsands and on Head Office Relief Staff, went to Exeter on his return from military service in 1945. Of all the South-Western branches Exeter has to cope with the most difficult office conditions but, though long drawn-out, this is only a passing state of affairs and before long the Bank will once again be represented by a building more in keeping with Bank standards.

Smart Business…

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Specially printed cheques like these, are not just functional for the purposes of monetary transactions. They are often little works of art which can also act as a good form of advertising for your business. See our CORPORATE BANKING feature for more information…



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Images © Martins Bank Archive Collections


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

1942 to 1945  Mr F A Goodman Acting Manager MBM-Sp62P48.jpg

1944 Miss M E Draper joined the bank here MBM-Au49P30.jpg

1949 Miss M L Pyne joined the bank here MBM-Au49P30.jpg

1949 Mr T J Stafford Branch Second MBM-Au49P30.jpg

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Mr T S Collinge

On staff 1942-51

Manager 1945-51

Mr F A Goodman

Acting Manager

1942 to 1945

Miss M E Draper

Joined the Bank Here


Miss M L Pyne

Joined the Bank Here


Mr T J Stafford

Branch Second



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Index Number and District:






11-257 Exeter

Temporary Branch

6 Queen Street Exeter Devon

157 South Western

Mon to Fri 1000-1500 

Saturday 0930-1100

Exeter 55818

Nightsafe Installed

Mr T S Collinge Manager

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Exeter Cattle Market



Opened as Temporary Branch by Martins Bank Limited

Closed and Moved to 6 Bedford Street

Farnborough (Kent)

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