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“In 1825, the first steam train left Darlington.  British Rail expect it to arrive some time tomorrow afternoon…” Alright, the old jokes are not always the best, but the Stockton and Darlington Railway brings serious business and prosperity to the local area. The North Eastern Banking Company opens this impressive branch in Darlington’s High Row in 1897, which is open for a total of 74 years. The design reminds us of the model railway accessory kits featured on our GIVEAWAYS page.  Colour images of Martins branches are few and far between, so we were delightwed to be given permission by David Christie to exhibit his photo taken August 1970.

In Service: 1897 until may 1971

Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections: David Christie

For those of us looking back from the twenty-first Century, it is a stroke of luck that although the branch did not survive for long after the merger, Barclays chose not to change the signage on the building, and we get to see Martins Bank as its customers did, and in colour!  A further stroke of luck is the inclusion of the National Provincial Bank in the photograph. It too was about to undergo changes – in 1970 the merger of the NATIONAL Provincial, the WESTMINSTER, and the District BANK, gave us the National Westminster Bank, known ever since as NatWest.

Whilst there are no recorded visits from Martins Bank Magazine to Darlington, we do have a large number of images to choose from, particularly of the branch interior, and this striking angled view of the exterior from the Barclays collection. Darlington has sub branches at Cockerton, Darlington Auction Mart and at Newton Aycliffe.  Sadly all three are closed in 1969 and do not form part of Barclays’ acquisition. The main branch in the High Row does survive a little longer, but is gone before the Summer of 1971. Now to the story of the retirement of Darlington Branch’s Head Typist.  In 2012 the last British made typewriter rolls off the production line, and is immediately snapped up for display by the Science Museum!  Perhaps it’s the end of an error (or two), but in 1969 it is also the end of an era – 23 years of typing and not one mention of repetitive strain injury!

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1969 02 MBM.jpg23 years of sore fingers…

1946 to 1969 Miss L Woodhouse Senior Typist MBM-Su69P64.jpgon 28 march,  Miss Linda Woodhouse welcomed thirty-three colleagues at the Kings Head Hotel, Darlington, where they were entertained to drinks and a buffet tea. Among the apologies received from those unable to attend were those of Mr J. E. Dunn, a former manager at Darlington, now approaching ninety. Mr R. Russell (Manager, Darlington) spoke of the years Miss Woodhouse had served at the branch which, with her four years with the W.A.A.F., totalled 32. Miss Woodhouse had been senior typist at Darlington since 1946.



1957 Darlington Exterior 19 BGA Ref 33-177

Image © Barclays Ref 0033/0177

Receiving a nest of mahogany tables and a cheque, Miss Woodhouse said how delighted she was to see so many friends, particularly her pre-war colleagues who brought back many vivid memories of her early days in the Bank. Mr A. B. Stevens had previously called at the branch to say farewell on behalf of the District Management.

We think that the last thing Miss Woodhouse will put on any of her nest of tables is a typewriter! In her time at Darlington Linda serves FOUR different Managers, and at the celebrations for the retirements of Mr Elton and Mr Young (see below), she is charged with handing a bouquet of flowers to each of their wives…

1960 02 MBM.jpg1951 to 1960 Mr S A Elton Manager MBM-Su60P48At the end of February, Mr. S. A. Elton retired after 44 years' service which com­menced at Darlington where he served until 1932. After service in the Newcastle area, he was transferred to Barnard Castle in 1936, and was appointed Manager there in 1945. In 1951 he returned to Darlington where he has been Manager ever since. To mark the occasion of his retirement Mr. Elton invited a number of his friends and colleagues from other branches to join with the Darlington staff for a farewell party given at the County Hotel, Darlington, on Feb­ruary 29th. During the proceedings Mr. F. J. Gill, Pro Manager, presented Mr. Elton with a gold automatic wristlet watch on behalf of the subscribers, and a bouquet of spring flowers was presented to Mrs. Elton by Miss L. Woodhouse. In making the presentation, Mr. Gill referred to Mr. Elton's successful career and to the respect in which he was held by members of his staff and by customers. Mr. W. S. Blaylock, Inspector, North Eastern District Office, spoke appreciatively of Mr. Elton's loyal service to the Bank, and ex­pressed the good wishes of himself and the North Eastern District General Management for a long and happy retirement. Mr. Walton had already called at the branch during the morning to see Mr. Elton and to wish him well in the years ahead. In response Mr. Elton expressed his thanks for the present he had received and thanked his colleagues for the friendship and assistance they had shown him throughout the years.

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1965 03 MBM.jpg1960 to 1965 Mr K Young Manager MBM-Au65P59mr young marked his retirement as Manager of Darlington branch at the end of July with an informal buffet supper at the King's Head, Darlington. Many past and present colleagues and representatives of District Office attended and during the evening Mr M. Walker (Pro Manager) presented Mr Young with their gifts of an armchair and a cheque. Miss Linda Woodhouse handed a bouquet to Mrs Young. Prior to his retirement Mr Young had lunched at Head Office and at Grey Street, and his District General Manager called at the branch on July 30 to wish him well.  After entering the Bank at King Street in 1921 Mr Young served on the North Eastern D.G.M. staff from 1929 to 1949, apart from six years' war service, He then joined the visiting inspectors and in 1950 was appointed Assistant Manager at Sunderland. Two years later he was promoted to the managership of York Road branch and appointed Manager at Darling­ton in 1960.

Before the shock of the new…


Our images of Darlington from Barclays’ collection are from 1957, and show for a change a Branch that is well kept in the older style, rather than crying out for the kind of shocking sixties modernisation we have seen at other Branches, YORK ROAD HARTLEPOOL for example.

Sep 1.jpg1957 July Darlington Cheque - S Walker MBA.jpg

Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections: Stephen Walker

1957 Darlington Interior 1 BGA Ref 33-177

Interior images © Barclays Ref 0033/0177



1957 Darlington Interior 14 BGA Ref 33-177

1957 Darlington Interior 3 BGA Ref 33-177

All branch images © Barclays Ref 0033/0177

1957 Darlington Interior 9 BGA Ref 33-177

1957 Darlington Interior 4 BGA Ref 33-177

All branch images © Barclays Ref 0033/0177

1957 Darlington Interior 15 BGA Ref 33-177

1957 Darlington Interior 2 BGA Ref 33-177

All branch images © Barclays Ref 0033/0177

1957 Darlington Interior 6 BGA Ref 33-177

1957 Darlington Interior 5 BGA Ref 33-177

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High Row                        

Income Tax and Trustee Dept             

Bank Top

36 North Road



27 Blackwellgate




Yarm Road









21 High Row

Auction Mart



Prospect Place                

Bank Top Mart

24 Cockerton Green

North Road


High Row









40 Blackwellgate





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1919 Mr T Hopper MBM-Sp60P44.jpg

1946 to 1946 Mr A B hindmarsh Pro Manager MBM-Au55P35.jpg

1946 to 1947 Mr S Harling MBM-Su66P04.jpg

1946 to 1969 Miss L Woodhouse Senior Typist MBM-Su69P64.jpg

1949 to 1954 Mr K J Peacock Limited Auth MBM-Sp65P05.jpg






Mr T Hopper

On the Staff


Mr A B Hindmarsh

Pro Manager

1946 to 1946

Mr S Harling

On the Staff

1946 to 1947

Miss L Woodhouse

Senior Typist

1946 to 1969

Mr K J Peacock

Limited Authority

1949 to 1954

Mr K G Dixon

Joined the Bank Here

1951 to 1952

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1951 to 1960 Mr S A Elton Manager MBM-Su60P48.jpg

1954 to 1955 Mr J D Grabham Limited Authority MBM-Wi68P06.jpg

1960 to 1965 Mr K Young Manager MBM-Au65P59.jpg

1961 to 1965 Mr S Bainbridge Pro Manager MBM-Sp65P05.jpg

1965 Mr M Walker pro Manager MBM-Sp65P04.jpg

1965 Mr R Russell Manager MBM-Au65P04.jpg






Mr S A Elton


1951 to 1960

Mr J D Grabham

Limited Authority

1954 to 1955

Mr K Young


1960 to 1965

Mr S Bainbridge

Pro Manager

1961 to 1965

Mr M Walker

Pro Manager


Mr R Russell


1965 onwards


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Index Number and District:






11-26-30 Darlington

Full Branch

21 High Row Darlington County Durham

320 North Eastern

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Darlington 66735/6

Nightsafe Installed

Mr R Russell Manager


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7 August 1914

18 December 1918

3 January 1928

15 December 1969

May 1971

Opened by the North Eastern Banking Company

Bank of Liverpool Limited

Bank of Liverpool and Martins Bank Limited

Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-25-39 Darlington 21 High Row


Darlington Auction Mart



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