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Martins Bank 1928+

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image052The expansion of Martins Bank’s Midland District continues apace, and the result in Rugby is this handsome branch which is up and running in 1953.  Rugby survives until 1989, a standalone branch during its life under Martins, with no sub branches.  Martins Bank Magazine visits the branch in 1957, and it keen to start with a list of all the things that you would at that time associate with the town of Rugby.  Thankfully the visit does include a detailed look at the staff, the branch and the town…

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1957 02 MBM.jpg

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RUGBY School, Rugby foot­ball, Rugby wireless station, ..Rugby as a railway centre— we can truthfully say that prior to our visit to our Rugby branch on the first day of Spring, our previous knowledge of the place was summed up in the opening line of this paragraph.  We did not know, for example, that the Post Office transmitter at Rugby is the only one in Great Britain capable of talking to submerged submarines, wherever they may be throughout the world.

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1953 Rugby Exterior 1 BGA Ref 30-2480.jpg

Image © Barclays Ref: 000030/2480

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1957 Rugby Staff MBM-Su57P13.jpgNeither did we know about the cattle market, the largest in the Midlands. The traveller who passes through Rugby station on his way to Lon­don sees only the industrial end of the town, the British Thomson-Houston works and those of the English Electric Company. The cultural glory of the place—the famous school, is at the other end, partly visible from the square in which our branch stands.  The photograph of the staff was taken on the edge of the famous field on which, in 1823, William Webb Ellis, in the words of a commemorative tablet on a nearby wall " with a fine disregard for the rules of football as played in his time, first took the ball in his arms and ran with it, thus originating the distinctive feature of the Rugby game." We went into the school chapel with its beautiful stained glass, and noted with interest the arrangement of the pews, whereby one half of the congregation faces the other.

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We paused with interest at the memorial tablets to Lewis Carroll, to Rupert Brooke and to Bishop David, a former headmaster of the school and Bishop of Liverpool for many years.  Here, too, are memorials to Dr. Temple, one of the three headmasters who became Archbishops of Canterbury; to Arthur Hugh Clough and to the famous Dr. Thomas Arnold and to his son, Matthew Arnold, the poet. Whatever may be the future of schools such as this it would be hard to deny that were they to disappear something infinitely precious would be lost to the educational system of the country, and the nation as a whole would, culturally, be poorer. It is inevitable that the life of a school of 700 boys should in various ways dominate the life of the town. On parents' day and speech day, for example, hotel accommodation for miles around is difficult to obtain, and it is obvious that to some extent the school must provide part of the livelihood of the tradesmen of the town. What with industry on the one hand and culture on the other Rugby is a prosperous town. On our way from the school to our branch we passed the house in which Rupert Brooke was born.



1953 Rugby Interior 3 BGA Ref 30-2480.jpg

1953 Rugby Interior 4 BGA Ref 30-2480.jpg

Images © Barclays Ref: 0030/2480

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Behind the busy shopping streets Rugby is a town of quiet ways and the atmosphere of learning is everywhere noticeable. Against this background we opened the new branch in 1953, appointing as its Manager Mr. Harold W. Lawson. His previous experience had been at various Liverpool branches— Liverpool City Office, Tuebrook, Smithdown, West Derby and Woolton, with a spell in H.M. Forces from 1941 to 1946. He was appointed Clerk-in-Charge at Booker Avenue in 1947. Mrs. Lawson used to be in the Bank, and they met whilst serving at West Derby branch. They have settled down at Rugby with their daughter, still at school, most happily and are enjoying every minute of their time spent in building up the new branch. Mr. G. A. Radcliffe, second-in-command, comes from the Manchester District and has served in Manchester itself and at Ashton and Oldham. He, too, finds life in Rugby pleasant and the work congenial. Mr. E. J. Blunsom entered the Bank at Coventry in 1954 and the transfer to Rugby is his first. The young lady is Miss S. D. Beavis, a local girl who has only been in the Bank since February. We were very pleased to be able to entertain Mr. and Mrs. Lawson to lunch and later on in the day to have tea at their pleasant home in an attractive village a short distance outside the town. Truly the labour of some of us is performed in pleasant places!

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1953 to 1964 Mr GA Radcliffe MBM-Su64P07.jpg

1957 Miss S D Beavis MBM-Su57P13.jpg

1957 Mr E J Blunsom MBM-Su57P13.jpg

1957 Mr H W Lawson Manager MBM-Su57P13.jpg

1960 to 1965 Mr W J Hutton Manager MBM-Wi65P02.jpg

1965 Mr A Hill Manager MBM-Wi65P05.jpg

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Mr G A Radcliffe

Branch Second

1953 to 1964

Miss S D Beavis

On the Staff


Mr E J Blunsom

On the Staff


Mr H W Lawson


1953 to 1960

Mr W J Hutton


1960 to 1965

Mr A Hill


1965 onwards





Index Number and District:






11-29-70 Rugby

Full Branch

24 Market Place Rugby Warwickshire

565 Midland

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Rugby 6151/2

Nightsafe Installed

Mr A Hill Manager


15 December 1969

17 November 1989


Opened by Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-73-47 Rugby Market Place