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Martins Bank 1928+

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image016Martins Bank opens its Branch at Ratae Coritanorum in 1935. Ratae Coritanorum? – Well, yes that’s Leicester to mere mortals such as you and I.  Leicester is one of six towns to feature in Martins Bank’s popular 1940s advertising campaign ROMAN TOWNS in which the artist Geoffrey Wedgwood was commissioned to provide drawings that represent major and historic British towns, giving an idea of how they might have looked in Roman times when each was occupied either as a stronghold or an outpost of Roman Britain.   The campaign starts in 1949, and is used again and again over the next decade until the bank has a major re-think of its advertising policy.  You can read more about this in our ADVERTISING feature.  Leicester has two branches of Martins Bank.

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1960 s Leicester Hotel Street Exterior 3 Close Up BGA Ref 905-156.jpg

Branch Images © Barclays Ref 0905/0156

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The second Branch is of course the legendary DRIVE-IN BANK at CHARLES STREET, which opens in 1959, and for which Martins Bank seeks the maximum publicity.  Hotel Street makes it through the merger with Barclays in 1969, remaining open until 1985, just managing to celebrate a total fifty years (and two months to the day) in service! We are indebted to Rex Kellett for this photograph (right) of the original Martins Coat of Arms placed above the door of Leicester Hotel Street Branch in 1935.  Rex had contacted us to say a member of the family had acquired the brass sign from a former Manager of the Branch, and we were amazed to see how well preserved it has remained.  It is not often that original signage turns up, and when it does it is often damaged.  This is a wonderful example, and we are grateful to Rex for taking a number of pictures of his find to be kept within the Archive.

1949 Ratae Coritanorum (Leicester) mu MBA

Image © 1949 Martins Bank Archive Collection - Geoffrey Wedgwood

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Our thanks go also to Rob Hancock - who has provided us with a number of contemporary images - for this 2014 shot of Leicester Hotel Street Branch.  Known today as The Friary, it appears you will still receive the same warm welcome previously enjoyed by customers of Martins Bank…

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Image © Barclays Ref 0033/0325


Image © 2014 Rob Hancock

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1935 to 1936 Mr J B Hall Pro Manager MBM-Su56P49.jpg

1935 to 1946 Mr G H Shepherd Manager MBM-Su55P50.jpg

1936 to 1942 Mr L C Jones MBM-Au66P52.jpg

1939 to 1939 Mr D C Bardsley MBM-Sp66P03.jpg

1946 to 1947 M Hollway MBM-Su68P12.jpg

1946 to 1953 Mr J L Shenton Manager MBM-Au59P06.jpg

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Mr J B Hall

Pro Manager

1935 to 1936

Mr G H Shepherd


1935 to 1946

Mr L C Jones

On the Staff

1936 to 1942

Mr D C Bardsley

On the Staff


Mr M Hollway

On the Staff

1946 to 1947

Mr J L Shenton


1946 to 1953

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1952 to 1969 Mr D C Gibson MBM-Au69P59.jpg

1953 to 1964 Mr A S Tillotson Manager MBM-Wi64P54.jpg

1954 to 1955 then 1960 to 1967 Mr D Fielden Assistant Manager from 1967 MBM-Wi67P05.jpg

1962 to 1965 Mr C J Barker MBM-Wi67P05.jpg

1964 Mr GL Jackson Manager MBM-Wi64P08.jpg

1969 Mr R A Franklin Pro Manager MBM-Au69P10.jpg

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Mr D C Gibson

On the Staff

1952 to 1969

Mr Ambler S Tillotson


1953 to 1964

1954 to 1955 and 1960 onwards  Mr D Fielden

Assistant Manager 1967

Mr C J Barker

On the Staff

1962 to 1965

Mr G L Jackson


1964 onwards

Mr R A Franklin

Pro Manager

1969 onwards

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Index Number and District:






11-37-50 Leicester Hotel Street

Full Branch

1 Hotel Street Leicester LE1 5AU Leicestershire

585 Midland

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Leicester 50621/2

Nightsafe Installed

Mr G L Jackson Manager

16 September 1935

15 December 1969

15 November 1985


Opened by Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-48-92 Leicester Hotel Street


The Friary Pub / Bar-Restaurant