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Equitable Bank

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Bradford is an important centre for Martins Bank, both after its creation in 1928, and for the Bank of Liverpool and Martins before that.  Branches are contributed both from the short-lived Halifax District, which becomes Leeds District in 1928, and from the original branches of the Craven Bank.  The Halifax Equitable Bank merges with the Bank of Liverpool and Martins in 1928, and has already committed to a new Branch in Bradford’s Duckworth Lane. 

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Arrangements are made to etch details of both the Equitable Bank AND the newly created Martins Bank, onto the bottom pane of the main front window, and the new branch is opened at the beginning of November 1927.  On 3 January 1928, the new Martins Bank Limited begins life with an extensive network of Branches in Bradford. Allowing for a couple of closures, five of these Branches plus a new sub-Branch at Bradford University remain in service up to the 1969 merger with Barclays. 


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Image © Barclays Ref: 30/350


Duckworth Lane begins life as a sub-Branch to 17 Sunbridge Road, then to 4 Tyrrel Street, becoming a full Branch after the Second World War. 

Four Centuries CoverFour Centuries of Banking Vol II” (Martins Bank Limited 1968) explains the background of the Equitable Bank, including changing its name and status from a Building Society to a Bank, an extremely popular Share Issue, and a list of Branches that are transferred to Martins, as follows:


An important extension of the business of Martins Bank was achieved in 1927 as a result of the absorption of the Halifax Equitable Bank. The Halifax Equitable Building Society was founded in 1871. In 1899 the Board decided to establish a bank: accounts were being lost almost every week because customers were not issued with cheque books. 

Extract from Martins Bank Limited Annual Report and Accounts for 1928 © Barclays

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The Halifax Equitable Bank Limited.jpgOnly 2,000 shares of £1 each were to be issued for the Bank. Applications were ten times as great and the number of shares actually issued was 2,395.According to the regulations, no overdrafts were to be permitted, and cheque books were only to be issued to those with a minimum account of £50. The name of the Bank was changed to the Equitable Bank Limited in 1913.


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1960 s Bradford Duckwoth Lane Equitable Bank Window Sign BGA Ref 30-350.jpgOn its acquisition in 1927 by the Bank of Liverpool and Martins Limited, it had sixteen full branches and eight sub-branches—mostly in Lanca­shire and Yorkshire. The Head Office of the Bank was at Halifax and there were branches in Blackpool, Bolton, Bournemouth, Bradford Clayton, Bradford Duckworth Lane, Bradford Great Horton, Brighouse, Bristol, Buxton, Dewsbury, Doncaster, Elland, Grimsby, Harrogate, Haworth, Huddersfield, Hull, Keighley, King Cross, Leeds, Milnsbridge, Morecambe, Ovenden, Ripponden, Sheffield, Sowerby Bridge, Stainland and Wakefield.

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Adapted from FOUR CENTURIES OF BANKING Vol I © Martins Bank Ltd 1963

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Then and Now.jpgFor our “then and now” comparison, we have an image of Duckworth Lane, which comes from its early days as a Branch of Barclays in the 1970s.  The colour image is the latest available from Barclays ahead of the closure of the Branch in December 2015.  In the 1970s we see that not much has changed, apart from the addition of a night safe, and the removal of the etched window panel.  In the twenty-first century the night safe has been replaced by a low-level cash machine…

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1970 s Duckworth Lane as Barclays CU - BGA Ref 30-0350

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1948 to 1956 Mr J Holgate Manager MBM-Su64P60.jpg

1959 to 1965 Mr K R Terry Manager MBM-Sp65P06

1965 Mr C Johnston Manager MBM-Sp65P07.jpg

BW Logo

BW Logo

BW Logo

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Mr J Holgate


1948 to 1956

Mr K R Terry


1959 to 1965

Mr C Johnston


1965 onwards








Index Number and District:






11-40-30 Bradford Duckworth Lane

Full Branch

6 Duckworth Lane Bradford 9 Yorkshire

603 Leeds

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Bradford 42440

Nightsafe Installed

Mr C Johnston Manager

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1 November 1927

3 January 1928

15 December 1969

Friday 11 December 2015

Bank of Liverpool and Martins

Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-11-76 Bradford Duckworth Lane

Closed permanently at 12 Noon

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