North Eastern Banking Company

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Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections –

Don Swainson

One year before merging with the Bank of Liverpool, the North Eastern Banking Company opens a branch at North Shields, and 31 Bedford Street is still the main office in the town under Martins Bank in the 1960s.  Another merger along, we find the Bank of Liverpool and Martins opening a sub branch to North Shields at Fish Quay in 1922. 

In Service: 1914 until 13 September 1971

BGA Ref 30-2107 North shields Bedford St Exterior 2.jpg

Branch Images © Barclays Ref: 0030-2107

Ten years and one final name change later, Martins Bank Limited opens a further sub-Branch at Tynemouth.  The timings of the opening of these three North Shields branches thus straddle critical points in the evolution of Martins Bank from a number of separate local and regional banking companies into one national bank.  The North East will eventually become the district with the most branches of Martins Bank.

Just look who’s moved in next door…



é   Barclays   é

é   Martins   é

é   Barclays  é


Branch Images © Barclays Ref: 0030-2107


It’s seems just a little sinister, really, Barclays purchases the property either side of Martins (and presumably some of that behind it), and builds a very large new office. Messrs F Rooney and Edinburgh Bakeries are suddenly no more, as Barclays neatly drops in between Martins Bank and Fairbairn & son, and also puts in an appearance on the other side of the building.

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…and finally, here is a rare chance to see what was there before Barclays came along.  As we know, it was Messrs F Rooney and Edinburgh Bakeries to the left, but we did not know the name of the tobacconist shop on the right until we were contacted in June 2018 by Jimmy Sutherst who emailed us at Jimmy’s memories are crystal clear, and he told us about the shop, its owner, his own connection to it, and even about the black dog and the bicycle featured in the picture:

{“The tobacconists  in Wellington St next to Martins Bank which was on the corner of Bedford St and Wellington St North Shields was run by Albert Chambers.  He later moved to Rudyard St where he ran a bookies in about 1959/60. I know this because my parents ran a pub across the road from the shop in the picture. Albert Chambers later became Mayor of Tynemouth.  I passed the buildings in the photo numerous times everyday, as I lived just yards away. The picture appears to have been taken in the late 50's, as by the early 60's Chambers had moved to a new shop in Rudyard St and was operating as a Bookmaker. I know this for sure as I often took the football pools coupons of my fathers pub customers there. I remember Albert Chambers’ black Labrador dog that is sitting in the doorway of his shop. Living just across the road from his shop I spent my pocket money in there, and looking further at the picture I noticed a butchers delivery bike against the wall, it could be mine as when I was a schoolboy, I had a delivery job for a local butcher just round the corner and I had a bike just like that one and would park it in the same place on visiting his shop. I am very interested in my towns history and I am trying to put together a book on the pubs, breweries, mineral water manufacturers from 1840's to 1960, I am a collector of bottles from such places. I noticed in your picture part of the Wellington Hotel on the corner of Wellington St / Church Way, which was run by Mr Charles Wendt and the pub known locally as “Charlie Wendts”. }

1960s Shops to the left of Martins before Barclays new build BGA Ref 30-2107.jpg

1960s Tobacconist before Barclays new build to right of Martins BGA Ref 30-2107.jpg

Images © Barclays Ref 0030-2107


1914 to 1916 Mr G H Bennett Joined the service here MBM-Wi58P50.jpg

1950 to 1950 Mr P L Prest joined the bank here MBM-Sp64P06.jpg

1955 to 1967 Mr R W Hopper Manager MBM-Sp67P53.jpg






Mr G H Bennet

Joined the Bank Here

1914 to 1916

Mr Norman Brown

On the Staff 1919-32

and 1942 to 1953

Mr E H Jackson

Joined the Bank Here

1931 to 1932

Mr T A Douglas

On the Staff

1941 to 1943

Mr P L Prest

Joined the Bank Here

1950 to 1950

Mr R W Hopper


1955 to 1967

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1958 to 1960 Pro Mgr later 1967 Mr A Galley Manager MBM-Sp67P05.jpg

1961 to 1962 Mr C L Basey MBM-Au67P04.jpg

1965 Mr R M Hall pro Manager MBM-Au65P03.jpg

1967 Mr B Grogan pro Manager MBM-Wi67P01.jpg






Mr A Galley

Pro Manager 1958-60

Manager 1967 onwards

Mr A Forsyth

Pro Manager

1961 to 1962

Mr C L Basey

On the Staff

1961 to 1962

Mr R G Lamb

Pro Manager

1962 to 1965

Mr R M Hall

Pro Manager

1965 to 1967

Mr B Grogan

Pro Manager

1967 onwards




35 Bedford Street

Fish Quay

Grange Way



31 Bedford Street

Fish Quay








Saville Street

Fish Quay



46 Bedford Street




Index Number and District:






11-45-60 North Shields

Full Branch

31 Bedford Street North Shields Northumberland

348 North Eastern

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

North Shields 75261 & 74235

Nightsafe Installed

Mr A Galley Manager


Newcastle Wingrove West Oakwood


7 August 1914

18 December 1918

3 January 1928

15 December 1969

13 September 1971

Opened by the North Eastern Banking Company

Bank of Liverpool

Bank of Liverpool and Martins

Martins Bank Limited

Business Closed and Transferred to Barclays 35 Bedford Street


North Shields Fish Quay




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