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1961 COA.jpgApart from in London and the Northern Counties of England, Kent is unusual in playing host to a large number of Martins Bank’s branches – twenty-five in all. The Bank’s expansion Southwards starts with the aim of putting at least one branch in each county, and whilst some cities such as Bristol and Southampton have several branches, the spread of branches across the north-western part of Kent and into the Kentish London suburbs is fairly even. The new branch at Canterbury is thought of as a kind of showpiece, being one of the concrete 1960s replacements for traditional buildings damaged in the Second World War.

Images © Barclays Ref 30-0536 unless otherwise stated

 

The various images on this page have been featured at one time or another in various issues of Martins Bank Magazine a total of eight times.  We are also fortunate to have two colour images of the interior of the branch, along with a good number of staff images. The article below is from the magazine’s main visit to Canterbury branch in 1963…

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1963 02.jpgThere is a kindliness about Kent which enables the county to absorb unobtrusively the suburban sprawl and the unsightly factory. On any journey a copse or a hill will quickly obscure the more deplorable sights and these glimpses serve as reminders that progress cannot be halted but could be undertaken with a little more con­sideration. We last saw Canterbury nearly twenty years ago when we came to know that part of the country well. Our tanks tore up her rich farmland and gouged her lanes, our lorries broke down her gateposts and we built gun sites and nissen huts in her orchards. Though the wounds have healed Kent saw no reason to show us more than this to-day. Over the rest she drew a misty veil and, for spring, her welcome was chilly. Who shall say she was wrong ?  German bombs destroyed much of Canterbury and when we reached the High Street we sought direction from a policeman. 'Martins Bank? Yes, in Rose Lane there on your right.  It's a new, queer looking place. All lumps of cement.' Well it is new, modern and contemporary.

 

It is in keeping with the new development which will provide a City Centre and is already well under way. Canterbury to-day is Contrast and since our visit we have been thinking about this. Should the planners have attempted to rebuild 'as it was'?  The policeman clearly thought so and most of us tend to be conservative in these matters. Could the old narrow streets have survived much longer? And were the dark and damp old buil­dings attractive only to look at? Perhaps the survival of Dane John Place, Pin Hill, Mercery Lane and Beer Cart Lane is sufficient reassurance that Canterbury is still very much a part of timeless Kent.  In many respects the branch resembles that at Holloway Circus, Birmingham, and we were amused to find that  Mr. Farrell and his staff have introduced a signal system for customers arriving late and peering dejectedly or hopefully through the glass front. This signal resembles a wide right (or left) hook, in slow motion, finishing with the hand pointing in the direction of the back door: as one side of the office is clear, the detour can be effected quite quickly. This signal would not do for Holloway Circus where we are built up on each side and where the customer, having eventually found the back door, might discover that the staff had gone home in the meantime. We have been told at both branches that the open front is sometimes an embarrassment and moreover no cashier likes to stack large quantities of cash on the counter in full view of the more prying members of the public. Possibly some form of sunblind would provide a solution but, having said that, the office otherwise is exceptionally spacious, com­fortable and well fitted.  The Canterbury staff make a happy quartet and, if they have a worry, it is how to get through a day's work in reasonable time when both the manager and his deputy are often engaged with separate interviews at the same time, leaving one man for the counter and a lady to try and do everything else. It is one of the problems peculiar to an active, newly opened branch. Mr. E. M. Farrell has settled quickly into his new surroundings and is so obviously enthusiastic and happy that he makes light of his problems. We were fortunate to have Mrs. Farrell with us for lunch and afterwards made a quick tour of some of the surrounding country. Mr. Farrell entered the Bank in 1943 at Cocks Biddulph and apart from two years with H.M. Forces and a period as cashier on the s.s. 'Halladale' has spent all his time at London branches. He attended the Domestic Training Scheme in 1957 and was appointed Manager at Canterbury when it opened in December 1961.

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1961 Canterbury Interior (2) MBM-Au62P33.jpg

1961 Canterbury Interior (1) MBM-Au62P33.jpg

Images – Martins Bank Archive

 

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In Mr. J. S. Ford it seemed to us that Mr. Farrell has a duplicate manager in whom keenness and a sense of humour predominate. The provision of an interview room in the office has enabled him to take much off his Manager's shoulders and his enjoyment of responsibility was manifest. His lunch hour was hopelessly curtailed but, far more important to him, he had opened a new account. He joined the Bank at Orpington in 1946, subsequently working at a number of London branches and attending the Domestic Training Scheme in 1956. He was with H.M. Forces from 1947 to 1949.

 

The third male member of the staff, Mr. J. G. Wylie, started in the Bank at Liverpool in 1959 from H.M.  Forces, moved to Derby after two weeks and then to a number of Midland District branches before going to London in December 1961 and on to Canterbury when it opened. He lives at Herne Bay, plays lots of golf and is currently doing his best to get the better of Part I with which his frequent moves have interfered.

 

Miss Denise Plummer is another of those happy local discoveries, interested and quick in the uptake. In this new branch where public relations are of first importance we look forward to the day when Miss Plummer can be spared for counter duties. Despite the enjoyment of the day it was necessary to leave the staff to complete their work so we took another long look at the branch from outside and, whatever the policeman may have felt, we liked it. There is a sense of purpose about it and it was this which brought to us the realisation that Canterbury, in common with so many of our fine old cities, makes one want to spend time—even to waste it. In Canterbury branch they use it!

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Once again, our feature is not so much “Then and  Now” as “Then and a bit more Then”,  as we compare Martins Bank Canterbury Branch with its 1977 incarnation as Barclays Rose Lane.   Whilst much internal “damage” has been done, (largely out of necessity following the trend for armed raids) it is heartening to find the Grasshopper of the South still taking pride of place on the back wall of the Banking Hall…

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1961 Canterbury Interior (1) MBM-Au62P33 MICx

Image – Martins Bank Archive

 

1977 Canterbury Interior (6) as Barclays - BGA Ref 30-0536

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Image – Martins Bank Archive

 

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1961 to 1967 Mr EM Farrell Manager MBM-Sp67P03.jpg

1963 Mr J G Wylie MBM-Su63P25.jpg

1964 Miss D Plummer Cashier MBM-Au64P42.jpg

1965 Mr JS Ford pro Manager MBM-Sp65P08.jpg

1965 to 1968 Mr D J Adams pro Manager MBM-Wi65P03.jpg

1967 Mr K Atkinson Manager MBM-Sp67P03.jpg

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Mr E M Farrell

Manager

1961 to 1967

Mr J G Wylie

on the Staff

1963

Miss D Plummer

Cashier

1964

Mr J S Ford

Pro Manager

1965

Mr D J Adams

Pro Manager

1965 to 1968

Mr K Atkinson

Manager

1967 onwards

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1968 Mr R Catchpole pro Manager MBM-Su68P13.jpg

BW Logo

BW Logo

BW Logo

BW Logo

BW Logo

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Mr R Catchpole

Pro Manager

1968

 

 

 

 

 

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BARCLAYS BANK LIMITED

LLOYDS BANK LIMITED

2 Branches

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MARTINS BANK LIMITED

MIDLAND BANK LIMITED

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NATIONAL PROVINCIAL BANK

UNITED DOMINIONS TRUST

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WESTMINSTER BANK LIMITED

2 Branches

 

 

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Title:

Type:

Address:

Index No and District:

Hours:

 

Telephone:

Services:

Manager:

Martins Bank Limited 11-50-20 Canterbury

Main Branch

6 Rose Lane Canterbury Kent

480 London

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Canterbury 61163/4

Nightsafe Installed

Mr K Atkinson

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 December 1961

15 December 1969

30 May 1986

Currently

opened by Martins Bank Lmited

Barclays Bank Lmited 20-17-91 Canterbury Rose Lane

Closed

Mappin and Webb Jewellers

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