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Martins Bank 1928+

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image056How grand does Salisbury Branch look! - Certainly worthy of a cathedral city.  Martins arrives in Salisbury in 1955, and seven years later opens a sub-Branch at Salisbury Cattle Market.  A victim of merger “duplication”, the sub-Branch is closed in 1969, barely seven years old. Salisbury Branch itself fares much better, surviving as a Branch of Barclays until 1996. Meanwhile, back in 1956, optimism is very much in the air, and the idea that Martins will ever merge with anyone is still a very silly one.  Martins Bank Magazine visits Salisbury Branch when it is only a few months old and has everything to look forward to – the happy smiling staff still manage to shine through this article which goes into the usual and perhaps unitentionally snobbish raptures about the  local surroundings…

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1956 04 MBM.jpg

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WHEN first we met Mr. E. MacDougall it was on the occasion of our official visit to Wooler Branch, which is almost our furthest North Branch, in November 1949. Now he is managing our new Branch at Salisbury which is one of our furthest South offices.

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1955 Salisbury Exterior 4 BGA Ref 30-2543

Image © Barclays Ref 0030/2543

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Although conditions of life and the outlook of the people are in many respects quite different from those to which Mr. and Mrs. MacDougall have been accustomed they have in the short space of less than a year adapted themselves so well to their new environment that they feel they really “belong”.  The city is, of course, extremely beautiful yet not by any means the sleepy cathedral city of popular imagination where Time has stood still. It is a very busy place with many excellent shops, a large and prosperous market and the focal point of the countryside for miles around. There is a little light industry but the emphasis is on agriculture and the city is much visited by the tourist from places such as Bourne­mouth and Southampton.


1956 Salisbury Staff MBM-Wi56P30We were interested to see on the outskirts the Harvard Hospital where you can have a free holiday provided you will allow yourself to be given a common cold. This is, of course, the much publicised hospital at which research is being carried out to discover more about the cause and control of this scourge, and volunteers are in constant demand for experimental purposes. While conceding the beauty of Salisbury Cathedral Mr. and Mrs. MacDougall were obviously impressed with Durham Cathedral in their native North. Salisbury's edifice does not dominate the city like Durham's fortress-cum-church on the rock which, especially in early morning, raises its towers to the sky through a sea of mist, adding an ethereal note to its majestic and austere beauty.


Yet the church in the meadows does dominate the city by virtue of the crowning glory of its magnificent spire, the tallest in England and so beautiful that one is forced to turn and gaze at it again and again. The cathedral setting is uncrowded and the building rises from an oasis of green surrounded by trees. The in­terior is not as beautiful or noteworthy as some of our other cathedrals, but its exter­nal glory has no counterpart. We wandered in a leisurely way through quiet shop-lined walks from the station to our Branch in Castle Street, avoiding the principal streets congested with traffic. We enjoyed looking at the antique shops, the bookshops and other establishments of a cultured nature which give so much character and " quality " to the city. Our office is in a fine situation looking towards the market square and the Branch with its facade of honey-coloured stone has been tastefully blended with its sur­roundings.

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The interior follows the trend of modern bank architecture—woodwork of walnut, sunken circular ceiling lights, and a spacious, airy and cheerful atmosphere. As in the case of other new Branches, ample room has been provided for expansion when the days of the credit squeeze are over and business is unimpeded. We passed the local head office of one of the other banks which employs a staff of ninety—an indication of the importance of the city and also of the task facing Mr. MacDougall in a place where our competitors are so strongly entrenched.

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Mr. MacDougall has spent all his time in the North-East, apart from the few months in Liverpool which preceded his new appointment. He entered the bank in 1922 and served at Coxhoe, Chester Road, Easington Colliery, Newcastle City Office, North-Eastern District Office, Alnwick, Morpeth, Wooler and Ashington before his present appointment.

1955 Salisbury Interior 5 BGA Ref 30-2543

Image © Barclays Ref 0030/2543

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Mr. J. R. Williams, his second-in-command, joined the Bank in the Northern District at Sedbergh and his service includes spells at Kirkby Lonsdale, Lancaster, Croydon, and Bruton Street and on London District Office Relief. Mr. M. R. Board comes from Taunton and commenced his service at Waterloo Place.

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1955 Salisbury Interior 6 BGA Ref 30-2543

Image © Barclays Ref 0030/2543

The fourth member of the staff is Miss Rosemary I. J. Chalk, who lives a few miles outside the city and is proving herself a capable and attractive member of the staff. We were very glad to meet Mrs. MacDougall and to entertain her and Mr. MacDougall to lunch. Later in the afternoon we went out to their home at Honiton for tea and were very interested in the attractive conversion which has been made of their house from an older building. A not-too-large garden has for a background a fine view of field and country, and their garden is divided from a field by a low wall. This arrangement has its drawback in that herbaceous subjects apparently make tasty cattle fodder and while we were having tea a horse in the next field was busy eating the sunflowers!  Salisbury is not an easy place to reach direct from Liverpool and the only satisfactory plan is to go to London first. We think that the Branch will do well and that the name of the Bank will be worthily upheld and spread in the important county of Wiltshire.

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1955 to 1967 Mr E MacDougall Manager MBM-Sp67P51.jpg

1956 Miss Rosemary I J Chalk MBM-Wi56P30.jpg

1956 Mr J R Williams MBM-Wi56P30.jpg

1956 MR M R Board MBM-Wi56P30.jpg

1967 Mr A Pigdon Manager MBM-Sp67P04.jpg

BW Logo

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Mr E MacDougall


1955 to 1967

Miss Rosemary I J Chalk

On the Staff


Mr J R Williams

Branch Second


Mr M R Board

On the Staff


Mr A Pigdon


1967 onwards





Index Number and District:






11-50-70 Salisbury

Full Branch

1 Castle Street Salisbury Wiltshire

173 South Western

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1500

Salisbury 5110

Nightsafe Installed

Mr A Pidgon Manager

Sub Branches



15 December 1969



Opened by Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-75-00 Salisbury Castle Street


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