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image022This busy scene is St Mary Street in Cardiff, circa 1966.  Martins Bank’s branch is roughly in the middle of the picture, but note too that the shot includes two of the Bank’s rivals – the Westminster Bank, and, with an early incarnation of its famous “couple under an umbrella” logo, the Abbey National Building Society.  You can read more about the eleven clearing banks of the 1960s  in our special feature HERE. It is rare enough to find such evocative images of Martins Bank, let alone others, so please forgive us the indulgence of showing  them here:

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1966 Westminster Bank Cardiff BGA Ref 30-552.jpg

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Westminster House – (Perhaps the shopfitters are updating their branch too) The Westminster Bank crest can be to the right of the Abbey National building.

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1966 Abbey National Cardiff BGA Ref 30-552.jpg

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Abbey National during one of its most familiar branding cycles, encouraging us all to “get the Abbey Habit”.

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1966 Cardiff St Mary St Exterior 3 BGa Ref 30-552.jpg

Branch Images © Barclays Ref 30-0552

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1966 Cardiff St Mary St Exterior 2 Close up BGA Ref 30-552.jpg

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Our main Cardiff feature is the visit made to the Branch in 1952 by Martins Bank Magazine, an unusually short article for a major Branch, but with its usuall hallmarks of introducing us to the staff, and some kind words to “big up” the local area. Parochial stuff, as we have come to expect from MB Magazine!Sep 1.jpg

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The stronghold of the Marquis of Bute…

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1952 02 MBM.jpgThe day before we left for South Wales a customer at the Liverpool City Office counter told us that he had travelled extensively in Europe and had seen nothing finer than the Civic Centre at Cardiff.   Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and Newcastle please note that in this respect Cardiff has got them all knocked into a cocked hat. Furthermore, there is nothing finer in layout and conception in London, in our opinion. The City Hall, the University, Museum, Technical College, County Council Offices, Law Courts, and all the rest of the City and County administrative buildings are planned and conceived on a most impressive scale, and the tree-planted streets, the flower-filled squares and the adequate space for proper appreci­ation of the buildings make a powerful impression on the visitor and remain as a lasting memory of a city whose inhabitants are obviously very proud of it.

 

To complete the picture, there is Cardiff Castle, the stronghold of the Marquis of Bute, built on the ruins of a Roman fort, the walls of which can still be seen inside, care­fully preserved. Within the grounds is the old Norman Keep, dating back to the 12th century, while the more modern part, now in the care of Cardiff Corporation, houses the School of Music. It contains some of the most beautiful and remarkable rooms we have ever seen in an ancestral home. The Bachelor's Room, the ball room, library, chapel and various other rooms are shown to visitors, and the beauty of the ceilings, Spanish, Moorish and so on, the paintings, pillars of alabaster, jewelled chandeliers and almost everything in the way of beautiful decoration which money could buy, make the city the custodian of a treasure house equal to anything of its kind anywhere else in the country, the royal castles excepted. 

 

Our branch is just five minutes' walk away from the Civic Centre and the Castle. Mr. W. A. Thomp­son, the Manager, is an L. and Y. man who entered the Bank in 1913, serving in the Liverpool Dist­rict at Castle Street, Walton, Aintree and at Head Office before his first appointment as Manager at Tor­quay in 1938. He was transferred to the London District in 1946 with the inten­tion of being appoin­ted Manager of a new branch there, but as difficulties were ex­perienced in getting the necessary licences and as the manage­ment of Cardiff branch fell vacant he was invited to take this appointment instead and went to South Wales in 1947.

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1966 Cardiff St Mary St Interior BGA Ref 30-552.jpg

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Mr. H. G. Jones, his second man and Pro Manager, has been there since the branch was opened, apart from war service. His work for the branch has been most praiseworthy.  J. H. Williams is another L. and Y. man from the Manchester District. The remainder of the staff are local boys and girls: D. C. Bartley, S. M. D. Ryan, Miss R. D. Francis, Miss A. M. Abbott and Miss E. J. Bickerton. The two branches can fairly be called outposts and the staffs of both are delighted to see their colleagues from Head Office whenever they call.

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Martins Bank is very proud of its Branches in Wales, and especially of the ability of staff to speak Welsh.  When the media needed reassurance that a change of £1 notes would not leave people out of pocket, Cardiff Manager Mr K Harris-Hughes was only to pleased to explain – in english AND Welsh…

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A Manager in demand…

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1963 28th May Manager Mr K Harris-Hughes Appears on TV MBM-Au62-P43.jpg1962 03 MBM.jpg28 May 1962 Mr. K. Harris-Hughes (Manager) has recently been in the public eye, as a result of his appear­ance on television. He was approached first of all by the producer of the Welsh Television programme ‘Heddiw’ which goes on the air daily at 1.5 p.m., with the request that he allow himself to be interviewed with a view to allaying any possible fear on the part of the public that holders of the old type of £1 Bank of England notes might lose their money following the Bank of England announcement that such notes would not be legal tender after May 28th.  Whilst in the studio having coffee in the canteen before the start of the programme Mr. Harris-Hughes was approached by the Director of the Welsh News with the request that he allow himself to be interviewed during the Welsh news the same evening at 6.15 p.m., the interview to be followed by a further interview in English at 6.30 p.m. Mr. Harris-Hughes also had to make a recording at another studio of the B.B.C., for a sound broadcast for the Welsh programme ‘Trem’ which goes out on Tuesday mornings after the 8 o'clock news. The subject on this occasion was a tribute to Charles Evans Hughes, one time Chief Justice of the United States and Secretary of State during the Harding Admin­istration, whose centenary was being com­memorated in the United States by the issue of a special postage stamp. Charles Evans Hughes was a first cousin of Mr. Harris-Hughes's father.  The day's work was not yet done, however, for no sooner had Mr. Harris-Hughes returned to the Bank than the B.B.C. telephoned to ask whether their recording unit might visit the Bank to record the interview given earlier in the day for the News broadcast that evening. A portable recording unit subsequently arrived and Mr. Harris-Hughes was interviewed first in Welsh and then in English, both recordings going out later that evening in the Welsh News and News from Wales.

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… and finally: Ask any member of staff who remembers the days of safe custody, and they will be able to recall any number of strange and exotic items placed in the vaults of the local bank branch. Mr Harris Hughes once more takes life in his stride when the largest silver trophy bowl in the World is lodged at his branch for safe-keeping…

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Urdd National Eisteddfod

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1965 COA.jpgThis photograph, taken by Mr D. J. Stewart, shows Mr K. Harris-Hughes (Manager) in the strongroom of Cardiff branch with the largest silver trophy bowl in the world. Presented by Sir David James to the Welsh League of Youth as an inspiration to aim for the highest achievements, it is valued at £2,000, weighs over 1,000 troy ounces and is four feet high on a mahogany plinth.  The trophy was manufactured by A. Edward Jones Limited, Birmingham silversmiths, from a Hundredweight sheet of sterling silver rolled by Messrs Johnson & Matthey, bullion dealers, and the Birmingham Assay Office state that this is the largest piece of silver they have ever hall-marked in one piece.

1965 K Harris-Hughes with Eisteddfod Cup in Branch Strongroom MBM-Au65P45

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1938 to 1940 Mr S B Evans MBM-Wi63P05.jpg

1938 to 1947  Mr A D Thomas Manager MBM-Au47P14.jpg

1952 to 1964 joined then 1968 Mr DC Bartley pro Manager MBM-Au68P06.jpg

1955 to 1966 Mr K Harris-Hughes Manager MBM-Sp66P51.jpg

1956 to 1965 Mr D J Stewart MBM-Wi68P06.jpg

1959 to 1967 Mr D A Melling pro Manager MBM-Su67P06.jpg

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Mr S B Evans

On the Staff

1938 to 1940

Mr A D Thomas

Manager

1938 to 1947

Mr D C Bartley

Joined here 1962 to 1964

Pro Manager 1968

Mr K Harris-Hughes

Manager

1955 to 1966

Mr D J Stewart

On the Staff

1956 to 1965

Mr D A Melling

Pro Manager

1959 to 1967

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1959 to 1968 Mr J H Williams Pro Manager MBM-Au68P56.jpg

1963 Miss H Watson Cashier MBM-Wi63P49.jpg

1966 Mr R T M Williams OBE MC TD Manager MBM-Sp64P43.jpg

BW Logo

BW Logo

BW Logo

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Mr J H Wiliams

Pro Manager

1959 to 1968

Miss H Williams

cashier

1963

Mr R T M Williams

O.B.E.  M.C.  T.D.

Manager 1966 onwards

 

 

 

 

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Local Branch Banks

 

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BARCLAYS BANK LIMITED

St Mary Street

Trustee

Foreign

Canton, Cowbridge Road

Birchgrove

Oxford House, Hills Street

Roath Park

Victoria Park

Docks

 

cont..

Gabalfa

Grangetown

Llandaff

Newport  Road

121 Queen Street

Roath

Rumney

1960S Co-op Logo

CO-OPERATIVE WHOLESALE BANK

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1946 District Bank Logo from Cheque - MBAx1

DISTRICT BANK LIMITED

1 Castle Street

26 Park Place

 

INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL FINANCE CO

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LLOYDS BANK LIMITED

Colonial and Foreign

27 High Street

Overseas

Executor and Trustee

St Mary Street

Queen Street

Birchgrove

Canton

City Road

Colchester Avenue Roath

 

 

cont..

Crwys Road

Docks

Roath

Roath Park

Rumney

Splott

Victoria  Park

10 Windsor Place

 

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MARTINS BANK LIMITED

St Mary Street

11 Windsor Place

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MIDLAND BANK LIMITED

94 Albany Road

Bessemer Road

Queen Street

St Mary Street

Executor and Trustee - 97 Bute Street

Birchrove

Canton

Cathedral Road

Clifton Street

 

 

cont..

Rhyd-y-Penau

Docks

City  Road, Roath

Overseas

Rumney

University

Whitchurch Road

 

NATIONAL BANK

Docks

3-4 High Street

Roath

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NATIONAL PROVINCIAL BANK

117 St Mary Street

Trustee Branch

Caerphilly Road

Canton

Cyncoed

Whitchurch Road

Docks 113-116 Bute Street & West Bute Street

Grangetown

Llandaff North

 

 

cont..

Llandough Hospital

96 Queen Street

Roath

Royal Infirmary

Rumney

University Hospital

Wellfield Road, Roath

Wholesale Fruit Centre

41 Splott Road

 

UNITED DOMINIONS TRUST

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WESTMINSTER BANK LIMITED

St Mary Street

Docks

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WILLIAMS DEACONS BANK

St Mary Street

 

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Title:

Type:

Address:

Index Number and District:

Hours:

 

Telephone:

Services:

Manager:

11-51-20 Cardiff St Mary Street

Full Branch

92 St Mary Street Cardiff Glamorganshire

178 South Western

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Caerdydd 29247/8

Nightsafe Installed

Mr R T M Williams OBE MC TD ADC Manager

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http://www.martinsbank.co.uk/11-50-00%20Bedlington_files/image034.jpg

11-52-20 CARDIFF WINDSOR PLACE

 

1 June 1938

15 December 1969

20 September 1974

Currently

Opened by Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-18-26 Cardiff St Mary Street

Closed

Newsagent

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