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Martins Bank 1928+

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Martins Bank opens its original Taunton Branch opens in 1938 at 21 FORE STREET.  By the mid-sixties the Bank is looking for a more prominent spot from which to do business, and moves up the road number seven, and a grand building previously owned by Lloyds Bank. Do not, however, be fooled by the traditional conservative exterior – on the inside the new branch is given the full swinging sixties treatment, as we shall see in the images below which are from the Barclays collection.  We have no recorded visits to No 7 Fore Street by Martins Bank Magazine, but in 1949 they do feature the original Branch. You can read more by clicking on the link to 21 Fore St shown above.

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We think by the way, that this rather strange object seen floating just above head height is some kind of lampshade.  At the same time it does look scary enough to start floating around the office following and checking up on people as they do their banking – perhaps it was inspired by 1960s TV dramas such as “The Prisoner” or “The Avengers”, who knows…

1967 Taunton Exterior 20 BGA Ref 30-2889

Image © Barclays Ref 0030/2889

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1967 Taunton Interior 22 BGA Ref 30-2889

1967 Taunton Interior 19 BGA Ref 30-2889

Images © Barclays Ref 0030/2889

1967 Taunton Interior 14 BGA Ref 30-2889

1967 Taunton Interior 2 BGA Ref 30-2889

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The giant sinister floaty thing is seen here from another angle, as we look from behind it and back across the banking hall to the door. A clash of décor, and some squeaky chairs to embarrass nervous customers whilst they request an overdraft.  Here, and in the image of the counter below, ashtrays abound in the day when smoking was known to be dangerous, but no-one seemed to care…

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Good condition, four careful owners!

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Finally, we couldn’t resist a comparison of the famous banking names above the door at No 7 Fore Street down the years.  The lettering becomes gradually smaller as the options for covering up the original stone carved lettering make it more and more difficult for each new owner to make their mark!  We don’t know how it looked as a branch of Williams and Glyn, but RBS decided to put a plastic strip over the whole thing…  After the merger with Barclays in 1969, the Branch stays open for a further fourteen years, closing its doors to the public for the last time early in 1983.

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 Images © Barclays and Google®

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For staff details prior to 1966, please visit 21 FORE STREET Branch

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1963 to 1966 Mr JF Hearle Ltd Auth then pro Manager from 1966 MBM-Sp66P05.jpg

1964 Mr MM Parkinson Manager MBM-Su64P06.jpg

1964 to 1967 Mr R J Williams pro Manager from 1967 MBM-Sp67P06.jpg

1965 Jasmine Dauben Cashier MBM-Wi65P59.jpg

BW Logo

BW Logo

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Mr J F Hearle

Limited Authority


Mr M M Parkinson


1966 onwards

Mr R J Williams

Pro Manager

1966 onwards

Miss Jasmine Dauben


1966 onwards






Index Number and District:






11-51-80 Taunton

Full Branch

7 Fore Street Taunton Somerset

197 South Western

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Taunton 84412/3

Nightsafe Installed

Mr M M Parkinson Manager

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Sub Branches



15 December 1969

25 February 1983


Opened by Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-85-25 Taunton Fore Street


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