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Martins Bank Branches in sussex

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image024This atmospheric image of Bexhill on Sea Branch taken in 1953, is provided from his personal collection by Geoff Taylor, who also worked for a time at the branch.  Geoff has provided us with a number of fantastic pictures of Martins’ Branches, some of which relate to temporary branch premises long since closed, and therefore photographs of them are very rare indeed. Bexhill on Sea, along with many of Martins Bank’s more Southern outposts is opened in 1939, and like several South Coast Branches they are situated in towns that will become targets for the German Air force. As a result the Branch gets off to a shaky start, and leads an unconventional life for a while moving premises a total of three times before the 1969 merger with Barclays.  The interior views of the branch throughout the rest of this page were taken following the 1961/2 redevelopment of Bexhill on Sea Branch.

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In his 1984 pamphlet “Martins Bank Branches in Sussex, A F Hill, former Manager of Martins’ Brighton Branch, tells the story of how Martins’ push into the South of England becomes all but wiped from memory with the closure of the Bank’s Sussex Branches.  Such is the urgency to begin trading in the South, that many branches are housed in temporary premises whilst more suitable or commodious buildings are sourced or built.  In the following abridged extract, Mr Hill tells the story of Bexhill on Sea, which actually spent the various stages of its existence between THREE different addresses!

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{Opened in temporary premises on the 2nd March 1939 at 45 Devonshire Road under the management of Mr S E Pearman, and remained open during the first year of the war when the Branch was closed in December 1940 and the business transferred to Eastbourne Branch at 23 Seaside.  The reason for this action was that the population of Bexhill was greatly reduced by the evacuation of the civilians after the fall of France. The original office did suffer some superficial bomb damage during the early part of the war and later was completely destroyed by bombing.  The site is now incorporated in Longleys Department Store on the eastern side of Devonshire Road.

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After the war the Branch re-opened again on 1 May 1946 at 18 Devonshire Road, these premises were originally acquired in 1939 (Bexhill Observer March 1939) and the business was conducted from that address apart from a short spell in 1961/62 when the office was re-built and temporary premises were taken over in 18 Parkhurst Road. Over the years of representation in the town the Branch developed its personal and business ties with the community. In fact at one period in the 1960s the Branch had six Directors of Public  Companies with accounts at the office and had developed very much as a gentleman's branch.  One corporate success of the Branch was the support of the Travel Agency originally based at Longleys, which from very modest beginnings has developed into a county wide organisation.

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1953 August Bexhill on Sea Exterior Geoff Taylor.jpg

Image © 1953 Geoff Taylor Collection

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1960 s Bexhill-on-Sea Interior 1 BGA Ref 30-171

Interior Images © Barclays Ref 0030/0171

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1960 s Bexhill-on-Sea Interior 2 BGA Ref 30-171

 

After the retirement of Bob Adcock in April 1967, who was manager for 16 years, there was a drift of business to other Branches in the area and a reduction in staff levels.  Mr R G Gilbert took over the management of the office upon the retirement of Mr Adcock and was resident until December 1969 when he retired.  A Barclays man Brian Stephens then took over until November 1971 when the office was reduced to sub branch status and finally merged with 17 Devonshire Road closing on 30 June 1972}.

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ABRIDGED FROM “MARTINS BANK BRANCHES IN SUSSEX” © A F HILL 1984

W N Townson Bequest

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1961 03 MBM.jpgAlthough so close to Hastings and St. Leonards, Bexhill has a character of its own. There is a very beautiful hinterland and on the evening of our arrival Mr. and Mrs. Adcock took us by car to see something of it. Older readers of the Magazine will be interested to learn that the son of the legendary George Downie, former Chief Accountant of the Bank of Liverpool, lives near Bexhill, and practised in the district as a dentist for many years. We also saw the house of the late Sir Giles Scott, architect of Liverpool Cathedral, and a number of our retired colleagues live nearby.

 

The following morning we went for a stroll along the front, and if we were rather appalled at the number of electrically-propelled wheel chairs we encountered and the solid phalanxes of aged faces which watched our leisurely progress, we were comforted by Mr. Adcock's assurance that things are different at the week-end when the sea is full of yachts from the Bexhill Sailing Club and the laughter of young people is heard everywhere. We had begun to form the impression that from the Bexhill point of view everyone walking without the assistance of sticks or crutches must be considered to be an athlete! Nevertheless, although it is a popular holiday resort it is also the home of a great number of retired people and this state of affairs is, naturally, reflected in the business of the branch, from which London Trustee Department receives strong support. The only industry in the town is of the light variety. At the time of our visit, July 18th, the branch was housed in temporary premises while the fine new offices were in course of construction a few yards away. The temporary arrangements for the conduct of business were a miracle of improvisation.

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Cash, securities and safe custody were housed in six safes of Carving sizes which in themselves would have provided a deterrent to anyone of nefarious intent just because of the six to one element of chance in guessing which one contained the cash!  However, by the time these words appear in print the new branch in all its glory ought to be nearly ready for occupation, so we don't want to dwell unduly on the temporary interlude which spans the gap between the opening of the branch in 1939 and its move to new and enlarged premises. The Manager, Mr. R. St. J. Adcock, is an old friend with whom we worked at Heywoods branch over thirty years ago. He commenced his service in the Liverpool District in 1914 and served at Water Street, Tue Brook, Heywoods and Sefton Park before going to the Manchester District for two years, at Widnes, 1932-34. Then he was given the chance of serving in the London District and he went successively to Lombard Street, Bournemouth and Southampton before serving five years with H.M. Forces, 1941-46. On his return in 1946 he went to Eastbourne and later the same year he received his first appointment as Pro Manager at Bournemouth. He became Manager at Bexhill in 1951. The second-in-command is Mr. H. Lumley, whose contributions to the Magazine in its early years delighted many of our readers. He commenced his service at Lombard Street, in 1925. He served with H. M. Forces from 1941-1943 and on his return he went successively to London District Office, Hanover Square, Curzon Street, District Office again, Guildford, Wimbledon and Bexhill since 1952. D. G. Wilkins entered the Bank in 1959 and has served at Brighton and Eastbourne before going to Bexhill this year. There are two girls, Miss A. Appleton and Miss F. Rawlins. Miss Appleton has been on the staff since 1959, Miss Rawlins since 1960.

 

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WELL WORTH THE WAIT

This glimpse at the sumptuous interior of the newly rebuilt branch is published without written commentary in Martins Bank Magazine, Autumn 1962.

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1939 to 1941 Mr S E Pearman Manager MBM-Wi62P51.jpg

1946 to 1951 Mr M I Ellis Manager MBM-Su67P54.jpg

1951 to 1967 Mr R St J Adcock Manager MBM-Su67P58.jpg

1962 Miss E F Rawlins MBM-Au61P12.jpg

1962 Mr D G Wilkins MBM-Au61P12.jpg

1962 Miss J C Appleton MBM-Au61P12.jpg

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Mr S E Pearman

Manager

1939 to 1941

Mr M I Ellis

Manager

1946 to 1951

Mr R St J Adcock

Manager

1951 to 1967

Miss E F Rawlins

On the Staff

1962

Mr D G Wilkins

On the Staff

1962

Miss J C Appleton

On the Staff

1962

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1962 Mr H Lumley MBM-Au61P12.jpg

1967 Mr R Gilbert Manager MBM-Su67P02.jpg

1968 Alan Dengate MBM-Wi68P32.jpg

BW Logo

BW Logo

BW Logo

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Mr H Lumley

On the Staff

1962

Mr R Gilbert

Manager

1967 onwards

Alan Deangate

On the Staff

1968

 

 

 

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BARCLAYS BANK LIMITED

LLOYDS BANK LIMITED

 

 

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MARTINS BANK LIMITED

MIDLAND BANK LIMITED

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NATIONAL PROVINCIAL BANK

WESTMINSTER BANK LIMITED

2 Branches

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Title:

Type:

Address:

Index Number and District:

Hours:

 

Telephone:

Services:

Manager:

Martins Bank Limited 11-62-00 Bexhill on Sea

Full Branch

18 Devonshire Road Bexhill on Sea Sussex

449 London

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Bexhill-on-Sea 2488/9

Nightsafe Installed

Mr R Gilbert Manager

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2  March 1939

2 December 1940

1946

1961

1962

15 December 1969

30 June 1972

Currently

Opened by Martins Bank Limited at 45 Devonshire Road

Moved temporarily to Eastbourne 23 Seaside

Moved to 18 Devonshire Road from 23 Seaside Eastbourne

Moved temporarily to 18 Parkhurst road whilst Premises rebuilt

Re-opened at 18 Devonshire Road

Barclays Bank Limited 20-06-68 Bexhill on Sea 18 Devonshire Road

Closed

Subway®

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