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Palatine Bank

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The original building on the site of 25 Cheetham Hill Road, is a branch of the Palatine Bank opened in 1889. The subsequent changes of hands that lead to the ownership of this Branch by Martins, covers the next seventy-two years, until the business has outgrown the building.  So, in 1961, a transformation takes place at 25 Cheetham Hill Road, as the old branch makes way for new and larger premises. This is one of the Bank’s major rebuilds and refurbishments.

In service: 1889 – 2001


1961 Manchester 25 Cheetham Hill Road Exterior BGA Ref 30-1803.jpg

Image © Barclays Ref 0033/0363

In 1964, Martins Bank Magazine takes a look at the transformation, talking to the staff about the new branch, and – of equal if not greater importance – the increased customer base…

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1964 01 MBM.jpgIn 1889 when the Palatine Bank opened a branch at 25 Cheetham Hill Road, Manchester, the district had been predominantly Jewish for many years. During the next half century, the business of both the branch and its customers prospered and although by the end of the second world war many of the older families had left the neighbourhood, the connections and many of the thriving businesses remained. There is, however, little to suggest to the casual observer anything of the size and variety of interests in the Cheetham area, for much of the property is old and the war damage to buildings can still be seen.

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If, residentially, the district has gone downhill so that in the side streets fine old Georgian houses have now become unpretentious business offices, one has only to talk awhile to Mr J D Tomkys, our Manager, to realise how misleading first impressions can be, even accepting the inescapable fact that “where there’s muck there’s money”. And on the day we called at Cheetham, Manchester was mucky but a good deal colder and wetter. Mr Tomkys succeeded Mr Arthur Young as Manager at Cheetham branch nearly 15 years ago and, like his predecessor, has a high opinion of the thoroughness, determination and enterprise of the Jewish race. 

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The success of his business ilustrates how vital it is for the most gifted banking technician to be also a judge of banking’s three C’s – character, capacity and capital.  When he came to Cheetham as Assistant Manager in 1948 the premises had suffered during the bombing, and the repairs proved insufficient to keep out the rain so that buckets were needed in the office and roof sweeping was necessary to clear puddles. 

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As the years passed the branch could no longer cope satisfactorily with the amount of business and the number of staff required to deal with it, despite overspill into an adjoining building, and three years ago Cheetham was rebuilt “with business as usual”. How this was done can only be imagined, but from some of the survivors we gather that the ordeal was worthwhile – rather like taking an aching tooth to the dentist – for a point had been reached when one was almost thankful if a colleague was away or just out at lunch, as this meant more space in which to work.

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1961 Manchester 25 Cheetham Hill Road interior 2 BGA Ref 33-363.jpg

1961 Manchester 25 Cheetham Hill Road Interior 1 BGA Ref 33-363.jpg

Images © Barclays Ref 0033/0363

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Yet Cheetham branch has long been known for its remarkable team spirit.; those who have worked there have even called it a workhouse – but a happy one, and if the office has lost the personality associated with the bad old overcrowded days, the staff is still a happy one and copes with a remarkable quantity of work. Although Cheetham is centralised on Brown Street, it has two sub branches, 209a Cheetham Hill Road and Crumpsall, the statements for the latter being dealt with by the parent office.  The newly built office is roomy and attractive and was described to us as “not so plush as to put some people off, but plush enough to attract them and make them and make others feel they are coming into a real bank” – a typically common sense Mancunian assessment! Outside the branch on our section of the pavement, three young trees have been planted as the instigation of Mr Tomkys; they are the only trees in the neighbourhood and one of them was so surprised to find itself in Cheetham, that it died and had to be replaced. Yes, Cheetham is a truly remarkable branch – muck money and Paris in the spring. Where else would you get ideas like that?

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Our thanks to Alan Thomond for his Spring 2016 “oddysey” around his former Martins Bank haunt of Manchester, the results of which is a collection of photographs of former Manchester Branches as they are today.  The building at 25 Cheetham Hill Road is today a Branch of the ICICI Bank,  an Indian multinational banking and financial services company, but above the door the Grasshopper of London and the Liver Bird of Liverpool still take centre stage!

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Image © Barclays Ref 33/363

Image © 2016 Alan Thomond

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BACK ROW (left to right): J Haynes

R W Parkinson J Kay P L Hudson

B R Chadwick G Credland

L Kennedy (messenger)


MIDDLE ROW: Miss J Clayton

Miss M Thomas Miss S J Todhunter

Miss E M Haworth

Miss C A Moore

Miss M Hardie


FRONT ROW: W D Rushworth

G W Harris Mr C A Shuttleworth

(Assistant Manager)

Mr J D Tomkys (Manager)

Mr J I Gregory (Pro Manager)

A A W Brooks

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1920 Mr G Healey joined the bank here MBM-Wi64P55.jpg

1922 to 1934 Mr A E Knight MBM-Sp65P51.jpg

1926 to 1929 Mr F A Dew Manager MBM-Su51P26.jpg

1935 to 1937 Mr E H Brown Manager MBM-Su46P20.jpg

1937 to 1942 Mr E B Turner MBM-Au58P55.jpg

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Mr G Healey

Joined the Bank here


Mr A E Knight

On the Staff

1922 to 1934

Mr F A Dew


1926 to 1929

Mr E H Brown


1935 to 1937

Mr E B Turner

On the Staff

1937 to 1942

Mr J Crossley

On the Staff

1938 to 1941

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1941 to 1948 Mr Arthur Young Manager MBM-Au48P17.jpg

1948 to 1949 Mr F Hurst Manager MBM-Au49P19.jpg

1949 Mr J D Tomkys Manager MBM-Au49P55.jpg

1949 to 1956 Mr F Whewell Assistant Manager MBM-Su68P50.jpg

1960 to 1963 Mr J S Laver Assistant Manager MBM-Wi63P06.jpg

1961 to 1963 Mr A N Meyer Pro Manager MBM-Sp64P06.jpg

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Mr Arthur Young


1941 to 1948

1948 to 1949

Mr F Hurst


Mr J D Tomkys


1949 to 1968

Mr F Whewell

Assistant Manager

1949 to 1956

Mr J S Laver

Assistant Manager

1960 to 1963

Mr A N Meyer

Pro Manager

1961 to 1963

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1963 to 1964 Mr BR Chadwick  MBM-Su65P07.jpg

1963 to 1965 Mr C A Shuttleworth Assistant Manager MBM-Wi63P06.jpg

1963 to 1967 Mr J L Gregory Pro Manager MBM-Su67P06.jpg

1964 Mr WD Rushworth  MBM-Wi68P07.jpg

1964 to 1968 Mr R S Hilton MBM-Sp68P07.jpg

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Mr B R Chadwick

On the Staff

1963 to 1964

Mr C A Shuttleworth

Assistant Manager

1963 to 1965

Mr J L Gregory

Pro Manager

1963 to 1967

Mr W D Rushworth

On the Staff


Mr Gerald Carey

on the Staff

1965 onwards

Mr R S Hilton

On the Staff

1964 to 1968

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1965 Mr VR Norton Assistant Manager MBM-Au65P04.jpg

1968 Mr F Dixon Manager MBM-Au68P14.jpg

1969 Mr R Paulson Assistant Manager MBM-Au69P12.jpg

BW Logo

BW Logo

BW Logo

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Mr V R Norton

Assistant Manager


Mr F Dixon


1968 onwards

Mr R Paulson

Assistant Manager








1946 District Bank Logo from Cheque - MBAx1


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Index Number and District:






Martins Bank Lmited 11-65-20 Manchester Cheetham

Full Branch with centralised posting

25 Cheetham Hill Road Manchester 4

503 Manchester

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

DEAnsgate 3196

Nightsafe Installed

V R Norton Manager

Sub Branches


11-65-20 CRUMSPALL



30 December 1919

3 January 1928


15 December 1969


opened by The Palatine Bank

Bank of Liverpool and Martins

Martins Bank Limited

Demolished and Rebuilt

Barclays Bank Limited 20-54-58 Manchester Cheetham


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