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Martins Bank 1928+

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Between 1935 (Southampton) and 1939 (Reading) Martins Bank opens some thirty-six branches in the Midlands and South of England.  The Branch at Worcester is opened in 1937 in the former David Greig Department Store at 54 High Street.  A very short-lived sub branch is opened in 1967 at WORCESTER ST JOHN'S, and this, along with the main Worcester Branch are closed on 12 December 1969.  The business of both branches is transferred to Barclays’ Worcester Cathedral Branch, but in 1975, with the former Martins Branch still in its possession, Barclays decides to re-open at 54 High Street, where the business continues today.

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Martins Bank’s 1949 advertising campaign – Roman Towns – features illustrations relating to twelve English towns and cities in roman times, and along with the Roman name for each town, each advertisement also includes information about the Bank and the local Branch.  “WIGERAN CEASTER” - Worcester, is number eleven in a series of twelve advertisement to be published in newspapers and magazines all over the United Kingdom at the end of 1949. In 1952 Worcester receives a visit from the team at Martins Bank Magazine. 

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1960 s Worcester High Street Exterior 6 CU BGA Ref 30-3289.jpg

Branch Images © Barclays Ref 0030/3289

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In a write-up that is shorter than many of the other branch visits made by the Magazine’s staff, we are informed about the background of the staff of the branch, and given a brief insight into the Worcester of 1952…

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1952 04 MBM.jpgWe paid our first visit to Worcester on the afternoon of the fifth of September What a busy town Worcester is and what crowds seem to throng its narrow congested streets! It seemed to us to be an exceptionally noisy town, too, and throughout the night the roar of heavy lorry traffic along the main streets drives sleep from the heads of visitors unlucky enough to have the front bedrooms of their hotels.  Yet five minutes' walk away one can stroll almost in solitude along the banks of the Severn and under the walls of the gracious cathedral which is the chief glory of Worcester.  On the far bank is the Worcester Cricket Ground, the fine turf of which is attributed to the annual floodings to which it is subjected by the river. The extent of these floods is marked by inscriptions cut into the stone of the entrance gateway to the cathedral grounds from the river front and they are all many feet above the normal level.

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1960 s Worcester High Street Exterior 5 BGA Ref 30-32891952 Worcester Staff MBM-Wi52P16.jpgHere too are the famous Worcester Porcelain Works which visitors are permitted to view.  This extremely busy town is, of course, in the heart of one of the most naturally beautiful parts of the English countryside and in the spring the plum blossom rivals the orchards of Kent. We learned for the first time that the hop industry is of some magnitude in Worcestershire: most of us associate it solely with Kent. And, of course, the setting is very pleasant, and for those who like living in the country the choice might well lie here. Mr. Caughey and his wife we have known for a long time. Mrs. Caughey was in the Bank at one time and as Norah Boston, served at various branches in the Liverpool district. Mr. Caughey entered the service in 1922 and served at Waterloo, Water Street, Mossley Hill, Smithdown and Tue Brook before being charged with the opening of our branch at Childwall Five Ways. During the last war he organised all the staff savings throughout the Bank and was seconded to the National Savings Movement for six weeks of every year during the war. In Liverpool he was in charge of seventy selling centres during every one of the big campaigns. He was appointed Mana­ger at Worcester in 1946. Mr. H. E. Williams, Pro Manager, was on holiday at the time of our visit and we were sorry not to meet once again this old friend. Mr. J. R. D. Chapman, the principal cashier, is a North-Easterner who came South in 1942.

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A change of use…

A keen eye on Worcester High Street branch reveals that the name above the balcony once read “David Greig 1931”.  As we don’t have the exact dates for these two images, it’s not clear when Martins Bank decided to stamp its own identity over the top!

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Images © Barclays Ref 0030/3289

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Our thanks go to Keith Mason, who keeps his ear close to the ground and his camera at the ready for us in the Midlands, for all matters Martins. It is good to see 54 High Street still apparently fulfilling the services of a bank as late as December 2016!

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Image © Barclays Ref 0030/3289

Image © Martins Bank Archive Collection – Keith Mason 2016

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1939 to 1941 Mr JE Anderson MBM-Sp65P08.jpg

1942 to 1955 Mr J R D Chapman MBM-Au68P58.jpg

1946 to 1965 Mr D B Caughey Manager MBM-Wi65P50.jpg

1965 Mr WJ Hutton Manager MBM-Wi65P02.jpg

BW Logo

BW Logo

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Mr J E Anderson

On the Staff

1939 to 1941

Mr J R D Chapman

On the Staff

1942 to 1955

Mr D B Caughey


1946 to 1965

Mr W J Hutton


1965 onwards






Index Number and District:






11-69-90 Worcester                                                   

Full Branch

54 High Street Worcester Worcestershire

591 Midland

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Worcester 28321/2

Nightsafe Installed

Mr W J Hutton Manager

Sub Branches


30 March 1937

12 December 1969



Opened by Martins Bank Limited

Closed and Business tranferred to Barclays

Worcester Cathedral Branch, 5 College Street

Re-opened by Barclays






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