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Martins Bank 1928+

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Having acquired a number of Kentish branches through its amalgamation with Martins Private Bank, the Bank of Liverpool and Martins opens further branches in the area in the mid 1920s.  The Bank is soon however more concerned with financing  a number of expensive major projects.

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Extracts from Martins Bank Limited Annual Report and Accounts © Barclays

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Image © BT 1934

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These include the re-building of 68 Lombard Street, and the construction at Water Street, Liverpool, of a palatial new Head Office building.  A number of smaller branches fall casualty to these plans and even those that have only just been opened are not spared the axe in what becomes the first period of consolidation in the history of the modern day Martins Bank.   A sub-Branch is opened at Bickley near Bromley in 1923, but the Bank closes it in 1928 and opens another at Otford, near Sevenoaks.   Until 1931, it is a sub-Branch under the control of Swanley. The parent branch then changes to Sevenoaks.  In the end however, Otford fares little better than Bickley, being open only until 1936.  

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The opening hours for Otford sub-Branch – seen listed here in Kellys Directory of Kent (© 1930) -  cover a six day banking week – which along with having its own telephone line is often a sign of a brisk trade at a small Branch – but this is still not enough to save Otford.   If you can help with memories or images of this or any of the 970+ buildings that are used by Martins Bank as Branches, please do get in touch with us at the usual address

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Bank Burgled at Otford

Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser

Friday 16 September 1933

Image © Trinity Mirror Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. Image reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive


It doesn’t matter how tiny a sub Branch is, it can still be fair game for bank robbers from the professionals al the way down to those who don’t exactly do their homework before planning their attack!  Our thanks go to our friends at the British Newspaper Archive, for the following story, which is taken from the Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser, and concerns the night of Sunday 11 September 1933, when Martins Bank Otford was among a number of local buildings to be targeted by some rather inept thieves.  We are sorry that some of the wording in the original article is now too faded to be easily read, and we have reproduced the full text below: -

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{By breeching a window in an adjoining office belonging to messrs. Henry Parker and Co., and forcing a connecting doorway, thieves entered the branch office of Martins Bank at Otford in the early hours of Sunday morning. No money at all is kept at the bank, and the thieves, disappointed at their fruitless efforts to take anything of value, contented themselves with doing considerable damage. The telephone wires were cut, the upholstery of the chairs was ripped and the woodwork in the office was scratched and chipped. The “Sevenoaks Chronicle” understands other premises in Otford were entered including the Village Hall but no articles of value were removed}.


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Index Number and District:






11-732 Otford

Sub to 11-784 Swanley – 1928-1930

Sub to 11-732 Sevenoaks – 1931-1936

Sevenoaks Road Otford Kent

430 London

Mon to Fri 1100-1530

Saturday 0930-1130

Otford 65

Counter Service Only

Mr N F Harris Manager (Sevenoaks)

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30 June 1928


16 July 1936

opened by Martins Bank Limited

Parent Branch changed from Swanley to Sevenoaks


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