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Martins Bank 1928+The late 1940s sees over-crowding at 68 Lombard Street – home of London Foreign Branch - leading to the search for a premises that can both relieve the situation and at the same time future-proof it.  Thus 80 Gracechurch Street EC3 is purchased from Lloyds Bank and by the early 1950s is firmly established as home to the re-named Chief Overseas Branch.  Tradionally, Martins’ overseas branches are housed as large departments within other premises, as was the case in London until the move to Gracechurch Street. – Foreign transactions still require the availability of cash, therefore Liverpool Overseas operates within Liverpool City Office Branch, and Manchester Overseas within Manchester City Office.  It makes sense to do the same at Gracechurch Street, and so the building houses TWO branches of the bank, with the counters of Chief Overseas and 80 Gracechurch St branches facing each other across the redesigned banking hall.  On this page we look at some images of Chief Overseas and there is an extensive staff gallery.  The move to the new premises is marked by the ubiquitous “cocktail party”, which in the early 50s seems to occur as an excuse for almost any occasion, including the denouement of every series of the smash hit radio drama “Paul Temple” when the Sleuth brings together all the suspects!

 

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1952 London Gracechurch Street exterior 1 BGA Ref 30-1089.jpg

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To read more about the move to 80 Gracechurch St - and its renovations - please visit LONDON 80 GRACECHURCH STREET. The 1969 merger with Barclays makes Chief Overseas Branch redundant, the business being transferred to Barclays own Chief Foreign Branch at 152 Upper Thames Street on 10 July 1970.

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1952 The Foreign Manager's Room MBM-Sp52P45.jpg

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Above: The Foreign Manager’s office

Below: The Foreign Counter in action

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1962 London 80 Gracechurch Street Chief Overseas Manager’s Office MBM-Su62P32.jpg

Somewhere to do business –

the Chief Overseas Manager’s Office Pictured in 1962.

 

 

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1952 01 MBM.jpgThe importance of the transfer of our chief foreign branch to 80 Gracechurch Street was recognised by a cocktail party to which representatives of all the foreign and overseas banks in London were invited as well as members of the big clearing banks and our senior London managers. M. Haemmerli, our Paris representative, came over for the occasion.  In the absence through indisposition of the Chairman of the Bank and the Chairman of the London Board the guests were received by the Hon. D. Bowes-Lyon, Director of the General and London Boards, Mr. E. R. Bowring, Director of the London Board, and Mr. C. J. Verity, Chief General Manager. We were also glad to see Mr. Christopher Holland Martin, m.p., during the course of the party, also Mr. Tarn, Mr. Laidlaw and the Liverpool and Manchester Foreign Managers.

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Image © Martins Bank Archive Collection

1963: Travellers Cheque Department

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Martins Bank Travellers’ Cheques are issued by Chief Overseas Branch.  You can read more about them, and about how they are used, in our MARTINPLANNING section which now includes a 1949 Public Information Film featuring Martins Travellers’ Cheques. 

 

You can also meet Monsieur Haemmerli (who is mentioned above) and his staff on our PARIS OFFICE page.

The Gnomes of Gracechurch Street…

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1968 02 MBM.jpgAt work in the new foreign exchange dealing room are, from the left, Messrs B T Linsey, N E Fobister, S J Campbell and A J N Allwright.  Although each of the four only has two telephone handsets there are twenty-two incoming telephone lines to cope with.  Out of sight equipment includes electric calculating machines and three telex machines.

1968 Staff in the new FX dealing room MBM-Su68P42.jpg

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… and one gnome in particular…

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We were delighted to be contacted by Alan R Prime, who spent his entire Martins career at Chief Overseas – from 1957 to 1965.  We are especially excited that he has provided this colour image of the dealing room as it was in 1963… It shows Alan at the Dealing Desk in 1963/1964. Immediately behind him is the telex machine used for overseas communication for trading with other Banks in Europe. The two pads in front of him carry (a) the spot currency prices and (b) the forward currency prices. Just to his right can be seen part of the 36 direct line dealing board.   We wonder what has happened over the years to all this “cutting edge” equipment as it slowly became more and more old fashioned…

1962 Alan Prime at Dealing desk AP-MBA.jpg

 

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1946 to 1959 Mr R E Knight Pro Manager MBM-Au59P56.jpg

1946 to 1965 Mr A J Short Pro Manager MBM-Wi65P51.jpg

1947 Mr A H Birse (Churchill's interpreter) MBM-Sp51P54.jpg

1949 Mr N B Daniels Pro Manager CU MBM-Su49P20.jpg

1950 to 1959 Mr A D S Whittard Pro Manager MBM-Wi59P54.jpg

1951 to 1966 Mr J D Evans Pro Manager MBM-Wi66P57.jpg

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Mr R E Knight

Pro Manager

1946 to 1959

Mr A J Short

Pro Manager

1946 to 1965

Mr A H Birse

Churchill’s Interpreter

On the Staff 1947

Mr N B Daniels

Pro Manager

1949

Mr A D S Whittard

Pro Manager

1950 to 1959

Mr J D Evans

Pro Manager

1951 to 1966

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1952 to 1960 Mr C R Bruckin Pro Manager MBM-Su60P56.jpg

1952 to 1960 Mr C R Bruckin Pro Manager MBM-Su60P56.jpg

1959 to1963 Mr R L Barton Pro Manager MBM-Sp63P55.jpg

1960 to 1966 Mr A D Shackleton Pro Manager MBM-Su66P59.jpg

1961 Mr Jack Holroyd Staff MBM-Wi61P26.jpg

1963 Mr F O'M White Assistant Accountant MBM-Wi63P08.jpg

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Mr C R Bruckin

Pro Manager

1952 to 1960

Mr Alan R Prime

On the Staff

1957 to 1965

Mr R L Barton

Pro Manager

1959 to 1963

Mr A D Shackleton

Pro Manager

1960 to 1966

Mr Jack Holroyd

On the Staff

1961

Mr F O’M White

Assistant Manager

1963

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1963 to 1967 Mr S G Height Accountant MBM-Au67P53.jpg

1963 to 1968 Mr R S Lucock Pro Manager MBM-Su68P53.jpg

1964 Mr JS Anderson pro Manager MBM-Sp64P08.jpg

1965 Mr DF Russell Pro Manager MBM-Wi65P04.jpg

1965 Mr WL Cockburn Assistant Manager  1966 Deputy then 1967 Manager  MBM-Su65P05.jpg

1966 Mr EJ Hatton pro Manager MBM-Wi66P05.jpg

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Mr S G Height

Accountant

1963 to 1967

Mr R S Lucock

Pro Manager

1963 to 1968

Mr J S Anderson

Pro Manager

1964

Mr D F Russell

Pro Manager

1965

Mr W L Cockburn DFC

Assistant Manager 1965

Deputy Manager 1966

Manager 1967 onwards

Mr E J Hatton

Pro Manager 1966

Assistant Manager 1967

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1966 Mr GJ Woolf pro Manager MBM-Sp66P07.jpg

1966 Mr JLW Wagland Deputy Manager MBM-Sp66P04.jpg

1966 Mr WD Longfield pro Manager MBM-Sp66P08.jpg

1967 Mr AL Smith pro Manager MBM-Su67P05.jpg

1967 Mr DF Russell Assistant Manager MBM-Su67P05.jpg

1967 Mr DP Wilson Deputy Manager MBM-Su67P04.jpg

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Mr G J Woolf

Pro Manager

1966

Mr J L W Wagland

Deputy Manager

1966

Mr W D longfield

Pro Manager

1966

Mr A L Smith

Pro Manager

1967

Mr D F Russell

Pro Manager

1967

Mr D P Wilson

Deputy Manager

1967

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1967 Mr GE Hobson pro Manager MBM-Su67P07.jpg

1967 Mr MR Spinks pro Manager MBM-Au67P07.jpg

1967 Mr S Squirrell Assistant Manager MBM-Su67P06.jpg

1967 Mr WD Longfield Accountant MBM-Au67P03.jpg

1968 Mr DJ Snowden pro Manager MBM-Su68P23.jpg

1969 Mr K P Weller Pro Manager MBM-Sp69P10.jpg

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Mr G E Hobson

Pro Manager

1967

Mr M R Spinks

Pro Manager

1967

Mr S Squirrell

Assistant Manager

1967

Mr W D longfield

Accountant

1967

Mr D J Snowden

Pro Manager

1968

Mr K P Weller

Pro Manager

1969

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Title:

Type:

Address:

Index Number and District:

Hours:

 

Telephone:

Services:

Manager:

Martins Bank Limited 11-76-20 London Chief Overseas

Overseas Trade and Foreign Currency Branch

80 Gracechurch Street London EC3

429 London

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

01 626 6568

Foreign Banking Services

Mr W L Cockburn DFC Manager

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1931

1952

10 July 1970

Currently

London Foreign Branch opens at 68 Lombard Street

Moves to 80 Gracechurch Street

Closed and business moved to Barclays Chief Foreign Branch

Designated as “various offices and shops”

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