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Martins Bank 1928+

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image056Some “gap-filling” in the London Area further consolidates Martins’ position as a NATIONAL bank, especially when daring to have your Head Office outside London is seen as something of an act of defiance.   Martins does of course boast the oldest banking service in the country, which started in London on the site of 68 lombard Street Office back in 1563. 

 

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1956 Covent Garden Exterior MBM-Au56P05

Image © Martins Bank Archive Collection

Garrick Street, which opens for business in 1955 is also known as “Covent Garden” branch, because of its close proximity to same, and in similar fashion, the Bank’s Branch at  Bruton Street is more often than not referred to as Berkeley Square Branch.  Not long after the opening of Garrick Street, Martins Bank Magazine pays a visit to see what the new branch is like, and as usual to pick up on the “human” aspect of setting up another arm of the business…

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1956 03In a publication of this nature we are concerned with people rather than with bricks and mortar and we do not select branches to visit because of their architectural interest alone. We have re­cently decided, how­ever, in view of the fact that the new branches are of great interest to our read­ers, to feature each one as it is opened and to catch up on as many of the re­cently opened ones as possible. It has to be ad­mitted, therefore, that many of the new buildings are architecturally in­teresting and no visit would be complete which did not attempt to inform readers of current develop­ments in bank architecture.

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1955 London Garrick Street interior 1 BGA Ref 30-1043

1960 Covent Garden Interior MBII-OppP25.jpg

Branch Interior Images © Barclays Ref 30/1043

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Many of our branch buildings are very much out of date and, while representative of the period in which they were built, it would be quite wrong to perpetuate their style in our new buildings. Each generation owes it to pos­terity to keep up with its own times and to make its legacy the best possible example of the period in which it lived. As will be seen in the photo­graphs the elevation of our Garrick Street branch is in the form of a grille composed of sculptured, closely-set vertical rods set against the glazing, the whole within a white marble inner mount and a black granite outer frame.  A sculptured relief in bronze by Geoffrey Clarke, illustrating by cryptograms the activities of Covent Garden Market, traverses the whole elevation. Some might think it looks rather forbidding and overpowering but it is certainly unique so far as our new build­ings are concerned. Inside, the walls are panelled with Indian silver-grey wood panelling, and doors have the same veneer.

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A suspended acoustic ceiling masks the beams supporting the first floor. A series of attractive paintings, illustrative of the various facets of activity in Covent Garden — fruit selling, flower selling, printing, and so on, adorn the walls of the customers' space. The artist is Sally Holliday, a third-year student of the Graphic Design School at the Royal College of Art.

1955 London Garrick Street interior 2 BGA Ref 30-1043.jpg

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A picture by Sir Hugh Casson, the architect of the building, hangs on the wall of the manager's room.We visited the branch on May 25th and were surprised to see what a busy little place it has become in such a short time. Mr. C. J. Carpenter, the Manager, is enjoying his new branch in spite of the necessity of putting in the much longer hours which a new branch demands. He entered the Bank in 1925 and his previous service has been at 68 Lombard Street, Fenchurch Street, London District Office, Kingsway and since 1948 at Tothill Street as Pro Manager.  His second-in-command is Mr. N. G. Willis who commenced his service in 1940 at Southampton and came to London in 1949 to District Office. Number three is Mr. J. E. Seabrook who forsook the Civil Service for the banking profession, as also did Mr. M. J. Handford, who is at present attached to the branch.  The only girl is Miss P. A. Hollis, a young lady whose work is of a high standard. She entered the Bank at Garrick Street last year. Because of its situation the customers are widely representative of different countries and classes, and we were pleased to entertain Mr. and Mrs. Carpenter at the Arts Theatre Club, which is quite a good way of getting a bit of the atmosphere of Covent Garden.

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1955 to 1955 Mr J L Hollands joined the bank here MBM-Sp64P07.jpg

1955 to 1959 Mr NG Willis MBM-Su65P03.jpg

1955 to 1962 Mr C J Carpenter Manager MBM-Sp69P55.jpg

1956 Miss P A Hollis MBM-Au56P05.jpg

1956 Mr N P Bray MBM-Au56P05.jpg

1962 to 1965 Mr D G Harris Manager MBM-Wi65P06.jpg

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Mr J L Hollands

Joined the Bank Here

1955 to 1955

Mr N G Willis

On the Staff

1955 to 1959

Mr C J Carpenter

Manager

1955 to 1962

Miss P A Hollis

Joined the Bank Here

1955

Mr N P Bray

On the Staff

1956

Mr D G Harris

Manager

1962 to 1965

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1965 Irene Wheatley Cashier MBM-Wi65P42.jpg

1965 Mr DJ Hill Manager MBM-Wi65P05.jpg

BW Logo

BW Logo

BW Logo

BW Logo

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Irene Wheatley

Cashier

1965

Mr D J Hill

Manager

1965

 

 

 

 

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Title:

Type:

Address:

Index Number and District:

Hours:

 

Telephone:

Services:

Manager:

11-92-30 London Garrick Street

Full Branch

23 Garrick St London WC2

470 London

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1500

01 240 3361/2

Nightsafe Installed

Mr D J Hill Manager

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Automated Branch

Garrick Street is included in Martins’ London Account Number Allocation, where Branches due for automation are given “significant  digits” to identify them by account numbers issued at the London Computer Centre. The Branch Customer Accounts will be identified by the significant digits 24.

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1955

15 December 1969

30 September 1971

Currently

Opened by Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-33-44 Garrick Street

Closed

Various Businesses assigned to this Address

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