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Craven Bank

 

Baht ‘at…

Ilkley is one of the branches of the Bank’s Craven District, and one which when the Online Archive began, we were repeatedly asked to feature. It seems that even today the Craven District holds that certain Yorkshire magic for a lot of people. Ilkley is not only known for this quirky bank building, it is also the home of the song “On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at”, know the world over and even parodied as the theme tune to Yorkshire Television. Our first feature is from Martins Bank Magazine’s visit one and only visit to Ilkley which took place Thursday 27 October 1949, and then we attend the retirement of Mr Spensley, Manager from 1934 until 1960…

 

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Image © Barclays Ref: 0030/1426

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1949 04 MBM.jpgThe week beginning October 23rd did not seem a very auspicious week to have chosen for a visit to Ilkley. But after four days of storm and tempest October 27th was one of the most perfect days of the year. The tang of the first frost was in the air, the skies were blue and the autumn sunshine on the bracken on the moors made a picture of loveliness not easily to be forgotten. Mr. Spensley was rather sensitive about our choice of the picture of his staff. It is hard to realise that they are standing only ten seconds' walk from the front door of the branch and he felt that readers might get the wrong impression.

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We comforted him by reminding him that the Analysis of Routine Work was all that was likely to influence his superiors at Head Office. The fact that the work of our Ilkley staff is performed in sylvan surroundings is their good fortune and nobody else's business!  Mr. Spensley entered the Bank in 1921 at Skipton and went to Head Office Inspection Department in 1929. During the last year of his stay in Liverpool, 1933-34, he was Assistant Secretary of the Liverpool and District Bankers' Institute. He was appointed Manager at Ilkley in 1934. W. T. Ward is his second man. He entered the service at Barrow in 1913, being transferred to Ambleside the following year. From 1915 to 1919 he served with H.M. Forces and was in action in France from Arras up to the Salient. On demobilisation he went to Penrith, going to Otley in 1927. He has been at Ilkley since 1934.

 

1949 Ilkley Staff MBM-Wi49P32.jpgH. S. Brearley joined the Staff at Otley in 1941. From 1943 to 1946 he served with the Fleet Air Arm on Atlantic Convoy and later in Ceylon. He returned to Otley in 1946 and was transferred to Ilkley last December. Miss M. F. Bowling is the only girl on the Staff, which she joined at Ilkley in 1941. The branch itself is nicely situated on the main street; it must be one of the very few branches with the name of the Craven Bank Ltd., still displayed on the frosted windows, and has the additional peculiarity of being under Head Office control though inspected from Leeds.

 

For two years during the war a part of Head Office Trustee Department was evacuated to Ilkley and occupied the upper floors of our building, swelling our Staff in the town from its normal four to nearly thirty. In the late afternoon Mr. Spensley drove us over to Bolton Abbey and through some of the lovely dale country. In the evening we had dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Spensley and Mrs. Bell and Barbara, who was on our staff during the war until she joined the A.T.S. She now has a flourishing private practice in physiotherapy in Ilkley and is also physiotherapist to the local hospital. Readers will doubtless remember the reference we made to Barbara Bell on page 16 of the Winter 1947 issue and will be glad to know that her health has improved, while her courage and fortitude are, as ever, matchless. Our impressions of Ilkley were wholly pleasant ones and the feeling of invigoration and refreshment we received from our visit there was not wholly due to the excellent quality of the moorland air.

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We are fortunate to have an image of Ilkley with its Barclays branding.  This was not on the building for long as the Branch at 7 The Grove Closed in 1970 and after some temporary use in February 1971 to help cope with decimalisation, was closed permanently soon after.

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Images © Barclays Ref 0030/1426

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Goodbye, Mr Spensley…

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1934 to 1960 Mr J H Spensley Manager MBM-Su60P511960 02.jpgOn March 31, Mr J H Spensley retired from the management of Ilkley Branch, a position he had held for more than twenty-five years.  On the previous evening, a cocktail party at Mr Spensley’s home was attended by members and former members of the staff of the Branch, and their wives and husbands, and on the afternoon of March 31, at a farewell party at the Branch, in addition to the above, there were also present Mr G H M Clayton, Liverpool District Superintendent of Branches, Mr John Mashiter, Manager, Skipton, and two former members of the staff of Leeds City Office, both now retired and resident in Ilkley.  Mr Clayton, representing Mr Jopling, Liverpool District General Manager, made reference to his long standing association with Mr Spensley, and with many former colleagues with whom they had both worked at Head Office in the Department which has now become Liverpool District Office, before Mr Spensley was appointed Manager at Ilkley at the then exceptionally early age of thirty.  He then covneyed the good wishes of the Head Office Management for a long and happy retirement.  Mr N Milner made the presentation of a portable typewriter and a cheque (which Mr Spensley proposes to apply towards the purchase of a portable radio set) on behalf of his colleagues and a number of customers.  Mrs Spensley, who with her two daughters, had presided over tea, was presented with a bouquet by Mrs David Fryer (until recently Miss Adrienne Cowling).  Mr Spensley entered the service of the Bank in 1921 at Skipton.  In 1929 he became a member of Head Office inspection Department, and his appointment as Manager at Ilkley came in 1934.

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Ilkley at War…

 

In addition to playing host to Head Office Trustee Department for two years during World War Two (as mentioned in the main article above from Winter 1949) Ilkley Branch was also used from 1941 to 1945 as a temporary home for Leeds District Office. 

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Image © BT 1941

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A dedicated telephone line was installed, and with extra staff from the Trustee Department already filling the building, it must have been a very tight squeeze to fit in those who came from Leeds to carry out their District Office duties in the relative safety of Ilkley.  Further examples include the evacuation of other Head Office Departments to Ainsdale Branch, and the establishment on standby of an emergency Head Office at Thornton Hall in Cheshire should the worst happen in Liverpool.  Some Staff were also moved from 68 Lombard Street London Office to Ricards Lodge in Wimbledon. You can read more about this in our special section: MARTINS BANK AND THE SECOND WORLD WAR.

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1913 Mr C S Boden joined the bank here MBM-Au57P56.jpg

1914 to 1915 Mr H Scurr Joined the service here MBM-Au58P58.jpg

1915 to 1919 Mr E O Driver joined the bank here MBM-Au60P48.jpg

1934 to 1960 Mr J H Spensley Manager MBM-Su60P51.jpg

1939 to 1941 Mr J M Thornton MBM-Wi67P03.jpg

1942 to 1944 Mr JR Barrett MBM-Au66P06.jpg

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Mr C S Boden

Joined the Bank Here

1913

Mr H Scurr

Joined the Bank Here

1914 to 1915

Mr E O Driver

Joined the Bank Here

1915 to 1919

Mr J H Spensley

Manager

1934 to 1960

Mr J M Thornton

On the Staff

1939 to 1941

Mr J R Barrett

On the Staff

1942 to 1944

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1948 to 1948 Mr C P Smith MBM-Sp67P04.jpg

1949 Miss M F Bowling MBM-Wi49P32.jpg

1949 Mr H S Brearley MBM-Wi49P32.jpg

1949 Mr W T Ward Branch Second MBM-Wi49P32.jpg

1960 to 1969 Mr J A Crabtree Manager MBM-Su69P61.jpg

1960 Mr D J Fryer MBA-DJT.jpg

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Mr C P Smith

On the Staff

1948 to 1948

Miss M F Bowling

On the Staff

1949

Mr H S Brearley

on the Staff

1949

Mr W T Ward

Branch Second

1949

Mr J A Crabtree

Manager

1960 to 1969

Mr D J Fryer

On the Staff

1960

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1963 Miss E J Lawson  Cashier MBM-Au63P41.jpg

1969 Mr R N Mulholland Manager MBM-Su69P15.jpg

BW Logo

BW Logo

BW Logo

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Mr R S Atkinson

On the Staff

1961 to 1968

Miss E J Lawson

Cashier

1963

Mr R N Mulholland

Manager

1969 onwards

 

 

 

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BARCLAYS BANK LIMITED

LLOYDS BANK LIMITED

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MARTINS BANK LIMITED

MIDLAND BANK LIMITED

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NATIONAL PROVINCIAL BANK

YORKSHIRE BANK LIMITED

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Title:

Type:

Address:

Index Number and District:

Hours:

 

Telephone:

Services:

Manager:

Martins Bank Limited 11-93-40 Ilkley

Full Branch

7 The Grove Ilkley Yorkshire

107 Craven

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Ilkley 3226

Nightsafe Installed

Mr J A Crabtree Manager

Title:

Type:

Address:

Hours:

 

Telephone:

Services:

Manager:

11-93-40 ADDINGHAM

Sub to 11-93-40 Ilkley

Addingham Memorial Hall Main St Addingham Ilkley Yorkshire

Thursday 1045-1330

No Saturday Opening

Addingham 455

No Nightsafe

Mr J A Crabtree Manager

1880

23 March 1906

18 December 1918

3 January 1928

1941 to 1945

15 December 1969

9 October 1970

1 February 1971

The Craven Bank

Bank of Liverpool

Bank of Liverpool and Martins

Martins Bank Limited

Temporary home to Leeds District Office

Barclays Bank Limited 20-44-36 Ilkley the Grove

Branch Closed

Building used as temporary premises and then closed

Currently

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