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Bank of Liverpool and Martins

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Known as “Friargate” or “Market Street” or even “Friargate AND Market Street”, this Branch of Martins Bank sits like so many others on the corner of  two thoroughfares – in this case  in what is now one of the main pedestrianised shopping areas of Preston. This was a favourite ploy of banks in the Nineteenth Century – having one building with a presence in TWO streets at once. Preston’s large covered market is just around the corner which suggests that Friargate Branch might handle large amounts of cash. In Barclays’ time, the Branch is at first used to offer banking services. This part of Preston undergoes pedestrianisation and for the last few years of its life Friargate is a local training centre for Barclays, as the upstairs rooms lend themselves well to a cheap conversion into classrooms. 

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Image © Barclays Ref 0030/2349

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By this time the business needs of ALL banks are changing almost daily, and the doors of Preston Friargate and Market Street Branch are closed forever in October 1991. 

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Requisitioned by the Ministry of Works…

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2010 Friargate and Market St ExteriorFor the first eighteen years of its existence, Friargate Branch has a reasonably quiet life.  The second World War however, changes all that, and the premises are requisitioned by the Ministry of Works who initially want to use the whole building for the War Effort.


From that point on, the records of what went on at Friargate are a little confusing, and we must thank our good friends at Barclays for turning detective, and piecing it all together for us.  The story involves the building being used for storage only for fourteen years, followed by a revival when space at the main Fishergate Branch is suddenly at a premium…

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BGA Button{The story isn’t entirely clear. Our Branch record card simply says ‘closed 1.2.43’, and the source for this must be the Secretary’s Branch note book. However, the Bank continued to use/retain it and this is confirmed by the fact that the premises ledgers continue to record an unbroken series of repairs and maintenance entries throughout the period up to its reopening as a customer Branch in 1956.


The Standing Committee minutes for 2.7.41 record that on the departure of the manager, Thomas England, for his new appointment at Bury, the Bank had decided not to reappoint at Friargate, and that the Branch ‘would become a receiving office under the management of L R Tomlinson of Fishergate’. Not entirely sure what a receiving office is or was, but I assume it was a support Branch to Fishergate, perhaps for storage of records and other back-office purposes. However, the Committee subsequently recorded on 14.9.42 that the Ministry of Works, which was intending to requisition the whole building, had decided not to requisition the ground floor, and that as a consequence the Branch would continue to operate). So I can only assume that Friargate wasn’t in fact closed as a customer Branch until 1.2.43. This seems to be supported by Banker’s Almanacs which show Friargate as still open in the 1941/42 edition, closed in the 1948/49 edition, and open again in the 1956/57 edition.


However, to complicate matters the Committee recorded on 27.7.55 that, ‘this office was closed in 1941, existing connections being transferred to Fishergate Branch where our premises are no longer adequate for the expanding business. Furthermore, many customers would find Friargate more convenient and it was strongly recommended that we reopen the Branch as a sub-office to Fishergate. The premises are at present let at a rental of £367 per annum to HM Customs and Excise and we would suggest that they endeavour to give us possession in, say, six months time.’ The minutes for 8.6.56 record that Friargate would reopen as a sub to Fishergate on 23.7.56 }.


1960 s Friargate Branch Lancashire Evening Post 2CU - MBA


Images © Lancashire Evening Post, courtesy Preston Digital Archive

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1934 to 1939 Mr H Ingham MBM-Au57P53.jpg

1936 Mr C C Richardes MBM-Su65P51.jpg

1939 to 1941 Mr T England Manager MBM-Au68P54.jpg

1940 to 1942 Mr H Mayhall joined the bank here MBM-Sp67P04.jpg

BW Logo

BW Logo

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Mr H Ingham


1934 to 1939

Mr C C Richardes

On the Staff


Mr T England


1939 to 1941

Mr H Mayhall

Joined the Bank Here

1940 to 1942






Index Number and District:






11-94-60 Preston Friargate and Market Street

Sub to 11-94-60 Preston

181 Friargate Preston PR1 2EL Lancashire

769 Manchester

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Preston 56287

Nightsafe Installed

Mr L Richards Manager

22 October 1923

3 January 1928

July 1941

1 February 1943


23 July 1956

15 December 1969

23 October 1991


Opened by the Bank of Liverpool and Martins

Martins Bank Limited

Upper Floors Requisitioned by the Ministry of Works

Closed and used partly for storage by 38 Fishergate Branch,

and building let partly to HM Customs and Excise

Re-opened to customers as a sub Branch to Preston Figheragte

Barclays Bank Limited 20-69-85 Preston


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