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The rise and fall of Martins Bank in Birmingham…

Martins Bank’s association with the City of Birmingham begins in 1935 with the establishment of Birmingham City Office at 98 Colmore Row.  Birmingham Markets, (later moved to Digbeth), and Tyseley follow in 1936, although the latter is closed at the outbreak of World War II and does not re-open.  In 1954 the Bank opens Five Ways Branch (which is replaced by Edgbaston in 1964), and Hockley Hill Branch opens in 1956.  Small Heath follows in 1961, Holloway Circus in 1962 and King’s Heath in 1967, consolidating the position of Martins Bank in the City. 

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1960 Birmingham Small Heath Exterior BGA Ref 30-244.jpg

Image © Barclays Ref: 0030/0244


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1960 Birmingham Small Heath interior BGA Ref 30-244.jpg 

The merger with Barclays spells the end for a significant number of Martins outlets in the Midlands and the South, and many of its Birmingham branches will be closed by the 1970s.  Small Heath is originally scheduled to remain open after the merger, but is closed by the end of 1970, because of the sheer duplication of suitable Barclays Branches in the Birmingham area. Martins Bank’s Midland District is large, and a number of Branches are actually newer, better modernised or better positioned, than their Barclays counterparts. With the exception of Tyseley, all Birmingham City Branches of the Bank stand alone from the control of a parent branch, and each has a Manager in charge, and able to make decisions guided by the District Office at 98 Colmore Row. In the Twenty-First Century some of Martins Bank’s Midland District Branches are still around but sadly not one of the ten original Birmingham Branches is open for banking, apart from 98 Colmore Row, which is an office of the West Bromwich Building Society.  The advertisement here on the right is printed in the Birmingham Daily Post, on the morning of Tuesday 26 September 1961, two days before the opening of the new Branch at Small Heath.  Martins Bank Magazine does not visit Small Heath, but we do have a small number of staff images for our gallery below…

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Newspaper Image © Trinity Mirror/Findmypast

Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

Image reproduced with kind permission of

The British Newspaper Archive

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1961 to 1968 Mr A S Dennett Manager MBM-Su68P23.jpg

1968 Mr DB Woolgar Manager MBM-Au68P07.jpg

1968 to 1969 Mr B W Evans MBM-Su69P14.jpg

BW Logo

BW Logo

BW Logo

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Mr A S Dennett


1961 to 1968

Mr D B Woolgar


1968 onwards

Mr B W Evans

On the Staff

1968 to 1969




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Index Number and District:






11-96-70 Birmingham Small Heath

Full Branch

350 Coventry Road Small Heath Birmingham 10

589 Midland

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

021 772 3624

Nightsafe Installed

Mr D B Woolgar Manager

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Thursday 28 September 1961

15 December 1969

11 December 1970


Opened by Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-08-97  Birmingham Small Heath



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