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Bank of Liverpool

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The Bank of Liverpool opens another of its brand new branches in this particularly flamboyant building at 1 Smithdown Road. Enjoying the corner aspect favoured by so many banks, it resembles the front of a mighty ship, or perhaps a multi-tiered wedding cake, and Smithdown Branch sets sail for eighty-eight years as branch bank in this part of Liverpool in September 1886.  You don’t at first appreciate the scale of this building until you set it against the lovely old red telephone box outside – This must make Smithdown Branch at least SIXTY feet tall!

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Including Smithdown Branch itself, Martins Bank has no less than three Liverpool branches with addresses that contain the word “Smithdown” - SEFTON PARK Branch is at No 438 Smithdown Road, and HEATHFIELD Branch is at 7 Smithdown Place. 

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Nowadays, Sefton Park Branch comprises a number of offices, Heathfield has become a unisex hair salon, and more than one hundred and twenty years after first being opened, Smithdown branch, is now home to a company of funeral directors. 

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In 1967 such a radical conversion is still some years off, as we join some fifty members of Martins Bank Staff, assembled at Smithdown to say farewell to Mr John Gribbin, on the occasion of his well deserved retirement after a very long and distinguished career…


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Image © Martins Bank Archive Collection

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1967 02 MBM.jpgon April 26 John Gribbin with his wife, son and daughter entertained some fifty col­leagues at Smithdown branch to mark his retirement after 43 years' service. He had been Manager there since 1960, having been Manager at Clubmoor since 1955, prior to which he had been Pro Manager at Church Street for six years. 

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A bouquet was presented to Mrs Gribbin by Miss Maureen Hegan and a cheque from his colleagues was presented to him by Mr Buchanan who, having outlined Mr Gribbin's service, all of which was spent on Merseyside, also mentioned his excellent war record in the Navy. He finished by wishing Mr Gribbin and his wife every happiness in their new country home near Malpas. In reply John Gribbin revealed that he had originally wanted to be a farmer; his parents had thought otherwise but at last he would realise part of his youthful ambition.


Image © Barclays Ref 0030/1682Sep 1.jpg

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1926 to 1927 Mr J S Summerfield MBM-Sp49P11.jpg

1934 to 1937 Mr J Randle Manager MBM-Sp56P53.jpg

1942 to 1942 Mr D G Higgins joined the bank here MBM-Wi64P08.jpg

1944 to 1944 Mr N E Foster MBM-Wi63P05.jpg

1946 to 1950 Mr R W Bywell MBM-Wi64P06.jpg

1947 to 1958 Mr B G McCausland Manager MBM-Sp58P47.jpg

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Mr J S Summerfield

On the Staff

1926 to 1927

Mr J Randle


1934to 1937

Mr D G Higgins

Joined the Bank Here

1942 to 1942

Mr N E foster

On the Staff

1944 to 1944

Mr Reg W Bywell

On the Staff

1946 to 1950

Mr B G McCauseland


1947 to 1957

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1949 to 1951 Mr A J Dixon joined the bank here MBM-Wi68P06.jpg

1956 to 1961 Mr E B Thorington Ltd Auth 1957 then Pro Manager 1960 MBM-Su65P04.jpg

1957 to 1960 Mr A T Foulkes Manager MBM-Su67P05.jpg

1957 to 1965 Mr F Bush MBM-Sp67P06.jpg

1960 to 1967 Mr J Gribbin Manager MBM-Su67P60.jpg

1961 to 1964 MR ID Craig Pro Manager MBM-Wi64P08.jpg

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Mr A J Dixon

Joined the Bank Here

1949 to 1951

Mr E Basil Thorington

Limited Authority

1956 to 1961

Mr A T Foulkes


1957 to 1960

Mr F Bush

On the Staff

1957 to 1965

Mr J Gribbin


1960 to 1967

Mr I D Craig

Pro Manager

1961 to 1964

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1964 Mr L Manslow pro  Manager MBM-Wi64P07.jpg

1967 Mr FP Wilson Manager MBM-Su67P05.jpg

BW Logo

BW Logo

BW Logo

BW Logo

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Mr L Manslow

Pro Manager


Mr F P Wilson


1967 onwards





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Index Number and District:






Martins Bank Limited 11-97-70 Liverpool Smithdown

Full Branch

1 Smithdown Road Liverpool 07

37 Liverpool

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

051 733 3395/6

Nightsafe Installed

Mr F P Wilson Manager

September 1886

18 December 1918

3 January 1928

15 December 1969

22 March 1974


Opened by Bank of Liverpool

Bank of Liverpool and Martins

Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-50-88 Liverpool Smithdown


Funeral Directors