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Up and down the High Street…

We needed some assistance to trace the origins of Martins Bank’s branch at 338 High Street Gateshead, not least because there seems to have been a fair number of Martins Branches up and down Gateshead High Street over the years.

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So, we asked our friends at Barclays Group Archives to dig deep into their records, and their copies of the Banker’s Almanac, and this, along with a process of elimination, suggested that 338 High Street must have been opened sometime between 1931 and 1934. This was later confirmed by the discovery of the opening of the Branch being mentioned in the Bank’s Annual Report and Accounts for 1933. 


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1968 Gateshead Map Geographia 4CB2

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1966 Refit and Rebuild MBM-Au66FC.jpg

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Extracts from Martins Bank Limited Annual Report and Accounts for 1933 © Barclays

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We were also amazed to learn that Martins  Bank and its various constituents are recorded as having branches - at one time or another - at 64, 76, 86, 215 AND 338 High Street!   338 is a full branch until 1957, when it becomes a sub branch to 86.   Then 86 AND 338 close in 1960 when 215 is opened and takes over.  It’s all just a little bit confusing.  An image of 338 is yet to be found, but there are a few of the staff featured in our gallery below.  As for finally untangling the mystery of Gateshead High Street, we are indebted to someone who was actually there at the time – Denis Richardson, who (as shown in the wording of this newpaper advert from the time) was Clerk in Charge at 338 and joins Mr E F B Middleton, the Manager of 86, as his deputy to run the new Branch at 215.

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1946 to 1957 Mr T A Bews Manager MBM-Wi62P55.jpg

1957 to 1959 Mr F Bates Clerk in charge MBM-Au65P04.jpg

1959 to 1960 Mr G D Richardson Clerk in Charge MBM-Su61P48.jpg

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BW Logo

BW Logo

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Mr T A Bews


1946 to 1957

Mr F Bates

Clerk in Charge

1957 to 1959

Mr G D Richardson

Clerk in Charge

1959 to 1960




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11-294 Gateshead 338 High Street

Sub to 11-294 Gateshead 86 High Street

338 High Street Gateshead County Durham

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Gateshead 73931/2

Counter Service Only

Mr G D Richardson Clerk in Charge



6 May 1960


Opened by Martins Bank Limited

Closed and business transferred to 215 High Street

Kitchen Appliance Shop