Busy Line

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Maintaining a national network of branches requires a good system of communication for both staff and customers.  Our regional telephone staff ensure that you are always connected quickly and efficiently, and long before the phrase is first coined by our Editorial and Advertising Staff, Martins’ Bank’s Telephonists WILL go to extremes to be helpful!  Here, we lift the lid on our Liverpool and London Switchboards in 1947, and bring you a gallery of the faces whose voices you hear when you call us from anywhere in the land!

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When you ring up Head Office….

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1947 The Girls at the Switchboard MBM-Su47P42.jpg1947 02 MBM.jpgBranch officials all over the service are familiar with the voices of the four girls whose photo­graphs appear at the bottom of this page. We in Head Office are equally familiar with their voices, but surprisingly few people know the telephonists by sight, or even where they work. The switchboards are on the mezzanine floor, alongside Share Transfer Department. Three switchboards are required in order to handle the number of incoming and outgoing calls over the various lines.   There are eleven Head Office lines and six for Foreign branch; and in addition, there are six private lines. One hundred and twenty-seven extensions connect the various departments in the Head Office building.  In order to gain some idea of the volume of work handled by the three switchboards, we asked Betty Parker, the head telephonist, to have the calls counted on a day of our choosing, which for the sake of convenience was not a very busy one.  On that day 1,044 outgoing calls were handled, this number including calls from one department to another within the building. There were 594 Liverpool Numbers.jpgin­coming calls

 

On the trunk lines, eighteen calls were made on the Head Office lines and five on those of Foreign branch, this being below the average of 20-25 for Head Office and 5-10 for Foreign branch. Betty Parker, the head telephonist, was educated at Wallasey High School, and entered the service in March, 1939. She joined the A.T.S. in 1942 and served until April, 1946, when she returned to the bank. Dorothy Hughes was educated at the Wade Deacon Grammar School, Farnworth, and entered the bank in March, 1942. She joined the W.R.N.S. in 1943 and became a Leading Wren. She was demobilised in June, 1946. Betty Bygroves was educated at the Aigburth Vale High School for Girls, Liverpool, and came to the bank in January, 1944. Brenda Smith was educated at Holly Lodge High School for Girls, Liverpool, and entered the service of the bank in December, 1944.

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When you ring up London Office….

 

…YOU SPEAK TO ONE OF THESE GIRLS

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1947 The Girls at the London Switchboard MBM-Au47P32.jpg1947 03 MBM.jpgThe telephone exchange at 68 Lombard Street is probably the only department in the building which does not suffer from overcrowding. It is housed in a pleasant room on the fourth floor, and one receives an impression of lightness and airiness upon entering, which is a distinct contrast to the crowded condition of the other departments. But let us hasten to add that this is not to say that the telephone department is less busy than any of the other departments.  In fact, there is very little to choose between the volume of work handled by the London switchboard and that of Head Office. The number of switchboards is the same. We asked Miss Widdowson, the head London Numbers.jpgtelephonist, to choose a day when the operators were not overworked so that there would be time to record all the calls.

 

There are nineteen exchange lines, twelve private lines and no extensions to deal with the volume of business handled by London Office. On the day chosen, 550 incoming calls were handled and 1,014 outgoing calls were recorded. Of this latter figure, 595 were internal departmental calls. The number of trunk calls was five. On a busy day the grand total of incoming and outgoing calls often rises to a figure well above two thousand. Miss Widdowson, the head telephonist, was educated at Woodford County High School, and entered the service in July, 1940. Miss Mcllwraith was educated at Whithorn High School and came into the bank in June 1946, after five years' service with the W.A.A.F. Miss Bullock was educated at St. Dominic's High School, Stoke-on-Trent, and entered the service in December, 1945. Miss Wilson was educated at Guildford County School, and served for five years with the V.A.D. She entered the service in November of last year.

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District Office Telephone Girls – Golden voices!

 

Regional Switchboards1947 04 MBM.jpgThe publication in our last two issues of the photographs of the Head Office and London Office telephone operators was received with great interest all over the service, and not least by the three District Offices which are in most frequent touch with Head Office and London Office. To complete the feature we present in this issue the pictures of the remaining girls who until now have been, except in the offices in which they work, merely golden voices. In each case, one operator only is on duty at once, the other one being the relief operator.

 

Manchester Switchboard

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As might be expected, the Manchester exchange seems to be the busiest of the three. The switchboard services six outside lines, two private lines, and thirty internal extensions. On a typical day 185 incoming calls were handled, and 223 outgoing calls. Inside calls added another 25 to the total which was completed by two trunk calls.  The Manchester girls are Margaret Lord and Dorothy Eaton. Both were educated at the Levenshulme High School. Margaret entered the service in March, 1942 ; Dorothy joined us in October, 1939.

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Newcastle Switchboard

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Newcastle switchboard has five exchange lines and twenty extensions: there being no private lines. On the day chosen for the count of calls 120 incoming calls were handled, 126 outgoing calls, and four trunk calls. There are no internal departmental calls as a Dictograph telephone system is in operation in Newcastle office. Constance Hodgson was educated at Tynemouth Municipal High School. She joined our Staff at Gosforth in September, 1943, remaining there for three years until she was transferred to New­castle City Office to undertake her duties at the switchboard. Joan Beach was educated at Heaton High School, Newcastle-on-Tyne.  She joined our Staff at Newcastle City Office in August, 1945.

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Leeds Switchboard

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The Leeds District Telephone board is a Post Office standard equipment 3 plus 20, having three live exchange lines and 14 manned extensions. There are no private lines. The figures for a typical day are 49 incoming calls, 57 outgoing, 24 departmental calls, and nine trunk calls. Evelyn Aldam was educated at Cockburn High School, Leeds, and entered the bank on August 5th last. Joan Bennett was educated at West Leeds High School, and entered the service in August, 1942.

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Changes On The London Switchboard

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1948 01 MBM.jpgMrs. Marie Lucas has taken the place of Miss Mcllwraith who has resigned owing to ill-health. Mrs. Lucas was educated at St. Ann's School, Bradford, and served in the W.A.A.F. from 1942 until 1946. She entered the service of the Bank in October of last year. Miss Daphne Mills is being trained as a relief operator. She was educated at St. Aidan's High School, Stroud Green, and entered the service of the Bank in April 1947.

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HEAD OFFICE SWITCHBOARD

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1947 Miss Betty Parker Head Telephonist MBM-Su47P43.jpg

1947 Miss Dorothy Hughes MBM-Su47P43.jpg

1947 Miss Betty Bygroves MBM-Su47P43.jpg

1947 Miss Brenda Smith MBM-Su47P43.jpg

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Miss Betty Parker

Head Telephonist

1947

Miss Dorothy Hughes

Telephonist

1947

Miss Betty Bygroves

Telephonist

1947

Miss Brenda Smith

Telephonist

1947

 

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LONDON SWITCHBOARD

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1947 Miss B M Widdowson Head Telephonist MBM-Au47P33.jpg

1947 Miss E P McIlwraith Telephonist MBM-Au47P33.jpg

1947 Miss M H Bullock Telephonist  MBM-Au47P33.jpg

1947 Miss A M Wilson Telephonist  MBM-Au47P33.jpg

1948 Miss Daphne Mills Switchboard Operator MBM-Sp48P46.jpg

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Miss B M Widdowson

Head Telephonist

1947

Miss E P McIlwraith

Telephonist

1947

Miss M H Bullock

Telephonist

1947

Miss A M Wilson

Telephonist

1947

Miss Daphne Mills

Switchboard Operator

1948

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1948 Mrs Marie Lucas Switchboard Operator MBM-Sp48P46.jpg

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Miss Marie Lucas

Switchboard operator

1948

 

 

 

 

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MANCHESTER SWITCHBOARD

 

NEWCASTLE SWITCHBOARD

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1947 Miss Margaret Lord Manchester operator MBM-Wi47P45.jpg

1947 Miss Dorothy Eaton relief operator  MBM-Wi47P45.jpg

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1947 Miss Constance H Hodgson Newcastle operator MBM-Wi47P45.jpg

1947 Miss Joan Beach relief operator MBM-Wi47P45.jpg

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Miss Margaret Lord

Manchester Operator

1947

Miss Dorothy Eaton

Relief operator

1947

 

Miss Constance Hodgson

Newcastle operator

1947

Miss Joan Beach

Relief operator

1947

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LEEDS SWITCHBOARD

 

 

 

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1947 Miss Evelyn Aldam Leeds operator  MBM-Wi47P45.jpg

1947 Miss Joan Bennett Relief operator MBM-Wi47P45.jpg

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Miss Evelyn Aldam

Leeds operator

1947

Miss Joan Bennett

Relief Operator

1947

 

 

 

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