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Before the creation of the modern day Martins Bank in 1928, the Bank of Liverpool and Martins has the familiar district Head Office structure with which we are familiar, but arranged a little differently from the model that runs up to the 1969 Merger with Barclays.  Manchester District is of course quite tiny in the years before the amalgamation with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank, and is run from the former Head Office of the Palatine Bank. There is also no district in Leeds – instead a collection of Yorkshire Branches are controlled by a Halifax District.  On this page, we take a look at the structure of these two Districts, both of which face major reorganisation and relocation, and one of which faces a change of name …

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Manchester - The District run from a Palace…

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In 1919, the merger of the Palatine Bank’s Branches into the Bank of Liverpool and Martins gives the Bank its original Manchester District, with 22 Brown Street, the former Palatine Bank Head Office in charge as Manchester District Office for about nine years. Following the creation of Martins Bank Limited in 1928, the district grows several times over with the addition of well over one hundred Branches of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank.  The location of that Bank’s former Head Office in Spring Gardens makes for a better placed District Office, and 22 Brown Street has to lose its status as the hub of Manchester District.  Brown Street does however remain a key Branch – it is home for a while to Manchester Foreign Branch, and right up to the 1969 Merger with Barclays, its Staff Dining Room caters for large numbers of staff in the City.  Barclays soon realises the sheer cost of running this palatial building, and its days as a Bank come to an end in 1971. The Branches listings of the original 1919 Manchester District, as published in that year’s Annual Report and Accounts, provide a handy way of knowing exactly which ones came to the Bank of Liverpool and Martins as original offices of the Palatine Bank:

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Extract from the Bank of Liverpool and Martins Annual Report and Accounts for 1919 – © Barclays

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Halifax District – a dream found and lost again…

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The establishment of a Halifax District in 1920 seems an entirely sensible move.  The Bank of Liverpool and Martins has just absorbed the Halifax Commercial Bank, including its former Head Office at 2 Silver Street in Halifax.  At this time, the Bank has a much smaller connection with the city of Leeds. Like 22 Brown street Manchester, but on a smaller scale, 2 Silver Street Halifax looks the part, and takes on the role of the new District’s Chief Office.  As the 1920s progress however, the Bank of Liverpool and Martins begins to have stronger ties with Leeds and it makes sense to create a new Leeds District.  Despite the misgivings of staff and management  in Halifax, who had long cherished the idea of having their own District, the Leeds District will come at a price – the Bank cannot justify running two District offices so close together in control of a relatively small number of branches.   Power is transferred to Leeds in 1927 when another Halifax Bank – the Equitable – is absorbed along with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank, creating the modern day Martins Bank.  2 Silver Street remains open as a Branch of the new Bank until the Second World War, when having been mothballed in 1940, it is closed permanently from 1946. Our Thanks to Steve Gee for the image of 2 Silver Street Branch in all its glory in 1930. The Branches listing of the original 1920 Halifax District, as published in that year’s Annual Report and Accounts, shows us the original offices of the Halifax Commercial Bank that were subsumed by the Bank of Liverpool and Martins:

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Extract from the Bank of Liverpool and Martins Annual Report and Accounts for 1920 – © Barclays

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