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Martins Bank Information Department is a kind of ‘Points of View’ - its purpose being to inform customers about products and services, and deal with all manner of queries compliments and complaints from both customers and staff. As a centralised department it is unique within the bank, its full title being Head Office Economic Information Department. When compared with modern banking organisations, the Information Department does the work of several departments at once – control of advertising, customer service, press liaison and unintentionally a staff information point. Our Staff Gallery below includes staff who work in each of these disciplines. Despite having been in existence since 1959, it is clear even four years later that for many staff the department remains a bit of a curiosity. So, in the Spring of 1963, in an attempt to ‘lift the veil’, Martins Bank Magazine produces the following article describing the remit and the varied work undertaken by Information Department…

WHY NOT ALSO VISIT THESE PAGES

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Scan No419

Left to right: H. H. I. Easterling, Mr. R. I. H. Lloyd-Jones (Manager), D. H. Gilroy, Miss A. V. Butler-Wright,

Miss P. A. Boughton. Standing on the right is J. P. Smith, B.A. (Oxon.), who is temporarily attached

 to the department from our graduate training scheme, for special duties.

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At your service …

INFORMATION DEPARTMENT

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1963 01 MBM.jpgWhen, in October 1959, the new Information Department opened at Head Office under the management of Mr. R. I. H. Lloyd-Jones, we said of his new job that it would be watched with more than a little curiosity. To many of us this must still be a mystery department for it has no 'offshoots' in the big centres or District Offices: it is in fact unique. Its terms of reference are, officially, to provide a comprehensive service for customers in answering queries on all commercial, industrial, economic and financial matters both in this country and overseas. Those who have ex­perienced the quality of the work produced will know how well these objectives are being achieved. A visit to the Department gives one some idea of the material available, from the market price of rice in Hongkong, the tax structure in France, the principal colleges and universities in Argentina to details of areas in England and Wales where businesses might be set up, openings for exporters anywhere in the world, and the economic health of industry at home and abroad. There is even a large file on Decimal Currency. One of the biggest tasks is to keep information up to date and Mr. Lloyd-Jones and his staff quickly realised that the greatest value of the Department lies not so much in trying to know everything about everything but in knowing where to turn to find out anything, and it has been truly said that an Intelligence Department rests behind the forehead of its Principal. Clearly, there must be very close contact with our Overseas branches and sources of informa­tion which even include Embassies. There are four main kinds of enquiry: the first, which requires a quick answer, may be, for example: 'What is the value of the £ now compared with 1908?', but not all queries can be met so readily. The second type of enquiry is that which involves delving for basic facts and the answer probably gives no clue to the amount of delving done.

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Martins Drive-in Bank is opened in 1959 by the then Minister for Transport and Civil Aviation, The Rt Hon Harold A Watkinson P.C. M.P. The new service receives a great deal of attention in the press.

Drive in back cover lower resolution

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Martins Information Department has produced this detailed leaflet to help customers

understand the concept of, and of course use, the DRIVE-IN BANK .

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Thirdly come the 'trade enquiries'—requests to put buyers and sellers in touch either in this country or overseas, and last, but by no means least, are the full scale researches into some aspect of economics or marketing. These are invariably produced specifically to suit the circumstances of individual customers and are thus of greater value to them than reports produced periodically for general circulation. The results may well cover tariffs, trade procedure, possible projects, agriculture, emigration, living costs, development areas, licensing monopolies, tax structure and social services.

Information Dept advert 1964 PA

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“Starting a Business in Britain” – Information Department 1968

Pocket guides to European travel destinations with handy reckoners for exchange rates and metric measures

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The writing and annual revision of such publications as 'The World is Your Market', and, more recently, 'Finance for Farmers and Growers', are the responsibility of this Depart­ment as will be future publications and, from May 1st, the overall responsibility for advertising.  The production of the various publicity bro­chures and leaflets is, however, the responsibility of the Advertising Department. Mr. Lloyd-Jones is a graduate of Magdalene College, Cambridge, and joined us in 1951. Prior to forming his new Department, much of his work involved visits abroad and research. He attended the International Summer School at Oxford in 1961 and also spent some time in various specialised departments in Head Office and the Liverpool District.

british eagle

 

This pocket guide has

been specially prepared for customers of

British Eagle Airways

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Mr. H. H. I. Easterling, his second-in-command, is also a Cambridge graduate who entered the Bank in London in 1953 and joined the Department in 1961.  Mr. D. H. Gilroy, much of whose time is now spent on preparing new publications, entered the Bank in Liverpool City Office in 1949. His experience has been entirely in Liverpool branches, including Overseas branch, and he joined Information Department from Chief Accountant's Department in 1961. He is well known for his work for the Operatic Society with which he played several leading roles before assuming the conductor's baton in 1959, a post he has relinquished only this season. He is also an accomplished pianist.  Although Miss A. V. Butler-Wright has been with us only a year, her previous secretarial experience coupled with her active mind make her a very useful member of the Department as also is Miss P. A. Boughton who joined the Department in 1959 after a varied school life which, her father being an Army officer, included eighteen months in Hongkong. In a department such as this there must surely sometimes be frustrations when there is little to show for all the work done but it is to the credit of Mr. Lloyd-Jones that nobody looked frustrated, nor did they give the impression that they could be.

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1948 Alec R Ellis Editor of MB Magazine MBM-Sp48P30.jpg

1948 Miss Betty Jackson Editorial and Advertising Dept MBM-Sp48P31.jpg

1948 Miss Drusilla M Meacock Editorial and Advertising Dept MBM-Sp48P31.jpg

1960 Mr William Brookes Cartoonist MB Magazine (Retiring) MBM-Au60P22

1938 to 1948 Mr H F Smith MBM-Su67P03

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Alec R Ellis

Editor, Martins Bank

Magazine

1946 - 1963

Miss Betty Jackson

Editorial and

Advertising Staff

1948

Miss Drusilla Meacock

Editorial and

Advertising Staff

1948

Mr W B Brookes

Martins Bank Magazine Cartoonist

1948 to 1960

Mr H F Smith

on the Staff

1949 to 1950

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1959 Mr R I H Lloyd-Jones Manager CU MBM-Wi59P05

1950 to 1952 Mr C Harris joined the bank here MBM-Wi65P06

1963 Miss Beryl E Evans Assistant Manager Advertising Department CU MBM-Sp63P07.jpg

1963 Mr W L I Brockbank Editor of MB Magazine CU MBM-Sp63P06.jpg

1968 Mr GR Kelly Assistant Manager MBM-Sp68P05

 

 

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Mr R I H Lloyd-Jones

Manager

1959

Mr C Harris

On the Staff

1960 to 1961

Miss Beryl E Evans

Assistant Manager

1963

Mr W L I Brockbank

Editor, Martins Bank Magazine

1963 to 1969

Mr G R Kelly

Assistant Manager

1968

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