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WELCOME to Martins Bank Archive, and to MARTINS BANK  MAGAZINE - our news feature in honour of the Bank’s staff publication, which from 1946 to 1969 brought news of changing times, new Branches and services and even new technologies to branches and departments in England Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.  From Drive-In Branches to computerisation and the birth of the Cash Dispenser, it seems Martins Bank has it all.

SPRING/SUMMER

2021 NEWSLETTER

AUTUMN/WINTER

2020 NEWSLETTER

SPRING/SUMMER

2020 NEWSLETTER

AUTUMN/WINTER

2019 NEWSLETTER

On 1 November 1968 Martins Bank Limited becomes one of the Barclays Group of Companies – a status maintained until close of Business on Friday 12 December 1969.  The following Monday, 730 branches of the bank will open their doors under the name of Barclays.  As we find ourselves in times tinged with the sadness of the closure of hundreds of Bank Branches, including those that are former Martins Bank Branches,  we really  do appreciate the continued support of our ever increasing band of loyal visitors and contributors.   There are now fewer than 60 Branches of Martins Bank still open, and to mark their passing, our Branch Watch feature now includes a separate page featuring details of  THE LAST 53 BRANCHES . Our most recent news stories are shown below, and you can catch up with some previous stories in-depth, by downloading our half-yearly Newsletters (see above).   Don’t forget to visit our sister site - Lewis’s Bank Archive - which tells the story of Britain’s department store bank for the nine years that it was a subsidiary of Martins Bank.  Click HERE to visit the Lewis’s Bank Archive web site (opens in a new window).

 

The Man in the picture who takes and also draws pictures…

We were delighted to be contacted by Andrew Stewart MacKay, whose Great-Grandfather was Donald Davenport Lynch, who after a long career which began at the Head Office of the Bank of Liverpool in 1909, retired as Assistant Chief Accountant of Martins Bank in 1953.  Amongst the items donated to Martins Bank Archive by Andrew, are four invitation/menu pamphlets (two of which are shown here) for the Bank of Liverpool and Martins Annual Ex-Servicemen’s Reunions, which were an important part of the social calendar for survivors of the First World War.  The annual get-togethers continued and later incorporated those staff members of Martins Bank who had fought and survived the Second World War.  The pamphlets were beautifully illustrated by Donald Lynch Himself.  When not drawing, he also used his camera to great effect, and in 1930 when Martins Bank re-opened a re-built 68 Lombard Street, he took a series of photographs of the Boardroom, and its sumptuous furnishings.  You will be able to see some of them, and more of Donald Lynch’s wonderful artwork in our Autumn 2021 Newsletter, which will be available by the end of October.  The photographs are contained in the original wallet provided by the film developer in 1930. Sadly, there is no mention anywhere of a photography developer’s shop or company name…

One for the keen-eyed visitor?

As one or two of you may well have spotted, the total number of original Martins Bank Branches still open was reading 52 until early September 2021, when we made the realisation that we had missed one!  Technically, we can’t claim this to be wholly a Martins Branch, but for the following reason, this is the story we are sticking to, for now – In 1971 Barclays merged its existing branch at 403 Holloway Road London with the Martins Branch next door at number 405 HOLLOWAY ROAD. When we recently received a contemporary photograph of the branch from Robert Montgomery, we realised that rather than close down, the Martins Branch just sort of melted into the new building work. The photograph here shows how the current Barclays Branch occupies at least two thirds of the old Martins site, and as Barclays are still trading there today, we are claiming 403-405 Holloway Road as one of our Martins Branches that is “still open”! Even more fabulous, is the sign for messrs Drivers and norris Estate Agents, which is still in situ more than sixty years after the Martins black and white photograph was taken… There is another example of this kind in the Archive – HEDGE END, Southampton which is on the same spot as the original Martins Branch, but with a slightly different address.

Keeping a permanent record…

Image © Barclays Ref 0030-1693

A perhaps unexpected result of the closure of former Martins Bank Branches in recent years, has been the sight of the Bank’s original signage still etched – sometimes faintly, others clear as day – in the stonework above the door or window of a branch.  Friend of Martins Bank Archive, Robert Montgomery, has since 2009 been on a mission to photograph former branches of the big banks, that have fallen on their sword in the name of progress.  In the process he has accumulated many images of former Martins Branches.

Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections

– ROBERT MONTGOMERY

We look forward to being able to add these to our Branch Network pages over the coming months, but as a taster, we are showing here a side-by-side comparison of LIVERPOOL WOOLTON Branch.  On the left you see the branch in the 1960s, and on the right, looking almost as if time has stood still for sixty years, you can see how the branch looked a couple of days after it was closed in June of this year.

Liverpool Childwall Five Ways – Closed 02/10/2015

Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections

 - GARY OWENS

Liverpool Booker Avenue – Closed 19/02/2016

Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections

 - GARY OWENS

South Shields Harton – Closed 10/05/2019

Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections

 - ROBIN LAWSON

From the splendour of old Southport…

Our quest for photographs of branches is ongoing, and it is always with surprise and delight that newly discovered images are added to our Digital Archive and to the Web Site. May 2021 has so far yielded FOUR such items, each of which represents another piece of the jigsaw.  It does feel a little like treasure has been found, that we are able bring you a second rare view of Martins’ branch at 415 Lord Street Southport, which closed in 1934.  We already had a photograph of three un-named ladies out shopping in Lord Street, and standing outside the Branch, but now a second - taken at almost exactly the same spot - has emerged, this time featuring two different ladies. 

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Images © 1933 Martins Bank Archive Collections / Adrian Rawson

It did seem curious that there should be two such similar views of completely unrelated subjects, but it turns out that this is no coincidence - Adrian Rawson, whose mother and grandmother are the subjects of the second photo - contacted us having found our web page for 415 Lord Street.  Adrian points out that it was likely that these photographs were the work of a street photographer who was selling pictures to tourists and using the doorway of the Bank as a backdrop.  Perhaps they felt that those walking near a bank would have the means to pay for pictures!  Adrian has carefully restored and colour-tinted the original monochrome image of his relatives, as it is a precious memory of his family and he has kindly donated a copy to the Archive.

…to Newcastle’s Gallowgate, Darlington’s High Row and Bexleyheath…

The other three ‘image finds’ all come to us courtesy of the Grasshopper Pensioners’ Club Secretary Dave Baldwin, who has been scouring the internet once more for evidence of rare or unusual photographs of Martins Branches.  Until now there was just one photograph available of the Martins’ Branch at Newcastle upon Tyne Gallowgate, and it only showed a side wall with Bank signage, no doors or windows. Thanks to our friends at Newcastle Libraries, we now have a digital copy of a photo from the 1920s - the days of the Bank of Liverpool and Martins Limited.  Darlington 21 High Row Branch is seen below in colour in August 1970, thanks to David Christie whose flickr® pages are filled with fabulous photographs showing many aspects of British social history.  Although the merger of Martins and Barclays took place eight months before this image was taken, Darlington branch did not have its signage changed to Barclays, as it was due to be closed in 1971.  The photograph of Bexleyheath Market Place Branch is another lovely and rare shot, as this area was later modernised, and the branch ended up in an altogether more concrete and glass affair than this lovely old brick and stone frontage! Our thanks for this photograph, go to Bexley Local Studies & Archive Centre.  If you have come across or own an image of Martins Bank that you can’t spot already on our site, please do get in touch at the usual address – gutinfo@btinternet.com , or find Martins Bank Archive on Facebook® and leave us a message.

The Bank of Liverpool and Martins

Newcastle Gallowgate, ca.1920s

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Martins Bank Darlington High Row

7 August 1970

Martins Bank Bexleyheath

Market Place ca.1951

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Image © Newcastle Libraries

Image © David Christie

Image © Bexley Local Studies & Archive Centre

Martins Branch Closures 2021…

The next round of BRANCH CLOSURES to affect former branches of Martins Bank, has been announced by Barclays. So far, we know of EIGHT original Martins Bank branches, some of them key to the history of the Bank - LIVERPOOL UNIVERSITY which closed on 29 Jan 2021 and LANCASTER UNIVERSITY also closed 29 Jan 2021, were the first and the last of Martins’ University outlets to be opened. Student Banking was a big market for the banks from the late 1960s until the mid 1990s, when technolgy began to sound the death-knell of branch banking.  Our SPRING/SUMMER 2021 Newsletter is out now, and it concentrates in particular on the birth of University Banking, which was the brainchild of William T Green who worked for the Bank in Liverpool.  You can also read more in our STUDENT BANKING feature. Liverpool University began the experiment of Student Banking in this country in 1958, and by 1988 there were one or more bank branches on just about every university campus in the country.  Also closing early in 2021, were MORETON (CHESHIRE) 13 Jan 2021, WEST KIRBY 15 Jan 2021. In February it was the turn of KEYNSHAM, one of the longest surviving branches of the Bank in the South West, which departed on 24 Feb 2021. The fifth branch announced so far is FORMBY which closed on 30 April. LIVERPOOL WOOLTON closed its doors on 18 June 2021.  ASHINGTON will close its doors for the last time on 16 Jul 2021, and after more than a century of service, SALE (Cheshire) closes on 6 August 2021.  Then an all too short gap in time until we lose GARSTANG on 29 October 2021.

Spring/Summer 2021 Newsletter

 

Buyer Beware…

We have left the following article here once again for reference, to help explain the position regarding the theft of copyrighted images for the purposes of re-sale. There is a common misconception that if you can Google an image, then it is “in the public domain” and you can do what you want with it. Even some staff at eBay® believed this until they were recently put right – if you take or copy someone else’s work or property without their permission or acknowledgement, and sell it on to make even a penny out of it, this is breach of copyright, and the real owner can take legal recourse to stop further theft and misuse of their property. There are currently on eBay® a number of listings of photographs for sale, showing scenes from the past and old buildings including these four (and many more) Branches of Martins Bank.  These images originated on our web site.  As you can see, under our agreement with the owner, we prominently display copyright. These images have been copied and printed onto cheap photographic paper. The seller even has the gall to add their own watermark to the displayed images to prevent others from stealing them!!!

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STAINLAND

Image © Barclays

SITTINGBOURNE

Image created by Martins Bank

Archive and © Barclays

BURTON UPON TRENT

Image © Barclays

WALLASEY

Image © Barclays

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As well as being against copyright law, these items are worthless, having little more than sentimental value – you will often find that collections and archives will make images available free of charge for private use, but you MUST check with them first. You should always check the seller’s right to copy the image – reputable sites such as eBay® do now allow you to report copyright infringement. For ANY item of memorabilia, the best thing to do is shop around and compare prices – in the case of Martins Bank there are often up to twenty different items for sale on eBay® alone on any given day. For printed material which looks as if it has been copied, or actually claims to be a copy, ALWAYS question the seller about copyright.

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Best Regards, Jonathan.

Westmorland, Friday 1ST October 2021

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WHILST MARTINS BANK ARCHIVE HAS NO CONNECTION WITH THE DAY-TO-DAY TRADING ACTIVITIES OF THE

BARCLAYS GROUP OF COMPANIES, WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR THE CONTINUED GENEROUS GUIDANCE, ADVICE

AND SUPPORT OF BARCLAYS GROUP ARCHIVES IN THE BUILDING AND SHAPING OF THIS ONLINE SOCIAL HISTORY.

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