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1968 Childrens Savings

1968 Bankers Card

1968 Investment Services

1968 Personal Loans

1968 Safe Custody

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BRANCH CLOSURES 2017

It is with much regret that we report the closure - at 12 noon on the dates shown - of the following Branches:

AMBLE- Friday 3 Nov                                  CROSS HILLS – Friday 17 Nov                      LIVERPOOL OLD SWAN – Friday 05 Dec

We would like to offer a huge thankyou to ALL the staff – past and present – who have worked at these Branches.

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WELCOME to October at 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 Staff in England Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man…  Our latest news stories are shown below, and you can catch up on some previous stories in-depth by downloading our half-yearly newsletters.

SPRING/SUMMER 2016

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AUTUMN/WINTER 2016

SPRING/SUMMER 2017

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20

Bank in a box?

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This strange looking box is an exciting find for the Archive, providing as it does a glimpse back to 1930 and the earliest moments of the modern day Martins Bank Limited. Intended to be taken apart and moved to represent the Bank at different events and shows around the country, this “Pavillion” was designed by Architect Herbert J Rowse, (who designed the Bank’s Head Office). It was built for the Bank as a trade stand for the 1930 Royal Agricultural Show, held in Manchester,

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Our thanks go to Architect Reg Towner, whose flickr.com page reflects his deep affection for all things Liverpool.  Reg explained to us that he came across the images in a thesis written by a student in the 1980s.  They were published in “The Book of the Liverpool School of Architecture” by Liverpool University Press in 1932.  You can see many more examples of the elaborate settings created for shows, fairs and events attended by the Bank between 1928 and 1969, on our TRADE STANDS page. 

See also our new feature OUT AND ABOUT – ON THE ROAD WITH MARTINS BANK, which offers example lists of the sheer number of events Martins visited in the years 1956 and 1969. The stand shown here (left) is a much less grand affair and was used in the 1950s and 60s mainly at indoor events, and for specific attendance at university Freshers fairs. Don’t forget that Martins also had a fleet of six Mobile Branch Caravans, you can read more about that by clicking HERE.

 

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A temporary affair…

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Although by the time of the merger with Barclays in 1969, Martins was operating around 730 Branches, our Archive holds details of nearly 1000 addresses that were used as Branches of Martins Bank between 1928 and 1969. The difference is made up by temporary branches, and those that were closed in the four decades before the merger.  It is the temporary branches that interest us in particular, as some are occupied for only a few short months before the business is moved to a permanent location. For a significant number, the move was delayed and what were meant to be basic stop-gap premises became full offices of the Bank for many more years than originally intended.  For the vast majority of Branches, we are lucky enough to have exterior and/or interior photographs, either from the Barclays collection, or from around twenty private collections. Sadly a significant number of the smaller Branches and sub Branches cannot be remembered and enjoyed by pictorial evidence, and for these outlets we turn to a number of sources of written information – this includes the BT Telephone Directories, historic town and city directories, and the British Newspaper Archive, which supports the work we do by allowing us to display newspaper advertising.  Some of this advertising includes precious information about when Branches of Martins Bank and its predecessors were opened, closed or moved.  In the example shown here, within one announcement we have written confirmation of the existence of TWO Birmingham Branches for which we otherwise had little information to go on.  The announcement was published in the Birmingham Daily Gazette on 31 October 1936. As well as providing detailed information about what would become known as Birmingham Markets Branch in Jamaica Row, the advertisement also reminds readers of the existence of the main Branch at 98 Colmore Row, and a short lived sub-Branch at Tyseley (May 1936 to Sep 1939).

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… and a slightly more permanent one!

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Our friends at the British Newspaper Archive are constantly adding more pages from local newspapers going back to the 1700s, and they are now part of the “Find My Past” group of companies, which provide invaluable information from many sources to encourage and allow research into our social history. The latest find is a collection of advertisements from the 1960s, each of which announces a new branch of Martins Bank. These are optimistic times, and the merger with Barclays is still some way off below the horizon. We have recovered and remastered a number of ads for Branches opening in Birmingham and Midland District of the bank, and some of them are shown below…

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There are more to be found, and we are currently updating our offline records with copies of adverts, and as  time allows, we will display as many of them as we can here within the Online Archive.

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The Grasshopper Returns!

We were delighted to be contacted on the Martins Bank Facebook Page by Angie Frith, proud owner of the building that was formerly Martins Bank’s Branch at SOUTHPORT HILLSIDE.  Angie runs a pub there now, and has named it “The Grasshopper”.  Once again a people centred enterprise is at work in this original branch of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank. What’s more, customers of The Grasshopper will be able to see some items of memorabilia from the days of Martins Bank.

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Advertisements Re-Mastered…

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Banks are bound by a “gentlemen’s agreement” NOT to advertise their services on television – this agreement holds until the late 1960s (see also ADVERTISING – THE RACE TO TELEVISION). In the meantime, apart from word of mouth, product leaflets and Branches themselves, newspapers and magazines are used to get the banking message across.  In order to stand out from each other, each of the ELEVEN CLEARING BANKS uses any number of eye-catching devices to drum up business.  The 1960s will bring some adverts that can only be described as psychedelic, but in the 1940s and 50s, Bank advertising errs much more on the side of “strong and stable” than “wild and wacky”.  

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At this time, Martins Bank spends a considerable amount of its advertising budget on paintings by top artists of the day such as Graham Smith, Geoffrey Wedgwood, Josh Armitage (a.k.a. IONICUS), Victor Furnivall, H A Crosby, and J C Armstrong.   The advertisements featuring these new paintings are grouped into series, which may have 6, 10 or even 12 individual ads.  Amongst these, “The Stately Homes of England”, “Famous (river) banks”, “The Stagecoach Era”, and “Roman Towns” can be found in just about every national and local newspaper in the 1940s.   The Bank decides to publish many of the commissioned paintings with Martins Bank Magazine for staff to appreciate.  We have used these superior images to re-master a large number of advertisements for display within the Online Archive.  Some are shown here, and over the coming weeks many more will be added to the web site.

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More Branches Found…

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 Northampton Mercury and Herald 14 July 1939

Image © Northcliffe Media Limited Image created courtesy

of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. Image reproduced with kind 

permission of The British Newspaper Archive

 

We have recently added three Branches to our Branch Network pages.  Each represents an original building from which Martins relocated, either to a permanent site, because the original was too small or no longer viable where it was.  At Northampton, Martins opened its first Branch at 17 WOOD STREET, before moving two years later to 18 the Drapery, still open today. The original sub-Branch at Fulwell Sunderland, had the quite fabulous address of 16½ SEA ROAD (moving to 52 Sea Road in 1963)!  At Sheffield, the original Branch of the Equitable Bank at LEOPOLD STREET was used until 1930, when Martins moved into Telephone Buildings, West Street.  It will probably not be possible to find images of the original buildings, but as you will see from the article below about London’s Oxford Circus Branch, we never say never about these things! A fourth “branch” has also been identified, this time at Burnley.  At the end of World War 2, the Bank advertises in the local paper to let customers of 111 Colne Road sub-Branch know that a temporary office at 74 Colne Road will take its place for a few weeks.

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…and more Branches lost…

11-71-60

Padiham

23/06/2017

11-14-30

Coventry Cheylesmore

30/06/2017

11-66-30

Elland

07/07/2017

11-81-30

Farningham

01/09/2017

11-63-40

Higher Tranmere

29/09/2017

11-99-80

Walton

06/10/2017

11-59-50

Loftus

06/10/2017

11-66-51

Longtown

06/10/2017

11-20-00

Amble

03/11/2017

11-19-30

Cross Hills

17/11/2017

The march of progress has caught up once again with a large number former Branches of the Bank, as the reality of customers finding “other ways” to transact their business makes the maintenance of a branch network an expensive luxury.  As more closures are announced, it has become difficult to keep up with them all, and if you visited this page recently you may not have seen the up to date list for 2017, which is shown here on the right.  As ever, we would like to pass on our thanks to all those who have worked at these branches down the years under a variety of Banks, including of course Martins and Barclays, but also going back to the days of the Craven Bank, Bank of Liverpool, Bank of Liverpool and Martins, Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank and the North Eastern Banking Company.   Please note that the branches being closed are former branches of MARTINS BANK. If you would like to know the names of the many other BARCLAYS Branches that have been or are to be closed this year, please visit their Branch Closures Page by clicking HERE .Sep 1.jpg

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London’s Crossrail® “uncovers”

Oxford Circus Branch!

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We are by now used to finding information and images relating to Martins Bank’s Branches and Staff in many and varied locations, but it was a recent episode of BBC2’s “The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway” that led directly to some images of Oxford Circus Branch being recovered and added to our Archive.  This is the first time that pictures of the Branch have been seen since the merger with Barclays in 1969.  In order to compare the mammoth task of building Crossrail in the Twenty-First Century, the TV programme used clips from the records of British Transport Films, who documented the building of the Underground Victoria Line in the early 1960s. It was all beautifully shot on expensive colour film, and it unwittingly provided a wonderful social record of the time, showing thousands of ordinary Londoners going about their daily work routines.  With the help of our friends at BFI NATIONAL ARCHIVE, who own the rights to these particular British Transports Films, we were able to uncover two views of Martins Bank 251 Regent Street – Oxford Circus Branch – as it looked during the weekend of the August Bank Holiday 1963.  Both images, - and this close-up – can be seen on our OXFORD CIRCUS BRANCH PAGE. The BFI Film Forever Project has done some amazing work over the last five years or so, preserving Britain’s filmed history for future generations, AND making much of it available to view, buy and own.  You can visit their site, learn about their events and how to become a member of the BFI, by clicking HERE.

From “The Victoria Line Report Number 2 – Down and Along”

British Transport Films, August 1963 Images © BFI National Archive

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A landmark year for a landmark building!

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2017 sees the eighty-fifth anniversary of the opening of Martins Bank’s Head Office at 4 Water Street Liverpool. Whilst this iconic structure is no longer a bank, it is still being appreciated by audiences who see it featured in everything from blockbuster films to TV dramas. The latest of these was Stephen Poliakoff’s “Close to the Enemy” BBC2, November-December 2016. During 2017 we would like to feature memories of staff and customers, both of Martins Bank and Barclays Bank, for whom this building has a special place in their lives. You can message our Facebook page, tweet @archivebank or email us at the usual address gutinfo@btinternet.com.

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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 for photographs, showing scenes from the past and old buildings including these four 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 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, Sunday 1ST October 2017

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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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