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WELCOME to August 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…   As we find ourselves in another year which will be tinged with the sadness of branch closures, we really appreciate the support of our ever increasing band of loyal visitors and contributors.

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AUTUMN/WINTER

2016

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SPRING/SUMMER

2017

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AUTUMN/WINTER

2017

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SPRING/SUMMER

2018

Don’t forget 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. Click HERE to visit the Lewis’s Bank Archive web site (opens in a new window).  Our most recent news stories are shown below, and you can catch up on some previous stories in-depth, by downloading our half-yearly Newsletters (see above).

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Take three girls…

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We were thrilled to obtain a copy of this fabulous photograph from our good friends at Barclays Group Archives. It shows three members of the staff at Martins Bank’s Liverpool Computer Centre, Derby House, performing various tasks with the mighty Ferranti Pegasus II computer, still in service after nearly ten years of processing the accounts of the Bank’s Liverpool customers.  The wonderful Pegasus has nothing that we might recognise from today’s computers, but it certainly does have an air of 1950s sci-fi about it!  The nearest to a screen is the pair of oscilloscopes. The long and winding paper tape on the left is used both for programming and input. the only thing that looks familiar is the printer on the right.

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There is a small mystery here – neither ourselves nor Barclays know the names of the girls in the photo. Perhaps one of them is YOU, or perhaps you know who one or more of them are. If you can help, please do get in touch at the usual address gutinfo@btinternet.com.

You can see more of Pegasus and learn about how Martins adapted it to handle the daily work of forty branches by visiting our NEW TECHNOLOGY feature. there, you will find pages for LIVERPOOL COMPUTER CENTRE and for the PEGASUS II COMPUTER.

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“Affiliations” explained…

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Martins Bank Archive is now an Affiliate of the British Newspaper Archive.  We have been a member of the Archive for the last six years, during which time the BNA has been able to provide us with hundreds of cuttings of advertisements, announcements, and news stories made by or about Martins Bank - some of which date to the late 1800s.  Being an Affiliate of this organisation will now allow us a small amount of income in order to help us to maintain our 1200 page web site, and pay for its running costs only.  This income will be derived solely from visitors to our web site clicking on links to the BNA, who will then pay us a small commision if any of its services are purchased. 

There is no obligation to buy, no advertising, and no personal data is known or held by us.  We are still a NON-PROFIT Archive, and our relationship with the British Newspaper Archive relates only to the services they provide. We do not buy or sell information, we do not sell or make money from any of the items exhibited on our site, which remain at all times the property of the respective copyright holder(s). The British Newspaper Archive receives no more prominence within our pages than any of the other individuals, archives, charities, news organisations etc., who have been named and credited for their contribution to our Archive.

When you click on any of the links to the British Newspaper Archive on our site, and viewing their services, cookies will be used by an intermediate service Provider - AWIN.com - These cookies do NOT reveal your identity, web use or other behaviour.

Martins Bank Archive is also affiliated with The Grasshopper Pensioners’ Club, owned and run by former employees of Martins Bank, and supported by grant in aid from Barclays plc.  Martins Bank Archive benefits from a supporting grant from the Grasshopper Club in order to help us to maintain our 1200 page web site, and pay for its running costs only.  The club is a private concern without an internet prescence, and does not therefore collect any information about people who visit our site.

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To the sick man of Europe…

We love a good mystery, and the recent acquisition by the Archive of a letter written by Martins Bank’s Leeds District General Manager’s office on the eve of World War II offers for a change, a mystery of a distinctly quirky nature. We can identify the sender, and some of those named within the letter, but it is the sheer humour with which it was all put together, along with the way in which the recipient is treated by his colleagues, that makes this a unique experience for us.  Just for once we don’t have to rely on the set pieces of Martins Bank Magazine assuring us that all is perfect, and to be able to glimpse – just for a moment – beyond the veil of British Stiff upper-lippidness into the real FAMILY workings of Martins Bank is a rare thing indeed. The letter has been in the possession of Jackie Philp for more than 40 years, and for much of that time, she tells us, it languished at the back of the glove compartment of a car bought by her husband. They were living in Exmouth at the time.  Written in June 1939, the letter is a “plea” to a member of staff to make a quick recovery and return to work.  It is clear that this particular employee is well liked, and that this communication is the equivalent of one of those “get well soon” cards which in the modern day workplace would have been seen and signed by everyone before being sent…

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Greetings to the Sick Man of Europe,

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When I arrived at the Office yesterday morning consternation reigned, cosmos was superseded by chaos as I informed my colleagues of the direful news that, instead of proceeding in orderly formation to “that” Branch we must, perforce, remain at our posts owing to your untimely indisposition.

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Having informed the Bank of England of this epoch making disturbance, we settled down and endeavoured to busy ourselves with our routine duties. This, however, was exceedingly difficult - for ever and anon Coates' massive frame was shaken with sobs. Sills was continually blowing his nose in a marked manner, whilst I wept silently, in a corner. The feminine element of our Staff was also shaken to the core - all three members were to be seen at intervals madly gyrating round the room in rapidly decreasing circles, meanwhile emitting shrill cries and pouring upon their unworthy heads sprinklings of ashes.

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In order to beguile away your long hours of suffering Maximilian has taken up his brush and upon the enclosed canvas perpetrated one of his customary atrocities. It is not necessary for me to paint the lily, but in passing I would mention, for the sake of clarity, that your left foot is swollen owing to an affliction of gout, the other protuberance, which is easily discernible, is due no doubt to something other than gout.

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It now only remains for me to counsel you to be of good cheer, for is it not said that a man’s years shall be three score and ten, and I have no doubt that you will be spared until this time, even though it is probable that you will live in fearful agony. We have not yet heard any definite diagnosis of your malady. Various guesses have been hazarded, ranging wildly from leprosy to laryngitis, from whooping cough to whoopee (!) and other suggestions which I fear I dare not mention though they may be somewhat nearer the point. And now, as time presses, lunch calls and my stenographer faints by the wayside, I will leave you, reminding you that it has been said that an army marches upon its stomach so I trust that during your convalescence you will not neglect that important organ and will ply it with viands and victuals as is your wont.

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Yours, lest my gorge rises,

E G MORRELL

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We have sent a copy of the letter to the Barclays/Martins Leeds Pensioners group, in the hope that someone might just have heard tell of this letter having been sent, and we will also feature it on our Facebook® page and in the next download of our newsletter, in the Autumn. If you can identify the Sick Man of Europe, please do get in touch with us at the usual address – gutinfo@btinternet.com.

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The PLAY’s the thing!

A number of pages have recently been added to the NORTH EASTERN PLAYERS section of our “Song and Dance” feature.  Most pages for the other four of the Bank’s Amateur operatic and Dramatic Societies have also been revamped.  Three performances by the North Eastern Players have been added, coinciding with the recent acquisition by the Archive of original programmes.  They are: 1947 – Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier, 1949 – Arsenic and Old Lace by Joseph Kesselring, and 1950 – The Shop at Sly Corner by Edward Percy.  The existing page for two earlier productions has now been split into two updated pages – 1937 – Ten Till Three by H Vincent, and 1939 – the Late Christopher Bean by Emlyn Williams. This is because further information about these productions has been provided to us by the British Newspaper Archive. A further new page for the North Eastern Players has been added in respect of their 1952 Production – Little Lambs Eat Ivy, by Noel Langley. You can access the new and the updated pages below:

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50 Years On…

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December 2019 sees the fiftieth anniversary of the day that more than 700 branches of the Bank that had closed for the weekend as Martins Bank Limited, opened up again on the Monday as Barclays. The Grasshopper Pensioners Club wants to mark this day, and is currently looking for ideas from former Martins Staff Members. Please click HERE or on the Eagle and Grasshopper poster (left) to open a copy of a letter issued by Club Secretary Dave Baldwin to ALL Barclays Pensioner Clubs so that Martins members can make suggestions.  Your memories of merger day will also be important in the coming months.  Here on the Archive Web Site we will be marking the anniversary by summarising the huge pile of pink merger circulars that were issued, to match the days on which they were issued to branches. Fifty years on, when we now have more technology at our fingertips than we know what to do with, your memories of this major merger are important documents of social history.  Therefore. WHATEVER you were doing, from answering the phone with the wrong bank name to coping with merging daily processes, in branch or department, or at Martins’ computer centre, we would love to hear from you.

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A period of growth, and a bank error…

 

As the 1960s begin, Martins Bank hits the ground running, with a dazzling display of asset management – new branches spring up, old branches are rebuilt or refurbished, or moved.  Artworks with a local flavour are commissioned and put on permanent display. With newspapers and magazine still the only permitted source of bank advertising, Martins has to make an impression, and for each new or refurbished branch, advertisements are placed in relevant local journals to announce what is happening, where, and when.  Martins Bank archive is currently restoring a huge number of the Bank’s advertisements to their former glory, and remastering those which have survived until now as faded newsprint. We are grateful to our keen eyed visitors and of course Barclays for their help with this task. Long term friend of the Archive Stephen Walker has been of particular help, and we are also grateful to him for making available his extensive collection of Martins Bank memorabilia. 

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Accuracy in all things is naturally expected of the banking industry, so we were surprised to find an error in an advertisement for the opening of Washington, County Durham Branch, in 1965. Existing and potential customers of the bank are invited to the new branch FOUR DOORS AWAY from where it actually is, but the error is soon spotted and corrected.  The first ad is shown in newspapers on 7 July 1965, the second on 21 July 1965.

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The advertisements are not only valuable in terms of social history, they also reveal some detail not previously recorded either by ourselves or Barclays, such as exact dates of opening or removal to a new address. Just occasionally our hard copy advertisement collection is joined by some rare finds. The two advertisements below date from the late 1940s, have recently resurfaced. They have been restored for display within the Online Archive. The advertisement featuring Venice is the only one we have been able to find from a set of six in a series entitled “The History of Commercial Records”.

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Images © Martins Bank Archive collection – Advertisements Restored 2018

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Farewell to more old friends..

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Manchester Moston

Closing 26/10/2018

Once again the axe has been brought down on a number of former Martins Branches, as Barclays’ customer tell their Bank they prefer not to use face to face services any more. You can keep up to date with Branch closures on our MARTINS BRANCH WATCH PAGE. So far this year TWELVE branch closures have been announced – ten have already gone, and Moston and Eaton will close soon. As ever we extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has served customers at these Branches, from Martins’ days and before, right up to the present day.  Branches are being added to the list at a fair old rate now, and we will try to announce closures to our visitors as soon as we are aware they are going to happen. 

EATON (Norwich)

Closing 09/11/2018

 

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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 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, Wednesday 1st  August 2018

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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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