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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 Staff in England Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

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SPRING/SUMMER

2018 NEWSLETTER

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AUTUMN/WINTER

2018 NEWSLETTER

 

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SPRING/SUMMER

2019 NEWSLETTER

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Contributors’ Special

2019 NEWSLETTER

From Drive-In Branches to computerisation and the birth of the Cash Dispenser, it seems Martins Bank has it all.   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 80 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 101 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). 

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The Battle for Saturday mornings…

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Fifty years ago - on 1 July 1969 - the Committee of London Clearing Bankers took the decision to close all banks in England and Wales on a Saturday.  Working on Saturday had been a contentious issue for more than one hundred years, and in a new feature we look back to 1868 and right up to the imposition of new bank opening hours in 1969 to see just what all the fuss is about.  With an arbitrary policy on opening hours, it depended very much on who you banked with, or which bank you worked for, as to whether Saturday was treated as half or a full working day.  We also have first hand accounts from two people who worked for banks in 1969 and whose lives were first affected, then changed largely for the good by the decision to close.   Major changes to the banking world were either in progress or just round the corner in 1969, and by 1970 we say goodbye to Martins, District, National Provincial and Westminster from the eleven clearing banks, in a series of mergers.  Computerisation MUST be complete in all banks by 1971 to cope with the new decimal currency, and the humble CASH MACHINE, which was trialled first in the world by Barclays and Martins within weeks of each other, will be needed to step in as a kind of surrogate cashier to calm those angry at the loss of Saturday service.  You can read much more by clicking on the leaflet above left.

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Another rare image found…

Last month (see “one thing leads to another”, below) we were celebrating the discovery of a rare photograph, showing the Bank’s sub Branch at Dalston (Carlisle).  This month we were stunned by the arrival in the Archive’s inbox of ANOTHER rare sub Branch picture, this time OTFORD, Kent, which was once sub to Swanley, then to Sevenoaks. It was opened on 30 June 1928, and closed again in 1936. 

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We are indebted to ED THOMPSON, whose collection of old photos of that part of Kent was swelled earlier this years by the receipt of 3000 glass plate images.  The photo shows the building used by the bank, and just as was the case with Dalston, a member of staff is standing outside.

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We believe that he may well be Mr C W Cottell who is listed as Manager of Swanley in the Bank’s Annual Report and Accounts for 1929, which were published early in 1930. It is also believed that the image was taken in 1930.  It would seem that 2019 has been the year of “discoveries”, as what might be the only image in existence of Chislehurst High Street was also found and a copy donated to us a few months ago.   Ed Thompson also supplied us with other items, including a contemporary image of Otford sub Branch, which, it turns out, was a great thing to do as the future of the building is currently in doubt, and it might be knocked down.   There was also a scan from some title deed documents which show a conveyance of land to Martins Bank on 16 April 1928, a couple of months before the office was opened for business.

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One thing leads to another…

No sooner had we published a special newsletter celebrating those who have contributed items, stories and memories to the Archive, than an enquiry came in from one of our regular visitors which lead to this extremely precious image being unearthed and a copy donated to us.  In what was more like a game of “consequences” an original query snowballed into e-mails to and from the other side of the World.  It all began with one from Derek Longden, who has been a keen supporter of our archive for many years now, and it all comes down to his love of reading autobiographies.  In fact a few years ago he was reading about the life of Former MP Teresa Gorman, and was interested to note that it was Martins Bank’s Branch at Streatham which had granted her the finance she needed to get her business off the ground in the late 1960s, (whilst some other banks were just not interested)!  Recently Derek has been reading the autobiography of author, journalist and broadcaster, Hunter Davies OBE.  Mr Davies spent much of his youth in the Carlisle area, where one of his contemporaries was Ian Johnstone, son of Mr J A P Johnstone one of Martins Bank’s most respected Managers in Carlisle.  In the early 1960s, Ian Johnstone emigrated to New Zealand where today he is one of that country’s most respected broadcasters. In the pages of Hunter Davies’ autobiography, reference is made to Ian’s father being Manager of Martins sub Branch at STANWIX – this is the first time we have come across mention of this office, apart from within official Martins Bank records. We contacted the publisher of the autobiography to ask if we might quote the relevant passage, and they very kindly agreed to it appearing on our STANWIX page.

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At the same time we contacted Radio New Zealand International to ask if Ian had any photographs from his father’s time with Martins Bank.  When the reply came, it was not from New Zealand, but Alberta CANADA, where another of Mr J A P Johnstone’s sons, Andrew lives. Amongst several photographs of his father, was the image of him standing outside a sub branch of the Bank of Liverpool and Martins.  The carving above the door reads “WHIN VIEW” and a quick search on Google® revealed Whin View to be a house in DALSTON, also near Carlisle.  The current owner, Ken Johnson kindly sent us an image of his house as it is today, which we have put alongside the original photo for comparison.

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By now you might need to pause for breath, but to summarise the situation would be to say that we are now in the happy position of having confirmation of the existence of TWO former sub Branches of the Bank, both of which were closed many years before the merger of Martins and Barclays. The photograph of Dalston is likely to be the only one in existence, and had it not been for Derek Longden’s original email in reference to another Carlisle sub Branch, this curious trip around the World would not have happened!

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A special “contributors” edition of our newsletter, out now…

The scanning and sorting of staff records data for the Martins Staff Database has taken around ten years to complete, and that is only stage one! In connection with this digital version of records previously in print form and in the public domain for more than forty years, we have been in contact with a number of Martins’ staff members, or their families to “straighten out” the odd anomaly here and there. This has in turn produced contributions to the Archive of stories, photgraphs and other items.   Our Summer newsletter is devoted to these people and the efforts they have made to enrich the history of the modern day Martins Bank – i.e. that which is still within the memory of many people today.  You can select to read the newsletter by clicking on the image (left) and don’t forget that previous issues are available at the top of this page.  We find out how one man’s National Service led to him regularly meeting members of the Royal Family.  There is a curious box, beautifully made, and with the Martins bank shield and name on it.  Rare glimpses of staff at work at the bank counter are also featured, and some of our regular contributors show us the changing faces of some of the Bank’s former branches.

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Attention grasshoppers everywhere!

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Fifty years on, “the eagle and the grasshopper, a fable” has been re-written as an invitation to ALL former Martins Staff to attend one of two special lunches which are being held later this year in Liverpool and London.  This is a chance to meet with former colleagues and reflect on the major changes of the last half century, and places are going fast.  The London lunch takes place on 12 December, and the Liverpool lunch on 16 December, 2019. 

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·     ß To order a commemorative tie or scarf, please download the order form by clicking on the image to the left…

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·     à To read the updated “fable” of the eagle and the grasshopper, please click on the poster on the right…

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·     To register your interest in the dinners, contact Dave Baldwin, Secretary Grasshopper Pensioners’ Club: grasshoppers@btinternet.com

Invitations to these events are being co-ordinated by the Grasshopper Pensioners’ Club, and the lunches themselves are open to ALL former staff of Martins Bank, whether or not they may be members of one of the many Barclays/Martins pensioner groups around the country.

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The “Pink Circulars” continue…

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Fifty years ago, from the 7th of  February, Martins Bank issues a series of Integration Circulars. Printed on pink paper, each circular comes with yet more instructions to staff on how the various methods of accounting and working will be integrated between Barclays and Martins, so that by the Appointed Day – 15 December 1969 – the remaining 730 Branches of Martins will turn “seemlessly” in those belonging to Barclays… 

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Four circulars in june are absolutely packed with new rules regulations and ways of doing even some of the everyday tasks that both banks have approached from a different perspective until now. July piles on the pressure with SIX circulars, the most important being the procedure for dealing with the daily General Clearing.  This refers to the many thousands of cheques which at this time, (and right up to the late 1990s) arrive each day for payment at the branches on which they were drawn. Every penny must be accounted for, and the pink form shown here summarises the many totals of the different types of item that make up the debit clearing.

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News for family tree researchers…

http://www.martinsbank.co.uk/Martins%20Bank%20Archive%20-%20Data%20Protection_files/image015.jpgAt Martins Bank Archive, we have been working for more than a decade on our Martins Staff Database, which we believe to be the only digitised archive of the staff who worked for the bank. With around half a million entries, it is now a comprehensive record for the period 1946-1969, and the number of earlier records dating back to the late 1800s is now also substantial.  The vast majority of the Staff members included are sadly no longer with us, and for those who are we have made special mention on our DATA PROTECTION page, in line with new rules which came into force on 25 May 2018. All of the information held has already been in the public domain for a minimum of 50 years. Nearly all of it was published and distributed in paper form to Martins Bank’s Staff in “Martins Bank Magazine”. Our database brings together for the first time, information which allows us to produce career details for those researching their family tree, or those who want to remember their career with the Bank. Information falls into several categories – New Entrant, Transferred, Appointed, Married, Retired, Died. We are now in the process of adding further previously published details including public service along with any titles thus conferred, and details of training courses undertaken and Banking or other relevant examinations taken and passed.  If you would like to know what details we have for you or a relative who once worked for the Bank, then please do get in touch with us at the usual address gutinfo@btinternet.com. 

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…and an appeal:

We are always looking for head and shoulders photographs of staff as they were when they worked for the Bank. Martins tended to publish mainly photographs of the MALE staff, and we would like to redress the balance by being able to add images of female staff members to the staff galleries which are shown at the bottom of nearly all of our Branch Pages here within our Online Archive.  Also - if you are the relative of a member of staff who is no longer with us, and you would like to send us a photo to be placed on each relevant Branch or Departmental page of our web site, then please do get in touch with us at the usual address gutinfo@btinternet.com.  It was the Staff that made Martins Bank so special and fondly remembered, and the more faces we can add, the stronger the collective memory will become.                                                                                                                                

                                                                                Pictured here is Miss B R Wilcockson, Clerk in charge at Pudsey during world War Two.

 

 

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, Saturday 31ST  August 2019

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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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