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Image of Lewis’s Bank Staff from 1967 and before, are extremely hard to find.  Thanks to Lewis’s Bank colleague Stan Walker, we are delighted to be able to show here some images of a Lewis’s Bank event which haven’t been seen since it took place. It is the 10th of June 1967, and for the last time under Martins’ ownership, the employees of Lewis’s Bank get together at the Liverpool Adelphi for their annual dinner.  It is the end of a nine year relationship between the two banks, and as usual at this type of event, the chance for people to “let their hair down”.  Stan gives us his memories of these annual dinners…

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1962 Liverpool Branch Window Display MBM-Su62P35{“The Management had an Annual Dinner held at The Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool. Whether it was a Martins Bank inspired event or a Lewis’s Bank idea I don’t know but it was an event in our lives which brought us all together, usually under happy circumstances. In Martins days, the “Top Brass” of Martins were usually there in numbers about equal to the Lewis’s management and generally, as I remember, a good time was had by all.  In at least one year, the Lewis’s lads who could do so, arrived during the afternoon and went to Anfield to enjoy the game. (Football was so different then, you could go to a strange ground and still live to tell the tale). The Dinner changed somewhat with the advent of Lloyds and first to go was The Adelphi, “too expensive” I believe. The room at The Adelphi was a long, narrow rectangle with the “Top Table” guests seated with their backs to one long wall. At the ends of the “Top Table” were short “wings” where the junior members of the Lewis’s management sat. In the centre of the long wall opposite the “Top Table” were double folding doors, used by the hotel staff when serving and clearing the eats and to the right of these was a single door through which guests entered. In my first year there was some discussion as to whether it would be “Chicken Maryland” again (apparently a favourite of Mr. Lee’s) but from the menu you can see that it wasn’t.

NO SIGN OF CHICKEN MARYLAND…

MENU SCANNED BY STAN WALKER

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1967 Lewis's Bank Dinner 3 Stan Walker

1967 Lewis's Bank Dinner 2 Stan Walker

Before any speeches, pep talks, announcements, there were liqueurs and cigars and in my first year, I was taken to task when, as a confirmed non-smoker, I declined a cigar. Others could have smoked it so I behaved myself in subsequent years.Similar tactics were used when hotel staff came to collect the part-empty bottles. They were told that they had been passed down the table, put under the table would have been more honest but our system allowed me to help Lewis Watson in the softening of a bottle of Drambuie one year. The occasion of Mr. Lee’s retirement came along and a presentation was to be made after the Dinner. Don Barnie and I were playing on the “right-wing” and were instructed, on signal, to go out through the single door, turn left and go along the corridor to the double doors, which would have been left unlocked, where we would find the present under a cover. The doors were to be opened and the present pushed into the Dining Room.

 

Alun J Hughes –Manager, lewis’s Bank Leicester

Image © 1967 Roy France

Left to Right: Lewis Watson, Assistant Manager Lewis’s Bank Manchester, and Jim Baigent ofLewis’s Bank Liverpool.

Image © 1967 Roy France

The present was there but ,of course, the doors were locked and the pressie would not go through the single door so we had to wait for the double doors to be opened. I thought that it added to the fun of the occasion but of course Mr. Lee didn’t see it that way. He did call into Selfridges Branch quite often and I understood from Roy France that Mr. Lee had mentioned a particular clock as the desired present, so I was surprised when Don and I got to the item under the cover. From its size, it could have given Big Ben a good run for his money had it been a clock. I believe that the covered item was later exchanged for the desired clock. After the formalities, the evening usually descended to a card game but Roy was particularly dexterous in card manipulation so didn’t’ join in and I and one or two others usually joined him. Conversation was pleasant and on a fine night, a walk round the centre of Liverpool could help the effects of anything drunk to wear off. There was the famous “exceedingly bare” statue by Epstein to be seen over the main door of Lewis’s store and the nearest of Liverpool’s two Cathedrals, it “has one to spare” (happy memories of The Spinners). So far as I am aware, none of the other late-night delights of Liverpool was ever indulged in…}

 

1967 Lewis's Bank Dinner 5 Stan Walker

 

Left to Right: Mr Eric Roscoe, Manager Lewis’s Bank Birmingham,

and Mr Hatton, Manager of Lewis’s Bank Manchester

Image © 1967 Roy France

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1967 Lewis's Bank Dinner 4 Stan Walker

 

Mr GAM Lee General Manager, Lewis’s Bank Limited,

and (right) Mr J H Keswick Chairman

Image © 1967 Roy France

1967 Lewis's Bank Dinner 1 Stan Walker

Propping each other up – a group photo from

the “drinking” part of the evening

Image © 1967 Roy France

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