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Martins Bank Staff still talk about the “family” to which they felt they belonged – colleagues who cared about and looked after each other through thick and thin, a quality engendered by an employer, who tried hard to be fair and to treat every member of its staff as an individual.  This spirit is demonstrated by the Wartime Newsletters, sent out to all parts of the World during the Second World War, which are eagerly received by staff who are away from home and serving their country. 

 

Another family oriented touch is the provision of the Bank Staff Rest House at Ambleside, offering a break in the Lake District for Martins Staff from anywhere in the country. The Rest House comprises the floors above Martins’ Ambleside Branch in Mareket Place, and is looked after by a warden who greets and assists guests during their stay. For some of the Bank’s Staff and their families, living with the daily fear of bombing and the deprivations of war in the Cities, a stay at the Rest Housein one of the most beautiful parts of England must have seemd a wonderful and welcome treat, a real chance to rest and recuperate.  At the end of the war, Martins Bank Magazine published two articles about the Ambleside Rest House, and includes photographs taken by some of the people who have stayed there. We are also introduced to Mrs McIntire, the House Warden…

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It is not our purpose in these few paragraphs to attempt to tele­scope the many admirable descriptive works which have been written about the Lake District into a miniature “Bank Clerk's Guide to the English Lakes”. The at­tractions of the Cumberland and Westmorland beauty spots are sufficiently well known. Nor is it our purpose to adver­tise the amenities of the Bank Rest House. These, too, are so well known that the accommodation is fully booked each year for every week that the house is open. The spirit in which we write is that of the man who, on discovering a good thing, wishes to share it, thereby adding to his own enjoy­ment. We have enjoyed the Rest House; we have appreciated the solicitude, the kindness and the efficiency of its Warden and her staff; we have valued the kindly interest in our happiness and welfare shown by Mr. Gillespie, manager of our Ambleside branch.

 

We want to place on record our sincere thanks to these good people to whom nothing is ever too much trouble if it means the comfort and entertainment of the guests. It is not our purpose in these few paragraphs to attempt to tele­scope the many admirable descriptive works which have been written about the Lake District into a miniature “Bank Clerk's Guide to the English Lakes”. The at­tractions of the Cumberland and Westmorland beauty spots are sufficiently well known. Nor is it our purpose to adver­tise the amenities of the Bank Rest House. These, too, are so well known that the accommodation is fully booked each year for every week that the house is open. The spirit in which we write is that of the man who, on discovering a good thing, wishes to share it, thereby adding to his own enjoy­ment. We have enjoyed the Rest House; we have appreciated the solicitude, the kindness and the efficiency of its Warden and her staff; we have valued the kindly interest in our happiness and welfare shown by Mr. Gillespie, manager of our Ambleside branch; and we want to place on record our sincere thanks to these good people to whom nothing is ever too much trouble if it means the comfort and entertainment of the guests.

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WANSFELL PIKE TOWARDS TROUTBECK

Taken by R W Jardine Head Office Inspection Department

THE HONISTER PASS

Taken by R W Jardine Head Office Inspection Department

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The weather they cannot regulate, but they have solved the problem of making it endurable and even enjoyable whatever the caprice of the day may bring. No higher tribute can be paid than that. Comprehensive though the Guide books are, however, there are one or two things of exceptional interest which you will not find in most of them. Most people do not know, for instance, that President Woodrow Wilson, of League of Nations fame, stayed in the Lake District for some months in 1906, renting Loughrigg Cottage. He utilised the services of our Amble­side branch and on the wall of the manager's room you can see his framed signature, removed from the branch records for display. Another world-famous cus­tomer "of Ambleside branch was Beatrix Potter. Until quite recently the original draw­ings for the “Peter Rabbit” books were kept in custody there, and on their removal for display in various mu­seums in London and else­where, the staff had the rare treat of being able to look at these pictures which have brought so much pleasure to children and grown-ups everywhere.  Outside our branch you can get the Hawkshead bus to Sawrey. The bus passes “Hill Top “where Beatrix Potter painted these pictures and wrote the little books.

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The cottage has been taken over by the National Trust and in it is displayed all the furniture just as she left it. You can see the things which she used as models for her paintings, and out in the garden is the gate through which Jemima Puddleduck slipped away. The place breathes of the spirit of the famous authoress, and no member of our staff who takes his children to Ambleside should fail to give them the thrill of seeing the Beatrix Potter settings at first hand. She used our Hawkshead branch as well, and very interesting are the anecdotes about her which you will hear from those who knew her well.

 

A perusal of the biography “The Tale of Beatrix Potter” by Margaret Lane will add much to the enjoyment of your next visit to the Lakes. But whether your interest lies in the Lake writers or in the fells which inspired them, you will never cease to be grateful to those who first conceived the idea of a place far from the hazards of war to which war-weary bank clerks could come for a short rest before returning to the front line, and to the far-sighted wisdom which decreed that it should be kept open as a holiday centre after the bombs had ceased to fall.

TARN HOWS

Taken by Miss June Foulser of Hove Branch

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During a recent stay at the Bank Rest House at Ambleside we had a good look at the visitor's book and were struck by the way in which the same names tend to recur.  Some each season are newcomers, but the names of many of those who have stayed at the Rest House in past years appear again this year. Now we all know that such are the attractions of the Lake country that lovers of the mountains will continue to frequent their spiritual home as long as their feet will carry them on to the fells. But many people like to stay at a different place each year, and if people continue to return to the same place year by year, one is forced to the conclusion that it must be because it has some special attraction. Well, it has; and one can pay it no higher tribute than by saying that it is homely, which is only a shorter way of saying that the Warden, Mrs. M. E. Mclntire, has made it a homely place. In so doing she has ably carried on a tradition which started right at the beginning during the war years.

WINDERMERE FROM LOW ORREST

Taken by T A Fawcett, Manager Windermere Branch

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Mrs M E McIntire

For this Rest House was not hastily thrown together—a few beds, a table and a supply of crockery. Each piece was carefully and tastefully chosen, with everything to match, and there are good pictures on the walls. Mrs. McKendrick attended to it personally and when she had finished it looked like a real home. But it took an efficient warden to make it so, to make it come to life, so that children would want to come again and their parents would feel that there they could have a real holiday. In Mrs. Mclntire we have that combination of efficiency and kindliness which makes the place run like clockwork with everybody happy.

 

The meals, which are always appetising, are served on the dot of the advertised time, and everything is always spotlessly clean. In short, the only possible cause of anxiety may be the weather. During the past season the Lake District has, along with the rest of the country, enjoyed a summer which will become legendary.  Day after day of glorious sunshine without a cloud in the sky is something in Lakeland which needs to be experienced to be fully appreciated.

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The house can accommodate seven guests at the same time; there being three bedrooms, all of which have hot and cold water. While it is nice to see the same people returning year by year. The writer would like to see the use of this house more widely spread throughout the staff of the bank. It has been the means of bringing a lot of happiness to a great many people.

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