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In Martins Bank’s Annual Report and Accounts for 1945, Mr F A Bates, Chairman of Martins Bank reveals the official facts and figures about the effects on the Bank and its Staff of The Second World War.  Peace has broken out, and everyone is optimistic, but what Mr Bates puts so succinctly in his Statement is also a sobering reminder of the upheavals of War for those left behind to rebuild the World around them. Whilst Martins’ brave employees are away fighting for their country in the Second World War, and with women making up nearly two thirds of the staff the Bank itself takes part in, instigates or makes possible a number of initiatives which at the time are kept secret. One of these was the extensive use of “Custodian Branches” to share and distribute information, and of microfilm to maintain records in case of invasion or the destruction of the Bank’s Buildings. This is mentioned by Mr Bates in the follow extracts from his 1945 Statement. Further down the page we have links to some of the not so secret plans made and executed by Martins Bank during the Second World War.  You are welcome click on the secret files below, and lift the lid on some of the Bank’s Wartime exploits – but remember chaps, Mum’s the word, and careless talk costs lives!

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1946 Mr F A Bates Chairman of the Bank 2 MBM-Sp46P04{“The hopes I expressed a year ago for the speedy end of a long and bitter struggle have been realised, and a decisive victory has rewarded the sustained and impressive efforts of the United Nations. With the end of the war I am able to give information about our staff and the bank’s affairs which it has been necessary hitherto to withhold. Our pre-war staff totalled 3,510, and consisted of 2,759 men and 751 women. Of these 1,596 men and 75 women joined the Forces or were engaged on other service of national importance. Eighty-eight men lost their lives, and to their relatives I send our deepest sympathy. Many members received decorations or were mentioned for gallantry, and many distinguished themselves by rising to high rank in the Services. The staff remaining with the bank had a% hard, testing time and many trials. In addition to their ordinary work, made arduous by staff shortage and aggravated by transport difficulties, practically all were engaged in the Home Guard or other Civil Defence services. At the conclusion of the war 58 per cent, of our staff consisted of women, and I wish to express appreciation of the invaluable part they have taken in the daily work of the bank’s business, and also for the service they rendered in many ways in the national interest. The reinstatement of our returning officials has engaged our close attention but the number demobilised is at present relatively small. We were fortunate during the war in regard to our premises. Out of a total of 570 branches only seven were completely destroyed, although 153 sustained damage in varying degrees. As soon as conditions permit, substantial expenditure will be necessary to provide for extensions and renewals of our premises and for repairs and renovations to restore them to pre-war standards. Our system of custodian branches, to which were despatched schedules of each day’s business, proved an efficient safeguard and we were in every case able to renew our records within a very short time of the destruction. In this connection extensive use was made of micro photography. Eighty-two branches wore closed during the war to release man power. Subject to the needs of the areas in which they are situated, most will be re-opened as opportunity offers and demobilisation progresses”.

 

“As most business men could foresee, it was impossible for the world to concentrate for six years on the non- productive expenditure of war without ill effects ensuing. During the war man-power was available to manufacture only the minimum quantity of those goods which determine the standard of life of the nation, and oven that low standard would not have been possible except for the partnership of our Dominions and Colonies and the United States of America. The post-war problems of this country are concerned with shortages :—shortage of labour, which demobilisation should remedy, shortages of houses, offices and factories, shortages of goods in the shops and shortage of international trade. There is one way only of solving these problems and that is by stimulating the country’s productivity and reviving international commerce through the determined effort of employees and employers alike; the worker giving the maximum output per man hour and the directors and managers providing the machinery and organisation whereby this can be accomplished. Commerce calls for confidence and courage from which spring trade activities, large or small, in the furtherance of which the bank stands ready to provide every banking facility to its customers. How far regulated austerity on a national scale will affect the initiative and effort necessary for the expansion of our world trade remains to be seen but, while realising the need to avoid unnecessary expenditure, there is still the risk that over-emphasis of austerity may tend towards frustration in commerce and limitation of effort. One country’s import is another’s export and it is useful to remember that interference or restriction in either case may cause unexpected reactions abroad affecting our trade elsewhere. The inward and outward cargoes at our ports, the ships to carry them, the merchanting and other necessary services abroad, such as insurance and banking, will have to be worked for and organised in a competitive world, in sensitive markets and over ramifications of trade routes which cross link all the nations of all the seven seas. On success in re-weaving this highly complicated pattern of commerce, which needs all the practical experience that a trading nation can command, will largely depend our standard of life and also our strength in the future.”}

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ALL THAT GLISTERS IS NOT GOLD, AND WHERE WILL YOU FIND SOMEWHERE SAFER THAN THE BANK OF ENGLAND?

NO MILITARY TWO-STEP HERE, BUT THE WHEELS OF THE ECONOMY ARE OILED IN THE STRANGEST OF PLACES!

RUMOURS OF GOLD AND GUNS IN A CHESHIRE MANSION ON STANDBY TO BE USED AS

HEAD OFFICE…

WHAT IF THE BOMB DROPS? IT PAYS TO HAVE A “PLAN B” IN THESE SITUATIONS, AND OF COURSE, MARTINS DOES

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