Martins at War - Wimbledon Hideaway

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Relocation Relocation Relocation…

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It is not only the Government Departments that move to safe and secret places in World War Two.  As we have seen in “The Bullion Boys” and “Dance hall Days”, our country’s reserves of gold have been moved to the basement of Martins’ Head Office in Liverpool, and other steps have also been taken to allow the financial wheels of Britain to remain well oiled and working.  In the North, Martins Bank has made plans for a fully equipped Head Office Facility at Thornton Hall, Cheshire, Staff Department is moved out of Water Street to Ainsdale near Southport, and the Bank’s Chief Accountant’s Office works out of Macclesfield Branch. Meanwhile in the South, the question of how Martins Bank’s London District will keep running has been solved by the partial relocation of 68 Lombard Street staff and functionality to a large private house in Wimbledon. This short article from Martins Bank Magazine, printed in 1959, spills the beans…

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1959 Ricards Lodge Wimbledon - Wartime HQ of London District MBM-Sp59P21

1959 Staff working inside Ricards Lodge during WW2 MBM-Sp59P22

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1959 01 MBM.jpgWe older ones do  sometimes find it hard to realise that about 40% of our present staff were either not born or were very small children when the Second World War Broke out.   Comparatively few of the older ones remaining were involved in the evacuation of Head Office and District Office departments which was an essential feature of the security arrangements carried out in order to keep the organisation of the Bank functioning despite disruption which might be caused by air raids.  The accompanying photographs, therefore, should go on the record not only for their curiosity value, but as a reminder of those far-off days during which civilians as well as soldiers were in the front line.  The home is Ricards Lodge, Wimbledon, which was the evacuation centre of London District Office during the war.  As regards the interior photograph, the figures seated at the table are from left to right, J B Furniss, C J Carpenter, D M P Hulbert, D McNair, F R Ravenshear, and H Francis.

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