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1946 03.jpgIn what seems like an unusual move for a successful company, Martins Bank Magazine spends the first two years of its life carrying other people’s advertising.  The idea might be simple, to sell products to the Bank’s staff, all of whom are in what was is after all, a respectable profession.  So who exactly formed the queue of eager businesses, keen to exploit the modest earnings of our newly returned soldiers and airmen, and the army of women who fought alongside them in various roles?  It would appear that what preyed most on the minds of the Bank’s staff at this time lay in being able to afford both good work clothes, and one of the many courses on offer to help coach them through the Bankers’ Examinations.  Spurious ads also crop up offering holidays in the Lake District and Scarborough, there is the offer of public speaking lessons, and perhaps most curious of all, there is a determined campaign by the makers of OXO to encourage staff to imbibe cups full of this beefy product at every opportunity. 

 

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A certain sartorial elegance?

This is all very gentle stuff, and so very much of its time.  With clothing and food still rationed, staff need to know they will get the best value for their coupons.  The OXO ads also seem to carry an air of patriotic duty, encouraging for example, the growing of vegetables with which the cubes of gravy can then be served.  

 

The adverts are suddenly withdrawn from the magazine after the Autumn 1948 edition of the Magazine, and for the following few issues, the inside covers are sadly bare, before the arrival late in 1949 of the “Forthcoming Events” column. 

 

The mighty wheels of commerce never stop, as the seemingly unassailable fashion business of Keith Bradbury (The Tailor with a Plan) is swallowed up by Harry Hall (the man with the BETTER plan).  A final crushing blow to the previous business is dealt by the phrase “even better service than before”…

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I’m yearning to learn… …and to write… …and to speak…

…but can it be done for just shillings each week?

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Just what IS the secret of success? Well, subscribing to any or all of these correspondence colleges might give you the edge, but may also leave you out of pocket. The Bank will reward those who study for the examinations of the Institute of Bankers, but strictly on a basis of payment by results. Interestingly, the Rapid Results College seen here, is the most trusted and well used of all these schemes amongst what are referred to as “Bankmen”…

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It remained one of the most popular ways of learning the Banking exam topics well into the 1990s. Plenty of opportunity then, to spend the dark winter evenings buried in a pile of text books, admist what appears to be outright war between two major colleges trying to catch your eye, and empty your wallet…

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1946 The Speakers Club MBM-Su46P02.jpg

1946 ABC Correspondence Schools MBM-Au46IFC.jpg

1947 Metropolitan College Free to Bankmen MBM-Au47IBC.jpg

1948 Rapid Results College Sound Tuition MBM-Sp48IFC.jpg

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Let’s get away from it all…

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 “Something unusual: an hotel with an unusual and distinctive atmosphere – near everything that matters, and with a fully inclusive tariff”  How marvellous! Scarborough’s Fairview Hotel seems to have it all, and lovely to see the use of “an hotel” to give the ad that extra je ne sais quoi…  Spoilt for choice, our staff is tempted by a late mountain fox hunting break in Kewsick, which by summer becomes known as Keswick ON DERWENTWATER, to remind us all of the endless fun to be had in the waters of the Lake District.  Swim too far, and who knows, you might just pop out of someone’s bath tap in Liverpool…

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Keswick 1

Keswick 1

Keswick 1

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On the gravy train…

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It’s the ideal drink for the sophisticated Bank Clerk about town, who needs something to take his mind off studying, learning how to write for money, speak in public, or take a British holiday. Come to think of it, perhaps this is where the Banking downfall of the twenty-first century finds its roots.  Could it be that a life aboard the “gravy train” is the road to ruin that leads the innocent “pipe and slippers” banker into the murky worlds of insider trading, mis-selling of products and manipulation of interest rates?  My, it’s powerful stuff, that gravy…

1946 Hot Oxo MBM-Sp46IBC.jpg

1946 Hot Oxo MBM-Sp46IBC.jpg

1946 Hot Oxo MBM-Sp46IBC.jpg

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OXO IS A REGISTERED TRADE MARK OF PREMIER FOODS UK LTD

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