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Lucky to find such a handsome building so late in the day, Martins Bank opens this Branch at 15 Queen Square in November 1967.  Having made it through the merger with Barclays, the Branch remained open until May 2016, which indicates it was a very good choice for an office that would stand the tests both of time and of long-term business prospects. Amongst a number of otherwise nondescript site survey photographs – taken by Martins Bank’s premises department in preparation for the new branch – is  one that provides this rare glimpse into 1960s street advertising, and another company that has been with us for a very long time!

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1968 Bristol Queen Square Exterior BGA Ref 30-419

Image © Barclays Ref: 0030/0419

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Queen Square1968 01 MBM.jpgEven in January this new branch looks attractive. By the time these words are read there will be buds on the trees around the square and perhaps the braver souls will already be enjoying their sandwich lunches on the grass in the cool spring breezes.   Two hundred years ago 'the square' was 'the marsh' but the building of docks enclosed it and around the edge warehouses were built, some of which survive today along with a few 18th century houses.  Two sides of the square were demolished in the Gordon riots and rebuilt later, but in recent years this green oasis has developed to become Bristol's professional centre for solicitors, estate agents and accountants. The whisky warehouse therefore adjoins the branch by accident rather than by design and there is no means of access—not even from the underground car park, because our branch basement rather unsportingly intervenes.

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1968 Bristol Queen Sq Interior counter BGA Ref 30-419

Branch Images © Barclays Ref: 30-0419

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Although the A4 runs diagonally across the square it is to be re-routed round the outside and the square will then become even quieter than at present, but let nobody mistake quietness for somnolence. The new office is most appropriately a modern businessman's branch, air-conditioned and designed in attractive materials which include a fibreglass counter-front with a decorative panel behind carrying a mercantile motif. 

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The office has elegance and warmth yet it is very much alive and functional. Sycamore and rosewood predominate and a long glass screen at the back forms a clack-proof barrier between the machine room and the main office. There is more colour than we expected, but the interior photograph gives a fair idea of the contrast between materials. Upstairs the staff room overlooks the square and there is ample space for future expansion.

1968 Queens Square Interior and Staff MBM-Sp68P19.jpg

Image © Martins Bank Archive

1968 Bristol Queen Square Interior BGA Ref 30-419

Image © Barclays Ref: 30-0419

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1968 Bristol Queen Sq Interior office BGA Ref 30-419The business is fully mechanised. Mr Lucas and three of his staff came from Broadmead branch in November to open this, the sixth office in Bristol, and the Bank's confidence in the possibilities at Queen Square has not been misplaced. We were glad to trap Mr Shorland for a photo­graph, having 'done' Swindon branch when he was away, and to meet Mr Hagon whose name we knew well from golfing reports and who is a nephew of 'Sam' in the North Eastern District. The girls are just what one expects the Bank's girls to be—ambassadresses in their individual way—and showing good taste even in their choice of crockery for the new branch.

… what would nowadays be construed as sexism, is back in 1968 a perfectly innocent reference to the gender stereotyping still prevalent at the time of “women’s lib”. We are quite sure that any of the male staff could also have made “the right choice of crockery for the new branch”!

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1967 Mr DB Lucas Manager MBM-Sp68P06.jpg

1968 RH Shorland pro Manager MBM-Sp68P06.jpg

1968 Miss L J Parsons MBM-Sp68P19.jpg

1968 Miss M A Buckland MBM-Sp68P19.jpg

1968 Mr A E Hagon MBM-Sp68P19.jpg

1968 Mrs P J Goodburn MBM-Sp68P19.jpg

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Mr D B Lucas

Opened this Branch Manager 1967 onwards

Mr R H Shorland

Branch Second

1967 onwards

Miss L J Parsons

On the Staff

1967 onwards

Miss M A Buckland

On the Staff

1967 onwards

Mr A E Hagon

On the Staff

1967 onwards

Miss P J Goodburn

On the Staff

1967 onwards

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Title:

Type:

Address:

Index Number and District:

Hours:

 

Telephone:

Services:

Manager:

11-01-70 Bristol Queen Square

Full Branch

15 Queen Square Bristol Somerset

189 South Western

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Bristol 294504

Nightsafe Installed

Mr D B Lucas Manager

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Title:

Type:

 

Address:

Hours:

 

Telephone:

Services:

Manager:

11-36-40 BRISTOL HARTCLIFFE

Self Accounting Sub to 11-01-70 Bristol Queen Square

Full branch from 1969 onwards

12 Symes Avenue Hartcliffe Bristol 3 Somerset

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Bristol 664204/5

Nightsafe Installed

Mr M J M Anderton pro Manager

Title:

Type:

Address:

Hours:

 

Telephone:

Services:

Manager:

11-35-60 BRISTOL NEWFOUNDLAND STREET

Self Accounting Sub to 11-01-70 Bristol Queen Square

81 Newfoundland Street Bristol 2 Somerset

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Bristol 47060

Night Safe

J F Hearle Clerk in Charge

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Title:

Type:

Address:

Hours:

 

Telephone:

Services:

Manager:

11-91-80 BRISTOL VICTORIA STREET

Self Accounting Sub to 11-01-70 Bristol Queen Square

7 Transom House Victoria Street Bristol 1 Somerset

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Bristol 20492

No Nightsafe

Mr F J Clee Clerk in Charge

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November 1967

15 December 1969

Thursday 12 May 2016

Opened by Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-13-30 Bristol Queen Square

This Branch was closed permanently at 12 Noon

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