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The City of Lancaster benefits from the new university building programme of the late sixties, with the construction of the ‘concrete campus' that is still growing today.  Martins Bank is sited in the main open space of the campus, ‘Alexandra Square’ which has shops banks and a post office to three sides, and an amphitheatre style arrangement of steps on the fourth.

In service: 1968 – 29 January 2021


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On the outside – a gleaming new branch at a gleaming new campus, and yes,

that IS a giant grasshopper sitting guard-like on top of the night safe…

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Image © 1968 Barclays Ref 0030/1541/0004

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Alexandra Square is actually more than twenty feet off the ground, with steps down into an underpass used by buses bringing students to and from the university, and by other traffic. Martins Bank’s branch is equipped with night safe facilities for the use of the many businesses that provide goods and services to the students and staff.  These include a hairdresser’s shop, an insurance broker, a general store, a newspaper shop and gift shop.

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On the inside – clean lines and minimal clutter, just what’s needed to ensure students form an orderly queue.

Internal Images © 1968 Barclays Ref 0030-1541-0005


It’s a Royal walkabout…


1968 LU Exterior Tour by Princess Alexandra July MBM-Au68P44.jpgIn this picture, Princess Alexandra takes a look at the new Lancaster University Branch during a tour of the university campus in July 1968. Martins’ main competitor at this time is the District Bank situated next door, out of shot to the left of the picture. The University site bears the village name of Bailrigg. 


This meets both geographical and postal needs, and sadly “Bailrigg Post Office” is a small concrete room at the corner of Alexandra Square, not some idyllic country property nestling amongst the trees!  Perhaps the royal walkabout is a sign of the longevity of the university site, which today has far outgrown the original buildings…

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How to make your money go further…


Launching a branch as important (and expensive) as Lancaster University is a serious matter for Martins, and for Barclays who are about to take over the reigns.  Careful publicity, correctly targetted will bring in the custom needed to make the branch a success, and whilst the bank may initially lose money by offering free banking and other services, the seeds of long customer relationships will be sown with some of the Nation’s future high flyers. Consider then the local press advertising campaign for Lancaster University Branch in 1969, which perfectly sums up the financial pressures placed on students, and the solutions that await those lucky enough to bank at Martins…

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When the problem you’re faced with is the longness of time compared with the shortness of the money, likely as not the answer could be a visit to your local branch of Martins. At Martins we have a way of applying all our experience of managing money to help you make the most of yours. Call in an have a word with the local Martins Manager – guaranteed unstuffy. We don’t promise he’ll make money for you, but we’re absolutely positive he’ll see you get the best possible value out of whatever you’ve got. Ask him for the leaflet we’ve prepared specially for students.

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Telephone Lancaster 2086

Ask to see Mr Pritchard, and

38 Market Street Lancaster

Telephone Lancaster 64385

Ask to see Mr Youdell






















About a bank account…

L Uni Back Alan P in CU.jpgJuly 1968, and the new branch is launched with its own personalised leaflet from the “About a Bank Account” campaign. These images were originally supplied to Martins Bank Archive by the late Alan Pritchard (pictured, right), who had the honour of being the first Clerk in Charge at Lancaster University Branch. 

They are amongst the very last examples of Martins’ independence – note the bold and optimistic statements about the bank under the heading “A WORD ABOUT MARTINS”.




Money—or the lack of It—is something that concerns everyone, not least the student managing on a grant or allowance. Martins Bank have a special understanding of the student's need to make the most of his money. A bank account can help in a number of ways, as this leaflet explains. As a student you don't need to be concerned about bank charges, either, Have a word with the Manager - you'll find him very approachable and ready to help you.


This is just the right time for you to open a bank account. There's no better way of keeping control over your grant so that you always know where you stand. And incidentally, whatever bank is named on your grant cheque, you can open an account with it at Martins. The proper management of your money will be vital in your future career—and the help you can get from the bank now is as valuable today, when you're probably budgeting on a shoestring, as it will be when you're making your way in the world…



Most people have a Current Account - it's the most useful; you get a cheque book and can make use of all the services which the bank provides. Let's consider briefly some of the advantages of a current account at Martins.


There's no need to keep large sums of cash on you with the risk of loss or having it burn a hole in your pocket. Your cheque book lets you draw out just as much (or as little) cash as you need, when you need it.


Paying bills is easier when you pay by cheque. It's simple and quick, and it's safe as well.


It's easy to deposit money - you can pay cash, cheques, postal or money orders into any branch of Martins Bank.


Regular payments can be made automatically through your account. Items like subscriptions which are paid regularly can be dealt with by standing order. You tell the bank the details of the payments and they take care of them - although you must of course, make sure there is enough money in your account for the payments to be made.

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A big advantage of a bank account is that you can arrange for money to be available wherever you need it. For ex­ample, if you keep your account at the branch most convenient for you during term, you can arrange to cash cheques at a branch near your home during the vacations. When you travel, you can have Travellers' Cheques or a Letter of Credit to make money avail­able wherever you may be, either at home or abroad. The bank can also arrange to supply a certain amount of foreign currency when you need it.




If you are in the fortunate position of having some money you can put aside, a Savings Account or a Deposit Account will provide a safe-keeping place for it where it will also earn interest for you.




Every Martins Manager has a lot of experience in money matters— dealing not only with large sums but with modest amounts as well. Indeed, he is very much aware just how important proper advice and help can be to the person of limited means. Your Manager will always be pleased to see you and to discuss your needs and prob­lems. Remember, he's trained and experienced in the job—and he's a person you can make a friend of. For example, if your grant cheque is delayed there's no need to find yourself in difficulties when you've an account at Martins — have a word with the Manager and he'll tide you over.

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Martins is one of Britain's big national banks. With over 700 branches throughout England and Wales, you're never likely to find yourself far from one of them.

And at all of them you will find that special touch of friendly helpfulness which is the hall­mark of Martins. Call in and see us. You'll find that it's no idle boast when we say that Martins go to extremes to be helpful

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RIGHT: The interior of the Branch at Lancaster University

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A growing business – with a shaky start…

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Student Banking.jpgLancaster University Branch opens in 1966 in the University’s temporary premises in the centre of Lancaster.  The main campus and the new branch open in 1968.  By this time Martins has spent nearly five years working hard to stake a claim for the bank to have the right to be there.  You can read more about this in our STUDENT BANKING feature. 


Under the stewardship of Martins, business grows quickly at Lancaster University branch, to the point where just before the time of the Barclays merger, the branch is made up to a full branch with its own sorting code.  This remains the position until the 1990s, when Barclays introduces a policy of merging local branches together as “clusters” parented by a single main branch. 

… and a sad, untimely, end…

The Covid 19 Pandemic of 2020 brought about the acceleration of the demise of the British High Street, with bank branch closures announced almost daily. In October 2020 it was announced that in January 2021, Lancaster University Branch, the prize fought for so hard by Martins, was to be closed for good after serving students and the academic staff for well over fifty years…

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1964 onwards Mr EA Youdell Manager MBM-Su64P07

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Mr E A Youdell

Manager (Lancaster)

1964 onwards

He’ll “tide you over”

Mr N A Pritchard

Clerk in Charge 1968

Mr Rex H Abbott

on the Staff






Alexandra Square


Alexandra Square

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Index No and District:






Martins Bank Limited 11-80-80 Lancaster University

Self Accounting Sub Branch to Lancaster

Alexandra Square Bailrigg Lancaster Lancashire

215 Northern

Mon-Fri 1000-1500 

Saturday 0900-1130

Lancaster 2086

Night Safe Installed

N A Pritchard Clerk in Charge

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Lancaster Auction Mart




15 December 1969

29 January 2021

Opened by Martins Bank Limited in Lancaster City Centre

Moved to University Campus

Changed from sub-branch to self accounting status

Barclays Bank Limited 20-47-59 Lancaster University

Closed permanently from 12 noon



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