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image003Martins Bank Derby opens for business in temporary premises at 3 Market Place in December 1936, during the first phase of expansion into the Midlands and South of England.  For the next eight months a permanent Branch is built from scratch, and is the cause of much excitement in Derby, with several items in the local papers devoted to the arrival of Martins Bank in the town.  In August 1937, the Bank opens a five storey building  at No 5 Market Place, which encompasses lavish materials, and the latest building techniques, including a revolutionary method of reinforced concrete that does away with the need for supporting pillars. 

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Image © Barclays Ref 0030/0818

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On 17 August 1937, the Branch opens for Business, and the Derby Daily Telegraph runs the following article…

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HANDSOME NEW PREMISES OF

MARTINS BANK

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MARTINS BANK, which opened temporary premises in Derby eight months ago, has transferred its business to an imposing new building in the Market-Place, Derby.  The Bank, which was established in 1563, has nearly 600 Branches and sub-Branches.  It is represented in Birmingham, Nottingham, Leivester, and Hanley, and there is a sub-Branch to Birmingham Branch at Warwick. 

 

The chairman of the Bank is Mr Edward B Orme, and the deputy-chairmen are Lord Colwyn, Sir Richard Holt, and Mr G E B Bromley-Martin.   The general Manager is Mr J M Furniss.  The Derby headquarters are five storeys high, and are constructed with a reinforced concrete frame with reinforced concrete floors on the Diagrid principle, which will carry over a large span without the use of beams, thus saving in height and enabling a flat ceiling to be obtained. 

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EXTERIOR DESIGN

 

The design of the exterior of the building is based on the Classic style, with simple modern treatment.  Up to the first floor level, the front is faced with sea green granite, with the two entrance doors in polished Travertine marble.  Above the first floor level the facing is in Portland stone.  One of the main features of the front of the building is the bronze window to the banking hall, which has splayed reveals with motifs in low relief of banking business.  In the panel below the window, a night safe has been installes for the convenience of the Bank’s customers.  The ground floor and the basement are occupied by the bank, the first, second, and third floors will be let to tenants, and the caretaker’s quarters are on the fourth floor. On the ground floor are a very roomy public space, manager’s room, waiting room, counter for three cashiers, and desk accommodation for seven clerks.  There is also an entrance hall to the offices on the upper floors, with lift and staircase, together with a large office at the rear of the ground floor available for the use of tenants.

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PANELLED WALLS

 

The walls of the banking hall up to door height are faced with Australian walnut panelling, inlaid with hoizontal bands of Indian laurel.  Above this, the walls and ceiling are in plaster, and the public space is covered with rubber flooring.  In the basement are housed the stringroom, bookroom, Staff and manager’s lavatories, and heating chamber.  The whole of the basement is constructed as a watertight tank, with waterproof and burglarproof doors.  Of particular interest is the sign of the Grasshopper associated with the Bank which is to be seen outside the new building.  The Grasshopper was the family crest of Sir Thomas Gresham, mercer, financial advisor to Queen Elizabeth, and master of the Mint.  From his house in Lombard Street he had dealings with Richard Martins, Lord mayor of London in the year of the Armada.  In 1703 Thomas Martin became a partner in the goldsmith and banking business carried on at the Grasshopper.  Mr R M Holland-Martin the present chairman of the london Board of Martins Bank, is a member of the sixth generation of Martins.

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Image © Barclays Ref 0030/0818

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CONTRACTORS ENGAGED

 

All the work for the new Derby premises has been carried out by the following contractors under the supervision of the architects, Messrs Bromley, Cartwright and Waumsley of Nottingham: General Contractors, internal hardwood joinery, counter and desks – Messrs Gee, Walker and Slater, Ltd., Derby; reinforced concrete frame, Trussed Concrete Steel Co., Ltd., London; “Diagrid” floors, Diagrid Structures Ltd., London; reinforcement in strongroom, walls and strongroom doors, and grilles. Chatwood Safe Co., Ltd., Shrewsbury; granite facing, Messrs Fenning and Co., Ltd., London; bronze and steel windows, Messrs h. Hope and Son, Ltd., Birmingham; heating installation, Messrs Rosser and Russell Ltd., Leeds; electrical installation, Mr W H Taylor, Derby; terrazzo pavings and wall linings, Messrs Diespeker and Co., Ltd., Birmingham; natural stonework, Waller Brown, Leicester; passenger lift, Express Lift Co., Ltd., Birmingham; rubber flooring, Runnymede Rubber Co., London; and carpets and linoleum, Messrs Griffin and Spalding, Nottingham.

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1968 02 MBM.jpgIn the Summer 1968 issue of Martins Bank Magazine, a visit is at last paid to Derby, more than thirty years after it first opened. The focus is very much on the Staff and their lives, with a little local history and details including industry and commerce thrown in for good measure. At this point of course, no-one knows that the once mighty Branch at 5 Market Place, has less than four years to go before the axe falls…

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Bakers Dozen at Derby

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anywhere you go in Derby, the town seems to say it with flowers. This was the impression we gained on our brief visit to Derby, and one confirmed by Mr Harold Lawson, Manager of our Branch in Market Place. 'No development takes place in Derby without a place being found for trees and plants', he explained as we stood in the centre of Market Place, an area pre­viously available for car parking but now liberally sprinkled with plant containers promising a colourful display. Across the road stood our Branch which seemed too modern-looking to have been built in 1936. Perhaps this is because the centre of Derby wears an aura of antiquity. It shares with most large towns the conglom­eration of old and new buildings, the narrow streets and wide thoroughfares, yet the Borough's twelve centuries, of which Derbians are justifiably proud, are unmistakably present. If the historian associates Derby with the retreat of the Young Pretender, the world has come to know the town's name as the home of Rolls Royce.  Derby's industries are many and diversified but the fortunes of Rolls Royce are closely linked with the fortunes of Derby and its citizens. At the time of our visit the company's major export contracts with America were national news. 'The town is very excited at the prospects for prosperity this can mean', Mr Lawson told us as we stepped inside the Branch. Harold Lawson has managed Derby Branch since 1960 but he will be remembered by former colleagues in his native Merseyside where he worked at many Branches. He was Clerk-in-Charge at that renowned training ground, Booker Avenue Branch, before he moved south to open Rugby Branch in 1953.  We were delighted to meet his wife who, as Monica Ward, had been on the Staff at West Derby Branch. As a Lancashire County tennis player Mr Lawson was a valued member of the Liverpool District tennis team. In Derby he is vice-president of Derbyshire Lawn Tennis Association. Judged by that important Midland District standard, tenpin bowling, the Staff of Derby Branch are not the most dashing—they were knocked out of the District's inter-Branch competition in the first round. Yet we found them a lively baker's dozen.

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AT THE COUNTER:

Alfred Leighton (messenger), Peter Tudor, Caroline Andrews,

David Wilesmith, Peter Ryder, Pamela Prowse

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IN THE MACHINE ROOM (1)

Brenda Marshall, Joyce Hill, Carol Bayliss, Frank Needham (Pro Manager), Valerie Winson was on holiday when this photo was taken

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Frank Needham, Pro Manager, is more at home with a rifle than a bowl, having been a member of King's Heath Rifle Club since his days in Birmingham. For four years to 1962 he looked after the premises side in Midland District Office before spending a year 'on the desk'. From there he moved to Burton upon Trent where he still lives. He came to Derby Branch in 1966. Most members of this young Staff have been at the Branch only a short time. Of the five cashiers David Wilesmith, with three years at the Branch, is an old stager—and a potential member of a Midland District football team. Peter Tudor, a native of Birkenhead whose father's work took him to Newcastle before bringing him to Derby, joined the Bank in February 28 this year from the Inland Revenue. He plays cricket for a local club.

 

IN THE MACHINE ROOM (2)

The machine accounting equipment

IN THE MANAGER’S ROOM

Harold Lawson (Manager) and Jill Austin

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Three ladies complete the counter Staff: Joyce Hill who worked at Brighton Branch until her family moved to Derby eighteen months ago; Caroline Andrews who finds meeting customers far more satisfying than shorthand and typing for British Rail where she worked until a year ago; and Pamela Prowse, one of the two married ladies, and the latest recruit to Derby Branch. She worked previously at Bedford and Nottingham Branches. Jill Austin, manager's secretary, lives at the village of Radbourne where her parents are farmers. Carol Bayliss, who is married, and Valerie Winson are the machinists, and the Branch's maid-of-all-work is Brenda Marshall, another recent recruit.  A gold medallist in modern ballroom dancing she teaches dancing at an evening institute. A man with fifteen years at Derby Branch to his credit is Alf Leighton, the messenger. Mr Leighton, who lives over the Branch, is a former professional soldier—an R.S.M. whose training is reflected in the impeccable neatness of the Branch.Peter Ryder, who looks after foreign and securities work, was on holiday when we called at the Branch. A late entrant from local government he has lost no time in getting to grips with banking and attended a Domes­tic Training Course in 1967. He came to Derby in 1966 from Charles Street Branch, Leicester. What Derby Branch lacks in tenpin bowling prowess it certainly makes up in a cheerful Staff, to say nothing of some distinctive calendars…

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Show Time…

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1950 COA.jpgThe Derby Daily Telegraph carries this advertisement for Martins Bank’s presence at the Derbyshire Agricultural Show, on 15 Jun 1950.  This particular ad, featuring the topic of Farming and how the Bank has a long history of helpful the farming community, is also used without any specific mention of a local show, to advertise the Bank in National newspapers. This image is one of many that are shown in our online archive with the kind permission of our friends at the British Newspaper Archive – a huge and valuable resource available by subscription to everyone interested in historical research. We have found countless examples of Martins related news stories, advertisements, and announcements of everything from Staff changes at the top to annual results and the opening of new Branches. You can find out much more about this Archive, including how to subscribe, by clicking on the link underneath the picture.

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1960 04 MBM.jpgFarewell Mr Gordon…

Mr. W. R. Gordon retired at the end of September, after 45 years' service. On the evening of Saturday, October 1st, he and Mrs. Gordon entertained, at The Coppice Hotel, Littleover, a party of seventy which included present and former colleagues and their wives, and a few close friends and relations.

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Image © Northcliffe Media Limited Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD

Image reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive

www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

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1960 Mr W R Gordon Retirement Picture MBM-Wi60P49Among the guests were Mr. D. C. Bardsley, Midland District General Manager, Mr. R. J. Lees, Superintendent of Branches, and Mr. Jack Wood, the retired Manager of Birmingham City Office, who now resides in Eastbourne. Many others had travelled long distances to be present. Mr. Bardsley spoke in the highest terms of 'Bill' Gordon's service to the Bank, paying a special tribute to his undoubted ability to train young men and mentioning that seven of his former second men were now managers. He recalled his early days in the Lake District, when at one time Mr. Gordon ran a 'Wells Fargo' service, visiting five sub-Branches with a horse and trap until on one occasion this performance was witnessed by the then General Manager with the result that he was promoted to a taxi - believed to be the first used in the service of the Bank.

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Mr. Bardsley, on behalf of present and former colleagues, then made the presentation of a suitcase and said there was also a motor-mower, which was being delivered to Mr. Gordon's home in Derby where he will continue to reside. In a characteristic reply Mr. Gordon said that if you lived with anything for 45 years you grew to love it and the Bank was no exception, and that now that the time had come he was sorry to retire. He went on to thank all those who had worked with him for their unfailing help, loyalty and friendship and said that his very last act in the Bank had been to place his initials on a correspondence form which simply said "Thank you" and which he thought was most appropriate as he had much for which to be thankful.

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A bouquet was then presented to Mrs. Gordon by Miss Smith on behalf of the ladies of the Branch. Mr. Gordon entered the Bank in 1915 at Windermere, going to Kirkby Stephen the following year. He served with H.M.Forces from 1917-1919, afterwards resuming his Bank service at Sedbergh. He subsequently saw service at Skipton, Colne, and at East Branch in the Liverpool District in 1932. In 1933 he went to London and in 1935 he returned to Liverpool, to South John Street. He was appointed Manager at Liscard in 1938 and at Derby in 1946.

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Local Training…

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1968 NCR 32 Range NCR-CNF MBADerby Branch is also home to the Bank’s Midland District Machine Schools.  Martins has established machine schools in several large towns and cities, to train the book-keeping Staff to use the quite complicated forerunners to computerised banking, such as the National 32 Machine shown here (Image ©NCR Ltd 1966).  The courses take place throughout the year, and the Bank uses Trainers from within its own Staff to pass on their skills and knowledge to the students.  One such Trainer is our good friend Iris Brooks, who runs the training at Derby, and she kindly proivded us with details for a feature about the work she was involved in at the Training School.  You can read about the Midland District Machine Schools, including some of the original “joining instructions” to the course candidates HERE – thejoys of second class travel and a tiny lunch allowance will be familiar to bank staff everywhere!

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1936 to 1947 Mr C Tindall MBM-Au63P59.jpg

1941 to 1952 Mr W E Pemberton joined the bank here MBM-Au68P14.jpg

1945 to 1958 Mr A Atkin joined the bank here MBM-Wi64P07.jpg

1946 to 1960 Mr W R Gordon Manager MBM-Wi60P49.jpg

1947 to 1956 Mr R W A Burns joined the bank here MBM-Wi61P45.jpg

1953 to 1956 Mr D W Hall Pro Manager MBM-Sp65P03.jpg

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Mr C Tindall

On the Staff

1936 to 1947

Mr W E Pemberton

Joined the Bank Here

1941 to 1952

Mr Alan Atkin

Joined the Bank Here

1945 to1958

Mr W R Gordon

Manager

1946 to 1960

Mr R W A Burns

Joined the Bank Here

1947 to 1956

Mr D W Hall

Pro Manager

1953 to 1956

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1954 to 1960 Mr A Buckler joined the bank here MBM-Su66P05.jpg

1959 to 1964 Mr C T Kennedy pro Manager  MBM-Sp64P05.jpg

1960 Onwards Mr Harold Lawson Manager MBM-Su68P29.jpg

1965 Mr HG Norman pro Manager MBM-Wi65P04.jpg

1966 Mr CA White Securities MBM-Au66P39.jpg

1966 Mr F Needham pro Manager MBM-Au66P05.jpg

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Mr A Buckler

Joined the Bank Here

1954 to 1960

Mr C T Kennedy

Joined the Bank Here

1959 to 1964

Mr Harold Lawson

Manager

1960 onwards

Mr H G Norman

Pro Manager

1965

Mr C A White

Securities

1966

Mr F Needham

Pro Manager

1966

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1967 Mr AW Leighton Messenger MBM-Wi67P42.jpg

1968 Brenda Marshall MBM-Su68P29.jpg

1968 Carol Bayliss MBM-Su68P29.jpg

1968 David Wilesmith MBM-Su68P29.jpg

1968 Jill Austin MBM-Su68P29.jpg

1968 Joyce Hill MBM-Su68P29.jpg

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Mr Alfred W Leighton

Branch Messenger

1967

Brenda Marshall

Accounts

1968

Carol Bayliss

Accounts

1968

Mr David Wilesmith

Cashier

1968

Miss Jill Austin

Manager’s Secretary

1968

Miss Joyce Hill

Cashier and Accounts

1968

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1968 Pamela Prowse Cashier MBM-Su68P29.jpg

1968 Peter Tudor MBM-Su68P29.jpg

1968 to 1969 Mr P T Ryder Limited Authority MBM-Su69P14.jpg

BW Logo

BW Logo

BW Logo

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Miss Pamela Prowse

Cashier

1968

Mr Peter Tudor Cashier

Joined the Bank Here

1968

Mr P T Ryder

Limited Authority

1968 to 1969

 

 

 

Title:

Type:

Address:

Index No and District:

Hours:

 

Telephone:

Services:

Manager:

11-33-30 Derby

Main Branch

5 Market Place Derby Derbyshire

589 Midland

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Derby 41414

Nightsafe Installed

H W Lawson Manager

 

1936

15 December 1969

16 June 1972

Opened by Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-25-87 Derby Market Place

Closed

Currently

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