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This is Wakefield Crewdson Country – the Kendal Bank reigns supreme in the Lake District and Furness Peninsula from the late 1700s until 1893 when the Liver Bird of the Bank of Liverpool comes knocking.  A branch of the Kendal Bank opens in Duke Street, Barrow in Furness in 1865, and is one of the longest surviving branches in this area, lasting under Barclays until 2001.  Inside, even under Barclays, the unmistakable dark wood finish of a mid sixties Martins refit is always apparent, and during a period of business growth for Barclays, the former Lloyds Bank branch next door is acquired and knocked through to make a much larger business banking section.

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B of L WK Logo

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What is once a large and generous appartment above the branch spends the end of its life as a stationery and general store, and just as Duke Street was once filled to bursting point with staff, so the march of computerisation reverses the position until only a few people rattle around inside an aging, and very expensive to maintain white elephant of a building.  The movement of the main shopping area to another part of town seals Duke Street’s fate for good. The Furness Peninsula, like much of the North West of England has a branch of Martins in just about every town and village, and when Martins and Barclays merge at the end of 1969, some of the smallest outlets will be closed down .

 

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1960 ish Duke Street Exterior Barclays Group Archive Ref 30-106.jpg

Image: © Barclays Ref: 0030/0106

Barrow in Furness has three branches of Martins - Duke Street, Rawlinson Street and Vickerstown (Walney Island). Duke Street is visited twice by Martins Bank Magazine.  In 1950, the talk is still very much related to the service of many of the male staff in World War 2, during which, we learn, many of the staff served both their country and the Bank.  Then in 1967 we discover that at Barrow Branch, the customers are always smiling…

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1960 01 MBM.jpgMr. Wilkinson was waiting for us at the station and whisked our frozen bones in his car to his home where Mrs. Wilkinson restored the flickering flame of life with hot soup and an excellent dinner. Mr. Wilkinson is well-known all over the Liverpool, Northern and Craven Districts because of his service with the H.O. Outdoor Inspection staff from 1936 until 1942 when he went to Barrow as Assistant Manager. Previously, after entering the Bank in 1917 he had served for varying periods at Kendal, Ambleside, Bowness and Windermere. He has been Manager at Barrow since 1946.His second man, T. R. Ion, commenced his service at Windermere in 1924, and served subsequently at Alston, Sedbergh, Kendal, and Head Office before his appointment as Pro Manager in 1946. From 1941-1946 he served with H.M. Forces. J. H. Jarvis, the chief cashier, who has a brother on the staff at Ulverston, is keenly interested in amateur dramatics and has some considerable experience of musical shows. His banking service dates back to 1910 and is spread over Kirkby Lonsdale, Kendal, Ulverston, Millom and Barrow branches. He was given internal signing authority in 1945. He is also a veteran of the first World War in which he served from 1916 to 1919.

 

A. D. Dodd is another first World War veteran of three years' service and had the not so very usual experience for those days of meeting his future wife in France, where she was serving in the W.A.A.C. He commenced his service in the North-Eastern District at Quayside but in 1923 went to Barrow where his wife's people lived. He has a daughter on our Staff at Millom. A. S. Thackeray is known to many of us, having participated in the annual Golf Tournament near Liverpool. He is a very keen golfer and indulges his sport on Walney Island course. He came into the Bank in 1918 and has served at Millom, Kendal and Barrow; also with H.M. Forces from 1942 to 1946.

 

1950 Barrow in Furness Staff MBM-Sp50P31.jpg

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G. W. Keen came into the Bank in 1929 and, apart from war service, partly in India,  from 1940 to 1946, served at Ulverston until 1947 when he went to Barrow. W. Long joined our staff last May after doing his military service in the R.A.F., and can claim to be something of a radar expert. He is now studying for his Institute of Bankers' examinations and is proving to be a capable young man. The junior is A. J. Moore who has only been on the Staff since last September. Whilst at Ulverston Grammar School he was a keen Air Force Cadet. Now he is studying for the exams. There are four girls on the staff. Miss A. H. J. Ostle is missing from the photograph and we were deprived of the pleasure of meeting her on account of an illness which had laid her temporarily low. She acts as a cashier and is considered an excellent girl. She entered the Bank in 1942 and has previously served at Dalton and Ulverston. Miss O. Shereston has been in the Bank since 1945 when she joined our staff at Barrow after previous service at Vickers-Armstrong. She teaches shorthand and typewriting in Barrow Technical School. Miss J. Studholme has also been at Barrow just over four years.  She is a Millom girl. Miss D. M. Park is the daughter of our Dalton Manager and came into the Bank at Barrow in October 1947.  Before leaving, Mr. Wilkinson took us for a quick look round Barrow.  We were delighted to have a peep at Furness Abbey, most impressed with the fine road approach to the town, extremely interested to see the oxy-acetylene torches already at work on H.M.S. "London" " which had arrived at the ship breaker's yard only the previous day, awestruck at our fleeting glimpse of the Vickers-Armstrong plant, and most grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Wilkinson and the staff at Barrow for a very hospitable and friendly welcome.

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This is the Barclays counter at Barrow in Furness, pictured in 1975.  We have included it here to show the stark contrast between the open counter layout of Martins, (see article below) and the enclosed bandit screen “hutches” that Barclays and other banks are sadly obliged to install as a result of the rising number of armed raids on Banks. 

 

Barclays 1975 Till

 

Barclays tills from this period are actually known as “1975 tills” and include a time lock delay that protects, customers, staff, and of course cash.  Such a simple and secure idea - but the time lock never was a secret – the words “This till is protected by a time delay lock” appear prominently at the base of each bandit screen, to this day…

 

 

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1965 03 MBM.jpg

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People like you…

1965 Miss E Postlethwaite First Cashier MBM-Au65P44.jpg

First Cashier at Barrow-in-Furness, and known as “Betty Pos”, Mrs E Postlethwaite’s interests include music, singing and old-tyme dancing.  She is a Sunday school teacher and deputy organist at her church.

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Barrow in Furness 1.jpgBarrow in Furness.jpg

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1967 01 MBM.jpgthe few who were not smiling on arrival seemed to shed their preoccupation inside the doors and, should any reader think this is just sales talk, as we spent nearly two hours in the main office we can vouch for this. During most of the time the counter was run by three girls and one young man, and the longer we watched the more we wondered. Anybody used to visiting branches knows that you get the feel of a branch the minute you enter. One naturally expects prompt, efficient and cheerful attention at any branch and, while there must be other offices whose customers come in smiling, at Barrow there is an in­definable plus quality which cannot be attributed to the fresh air blowing off the Irish Sea.

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No young man or woman ever has qualms about being sent there and any sad introvert who might join the staff would quickly begin to feel there was something seriously wrong with him. Don't ask us why. And don't ask the staff, for if you do they will probably look puzzled and say 'Well, I suppose it's Mr Ion really', as if they hadn't found it necessary to ponder the matter and the question seemed a bit daft anyway. Of course is may be Mr Ion for Roger Ion is one of Those people who could never be anything but himself in any circumstances and wouldn't think of trying.

1967 Duke Street Counter and Staff MBM-Sp67P23.jpg

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'Be yourself may be the worst possible advice for some people but not for him. His staff think the world of him and so, apparently, do his customers.'Give the boy some paper!' is a saying at Barrow, but, having got some, we are in rather a quandary. We know most of the Barrow staff fairly well and could point to quite a few and say that he or she also has something to do with this indefinable quality. We could even point to some who have been there in recent years and moved on —John Gelderd to Millom, Bill Long to Colne, Norman Crellin to District Office, and others—all of them having contributed something to Barrow and learned something invaluable while they were there. Shall we record some facts and see if that helps? The business at Barrow ranges from commercial to private interests and from shipbuilding to the little shop on the corner. It has been established for ninety-four years but in the five years since Roger Ion became manager the number of accounts has shown a net increase of 22%. He is the first to emphasise that the staff have competed against each other in getting new business and that absence on holiday has sometimes resulted in a long haul to catch up one's nearest rival who in a fortnight had netted five new accounts and gone ahead. District Office must have been tempted to have their congratulatory letters duplicated or at least written in advance.  What else ? Every girl at Barrow takes a till as soon as she is able and the first cashier is 'Betty Pos', (Miss E Postlethwaite), for the obvious reason that people do like her. Without any prompting the girls decided to wash down the walls of their perfectly presentable machine room before we arrived. And they did not hesitate to tell us that our efforts to complete the job were making things worse, not better. On the 'Saturdays off' roster was a note 'February 4th please' alongside someone's initials: that would be arranged without fuss or acrimony.

 

Anything that happens at Barrow provides an excuse for a party. They're great ones for parties; celebrating engagements, marriages, births or, perhaps, somebody's golf score or two goals last Saturday. Everyone joins in of course and Fred Newby, the messenger, whose son is on the Millom staff, is quite likely to exhort Maud to come in to the garden at the end of the evening. When Bank ties first came out all the men bought one and if anything for the girls was intro­duced it is quite certain all of them would buy one. Everyone at the branch knows what is happening, letters and minutes being open to all, and there is no mystique about securities or foreign work. During our visit one of the newer arrivals was querying with Mr Ion the why and wherefore of some current account charges. Such things as 'It's not my job', 'I wasn't there'. 'Someone else can sort that out' and 'Nobody told me' are not heard at Barrow where jobs are switched and anybody may be asked to turn their hand to anything. We had a good illustration of this when the car failed us at nightfall and could not be repaired until the next afternoon. Besides visiting Barrow branch we had wanted to look up old friends at other offices in the district so, at 8.30 on a Friday morning, Mr Thornton presented himself at our hotel with his car to drive us to Millom, Broughton, Ulverston and Dalton while Bill Johnson and everybody else at the office moved up one and kept the day's work moving, the balance under control and the customers smiling as usual. Just in case some cynic on reading this should think it a load of codswallop we should make it clear that well before our visit Roger Ion had been invited and had agreed to stay on after he reaches retirement age this year. And that, we believe, was no formal request. One last thought for the cynics. Do your customers smile when they come into the office?  If they don't, have you ever wondered why?

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1912 to 1916 Mr A A Rushforth MBM-Wi57P46.jpg

1917 to 1923 Mr F H Carlisle joined the bank here MBM-Su46P19.jpg

1921 Mr G Whitehouse joined the bank here MBM-Su65P51.jpg

1924 to 1928 Mr J G Holliday Manager MBM-Su46P19.jpg

1945 to 1955 Mr J H Jarvis Pro Manager  MBM-Wi55P48.jpg

1946 to 1961 Mr E W Wilkinson Manager MBM-Sp61P50.jpg

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Mr A A Rushforth

On the staff

1912 to 1916

Mr H F Carlisle

Joined 1917 to 1923

Manager 1938 to 1946

Mr G Whitehouse

Joined the Bank Here

1921

Mr J G Holliday

Manager

1924 to 1928

Mr J H Jarvis

Pro Manager

1945 to 1955

Mr E W Wilkinson

Manager

1946 to 1961

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1949 to 1953 Mr W Long MBM-Wi67P03.jpg

1953 to 1957 Mr J N Driver MBM-Au68P08.jpg

1954 to 1955 Mr AJ Huck  MBM-Su66P04.jpg

1954 to 1961 Mr J C Watson Pro Manager MBM-Wi68P08.jpg

1961 to 1967 Mr J M Thornton Pro Manager MBM-Wi67P03.jpg

1961 to 1967 Mr J M Thornton Pro Manager MBM-Wi67P03.jpg

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Mr W Long

On the Staff

1949 to 1953

Mr J N Driver

On the Staff

1953 to 1957

Mr A J Huck

On the Staff

1954 to 1955

Mr J C Watson

Pro Manager

1954 to 1961

Mr Norman Crellin

On the Staff

1960 to 1966

Mr J M Thornton

Pro Manager

1961 to 1967

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1961 to 1969 Mr T R Ion Manager MBM-Au69P57.jpg

1965 Miss E Postlethwaite First Cashier MBM-Au65P44.jpg

1967 Miss L Mills MBM-Sp67P23.jpg

1967 Miss P Parker MBM-Sp67P23.jpg

1967 Miss S M Dyer MBM-Sp67P23.jpg

1967 Mr C W Millburn MBM-Sp67P23.jpg

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Mr T R Ion

Manager

1961 to 1969

Miss E Postlethwaite

First Cashier

1965

Miss L Mills

On the Staff

1967

Miss P Parker

On the Staff

1967

Miss S M Dyer

On the Staff

1967

Mr C W Millburn

On the Staff

1967

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1967 Mr D Clements MBM-Sp67P23.jpg

1967 Mr J Williams MBM-Sp67P23.jpg

1967 Mr P F Robinson MBM-Sp67P23.jpg

1967 Mr R Thornton pro Manager MBM-Wi67P01.jpg

1967 Mr W Johnson MBM-Sp67P23.jpg

1967 Mrs C Bradley MBM-Sp67P23.jpg

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Mr Derek Clements

On the Staff

1967

Mr J Williams

On the Staff

1967

Mr P F Robinson

On the Staff

1967

Mr R Thornton

Pro Manager

1967

Mr W Johnson

On the Staff

1967

Mrs C Bradley

On the Staff

1967

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1967 Mrs J S Boyd MBM-Sp67P23.jpg

1967 Mrs M A Kneale MBM-Sp67P23.jpg

1969 Mr D J Corlett Manager MBM-Au69P12.jpg

BW Logo

BW Logo

BW Logo

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Mrs J S Boyd

On the Staff

1967

Mr M A Kneale

On the Staff

1967

Mr D J Corlett

Manager

1969 onwards

 

 

 

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BARCLAYS BANK LIMITED

1946 District Bank Logo from Cheque - MBAx1

DISTRICT BANK LIMITED

 

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LLOYDS BANK LIMITED

MARTINS BANK LIMITED

3 Branches

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MIDLAND BANK LIMITED

NATIONAL PROVINCIAL BANK

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WILLIAMS DEACON’S BANK

 

 

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Title:

Type:

Address:

Index Number and District:

Hours:

 

Telephone:

Services:

Manager:

Martins Bank Limited 11-43-00 Barrow in Furness

Main Branch

96 Duke Street Barrow in Furness Lancashire

204 Northern

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Barrow in Furness 24333/4

Nightsafe Installed

Mr T R Ion

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http://www.martinsbank.co.uk/11-50-00%20Bedlington_files/image034.jpg

11-43-00 BARROW IN FURNESS RAWLINSON STREET

http://www.martinsbank.co.uk/11-50-00%20Bedlington_files/image034.jpg

11-43-00 BARROW IN FURNESS VICKERSTOWN

http://www.martinsbank.co.uk/11-50-00%20Bedlington_files/image034.jpg

11-24-30 DALTON IN FURNESS

 

1865

27 June 1893

18 December 1918

3 January 1928

15 December 1969

2001

Currently

Opened by Messrs Wakefield Crewdson - the Kendal Bank

Bank of Liverpool

Bank of Liverpool and Martins

Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-04-68 Barrow in Furness

Closed and merged with 20-04-68 Barrow Dalton Road

NHS Community Drug and Alcohol Team

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