West Riding Union Bank

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Martins Bank’s sub-branch at Birstall is an original branch of The West Riding Union Bank,  and has been open since at least 1881 when that bank is first registered as a limited company.   At this time Birstall is noted as a full branch, but by 1901 it is recorded as a sub-Branch to Batley, which is how it remains into the 1960s. The merger in 1902 of the West riding Union Bank with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank is hugely significant, as it cements the future coverage of Martins Bank into just about every major town and village across the whole of the North of England.  By 1968 opening hours at Birstall are a respectable twenty-one per week spread over six days, which is enough to provide a good basic banking service for local businesses.  

In Service: By 1881 until 7 April 2000

 Image © Barclays Ref 0030-0262

1960 ish Birstall Exterior BGA Ref 0030-0262

Image © Barclays Ref 0030/0262

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2010 Nightsafe Robert DagnallA quick word here, in defence of the humble night safe, the innocuous metal square that features on the front of so many Martins Bank Branches…

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This is a piece of banking furniture, indeed a piece of advanced technology that should not be underestimated – as a kind of reverse cash machine of its day, it allows the deposit of cash and other items at any time of the day or night.  We think you will agree that this is not bad for a totally non-electrical device!  Birstall Branch survives the merger with Barclays, and just makes it into the twenty-first century before closing its doors for the last time in April 2000.

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Index Number and District:






Martins Bank  Limited 11-48-00 Birstall                                           

Sub to 11-48-00 Batley

12 Market Place Birstall Yorkshire

708 Manchester

Mon to Fri 1000-1400

Saturday 0930-1100

Batley 2365

Nightsafe Installed

Mr E H Bennett Manager (Batley)

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Birkdale (Southport)

By 1881

15 July 1902

3 January 1928

15 December 1969

7 April 2000

Opened by the West Riding Union Bank

The Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank

Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-05-13 Batley


Birtley (County Durham)


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