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Martins Bank 1928+

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Martins Bank opens two Branches in Nottingham, within the space of nine years. This magnificent building at Market Street is first to open, and begins serving customers early in 1931. The second Branch at Victoria Street opens in 1940, about nine months after the outbreak of the Second World War. Our main Nottingham Market Street feature comes courtesy of our friends at The Architects’ Journal, in an article from January 1932.  This is a busy and historic time for Martins, the new Head Office building opens in Liverpool and less than one year ago, 68 Lombard Street re-opened after a complete rebuild.  Martins may have been celebrating the achievement of opening these major offices, but that year too, the people of Nottingham had something to be proud of, their own splendidly designed branch of the Bank…

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1932 Branch is completed. From Architects Journal PA


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1946 Market St Exterior MBM-Su46P21

Image © 1932 The Architects’ Journal


The site is in the centre of Nottingham and forms one corner of the large Theatre Square. The shape is a quarter-segment of a circle, and in order to overcome its difficulties, and to take every advantage of the restricted area, it was decided to introduce two ellipses to form the manager's room and the staircase approach to the upper floors.For the same reason a revolving central entrance doorway was introduced, instead of the normal entrance lobby.

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The ground floor is planned to accommodate three cashiers, with the usual public space, inquiry desk, manager's room and waiting-room. The basement floor contains book room, stationery store, oil fuel heating'appara tus and separate cloaks and lavatory accommodation for the manager and clerks. The first floor is developed as offices to let, with window lighting on the front and back elevations, and the second floor is planned as a self-contained flat for the resident caretaker. The main elevation is treated with a rough Cornish granite plinth, to over­come the sharp falls of the pavement, and above this the design consists of a typical Greek Ionic order, worked in Portland stone. The main entrance doorway and the bank windows are in bronze, and the two small carved plaques with a grey-blue background and gilt infilling represent the ancient Egyptian signs for gold and silver.

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The plaque on the parapet is carved in bas-relief with the arms of the bank, including the well-known grasshopper. Internally, the walls of the banking hall and the fittings are carried out in waxed walnut, with ebonised inlays up to the counter height, and above this the walls are finished in French stuc, with an entablature cornice of Greek detail, and with a specially large central light fitting in enriched bronze. The manager's elliptical room is panelled to door height in similar walnut, with loose walnut furniture, a pale stone-coloured Saxony carpet and brick-red leather upholstery to the seats and desk.  This room is ceiled with an elliptical dome immediately above the panelled dado, and the whole of the ceiling is floodlit from the cornice.

1932 Nottingham INTMR

A view of the Manager’s room,

which is elliptical

1932 Nottingham MINTP

A plan showing the internal layout

of the new branch


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1932 Nottingham EXTDR.jpg

1932 Nottingham CTR

Images © 1932 The Architects’ Journal


Image © Barclays Ref 0030-2147


Under new  management…

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1946 R usher.jpg Mr R Usher is the new manager of Nottingham Branch. He entered the service of the Bank in 1923, going to the Newcastle District General Manager’s Staff in 1935. He was appointed to be Manager of Market Street Nottingham branch,  on his return from service with H M Forces.



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Look through any window…

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1955 01 MBM.jpgx


This picture, (right) was taken by a photographer from the Nottingham Guardian Journal and was obtained by photographing the reflection of the scene opposite the branch in the curved window of our Market street branch in Nottingham. We must congratulate our Manager Mr Usher on the cleanliness of his branch windows!

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The view from opposite the branch

Images: © Nottingham Guardian-Journal 1955

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We are used to Martins Bank’s Branches fulfilling a whole range of uses in the twenty-first Century, but in the case of Market Street Nottingham we are simply lost for words…  Special thanks to friend of the archive Rob Hancock, who has suplied a number of contemporary images for our “then and now” features across the Online Archive.

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Image ca. 1960 © Barclays

Image © 2013 Rob Hancock

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1931 to 1937 Mr F J Lees second man MBM-Su57P48.jpg

1935 to 1940 Mr H R Stone Manager MBM-Au54P47.jpg

1940 to 1954 Mr R S Arrand joined the bank here MBM-Su64P07.jpg

1946 to 1965 Mr R Usher Manager MBM-Wi65P53.jpg

1961 to 1962 Mr CA Bamford MBM-Su66P03.jpg

1964 Mr GA Radcliffe pro Manager MBM-Su64P07.jpg

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Mr F J Lees

Branch Second

1931 to 1937

Mr H R Stone


1935 to 1940

Mr R S Arrand

Joined the Bank Here

1940 to 1954

Mr R Usher


1946 to 1965

Mr C A Bamford

On the Staff

1961 to 1962

Mr G A Radcliffe

Pro Manager


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1965 Miss JL Erikson Cashier MBM-Sp65P47.jpg

1965 Mr CB Heaton Manager MBM-Wi65P05.jpg

BW Logo

BW Logo

BW Logo

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Miss J L Erikson



Mr C B Heaton


1965 onwards








Index Number and District:






11-52-60 Nottingham

Full Branch

33 Market Street Nottingham

580 Midland

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Nottingham 44105 / 43115

Nightsafe Installed

C B Heaton Manager

2 Feb 1931

15 December 1969

11 May 1979


opened by Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-63-10 Nottingham Market Street


Public House