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Martins Bank 1928+

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image072August 1963, and one of Martins Bank’s more curious London Branch interiors arrives on the scene, to be honoured with a colour photo in Martins Bank Magazine.  The shock of the new extends both to customer and staff areas, and we can only imagine what it is like to work in such an environment.  We are helped by further images from Barclays’ collection, and by this visit to the branch in its first few weeks by Martins Bank Magazine, who decide to start by teaching us all some “cockney”…

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1963 04

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        Elephant and Castle.jpg                 

'dannink matchaviss wevver!' Our cockney taxi-driver spoke for both of us as he ploughed relentlessly through rain and mist along Newington Causeway towards Elephant and Castle.

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1963 London Elephant and Castle exterior 2 BGA Ref 30-924

Branch Images © Barclays Ref 0030/0924

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Unusual working conditions? – The Back Office area at Elephant and Castle

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Bonfire night has a knack of being drab and damp and, as this was the morning after, the rain fell quietly, persistently, depressingly. It was a poor day for visiting a new branch. The Elephant and Castle area has changed so much as to be almost unrecognizable and, as yet, only one wide section of new pavement has been laid: this is in front of our branch. Over the remaining footwalks lay a thin coating of mud —unavoidable with so much demolition and rebuilding.

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Elephant & Castle Interior 1963 MBM-Wi63P32.jpg

The Banking Hall

“The structure and planning inside the

branch is highly original”

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The modern front of our new branch cheered us up. The office is sited in the clean new Ministry of Health building and has a nagged open space and ornamental pool behind. The structure and planning inside the branch is, as the picture shows, highly original and, after the initial surprise, it grew on us—even the six tubular lights which, if they were of differing lengths, might be a temptation, musically, to anyone. Alas, we tried one with the handle of a counter pen but found it lacking in 'ding': it merely went 'dunk' as if to remind us that this, after all, is a bank. We found, too, that our earlier depression had evaporated but whether this was due to the brightness and spaciousness of the office or the bubbling energy and enthusi­asm of Mr E. J. Bartlett, our Manager, is hard to say.He has a big task before him and no matter how many banks may open in the new develop­ment area he is going to be a formidable rival for not only is he a native of the district, as is his wife who joined us for lunch, but prior to joining our staff he worked for the Southwark Borough Council and so he knows his way around. He had very kindly obtained for us some historical data from the Council regarding the origin of the name Elephant and Castle and while there are no less than seven possibilities including a mention by Shakespeare, the finding of a supposed elephant's skeleton, and a romantic story of a refugee—the Infanta di Castello—from the Spanish Inquisition, all of them—like the tubular lights above the counter—fail to ring true. One must therefore accept the plain facts —that the junction of several main roads brought custom and renown to the age-old Elephant and Castle hostelry and that the 'elephant' with its armoured howdah, a common feature of war in the Middle Ages, was adopted by the Cutlers' Company nearby as a sign in connection with the ivory used by them in their products

Branch Images © Barclays Ref 0030/0924

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So it is all rather prosaic and utilitarian but then the Elephant and Castle is just that—functional, down-to-earth, and realistic—it has to be to survive—and Mr Bartlett seems to fit the pattern very well. He entered the service in 1951 at Hanover Square branch, moving to Ludgate Circus branch in 1955 and attending a Domestic Training Course last winter. His second-in-command, Mr E. G. Cole, entered the service in 1949 and apart from two years with the R.A.O.C. has had all his experi­ence in London District branches with a Domestic Training Course during the winter of 1960-61. The other members of the staff are Mr R. J. Allen, who joined the staff at Bruton Street branch in 1959, coming to the new office when it opened, and Miss A. M. Lamb, a cheerful young lady who has previously spent three years at Tottenham Court Road branch.  This branch opened on August 8th and is the last of the new branches to be opened and visited this year.  We did not leave it to the end deliberately but we are very glad that, on such an unpropitious day in a rather uninspiring district. we found all the enthusiasm and confidence that we have come to expect in our pioneer branches.

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1963 Mr E J Bartlett Manager MBM-Wi63P33.jpg

1963 Mr E G Cole Branch Second MBM-Wi63P33 MICx.jpg

1963 Miss A M Lamb MBM-Wi63P33 MICx.jpg

1963 Mr R J Allen MBM-Wi63P33 MICx.jpg

BW Logo

BW Logo

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Mr E J Bartlett

Manager

1963 onwards

Mr E G Cole

Branch Second

1963

Miss A M Lamb

On the Staff

1963

Mr R J Allen

On the Staff

1963

 

 

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Title:

Type:

Address:

Index Number and District:

Hours:

 

Telephone:

Services:

Manager:

11-64-30 London Elephant and Castle

Full Branch

127 Newington Causeway London SE1

484 London

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

01 407 3610 / 7488

Nightsafe Installed

Mr E J Bartlett Manager

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Automated BranchElephant and Castle is included in Martins’ London Account Number Allocation, where Branches due for automation are given “significant  digits” to identify them by account numbers issued at the London Computer Centre. Branch Customer Accounts will be identified by the significant digits 72.

1963

15 December 1969

26 March 1971

Currently

Opened by Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited

Closed

Betting Shop

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