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Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank

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Another fine example of a bank building from the days of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank stands at 12-14 Darwen Street in Blackburn.  In the twenty-first century, the site on which this Branch was built still plays host to Barclays, although one of the most hideous of 1970s replacement buildings (as you will see below) is where today’s business is transacted. 

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This is a far cry from the optimism of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank, whose illustration of their new office at Blackburn is printed in The Building News in October, 1903 (below, right). According to the L and Y Bank records for 1922, the Manager at Blackburn at that time is Mr F W Shawcross, and he is also responsible for two sub-branches to Blackburn at Copy Nook, Eanam, and New Chapel Street, Mill Hill.   In the 1960s Martins Bank runs the Eanam office as a full branch with its own management.

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There have also been two further sub branches to Blackburn, one at Cherry Tree, the other at Novas (an area of Blackburn known as Nova Scotia) both of which are closed in 1941 for the Second World War, but not re-opened.  It is good to know that whilst the traditional industries that helped to grow the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank are no longer there, business has still been good enough to keep a number of Branches in Blackburn thriving well into the twenty-first century.  Thanks to Barclays’ collection of Martins Bank Images, we can take a look inside the original Branch building:

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1922 Blackburn Branch Exterior as L & Y Bank PA

Image © Barclays Ref 0030/0274


1959 Blackburn Darwen St Interior BGA Ref 30-274.jpg

Branch Images © Barclays Ref 0030/0274


A more genteel age – an artists impression of Blackburn Branch from 1903…

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1959 Blackburn  Darwen St Interior 4 BGA Ref 30-274.jpg

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Now, in our feature articles, we look at the retirement celebrations of two members of the staff at Blackburn; although the two retirements are twelve years apart, the leaving gifts given to each of the retirees are curiously similar...

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From the Light Programme…

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1957 02 MBM.jpg1950 to 1956 Mr A Spencer Manager MBM-Su56P50.jpgAt the end of April Mr. A. Spencer, Manager at Blackburn since 1950, retired, and the occasion was marked by a gathering of colleagues on the active and retired staff to witness the presentation on behalf of the subscribers of a car radio. Mr. Spencer had obligingly parked his car at the side entrance to the Bank and turned on the set so that all might satisfy themselves that their gift was in good working order. The usual crowd gathered to see what was going on and this gave added importance to the occasion. Afterwards, Mr. Spencer entertained his staff and friends to tea in the office. Mr. Harold Blundell conveyed the good wishes of everyone and apologised for the absence of Mr. Tonge. He then recounted several humorous anecdotes of his association with Mr. Spencer and finally asked him to convey to Mrs. Spencer the good wishes of all present. The gathering included Mr. H. S. Mellor, Manchester District Inspector, and the Managers at Darwen, Queen's Park, Great Harwood, Bacup, Eanam, and representatives from Manchester City Office, District Office, Accrington and Cheetham, and two retired colleagues. Mr. Spencer entered the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank in 1912 and became Pro Manager at Elton, Bury, in 1934. He was appointed Manager at Great Harwood in 1941 and at Blackburn nine years later.

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1968 02 MBM.jpg1968 Mr H A Holme (Retiring) MBM-Su68P50.jpgsome forty colleagues, past and present, including Mr W. P. Glover, gathered in the Castle Hotel, Blackburn, on March 14 to wish Mr Holme a happy retirement. Mr Richards (Manager) welcomed Mrs Holme, her daughter and daughter-in-law, and spoke of the great affection felt for Mr Holme who was always cheerful, full of good humour and a pleasure to have in the office. His many interests as a parish councillor, church organist and school governor would keep him extremely busy in retirement. Expressing the good wishes of all, Mr Richards gave him a transistor radio and Miss Susan Williams presented Mrs Holme with a bouquet. In response, Mr Holme thanked everyone and spoke amusingly about his life in the Bank from his first branch, Shudehill, on to Eanam and finally Blackburn, where he had spent most of his extremely happy career. He concluded by thanking Mr Richards in particular and invited everyone to partake of the buffet tea which was magnificent.

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Dystopia visited upon Blackburn...

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Elsewhere within this archive, and in our DESIGNING MARTINS BANK  feature in particular, we have asked the question – WHY?  Why did they do that?  What were they thinking?  How did they get away with it? Well, the fate of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank’s lovely old building at Blackburn Darwen Street seems to have been to turn it into a kind of bulging goldfish bowl, with no redeeeming features, save possibly for a better life on the inside for the staff.  On the outside, this new incarnation is foul to say the least, yet doubtless the design is bound to have won awards somewhere along the line.  Nowadays Barclays has to its credit toned down the “tan” to a subtler stone/grey kind of look, which, we suppose, is something at least.  If you are squeamish, we suggest you look away now...

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1959 Blackburn Darwen St Exterior BGA Ref 30-274.jpg

Images © Barclays Ref 30/274

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1906 Mr A T Love joined the bank here 1950 pro manager MBM-Sp50P13.jpg

1913 Mr H M Neild joined the bank here MBM-Wi56P48.jpg

1919 Mr F Cowell joined the bank here  and Accountant from 1947 to 1950 MBM-Su63P54.jpg

1922 Mr R P Hargraves joined the bank here MBM-Su66P56.jpg

1923 to 1935 Mr R C Sharples MBM-Wi57P47.jpg

1924 Mr R Crossley joined the bank here MBM-Su68P52.jpg

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Mr A T Love

Joined here 1906

Pro Manager 1950

Mr H M Neild

Joined the Bank Here


Mr F Cowell

Joined Here 1919

Accountant 1947 to 1950

Mr R P Hargraves

Joined the Bank Here


Mr R C Sharples

On the Staff

1923 to 1935

Mr R Crossley

Joined the Bank Here


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1926 to 1937 Mr H Slater joined the bank here MBM-Wi65P05.jpg

1932 to 1933 Mr F Haslam Manager MBM-Wi52P47.jpg

1934 to 1945 Mr S A Buxton First Cashier then Pro MAnager from 1938 MBM-Wi56P49.jpg

1935 to 1947  Mr H Wilkinson Manager 1946 to 1947  MBM-Su47P27.jpg

1936 to 1969 Miss I M Scotts MBM-Su69P64.jpg

1941 to 1941 Mr W T Coupe MBM-Wi57P44.jpg

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Mr H Slater

Joined the Bank Here

1926 to 1937

Mr F Haslam


1932 to 1933

Mr S A Buxton

First Cashier

1934 to 1945

Mr H Wilkinson


1935 to 1947

Miss I M Scotts

On the Staff

1936 to 1969

Mr W T Coupe

On the Staff

1941 to 1941

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1950 to 1956 Mr A Spencer Manager MBM-Su56P50.jpg

1952 to 1957 Mr I A M Bremner Pro Managerthen Accountant from 1953 MBM-Au66P04.jpg

1956 to 1968 Mr L Richards Manager MBM-Su68P12.jpg

1960 to 1963 R S Hilton and 1969 Deputy Manager MBM-Wi62P22.jpg

1961 to 1963 Mr W F S Richmond Pro Manager MBM-Wi63P06.jpg

1963 Miss P Holt  Cashier MBM-Wi63P49.jpg

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Mr A Spencer


1950 to 1956

Mr I A Bremner

Pro Manager

1952 to 1957

Mr L Richards


1956 to 1968

Mr R S Hilton

On Staff 1960 to 1963

Deputy Manager 1969

Mr W F S Richmond

Pro Manager

1961 to 1963

Miss P Holt



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1963 to 1968 Mr P M Houldsworth Pro Manager MBM-Wi63P08.jpg

1965 Mr KO Walmsley Deputy Manager MBM-Wi65P03.jpg

1968 Mr H A Holme (Retiring) MBM-Su68P50.jpg

1968 Mr JW Twissell pro Manager MBM-Wi68P07.jpg

1968 Mr T McLeod Manager MBM-Su68P13.jpg

BW Logo

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Mr P Houldsworth

Pro Manager

1963 to 1968

Mr K O Walmsley

Deputy Manager


Mr K A Holme

Retiring Staff


Mr J W Twissell

Pro Manager


Mr T McLeod


1968 onwards


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1946 District Bank Logo from Cheque - MBAx1


King William Street




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2 Branches


Darwen St

Mill Hill


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Church Street




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Index Number and District:






Martins Bank Limited 11-81-00 Blackburn

Full Branch

12/14 Darwen St Blackburn  Lancashire

710 Manchester

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Blackburn 53876/8

Nightsafe installed

Mr T McLeod Manager

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11-47-30 EANAM

11-81-00 MILL HILL

11-093 NOVAS

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September 1903


15 December 1969


Opened by Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank

Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-09-72 Blackburn Darwen Street