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Bank of Liverpool and Martins

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Finding a Branch of Martins Bank in Blackpool is just like finding an ice cream kiosk.  The Bank’s presence in the town is more or less universal, and right along the Fylde Coast, you are never far away from your local Martins Bank.   The “list” begins at Bispham in the north, then comes the branch at Blackpool North Shore.  In the centre of Blackpool itself is the main branch at 22 Clifton Street, and until 1937 there is also a branch at 30 Corporation Street. 

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Branch Images © Barclays Ref 30-284

Whitegate Drive is the third Blackpool central branch.  Next comes South shore, and finally Lytham Road, giving Martins Bank a comprehensive coverage of the area.  Not all of these branches are lucky enough to survive the merger with Barclays, and today only Whitegate Drive flies the flag for Martins.  North Shore and South Shore even close their doors early, in June 1969. 

The Standards are set…

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1937 Blackpool Clifton street Exterior Carved Date - BGA Ref 30-0284The date is “set in stone” to provide a permanent record of the establishment of this branch for all to see.  In 1923, the building No 22 Clifton Street is a major undertaking, and we are grateful to friend of the Archive Pauline Lai, and to the Blackpool Gazette and Herald for the following article published 31 May 1923, featuring the building work about to take place in Clifton Street that will produce Martins’ main Blackpool branch. 

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Bank article 1923 photoA handsome Architectural Acquisition

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Of late years, Clifton Street, Blackpool, has undergone a remarkable transformation in appearance.  Today, it is one of the town’s busiest shopping centres.  Further important changes are now in progress.  A valuable site has been acquired by the Bank of Liverpool and Martins Ltd., on which a handsome and commodious bank, of which we give an illustration, is being erected to the designs of Mr Walter Wade Lic. R.I.B.A., architect of St Annes, the contractors being Messrs J Parkinson and Sons, Ltd., Blackpool.  The site is Nos 10 and 12, Clifton Street, Blackpool, where stands at present a company house and a shop, both of which are being entirely cleared away.  The front, in the classic style, is in Nelson Stone and consists of a heavy rusticated base, carrying four Corinthian columns supporting the pediment, in which the Bank coat-of-arms is carved.  The entrance door is cased in solid bronze, as also are the windows to the front. The whole of the ground floor will be occupied by the Bank proper, the first and second floors consisting of suites of offices. The interior of the Bank is carried out in Marble and fibrous plaster, the style of architecture being in the Doric order.  the fittings, panelling etc., will be in mahogany. The building is fireproof, and is equipped with every modern convenience, centrally heated, well ventilated, and will undoubtedly prove one of the finest-equipped buildings for its purpose in Blackpool.


Main image and text © Blackpool Gazette and Herald 1923

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image005News spreads far and wide in the 1930s, this story of an attempted raid at Blackpool Branch being no exception.  A disabled man is alleged to have demanded with menaces, £5 to be handed to him over the counter at Clifton Street Branch.  For clarity, we have reproduced the original wording alongside the following clipping from the Gloucestershire Echo which comes to us courtesy of our friends at the British Newspaper Archive..

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Deaf and Dumb Man’s

Alleged Demand


William thwaite, aged 20, described as a deaf and dumb man, of Squire Street, Edgehill, Liverpool, was before the magistrates at Blackpool today on a charge alleging that he, knowing themeaning of certain writing on paper, demanded of Percy Middlehurst with menaces and without reasonable or proper cause the sum of £5 at Martins Bank, Blackpool, yesterday. Chief Constable Derham asked that the man should be remanded in custody so that his mental state could be ascertained. It appeared that about 10.15 yesterday, thwaite entered Martins Bank and presented a piece of paper on which he asked for a loan of £5. When it was refused by the bank clerk, Thwaite drew a knife from his pocket.  The remand was granted.  Considerable interest was taken in the hearing. The court being crowded with holiday-makers}.

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Gloucestershire Echo 11 August 1933


Image © Northcliffe Media Limited Image created courtesy of


Image reproduced with kind permission of

The British Newspaper Archive


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In 1949 Clifton Street receives a visit from Martins Bank Magazine. The Bank employs so many staff at that time, that they have to be photographed in TWO separate groups outside the branch - the girls, and the boys, most of whom work at the various Blackpool sub-Branches…

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The sub-Branch clerks pose outside Clifton Street with some dignitaries seated along the front row:


From left to right –


Mr T A Johnston (Liverpool District Manager)

Mrs Johnston

Mr W A D Eastham (Branch Manager)

Mr T Cowpe (Manchester Asst Dist Manager)

Mr C W Aked (Clerk in Charge of Bispham)


Image: © Martins Bank Archive Collection

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1949 04 MBM.jpgWe went to Blackpool, chosen by Mr. Tarn to be the first branch in the Manchester district to feature in this series of articles.  Our eyes brightened hopefully at the thought of seeing the lights and we began to feel that Mr. Tarn was a most human and understanding man to have picked out Blackpool for a September visit. But our hopes were soon dashed, before we even started out. “There'll be no lights for thee, lad. Do you know how long it took last Sunday to crawl along the front in a car? Four hours!” Then, as an afterthought, our driver  Mr Cowpe added: - “Anyway, I can see them from Southport.”  As I live in Woolton, on an unadopted road which, until recently, hadn't even a gas lamp, I thought this was a bit selfish. However, it was his car so I had to lump it. The morning was overcast with a thick mist hiding the sea and a distinct end-of-the-season feeling was in the air as we drove along the Promenade and watched the diminished crowds idly strolling along. The crowd considerably increased in num­bers as we got to the Tower and when we entered our branch in Clifton Street there was no sign of any slackening-off of business there. 

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The (mainly) female staff of 22 Clifton Street also posing outside the branch Without counting Mr Eastham twice (as he was keen to take centre stage in both of the photographs!), the Blackpool staff of 1949 numbers about thirty. In the twenty-first century it would be hard to find a large town bank branch with more than about ten staff.


Image: Martins Bank Archive

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In fact, as we sat talking to Mr. Eastham, Manager since 1945 after fourteen years as sub Manager, we were frankly amazed at the volume of work handled by our branch. Unfortunately interesting though it would be to our readers we have no room to comment on the business of a branch.

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Suffice it to say that the index finger of every member of the staff is probably nimbler than that of anyone at nearly every other branch in the service. One thing we can say which is probably unique in our service - it is necessary to maintain a sizeable staff working behind closed doors on a Bank Holiday, both to provide service to certain customers and also in sheer self-defence, so great is the daily volume of work to be handled.

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Another peculiarity of the branch lies in the number of people on the staff who have been sent there for health reasons.  Well, the air of Blackpool may be just what the doctor ordered, but working at the branch is no rest cure.  Mr. Eastham himself has recently completed 43 years' service in the Bank and is game for a little longer. He is an old Lancashire and Yorkshire man with previous service at Preston (21 years) and St. Ann's Square.

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This voucher is as issued to a customer of Blackpool branch in February1963 as part of a special capital distribution to shareholders celebrating the four-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Bank. It is also an early example of the production of such vouchers by a computer at a time when the complexities of pounds shillings and pence has to be mastered by the fledgling new technology.


Image © Martins Bank Archive

From money lender to gin joint – 22 Clifton Street has seen it all in its almost one hundred year history! Thanks to Kate Snowden for the contemporary photograph, which was taken in October 2018 …

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Image © Barclays Ref 0030-284

Image © Martins Bank Archive Collection – Kate Snowden 2018

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Please note that it has not been possible to ascertain which staff worked either only at 30 Corporation Street or only at 22 Clifton Street.

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1923 Mr F Barton joined the bank here MBM-Au66P54.jpg

1923 Mr T England joined the bank here MBM-Au68P54.jpg

1928 to 1930 Mr R B Tillotson Sub Manager MBM-Wi54P50.jpg

1929 to 1932 Mr S B Evans MBM-Wi63P05.jpg

1939 to 1940 Mr K E Tomlinson MBM-Sp65P05.jpg

1940 to 1942 Mr G C Jackson MBM-Wi63P08.jpg

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Mr F Barton

Joined the Bank Here


Mr T England

Joined the Bank Here


Mr R B Tillotson

Sub Manager

1928 to 1930

Mr S B Evans

On the Staff

1929 to 1932

Mr K E Tomlinson

On the staff

1939 to 1940

Mr G C Jackson

On the Staff

1940 to 1942

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1945 to 1953 Mr E Barlow Accountant MBM-Su53P51.jpg

1946 to 1955 Mr A B Briggs MBM-Au68P14.jpg

1947 to 1948 Mr E Pearce joined the bank here MBM-Sp64P08.jpg

1947 to 1949 Mr E K Bentley MBM-Sp67P05.jpg

1949 to 1960 Mr A M Ellis MBM-Sp65P08.jpg

1950 to 1952 Mr R Williamson MBM-Sp65P05.jpg

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Mr E Barlow


1945 to 1953

Mr A B Briggs

On the Staff

1946 to 1955

Mr E Pearce

Joined the Bank Here

1948 to 1948

Mr E K Bentley

On the Staff

1947 to 1949

Mr A M Ellis

On the Staff

1949 to 1960

Mr R Williamson

On the Staff

1950 to 1952

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1951 Mr W A D Eastham Manager MBM-Sp51P24.jpg

1951 to 1957 Mr R C Sharples Manager MBM-Wi57P47.jpg

1951 to 1960 sub manager then 1968 Mr CH Jones Manager MBM-Sp68P06.jpg

1952 to 1953 Mr M P M Brown MBM-Au66P05.jpg

1952 to 1959 Mr K E Stansfield MBM-AU66P05.jpg

1953 to 1958 Mr N Sorton Accountant MBM-Wi68P54.jpg

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Mr W A D Eastham


? until 1951

Mr R C Sharples


1951 to 1957

Mr C H Jones

Sub Manager 1951 to 1960

Manager 1968 onwards

Mr M P M Brown

On the Staff

1952 to 1953

Mr K E Stansfield

On the Staff

1952 to 1959

Mr N Sorton


1953 to 1958

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1955 to 1958 Mr G Hughes joined the bank here MBM-Su69P14.jpg

1963 to 1968 Mr H Scruton First Cashier MBM-Wi68P56.jpg

1965 Miss S Gebhard Cashier MBM-Sp65P40.jpg

BW Logo

BW Logo

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Mr G Hughes

Joined the Bank Here

1955 to 1958

Mr E Pickup


1957 to 1968

Mr H Scruton

First Cashier

1963 to 1968

Miss S Gebhard





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Blackpool has a staggeringly high total of FIFTY-SEVEN Branch Banks in 1967/8!

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Five Branches

1946 District Bank Logo from Cheque - MBAx1


Eleven Branches

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Three Branches

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Five Branches


Eighteen Branches

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Two Branches


Two Branches

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Six Branches


Four Branches

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Index Number and District:






Martins Bank Limited 11-85-02 Blackpool

Main Branch

22 Clifton Street Blackpool Lancashire

711 Manchester

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Blackpool 23556/7

Nightsafe Installed

C H Jones Manager

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11-85-02 BISPHAM



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Monday 6 October 1924

3 January 1928

15 December 1969

12 November 1982


Opened by the Bank of Liverpool and Martins

Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-10-09 Blackpool Clifton St


Hogarths Gin Palace

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