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Preston Union Bank

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x Five years after the opening of its new Head Office at 38 Fishergate, the Preston Union Bank is taken over by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank. So begins Martins Bank’s link to this address which has continued ever since.  By the early 1960s Martins knows that the original building, by then over ninety years old, is no longer fit for the purposes of running a modern bank. What follows is radical change, requiring the move to temporary premises for two years, and an investment in the finest materials to bring a modern, almost futuristic banking experience to Fishergate.   Very few pictures of the original building remain, so we were delighted when Jill Shepherd contacted us with this lovely staff group image (below) from 1951 which includes her mother, Kathleen Pomfret (far left). Others so far identified are – Maureen Monaghan (seated front right), Lucy Hodgkinson (seated front middle), Doreen Jackson (standing far right) and Joyce Lambert (standing, fourth from right).

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Image © Martins Bank Archive Collection

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If you can help identify the other people in the image, please do get in touch with us at the usual address – gutinfo@btinternet.com. 

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In the early 1960s, the branch at Fishergate Preston is knocked down and completely rebuilt.  Martins feels that the business generated by the branch, and its location in relation to other local towns and industries is sufficient to warrant such a major upheaval and the former Head Office of the Preston Union Bank disappears into the history books. In its place, there rises what is for the mid 1960s, a state of the art modern functional bank building. Those of us who have worked in the new building either under Martins or Barclays, know well  its maze of winding internal staircases and endless rooms behind the more modern façade seen by customers.   On this page we see the sheer optimism of the times, reflected by Martins Bank Magazine, as 38 Fishergate is reborn into the swinging sixties…

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Image © 1951 Jill Shepherd

1951 Staff Group outside old branch building Jill Shepherd.jpg

 

Out with the old…

This is 38 Fishergate Branch as it was before the rebuild – unchanged since the days of the Union Bank of Preston, with oppresive dark wood and a cathedral-like interior that must have made people feel they were in the public library, and that they might be chastised for speaking!  The building might resemble an enormous safe, but looks too scary for the optimistic 1960s. At the end of 1965 Martins Bank Magazine visits the new Branch. In the article below you will see some recently discovered colour images of 38 Fishergate that make it look even more lavish and futuristic…

 

…and in with the NEW!

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1965 04 MBM.jpgthe photographs on this page show Preston branch as it is today and as it was in the 1930's when windows were first inserted to supplement the roof lighting in a building unchanged since 1869.  In 1894, as the Preston Union Bank Limited, it was absorbed by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Bank and that, briefly, is how Martins came by the site at 38 Fishergate.  Until last August the staff had spent two cramped and uncomfortable years in temporary premises at 19 Lune Street and it is not surprising that the pleasure and relief of working at last in a modern office was still being reflected three months later in sighs of joy whenever the visitor remarked on some feature of the new branch.  

 

1965 Fishergate Brand New Exterior CU BGA No Ref.jpgAn adjoining shop, deep but with a narrow frontage, has provided a machine room parallel with the main office and also an entrance hall, lift and staircase to the new Trustee Department and the tenanted accommoda­tion above.  Preston branch today is not merely impressive; it is handsome. The entrance porch is of clear glass but the windows are of hand-made tinted glass set in aluminium frames, the counter is of teak, faced with Sicilian marble, and the walls of the main banking office are of wide elm boarding with one large panel of silver grey marble. The management rooms are lined with cedar of Lebanon against a maple background and hot water coils in the ceilings warm all the office areas. Clearly the transformation has cost a lot of money and even the more humble rooms would not disgrace the London Hilton. Does the Hilton staff kitchen, for example, have built-in teak wall cupboards with magnetised catches ? It is worth remembering that the administrative headquarters of the Lancashire County Council are at Preston which, with a population of more than 110,000, is 10 miles from the next town, Blackburn, 17 miles from Blackpool, Southport and Clitheroe, 19 from Bolton, 21 from Lancaster and 30 from Liverpool.

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“An informal visit by the Mayor and Mayoress of Preston at the opening of the new premises in August was an occasion for smiles all round.”

 

Left to right: Mrs E. M. Whiteside,

Mr W. Hill (Manager)

The Mayoress, Mr E. H. Priestley

(District General Manager)

The Mayor (Alderman William Beckett)

PHOTO: LANCASHIRE EVENING POST

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Its munici­pally owned dock system this year dealt with 3,127 ships and over two million tons of cargo ranging from bananas to sulphur.

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All this together with the rich farmlands of the Fylde area and the trade and manufacturing of the town itself provides a diversification reflected in the business of our main office and its three sub branches at Friargate (the original Bank of Liverpool branch), Penwortham and Moor Park. The County Borough of Preston has understandably become something of a metropolis and it has the added distinction of being mentioned more often than most places by those who refer to a rare occurrence as something that happens 'once in a Preston Gild'. The Preston Gild dates back to 1328.

1965 Preston Interior R&A BGA No Ref.jpg

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It is held every 20 years when the Freemen of the Borough are elected together with a Gild Mayor and, while ancient privileges and ceremonies are still observed with trade, religious and other processions, old laws affecting the proper conduct of the city are still re-enacted. Owing to wars and other interruptions inevitable over a period of 600 years the next Gild is not due until 1972, but it should be quite an occasion. Our new Trustee Office, established on the second floor, is the second in the Manchester District and has an Income Tax section. Its services will cover a very wide area and there is ample room for expansion as the business increases. Here and in the banking office below, the staff are just as cheerful as they appear on the photographs. From Mr William Hill, our Preston manager, we learnt that at 38 Fishergate they worship at two shrines—happiness and efficiency—two sure ways of increasing business, and we suspect that if a glum face is to be found there it will be, as they say, 'only once in a Preston Gild'.

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Image courtesy Dorothy Weights (Nee Morrison)

1965: The Staff of 38 Fishergate Preston are shown here on the day that they move in to their newly built branch.  You can see the individual staff members in our staff gallery below.

 

Six members of the Preston Staff,

who were away when the staff photographs were taken –

 

Standing (left to right): R. A. Pope (Trustee Dept), M. Bretherton,

G. Noon

Seated: Miss S. Reeder,

E. Pearce (Pro Manager),

Miss D.Seed.

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Preston Piano Lady Pic.jpg

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1969 02 MBM.jpgFor her playing of Bach and Chopin Mrs Judith Bamber of our Preston branch won the Livesey trophy, awarded for the highest marks in the Lytham St Annes Music Festival.  Judith has been playing the piano for eleven years and practices 'much less than before I was married' but up to seven hours a week prior to entering a competition.  Earlier this year at the Crosby Festival of Music and Dancing Judith was awarded first prize in the sonata class, second in the Chopin and third in the modern.

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1923 to 1933 Mr C Whiteley joined the bank here MBM-Au51P36.jpg

1924 to 1925 Mr C S Boden MBM-Au57P56.jpg

1925 to 1928 Mr J D C Thompson joined the bank here MBM-Su64P58.jpg

1927 to 1943 Mr C Spencer Pro Manager from 1937 MBM-Su59P51.jpg

1934 to 1936 Mr P W Goostrey Sub Manager MBM-Wi59P49.jpg

1938 to 1941 Mr C E Harris Manager MBM-Au47P19.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr C Whiteley

Joined the Bank Here

1923 to 1933

Mr C S Boden

On the Staff

1924 to 1925

Mr J D C Thompson

Joined the Bank Here

1925 to 1928

Mr C Spencer

On Staff 1927-37

Pro Manager 1937-43

Mr P W Goostrey

Sub Manager

1934 to 1936

Mr C E Harris

Manager

1938 to 1941

 

 

 

 

 

 

1940 to 1941 Mr K E Tomlinson MBM-Sp65P05.jpg

1940 to 1942 Mr H Mayhall MBM-Au64P04.jpg

1941 to 1945  Mr E Barlow Accountant MBM-Su53P51.jpg

1941 to 1952 Mr L R Tomlinson Manager MBM-Wi52P48.jpg

1943 to 1957 Mr W T Coupe Pro Manager MBM-Wi57P44.jpg

1945 to 1947 Mr PJ Crankshaw joined the bank here MBM-Sp65P06.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr K E Tomlinson

On the Staff

1940 to 1941

Mr H Mayhall

On the Staff

1940 to 1942

Mr E Barlow

Accountant

1941 to 1945

Mr L R Tomlinson

Manager

1941 to 1952

Mr W T Coupe

Pro Manager

1943 to 1957

Mr P J Crankshaw

Joined the Bank Here

1945 to 1947

 

 

 

 

 

 

1951 to 1952 Mr M P M Brown joined the bank here 1969 Dep Mgr MBM-Au66P05.jpg

1951 Doreen Jackson MBA Jill Shepherd

1951 Joyce Lambert MBA Jill Shepherd

1951 Kathleen Pomfret MBA Jill Shepherd

1951 Maureen Monaghan MBA Jill Shepherd

1951 Lucy Hodgkinson MBA Jill Shepherd

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr M P M Brown

Joined Here 1951 to 1952

Deputy Manager 1969

Doreen Jackson

On the Staff

1951

Joyce Lambert

On the Staff

1951

Kathleen Pomfret

On the Staff

1951

Maureen Monaghan

On the Staff

1951

Lucy Hodgkinson

On the Staff

1951

 

 

 

 

 

 

1952 Mr F A Cowell Sub Manager MBM-Au52P50.jpg

1952 to 1963 Mr J Chadwick Manager MBM-Wi63P56.jpg

1954 to 1956 Mr J M Darlington joined the bank here MBM-Su69P14.jpg

1957 to 1960 Mr T McLeod Pro Manager MBM-Su68P13.jpg

1958 to 1960 later 1967 Mr L Ball pro Manager MBM-Au67P08.jpg

1959 to 1960 Mr HM Isherwood Sub Manager MBM-Wi64P05.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr F A Cowell

Sub Manager

1952

Mr J Chadwick

Manager

1952 to 1963

Mr J M Darlington

Joined the Bank Here

1954 to 1956

Mr T McLeod

Pro Manager

1957 to 1960

Mr L Ball

On the Staff 1958-60

Pro Manager 1967

Mr H M Isherwood

Sub Manager

1959 to 1960

 

 

 

 

 

 

1960 to 1963 Mr A M Ellis MBM-Sp65P08.jpg

1960 to 1963 Mr H Taylor Sub Manager MBM-Au63P06.jpg

1960 to 1965 Mr G Hughes MBM-Su69P14.jpg

1960 to 1965 Mr K O Walmsley Pro Manager MBM-Wi65P03.jpg

1963 to 1965 Mr A N Barratt Deputy Manager MBM-Au65P03.jpg

1963 to 1968 Mr W Hill Manager MBM-Wi63P05.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr A M Ellis

On the Staff

1960 to 1963

Mr Harry Taylor

Sub Manager

1960 to 1963

Mr G Hughes

On the Staff

1960 to 1965

Mr K O Walmsley

Pro Manager

1960 to 1965

Mr A N Barratt

Deputy Manager

1963 to 1965

Mr W Hill

Manager

1963 to 1968

 

 

 

 

 

 

1964 to 1967 Mr E Pearce pro Manager MBM-Sp64P08.jpg

1965 MR AW Wescombe Deputy Manager MBM-Au65P03.jpg

1965 Mr J Stanning pro Manager MBM-Wi65P05.jpg

1965 C G Turner Messenger Staff.jpg

1965 Miss A Golding.jpg

1965 Miss A Holden.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr E Pearce

Pro Manager

1964 to 1967

Mr A W Wescombe

Deputy Manager

1965

Mr J Stanning

Pro Manager

1965

Mr C G Turner

Messenger

1965

Miss A Golding

On the Staff

1965

Miss A Holden

On the Staff

1965

 

 

 

 

 

 

1965 Miss A Pemberton.jpg

1965 Miss A Silverwood.jpg

1965 Miss A Spensley.jpg

1965 Miss D M Morrison.jpg

1965 Miss J Holroyd.jpg

1965 Miss J K Holden.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miss A Pemberton

On the Staff

1965

Miss A Silverwood

On the Staff

1965

Miss A Spenceley

On the Staff

1965

Miss D M Morrison

On the Staff

1965

Miss J Holroyd

On the Staff

1965

Miss J K Holden

On the Staff

1965

 

 

 

 

 

 

1965 Miss J L Smithson.jpg

1965 Miss J Lang.jpg

1965 Miss M Cornforth.jpg

1965 Miss Marjorie Kinder OSP.jpg

1965 Miss P Battersby.jpg

1965 Miss P Robertson.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miss J L Smithson

On the Staff

1965

Miss J Lang

On the Staff

1965

Miss M Cornforth

On the Staff

1965

Miss Marjorie Kinder

On the Staff

1965

Miss P Battersby

On the Staff

1965

Miss P Robertson

On the Staff

1965

 

 

 

 

 

 

1965 Miss S Taylor.jpg

1965 Miss V Harwood.jpg

1965 Mr A J Shepherd.jpg

1965 Mr D L Nye.jpg

1965 Mr G W Hills.jpg

1965 Mr J M Darlington.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miss S Taylor

On the Staff

1965

Miss V Harwood

On the Staff

1965

Mr A J Shepherd

On the Staff

1965

Mr D L Nye

On the Staff

1965

Mr G W Hills

On the Staff

1965

Mr J M Darlington

On the Staff

1965

 

 

 

 

 

 

1965 Mr K Hodgson.jpg

1965 Mr P J Weights.jpg

1965 Mr P T Ferguson.jpg

1965 Mr R H Smith.jpg

1965 Mr S Collier.jpg

1965 Mr V M Roberts.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr K Hodgson

On the Staff

1965

Mr P J Weights

On the Staff

1965

Mr P T Ferguson

On the Staff

1965

Mr R H Smith

On the Staff

1965

Mr S Collier

On the Staff

1965

Mr V M Roberts

On the Staff

1965

 

 

 

 

 

 

1965 Mrs E M Whiteside.jpg

1968 L Richards Manager MBM-Su68P12.jpg

1969 Judith Bamber MBM-Su69P37.jpg

BW Logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mrs E M Whiteside

On the Staff

1965

Mr L Richards

Manager

1968 onwards

Mrs Judith Bamber

On the Staff

1969

 

 

 

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BARCLAYS BANK LIMITED –

Two Branches

DISTRICT BANK LIMITED -

Eight Branches

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LLOYDS BANK LIMITED

MARTINS BANK LIMITED –

Three Branches and Trustee Department

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MIDLAND BANK LIMITED –

Seven Branches and Trustee Department

NATIONAL PROVINCIAL BANK

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UNITED DOMINIONS TRUST

WESTMINSTER BANK LIMITED

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WILLIAMS DEACON’S BANK – Four Branches and Trustee Department

YORKSHIRE BANK LIMITED

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Title:

Type:

Address:

Index Number and District:

Hours:

 

Telephone:

Services:

Manager:

Martins Bank Limited 11-94-60 Preston Fishergate

Main Branch

38 Fishergate Preston Lancashire

769 Manchester

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Preston 52166

Nightsafe Installed

Mr L Richards Manager

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Title:

Type:

Address:

Hours:

 

Telephone:

Services:

Manager:

11-94-60 PRESTON LUNE STREET

Temporary Branch

19 Lune Street Preston Lancashire

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Preston 52166

Nightsafe Installed

Mr W Hill Manager

Sub Branches

http://www.martinsbank.co.uk/11-50-00%20Bedlington_files/image034.jpg

11-676 PRESTON CATTLE MARKET

http://www.martinsbank.co.uk/11-50-00%20Bedlington_files/image034.jpg

11-94-60 FRIARGATE & MARKET STREET

http://www.martinsbank.co.uk/11-50-00%20Bedlington_files/image034.jpg

11-94-60 MOOR PARK

http://www.martinsbank.co.uk/11-50-00%20Bedlington_files/image034.jpg

11-94-60 PENWORTHAM

1869

1874

3 January 1928

1963

1963-1965

1965

15 December 1969

Currently

Head Office of the Preston Union Bank

Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank

Martins Bank Limited

Closed and temporarily relocated to 19 Lune Street

Demolished and completely rebuilt

Reopened by Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-69-85 Preston Fishergate

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