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image078Boston Branch first opens its doors for business on Thursday 9 June 1966.  In common with all new Branches and rebuilds at this time, the opening is prominently mentioned in the local press, which in the case of Boston, is the Boston Standard.  We were saddened to hear that in the floods of early 2014, much of the Standard’s Archive was destroyed. We were then equally astounded, when a friend of Martins Bank Archive, Stephen Walker contacted us to say he has a copy of the newspaper covering the opening of Boston Branch! Things became even more curious, when we learned that Target Newspapers, of which the Boston Standard is one of the titles, occupied the same premises as the Branch until 2014!  The building at 16 Wide  Bargate was still ‘To Let’ as at early January 2015. 

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Branch Images © Barclays Ref 30-0328

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It was last used as a bank branch by Barclays from the time of the merger with Martins, until December 1992. We are grateful to the Boston Standard for allowing us to display the images on this page that relate to the opening day of the Branch.   Later, in a feature from Martins Bank Magazine, you will be able to read about the publication’s first visit to the Branch for its Autumn 1966 Edition, in which we are introduced to the Manager and his Staff.  We also learn about the special tapestry, commissioned to symbolise the sea, the Pilgrim Fathers, merchant trading, agriculture and the “Boston Stump”.  First of all, we have some coverage of the opening day itself, from the Boston Standard Newspaper…

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THE STANDARD FRIDAY 10 JUNE 1966

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Welcome for first customers at Martins new Bank.jpg

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1966 Boston Standard - Customers at Counter on Opening Day - S aWalker MBA.jpgThe sun shone and everyone was happy as Boston's newest bank opened its doors at 10 o'clock yesterday (Thursday) morning. 

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First customers at Martins Bank in Wide Bargate were Mr. Thomas Trinder, newsagent, of 28 Horncastle Road, Boston who was transferring his account from Martins at Spalding, and Miss B. Waterfall and her brother, Mr Harry Waterfall of Waterfalls (Boston) Ltd., the Wide Bargate drapers, who were transferring their business account from another Boston bank. Welcoming them was branch manager Mr. D. R. Sargeant.

1966 Boston opening announcement - as in Boston Standard.jpg

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We are sorry that the image of customers attending the new Branch on its opening day is none too clear. Although the Boston Standard lost a huge amount of its paper archives to flood damage, many still exist on microfilm, from which the image above is taken.  Now to the Autumn of 1966, and the visit to Boston of Martins Magazine….

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image0011966 03 MBM.jpgthe clean white spires of the Fenland village churches are wonderful landmarks for the motorist bowling along the flat roads of South Lincolnshire. Boston, which lies at the most westerly corner of the Wash, 17 miles to the east of Sleaford and 23 miles from Skegness, takes some time to reach and the first hint of its existence comes with the appearance on the skyline of the famous Boston 'Stump'—the mediaeval lantern tower of St Botolph's Church.  Our branch site, which adjoins the Post Office in Wide Bargate, the main through road, is a ready trap for the walk-in customer, and it is not sur­prising that the Bank has had a friendly reception. The attractive frontage is of polished granite and marble, with the coat of arms etched in silver, but the most striking feature is the hand woven tapestry frieze at the end of the banking hall.  Floodlit at night, this unique and remarkable design symbolises the sea, the Pilgrim Fathers, merchant trading, agriculture and the 'stump', in needlepoint work embroidered on canvas measuring 22 feet by 3½ feet. That, one might think, would be enough to satisfy anyone, but this branch has a quite outstanding character. The visitor who looks closely at the interior will probably feel as we did, that the architect enjoyed his work and that some person or persons in the Bank decided that as this was the work of a man who clearly loved his job, it must not be tampered with unnecessarily!

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Branch Images © Barclays Ref 30-0328

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Finally, in the following article published one week after the new Branch opens, the Boston standard lifts the lid on the specially commissioned and expensive tapestry which has been created for Martins Bank to be able to reflect local history.

 

 

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THE STANDARD FRIDAY 17 JUNE 1966

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Bank tapestry depicts aspects of Boston life

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EARLY visitors to the new Boston branch of Martins Bank, which opened in Wide Bargate last Thursday have been impressed by the tapestry freize (shown above) stretching across the end of the banking hall opposite the doors. It is be­lieved to be unique in this area.  One tapestry is 22 feet long and 3½ feet deep, and is of needlepoint work — embroidered on canvas — not woven. 

 

It was commissioned from Arthur H. Lee and Co. Ltd., tapestry makers, of Birkenhead, by the archi­tects for the whole project, Messrs. Ruddle and Wilkinson of Peterborough and Spalding.  Mr. R. Stanley, partner in charge of the architects’ Spalding branch, told the Standard: “The com­pany designed and execu­ted the tapestry in consul­tation with us. It. depicts many of the aspects of Boston's life and history — you might say it echoes the flavour of the town. 

 

Boston Interior Staff and Tapestry MBM-Au66P09.jpg

1966 Boston Interior 2 - BGA Ref 30-0328

 

Branch Images © Barclays Ref 30-0328

“The bank has used natural teak and woods which can be associated with the merchanting tra­ditions of Boston, and we feel it is rather nice to have a tapestry which re­flects this — it depicts sea and sand, shipping, ware­houses, agriculture and. of course, the Stump. They are not in the form of factual records, but rather representational”. What has it cost?  Said Mr. Stanley: “One should not be interested in money It's all a matter of relative values”.  But he said you could buy a good car for about the same money. It took about three months to make the tapes­try.  At night it can be floodlit, to be seen through the large areas of glass which form part of the bank front.

 

Our thanks go to Stephen Walker for his help with the Boston Standard articles, and to the Standard itself for allowing us permission to reproduce them.  Still proudly covering Boston and the surrounding area today, the Standard can be found at:  www.bostonstandard.co.uk

 

1966 Boston Interior 1 - BGA Ref 30-0328

,

A good place to talk money – Mr Sargeant’s new office is ready for business

Changing the face of Wide Bargate…

 

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Images © Barclays Ref 30-0328

 

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1966 Mr D R Sargeant Manager MBM-Au66P09.jpg

1966 Miss J M Mabelson MBM-Au66P09.jpg

1966 Mr J Hudson MBM-Au66P09.jpg

1966 Mr K E Berry MBM-Au66P09.jpg

BW Logo

BW Logo

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Mr D R Sargeant

Manager

1966

Miss J M Mableson

On the Staff

1966

Mr J Hudson

On the Staff

1966

Mr K E Berry

On the Staff

1966

 

 

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Title:

Type:

Address:

Index No and District:

Hours:

 

Telephone:

Services:

Manager:

11-98-00 Boston

Main Branch

16 Wide Bargate Boston Lincolnshire

576 Midland

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Boston 5316

Nightsafe Installed

Mr D R Sargeant Manager

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9 June 1966

15 December 1969

December 1992

Currently

opened by Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-11-15 Boston Wide Bargate

Closed

Property to let following relocation of Target Newsgroup

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