Martins Bank’s Southall Branch opens in
1933, on a street corner at Broadway. This splendid image from August 1937
shows the Branch almost dwarfed by the sign for the auction and estate
offices next door!
Our research into Martins Bank’s many Branches often
leads us to our friends at the British Newspaper Archive, where we find that
many a local newspaper welcomes new branches of the bank either with a
feature combining advertising with a large spread story, or simply just a
short feature introducing the bank.
In Service: 3 July 1933
until 1963 (moved to 27/9 South Road)
Image © Martins Bank
© Trinity Mirror Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.
reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive
© Martins Bank Archive Collection
This paragraph (above, left) is
printed in the Uxbridge and West Drayton Gazette on 30 June 1933, just
three days before the new Branch at 4 Broadway Southall opens. An advertisment is also taken out by the
Bank elsewhere in the paper, and we have re-mastered this advertisement,
using the layout as agreed by the Bank.
Our main feature is the visit to Southall Branch made in 1950 by
Martins Bank Magazine in which they seem to let their guard down slightly,
over the criteria for a branch to be included between their hallowed
pages. Southall can’t boast the same
“snob value” as a visit to say Berkeley Square, so is perhaps the Magazine
drawn to the Manager’s famous etchings? Read on…
readers may sometimes wonder as to the nature of the considerations which
govern the choice of a branch for inclusion in this feature which has
aroused so much interest. In the case of our branch at Southall the primary
object of our visit was to inspect some old books which the Manager, Mr. H.
C. Mowbray, had told us about—books on the history of London which contained a lot of
interesting information about Gresham and the Grasshopper from which we are
preparing an historical article for the entertainment of our readers on
some future occasion.
Bob Mowbray is well-known in the London District where all his
service has been performed. To our readers outside the London area he was first
introduced through the medium of the charming and talented etchings which
have been reproduced in the pages of this Magazine. He is, as the subjects
of his etchings would suggest, very much attracted to the traditions and
history of the England of our forefathers and is, in quite a small way, an
eager collector of old books relating thereto. This streak in his nature is
further apparent in his sporting tastes which embrace the not-so-usual
hobby of skittles.
It is not surprising, therefore, to find that
he has made his home, after various changes caused by bombing and the
exigencies of war, in one of the loveliest parts of the Thames valley, at
Cookham, near Maidenhead. There he
has settled down in a 120-years-old house, beautifully modernised, with a
quarter of an acre of the kind of English garden the Americans rave about,
and on his doorstep is the Thames, while within an evening's run in the car
are Marlow, Taplow, Henley, Windsor,
Burnham Beeches, Stoke Poges
and many another beautiful and historic place reached by winding and lovely
lanes such as are found in few places with such continuity as in Berkshire
Martins Bank Archive Collections – Geoff Taylor
Barclays Ref 0030/2692
There, after our visit
to the branch, we were privileged to
spend a very happy evening and to meet his wife and family, motoring after
dinner to Marlow to see Isaac Walton's famous tavern “The Compleat
Angler”. Mr. Mowbray is one of the
few survivors of Cocks, Biddulph and Company, which he joined in 1917. After the amalgamation with the Bank of
Liverpool he served all over the London District, at Southampton, Holloway
Road (where he was Clerk-in-Charge), Kingsway, Lombard Street, Tothill
Street (where he again had signing authority), Richmond, District Office
and Soho Square, going to Southall in 1944. He became Clerk-in-Charge there
in 1945 and Manager last year. His second
man, S. G. C. Hall, is an Air Force type who flew with Coastal Command and
later with Transport Command, attaining the rank of Flight Lieutenant.
Having recently married he is now grounded! R. W. G. Harvey is the junior.