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Times change, but on the outside, Kendal stays the same…

Kendal is regarded as the senior Branch in Martins’ Northern District, and by the 1960s it sustains five sub-Branches in and around the town, as well as a regional centre for Martins Bank Trust Company who have both a Trustee Office, and a Tax Office here. The combined business provides employment for more than 100 local people.

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Kendal is a busy market town which supports many industries including the making of snuff and the famous Kendal Mint Cake.

It is also home to K Shoes and Provincial Insurance, both of whom are major employers in the area. Kendal is also gateway to the Lake District, and is populated by tourists for much of the year.  Until the M6 motorway can be extended past the town, (which should happen in about 1970) the A6 is a heavily used route for every kind of vehicle.  Consequently, patience is a virtue in great demand both of drivers and pedestrians in the centre of Kendal.  Martins Bank’s Branch is the Head Office of Wakefield Crewdson’s Kendal Bank, and although in the twenty-first century a cash machine will sit at the bottom of the second ground floor window, in the 1960s the unspoilt exterior of Kendal Branch is captured in its full glory by the photo above.

In Service: 1 January 1788 and still open today as Barclays

The Bank of Liverpool and Martins Kendal – sometime between 1918 and 1928

With thanks to JUMP INTO KENDAL and Jon Robinson

Kendal 2.jpg

Image © Barclays Ref 0030-1458


To read more about the long history of Kendal Branch - which dates back to the year 1788 - see also KENDAL – A HISTORY LESSON… 



Cash in the ashpit…

We begin our look at Kendal Branch with a mystery from 1936 that has it all – the Branch, an overnight rail journey, and the matter of a missing £500 in silver bullion – a small fortune back then. 

The circumstances are suspicious, and the Chief Constable of Kendal is tight-lipped when it comes to theories about how the money first disappeared.  This article from the Western Daily Press  of 28 October 1936, takes up the story…



Box Missed from Bank Consignment


A box containing about £500 worth of bullion in silver was found by Kendal, Westmorland, borough police yesterday in an ash pit at Kendal Railway Station after a search which had lasted all night.


The box was part of a consignment of £10,000 which left Martins Bank Kendal for the Bank of England.  When the Load was checked at Carnforth, 15 miles away, one case was missing.


When this was reported, all available police were called out and the bullion was found under some sacking. The Chief Constable of Kendal declined yesterday to make a statement in view of inquiries which were being made over an extensive field.

It was learned last night that the absence of the box was discovered by the operation of the blue arrow system in which valuable consignments are “wired” from station to station, an inspection being made at each and the load carefully checked}.

Image © Northcliffe Media Limited: Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD - Image reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive

From an earlier age to a brand new look…

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Major refurbishment of Kendal Branch takes place in 1962, and brings a stylish minimalist banking hall, with a comfy sofa, individually lit customer writing desks, and zebra crossing style vinyl floor covering:

1959 Interior before modernisation BGA.jpg

1963 Kendal Interior 1 BGA.jpg

Showing her age – Kendal in 1959…

…re-born in 1962

View from the glass customer entrance

1963 Kendal Interior Colour BGA.jpg

1963 Kendal Interior Colour BGA.jpg

1963 Kendal Interior Colour BGA.jpg

The new banking hall in colour

Customer Writing Desks

The Left-Hand Counter

Images © Barclays Ref 0030-1458


In 1963, Martins Bank Magazine pays Kendal Branch a visit, to see how things are going after such an amazing transformation. They also feature staff from the Branch in further articles in 1954 and 1968.  Across these varied  stories, we shall find well ordered notice boards, champion rose growers, a member of Air Training Corps, and endless numbers of staff, all of whom are summed up as ‘a good lot’…

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1963 03 MBM.jpghowever one looks at Kendal Branch it is not easy to appreciate that a lot of history is tucked away behind the new teak veneer panels, the white Italian granite and the vinyl tiled floors covering the spacious offices and rooms. The gilded 'Kendal Bank' on the exterior might, however, give one a clue.  When Wakefield, Crewdson & Company were taken over by the Bank of Liverpool in 1893, their Head Office, 'The Kendal Bank', was on the site of the present Kendal Branch and, additionally, their business comprised seven full Branches and fourteen sub Branches in West­morland, Furness and south-west Cumberland. Although Kendal is now yet another of our Bank's Branches it is rightly regarded still as the senior Branch in the Northern District and there are those of an older generation who, even now, refer to it as 'Wakefield's Bank'.

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Mr Charles Clark, our Manager, sits at a highly polished desk without drawers and manages to run his business efficiently, although one may suspect that somebody gets terribly tired bringing things to him. Nevertheless, the days of the sloping desks, bulky furniture, dark rooms and stairs have gone for ever. The transformation took two years to accomplish and those who worked through it must now feel that it was worth while. Any who have had experience of Branch alterations 'with business as usual' will feel greater sympathy than those who have only heard about these things.  Walking round the Branch we thought it would have been a pleasing gesture if, in designing the new office, a place had been found to show in a panel the design of an oat sheaf surrounded by a rake, scythe and sickle sur­mounting an inverted cornucopia from which fall the various fruits of the earth—a design which appeared on Wakefield, Crewdson & Company's cheques and which was as well known throughout the north as the heifer was in the Craven District, or the grasshopper in the south.

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Kendal Machine Room

Left to right: D. Clark (standing), R. H. Airey, Mrs M. Sisson,

Miss J. Mitchell, Miss A. P. Birkett, N. J. Wileman,

Miss M. Johnstone, Miss J. M. Wilson, Miss A. E. Dixon,

Miss L. A. Power

Kendal Staff →

Back Row (left to right): Mr F. Smith (Pro Manager), Mr J. S. Pearson (Accountant), Mr W. H. Mashiter (Arnside Sub),

Mr T. E. Wood (Milnthorpe Sub), Miss C. Parke, Miss A. M. Lanyon,

Miss J. Hine, R. Thornton, K. A. Chapelhow (Relief Staff), J. H. Thompson

Front Row: Mrs M. Stainton, Miss N. J. Hewertson,

M. I, Colquhoun, D. V. Davies

We have so few big offices outside the industrial areas that it is always pleasant to call at Kendal and find the business efficiency and urgency of a large town Branch leavened by the cheerful, friendly air of country banking at its best.

The Branch to-day has a predominantly young staff and it is to the credit of Mr Clark and Mr Youdell  that it is a very happy office.  Many of the staff are the sons and daughters of farmers or have close farming connections and it is hard to find anybody who is not interested in something outside their banking lives—golf, singing, fell-walking, tennis, farming, rugby, local societies, roses, cricket, youth clubs, music, football, church activities, motoring.

What of television or the cinema? 'Well, sometimes, but there's plenty else to do', they say. They do not go in for superlatives at Kendal and they don't expect others to do so. They are a good lot.

Kendal Staff

On left: Mr E. A, Youdell (Assistant Manager)

and Mr C. Clark (Manager) with N. Chamley,

R. F. Stoker, T. B. Whitehead,

Miss J. M. Benson and Mrs J.Troughton


Kendal Staff

On right: Mr G. S. Simpson-Clark with (left to right)

C.Law, Mrs M. M. Parkes, J. D. H. Beck,

Miss G. D. MacBryde,M. A. Watson,

P. F. Homer, Miss O. M. Iredell,

M. E. Bowman and A. G. Wilson



He’s a gentleman, to the corps

1954 Mr R G Plint Accountant awarded commemorative ATC plaque MBM-Wi54P17.jpg


1954 04 MBM.jpgMr. R. G. Plint, Accountant at Kendal Branch, was recently pre­sented with a commemorative plaque bearing the A.T.C. coat-of-arms from the officers, cadets and committee of the 1127 (Kendal) Squadron Air Training Corps, of which he has been commanding officer, with the rank of Flight Lieutenant, for the past eight years. Mr. Plint has now retired from his command. Behind Mr. Plint is Mr. G. S. Simpson-Clark, also of Kendal Branch, an instructor to the squad­ron, and on his left, Mr. J. W. Bargh, Manager of Kendal Branch, who is Chairman of the Committee.Sep 1.jpg

First Class Organisation…

“Things are obviously well organised at Kendal, which is just as well

as the Branch is one of the largest outside the major industrial areas!”


1940 – reassuringly and old-fashioned

1963 – this is how the future will look…

Images © Martins Bank Archive Collections

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Technical advances in British Banking mean that Kendal’s elegant cheques from the 1940s have to be given a make-over for the computerisation that the 1960s will bring.  Still, at least at Martins you’ll always be a name, not a number…

Finest Bloom At Lakeland Rose Show…

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1968 03.jpgA Norman Hartnell exhibited at the Lakeland Rose Show in July by Alan Robinson (Kendal Branch) earned the description ‘the finest bloom I have ever seen’ from one of the judges, writing a week later in Garden News.  Twenty-one-year-old Mr Robin­son achieved outstanding success, winning the plaque for the best rose bloom, the rose bowl for the best exhibit in the rose classes, and the silver trophy for the best exhibit in ten specified classes.

His colleague at Kendal Branch and a close neighbour, Alan Noble, won the class for the best single rose from growers with less than 50 trees.  Both owe their enthusiasm for roses to another Martins man, Mr Philip Horner, who retired from Kendal Branch a few years ago. Mr Horner and Mr Robinson have been to the home of the Bank’s Chairman in order to initiate Sir Cuthbert and Lady Clegg into the art of budding roses.

The rose experts: In his garden Mr Alan Robinson (right) examines the blooms with, from the left,

Mr Philip Horner, Mr Alan Noble and his father, Mr Jack Robinson.


Photo: © 1968 Westmorland Gazette displayed here as supplied to Martins Bank Magazine





22 Highgate

1946 District Bank Logo from Cheque - MBAx1


70 Stricklandgate

Auction Mart Sandylands Road


11 Finkle Street

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9 Highgate

Trust Company

Auction Mart


64 Highgate

Auction Mart Sandylands Road



Finkle Street

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6 Market Place


7 Stricklandgate



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1903 Mr T E Askew joined the bank here MBM-Su48P44.jpg

1917 Mr E W Wilkinson joined the bank here MBM-Sp61P50.jpg

1918 Mr J E Leake joined the bank here MBM-Sp63P54.jpg

1918 to 1938 Mr I W Elliot MBM-Wi53P54.jpg

1919 to 1926 Mr A A Rushforth MBM-Wi57P46.jpg

1920 Mr L N Cross joined the bank here MBM-Sp65P51


Mr T E Askew

Joined the bank here


Mr E W Wilkinson

Joined the bank here


Mr J E Leake

Joined the Bank Here


MR I W Elliot

On the staff

1918 to 1938

Mr A A Rushforth

On the staff

1919 to 1926

Mr L N Cross

Joined the Bank Here


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1921 joined bank then 1928 to 1949 Mr H Sharp MBM-Au64P57

1928 to 1935 Mr J Bainbridge Pro Manager MBM-Au46P24.jpg

1930 to 1932 approx  Mr T E Sarginson MBM-Sp65P53

1933 to 1936 Mr B E Jones Sub Manager MBM-Au47P18.jpg

1934 Mr E Newhouse MBM-Su62P31.jpg

1936 to 1964 Mr F Smith (Pro Manager from 1961) MBM-Wi64P57.jpg

Mr H Sharp

Joined here 1921 also

here 1928 to 1949

Mr J Bainbridge

Pro Manager

1928 to 1935

Mr T E Sarginson

On the Staff

1930 to 1932

Mr B E Jones

Sub Manager

1933 to 1936

Mr E Newhouse

On the staff


Mr F Smith

1936 to 1964

(Pro Manager from 1961)

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1939 to 1958 Mr J W Bargh Manager MBM-Su58P57.jpg

1940 to 1959 Mr R G (Dick) Plint Accountant MBM-Sp59P52.jpg

1941 to 1943 Mr J R K Dean MBM-Su65P03.jpg

1943 to 1946 and 1960 to 1964 Mr N Chamley joined the bank here  MBM-Sp64P08.jpg

1945 to 1947 Mr F J Carradus MBM-Sp66P04

1946 to 1957 Mr J R Pickthall Assistant Manager MBM-Sp57P49.jpg


Mr J W Bargh


1938 to 1958

Mr R G Plint


1940 to 1959

Mr J R K Dean

On the staff

1941 to 1943

Mr N Chamley

1943 to 1946 and

1960 to 1964

Mr F J Carradus

On the Staff

1945 to 1947

Mr J R Pickthall

Assistant Manager

1946 to 1957

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1946 to 1958 Mr T T Warriner Chief Cashier and Pro Manager MBM-Wi58P49.jpg

1951 to 1953 Mr R Jopson MBM-Su69P14.jpg

1953 to 1960 Mr J R Hullock MBM-Su64P05

1957 to 1964 Mr R Thornton MBM-Wi67P01.jpg

1958 to 1960 Mr J N Edgar Assistant Manager MBM-Sp64P05.jpg

Mr T T Warriner

Chief Cashier/Pro Manager 1946 to 1958

Mr R Jopson

On the staff

1951 to 1953

Mr J R Hullock

On the staff

1953 to 1960

Mr B D Lewthwaite

On the staff

1954 to 1958

Mr R Thornton

On the staff

1957 to 1964

Mr J N Edgar

Assistant Manager

1958 to 1960

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1959 to 1964 Mr JS Pearson Accountant MBM-Sp64P08.jpg

1959 to 1966 Mr T B Whitehead MBM-Wi66P02.jpg

1960 to 1964 Mr EA Youdell Assistant Manager MBM-Su64P07.jpg

1960 to 1969 Mr G S Simpson-Clark Chief Cashier MBM-Au69P58.jpg

1964 Mr DJ Corlett Deputy Manager MBM-Su64P06.jpg

1964 Mr F S Pitts Accountant MBM-Sp64P05.jpg

Mr J S Pearson


1959 to 1964

Mr T B Whitehead

On the staff

1959 to 1966

Mr E A Youdell

Assistant Manager

1960 to 1964

Mr G S Simpson-Clark

Chief Cashier

1960 to 1969

Mr D J Corlett

Deputy Manager


Mr F S Pitts



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1966 Angela Lanyon Accounts MBM-Sp66P44.jpg

1968 Mr Alan Robinson MBM-Au68P43

1968 Mr C Clark Manager MBM-Su68P41.jpg

1969 JW Burnside Deputy Manager MBM-Au69P11.jpg

BW Logo

BW Logo

Angela Lanyon

Machine Room


Mr Alan Robinson

On the Staff


Mr C Clark


pictured in 1968

Mr J W Burnside

Deputy Manager




Branch Title:



Index Number and District:






Martins Bank Limited 11-05-50 Kendal

Main Branch

PO Box 25 9 Highgate Kendal Westmorland

211 Northern

Mon-Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Kendal 2112 / 2910

Night Safe Installed

Mr C Clark Manager



1 January 1788

John Wakefield & Sons and Maude Wilson & Crewdson’s Bank open on the same day

Kendal Trust Company


27 June 1893

18 December 1918

3 January 1928

15 December 1969

1 January 2018


The two amalgamate to form the Kendal Bank

The Bank of Liverpool

The Bank of Liverpool and Martins

Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-45-28 Kendal

A banking service has been continuously provided for 230 years

Still open as a branch of Barclays

Kendal Auction Mart