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Martins Bank 1928+

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Fairly unassuming for an area as “fashionable” as London’s Kensington, Martins Bank’s new Branch arrives with little fanfare and no frills. Kensington High Street is one of ten new branches to be opened in 1936, two of which are in London. 

A number of photographs of this branch have survived in the Barclays collection, including interiors of which we have a gallery below, along with a short feature about the exam success of a member of the Branch Staff…


In service: 1 July 1936 – 31 July 2009



Image © Barclays Ref 0030/1465

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Images © Barclays Ref 30-1465

Business as usual!

We are indebted to our friends at for this photograph of 208 Kensington High Street Branch after it fell foul of a German V series rocket bomb at lunchtime on 28 July 1944. This particular attack was the worst in the West End of London, with 44 dead and over 100 injured, many seriously. The photograph was released by the official censor, and the full name of the bank – both the signage and the front door plaque – along with the nature of business shown on the lorry on the right of the picture were redacted to prevent the details falling into the hands of the enemy. To this end, the street name board has also been covered up. After the Battle has a wealth of information, and hundreds of images (with contemporary comparisons) of places bombed during the Second World War.  Martins Bank lost seven branches, and a further 153 were damaged by enemy action. See also MARTINS AT WAR.

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Image Courtesy

Examination success…

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1954 04 MBM.jpgThe 1954 list of successful candidates in the Institute of Bankers’ Examinations is a long one, and is a satisfactory reflection of the seriousness with which our 1954 Mr D J Webber MBM-Wi54P15.jpgyoung men are applying themselves to the task of qualifying themselves for their jobs.  It is especially pleasing to be able to record successes in the Prize List once again. Dennis J Webber of Kensington High Street Branch, is the winner of the Whitehead Prize for Commercial Law in the Associate Examination, Part Two.


1965 – Introducing: Martinplanning…

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Kensington High street.jpg the trend for going to extremes to be helpful, Martins launches a new set of services in 1965, under the general summary title of “Martinplanning”.  As well as co-ordinating a number of the Bank’s travel and savings services, the scheme provides customers with a pack in which is contained all manner of leaflets designed to help with a variety of needs.  One of these, is the need to know where each of Martins’ London branches is located, and a cardboard booklet with a series of elaborate maps is provided to help you do just that.  Of the thirty or so branches in Central London, Kensington High Street is number twenty-nine, and is found almost off the edge the map!  With no recorded visits to the branch by Martins Bank Magazine, and not even any retirement party reviews for any of the staff, all we have from Kensington High Street is this short congratulatory piece for Mr D J Webber’s achievements in the Examinations of the Institue of Bankers for 1954…


All change for 1970s…

After thirty years of dark wood panelling, it is time for a change at Kensington High Street. In 1968 with the Barclays Merger well under way, the branch has what we would now term an internal “makeover”. Out with the old dark traditional feel, and in with something alittle more up to date for “Swinging London”…

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1939 to 1946 Mr R A Machell Manager MBM-Su69P60.jpg

1946 to 1948 Mr G K Turner  MBM-Su69P62.jpg

1946 to Mr DE Vaux MBM-Au65P04.jpg

1948 (to) Mr M G Pinks MBM-Wi66P02.jpg

Mr E C Shaw


1936 to 1939

Mr R A Machell


1939 to 1946

Mr G K Turner

On the Staff

1946 to 1948

Mr D E Vaux

On the Staff

1946 to 1950

Mr M G Pinks

Joined the Bank Here

1947 to 1948

Mr W F Ardley

Joined the Bank Here

1947 to 1948

1948 (to) Mr R W G Harvey Junior MBM-Wi50P34.jpg

1948 to Mr A S Potts MBM-Su67P05.jpg

1948 to Mr N A Beet MBM-Sp69P57.jpg

1951 to 1953 Mr D S Gibbens joined the bank here MBM-Su66P05.jpg

1952 to 1961 Mr A N L Broderick Manager MBM-Wi64P05.jpg

1954 Mr D J Webber MBM-Wi54P15.jpg


Mr R W G Harvey

Joined the Bank Here

1948 to 1948

Mr A S Potts

On the Staff

1948 to 1949

Mr Norman A Beet

On the Staff

1948 to 1952

Mr D S Gibbens

Joined the Bank Here

1951 to 1953

Mr A N L Broderick


1952 to 1960

Mr D J Webber

On the staff


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1954 to 1961 Mr P W Sylvester MBM-Wi64P06.jpg

1960 to 1961 Mr C C Willis joined the bank here MBM-Au67P04.jpg

1960 to 1964 Mr H K Williams Manager MBM-Su64P04.jpg

1960 to 1965 Mr N G Willis Limited Auth MBM-Su65P03.jpg

1964 to 1966 Mr A Taylor Manager MBM-Su64P03.jpg

1966 Mr D A Wright MBM-Sp69P10.jpg


Mr P W Sylvester

On the staff

1954 to 1961

Mr C C Willis

Joined the Bank Here

1960 to 1961

Mr H K Williams


1960 to 1964

Mr N G Willis

Limited Authority

1960 to 1965

Mr A Taylor


1964 to 1966

Mr D A Wright

On the Staff


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1966 Mr GV Murphy Manager MBM-Su66P03.jpg

1966 to 1967 Mr R C Baker pro Manager MBM-Su66P04.jpg

1967 Mr JA Richards pro Manager MBM-Wi67P04.jpg

coaBW Logo

BW Logo

Mr G V Murphy


1966 onwards

Mr R C Baker

Pro Manager


Mr J A Richards

Pro Manager


Mr W A Davidson

On the Staff





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Index Number and District:






Martins Bank Limited 11-08-51 London Kensington High Street

Full Branch

208 Kensington High Street London W8

437 London

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

01 937 7131/2

Nightsafe Installed

Mr G V Murphy Manager


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Kensington High Street is included in Martins’ London Account Number Allocation, where Branches due for automation are given “significant  digits” to identify them at the London Computer Centre by account numbers issued. The Branch Customer Accounts will be identified by the significant digits 62.


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London 20-23 Holborn

1 July 1936

15 December 1969

31 July 2009

Opened by Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-45-49 208 Kensington High Street

Closed and moved to 132/134 Kensington High St

London Kingsway