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Martins Bank 1928+

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Martins Bank opens a sub-Branch at The Earls Court Exhibition in September 1937, but it doesn’t stay open very long.  Just two years after this office is unveiled – and almost to the day – Britain is at war, and the Earls Court site is requisitioned for the manufacture of barrage balloons!  All thoughts of shows and exhibitions have to be put on hold, and the Branch has to close. During its short life as a sub-Branch to Kensington High Street, Earls Court Exhibition Branch provides a counter service – described as “all classes of Banking business” – which is available during exhibition opening hours.

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In Service: 20 September 1937 to June 1939

1937 SEP 18 Yorks Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Branch opened at London Earls Court Exhib - BNA

Image © Northcliffe Media Limited Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD

Image reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive



Image © Barclays 1938



(Note: The Bank places the Exhibition in S.W.5., but the G.P.O. says it is in S.W.6.!)

Image © BT 1938

The Bank’s presence at Earls Court stems from its desire to be first, and to attract the business of the movers and shakers in industry, science and technology.  The involvement of Martins Bank with trade stands, shows and exhibitions begins in 1929 when a similar branch is operated for six months at the North East Coast Exhibition.  In the 1950s and 1960s the Bank produces a number of imaginative stands showcasing its services at venues up and down the land.  As many of these are staged at Earl’s Court, it seems like the Bank never really went away from this hub for the ideas of tomorrow. You can read more about this on our TRADE STANDS page.   We can find no images of Earls Court sub-Branch, and if you have information about the exhibition site between 1937 and 1939, or images or information about any of Martins Bank’s 1000 Branch buildings, please do get in touch with us at the usual address  In later years, Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre re-opened and Martins Bank did attend a number of trade shows, with its specially constructed mini-branches…

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1962 Radio Show – Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections

1969 International Boat Show – Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections

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The small flags at the front of the Bank’s stand at the International Boat Show have been arranged to spell out “Martins go to extremes to be Helpful”, one of the last-known uses of that particular advertising strapline...




Index Number and District:





11-14 London Earls Court SW5                               

Sub to Kensington High Street

Earls Court Exhibition London SW5

401 London

Exhibition opening hours

Fulham 0606

Counter Only

London Lombard Street Office


London Curzon Street

20 September 1937

June 1939

1939 to 1969

Opened by Martins Bank Limited

Closed for the Second World War, but not re-opened

Martins Bank Stands appear regularly at Earls Court

London Edgware Road