Keynsham opens for business on 22 April 1965,
adding another branch to the South Western portfolio of Martins Bank. Most
of the Bank’s 1960s expansion takes place in the South West of England, and
this includes the opening of larger premises for the South Western District
Office, which outgrows itself in only a small number of years. It is unusual for branches of Martins
Bank that were opened in traditional Barclays “heartlands” to have been chosen to remain open after
the merger of the two banks in 1969.
It is even rarer for one of them to have still been open for
business as late as 2021.
Keynsham was obviously fortunate enough to have been in
the right place to attract custom throughout its almost
fifty-six years of service. Martins’ Branches at Keynsham and Poole open
within a few weeks of each other, and the article below is taken from a
feature in Martins Bank Magazine which trumpets the arrival of both
Branches, and compares them to a game of “Happy Families”…
In service: 22 April 1965 – 24 February 2021
Barclays Ref: 0033-0302
keynsham, lying mid-way between Bristol
and Bath on the A4 to London, has been rattled out of its somnolence by
20th century transport. Its main
street—a traffic bottleneck containing a mixture of old shops and
inns, Woolworths, supermarkets and banks—is rarely quiet, though the church
at the top of the hill on the road from Bristol preserves the peaceful
dignity of an earlier age and reminds one that a Peter de Keynesham was
Mayor of Bristol in 1244. Otherwise Keynsham
strikes one as an oversized village and, though light industries have
sprung up and there is, of course, Fry's factory at nearby Somervell, the
area is mainly a rapidly expanding but attractive dormitory for the
commuters of Bristol and Bath.
Very soon a new road will by-pass Keynsham and shoppers will
be able to shop in comparative peace; today they wait hopefully at
pedestrian crossings for a gap in the traffic. Our new branch opened at 46 High Street on April 22nd
and the newness was still wearing off when we called a week later. Only
those who have had to cope can appreciate the nuisance value of minor
premises problems involving such comparatively simple things as a letter
box, a light fitting or a bumpy floor.
very little remains to be done at Keynsham branch to bring it to the
standard expected of new or modernised branches. The layout is simple but
effective and the staff are effective and anything but simple. We note Mr R. S. King's wide experience since joining the Bank
at Cocks Biddulph in 1929, and we share his pleasure that in an age of
younger managers he has achieved in his fifties management of a new branch.
With him is Mr A. B. Middleton whose comparatively short career
in the Bristol area has covered relief work and a spell in District Office
as general factotum - an experience which any young man would welcome. Three bright youngsters complete the staff - Mr P. A. Turtle who with Miss B. J.
Hollingworth spent the previous six months at Bath branch, and Miss L.
Williams who entered the service when the new branch opened.
For our “Then and Now” feature, Keynsham Branch
celebrated its milestone birthday on 22 April 2015. Whilst it may seem as
if not much has changed in the fifty years between these two images, the
differences are many, and mostly on the INSIDE of the building. Sadly,
there are currently no interior images of Keynsham available from the
Barclays Collection of Martins’ Branch Photographs, but we can easily work
out that technology has played the largest part in the running of this
Branch down the years. In 1965 the
Branch looks new and sleek and modern, yet the “technology” within would
have been represented by the telephone, and a few manual calculating
By 1971 a computer terminal was added, and between then and
the 2010s there will have been a plethora of computers and devices,
bringing with them today’s instant banking services, as Barclays’ systems
were expanded and refined to handle more and more of the tasks that were
once the preserve of individual staff.