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Martins Bank 1928+

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

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Image © Barclays Ref:  0033-0302

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1965 02.jpgkeynsham, 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.

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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.




But 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.

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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.

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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 machines.

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.

1965 Mr RS King Manager MBM-Sp65P05

1965 Miss L Williams joined the bank here MBM-Su65P12.jpg

1965 Mr A B Middleton MBM-Su65P12.jpg

1965 Miss B J Hollingworth MBM-Su65P12.jpg

1965 Mr P A Turtle MBM-Su65P12.jpg






Mr R S King


1965 onwards

Miss L Williams

Joined the Bank Here


Mr A B Middleton

Branch Second


Miss B J Hollingworth

On the Staff


Mr P A Turtle

On the staff














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Index Number and District:






11-11-50 Keynsham

Main Branch

46 High Street Keynsham Bristol BS18 1DX

195 South Western

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Keynsham 3941

Nightsafe Installed

Mr R S King Manager

Kew Bridge House

22 April 1965

15 December 1969

24 February 2021

opened by Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-46-00 Keynsham

Closed permanently at 12 Noon