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We don’t have too much information to relate about Alnwick Branch, but fourteen members of the staff appear in our gallery below…

The Alnwick & County Bank was founded by Messrs. William Dickson and William Woods in May, 1858, at Alnwick, advantage having been taken of the opportunity afforded by the collapse of the Northumberland & Durham District Bank in the previous year. Mr. Dickson was a solicitor in Alnwick, Mr. Woods a banker in Newcastle. It is of interest to note that this connection is still maintained.

In Service: May 1858 until 11 January 1978 

1960 ish Alnwick Exterior Close Up BGA Ref 33-17.jpg

Image © Barclays Ref 0033-0017

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A’s and B’s in



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In the Autumn of 1965, Martins Bank Magazine does a lightning tour of the branches in Northumberland, whose names begin either with A or B.  It seems there is little more time used than that needed to photograph the staff, write a quick sentence or two, and move on…

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At Alnwick we found a branch which retains the appearance, charm and individuality of the original Alnwick and County Bank even to the coach house, the walled garden, and a bank house worthy of a country gentleman – a role befitting Mr J W Garbutt whose geniality survived unperturbed our broad hints that we wouldn’t at all mind having his job…


Alnwick adapts to change…

The Alnwick and County Bank is taken over by the North Eastern Banking Company In the Summer of 1875. The hand-written circular seen here (below) informs managers of the Bank’s Branches somewhat curtly of this latest development in their lives:

“You are doubtless aware that the Alnwick and County Bank has been amalgamated with this company.  I beg to annexe signatures of the General Manager and Officers, which please honour. I am, Sir, your most obedient servant, Hugh Rose, Secretary”…

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1975 Aug 31 NEBC Amalgamation Circular re Alnwick & County Bank.jpg

From this point, Alnwick’s cheques will bear the name of the North Eastern Banking Company as successors to the Alnwick and County Bank, until 1914 and the next amalgamation – this time with the Bank of Liverpool.

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We hold a number of Alnwick Branch cheques in the archive, and those shown below enable us to chart the way in which cheques have had to evolve in order to keep up with changes in banking practice and the technology of branch accounting.


Four Centuries of Banking Vol II  © Martins Bank Limited 1968

and Martins Bank Archive Collections



March 1926

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This bank of Liverpool and Martins Cheque bears only a serial number, and the amount is written in figures at the BOTTOM of the cheque. A watermark provides a basic security feature.


Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections

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April 1935

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Now MARTINS BANK Alnwick, the Branch has been given a NATIONAL NUMBER – 11026 – this is to assist with the sorting and payment of cheques, and is two three four or five digits in length. The watermark remains the only security feature.


Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections

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Late 50s early 60s

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Gradually evolving into the style we recognise today, the amount box moves to the right hand side of the cheque.  The letters “AL” in the top left are to assist with sorting cheques. For a time, all Branches showed the first two letters of their name on cheques. For security, the words MARTINS BANK LIMITED are printed in tiny rows across the entire face of the cheque…


Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections

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1963 Onwards

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The National Number is replaced by the SORTING CODE NUMBER - a standard six digit code.  Sophisticated security features and markings have also been added. The amount box moves up and to the right to make way for magnetic encoding to be printed by machine underneath. The cheque number appears only as magnectic ink encoding. By the end of the decade most cheques will be printed in this way.


Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections

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1911 to 1914 Mr J H Ritson joined the bank here MBM-Wi54P48.jpg

1914 to 1916 Mr D T Hall Joined the service here MBM-Au58P58.jpg

1918 Mr J W G Nelson joined the bank here MBM-Su63P53.jpg

1937 to 1939 AWS Mackay MBM-Su64P06.jpg

1938 to 1939 Mr C O Kennedy joined the bank here MBM-Wi63P05.jpg

1943 to 1959 Mr A Cummin Manager MBM-Au59P52.jpg






Mr J H Ritson

Joined the Bank Here

1911 to 1914

Mr D T Hall

Joined the Bank Here

1914 to 1916

Mr J W G Nelson

Joined the Bank Here


Mr A W S Mackay

On the Staff

1937 to 1939

Mr C O Kennedy

Joined the Bank Here

1938 to 1939

Mr A Cummin


1943 to 1959



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1946 to 1947 Mr R D Dawson MBM-Sp65P04.jpg

1965 Miss I Sisterson MBM-Au65P14.jpg

1965 Miss M P Robinson MBM-Au65P14.jpg

1965 Miss J Burn MBM-Au65P14.jpg






Mr R D Dawson

On the staff

1946 to 1947

Mr J W Garbutt


1959 onwards

Miss I Sisterson

On the Staff


Mr J Gascoigne

On the Staff


Miss M P Robinson

On the Staff


Miss J Burn

On the Staff







1965 to 1965 Mr CL Basey MBM-Au67P04.jpg






Mr C L Basey

On the Staff


Mr P R Murrie

On the Staff







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Index Number and District:






Martins Bank Limited 11-15-00 Alnwick

Full Branch

26 Bondgate Within, Alnwick Northumberland

301 North Eastern

Mon to Fri 10am to 3pm

Saturday 9am to 11.30am

Alnwick 2021

Nightsafe Installed

J W Garbutt Manager







May 1858

August 1875

7 August 1914

18 December 1918

3 January 1928

15 December 1969

11 January 1978

Alnwick and County Bank

North Eastern Banking Company

Bank of Liverpool

Bank of Liverpool and Martins

Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-01-87 Alnwick 26 Bondgate Within


Alston (Cumberland)



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