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Martins Bank 1928+

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You can find it just off Park Lane, and looking at this lovely atmospheric image of Martins Bank’s Curzon Street Branch it seems all the more outrageous that today, this address is registered to a betting shop!  In the swinging sixties, the pirate radio station “Wonderful Radio London” had its offices nearby at No 17 Curzon Street. We had wondered how many DJs and pop stars of the day might have used the branch to cash a cheque, and then Pearl Hayes (nee Hurley) who worked at Curzon Street recalled for us a certain Kenny Everett, who would burst into the branch ready to cash his wages cheque from “Won-der-ful Ra-dio Lon-don”!

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In Service: 1935 until 26 March 1976


Image © Barclays Ref 0030-0783

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(This was of course before the advent of the UK having its own national popular music radio station). You can read elsewhere in the Online Archive, about Curzon Street Branch and its connection with “Ladies of the night” as featured in MICH’s MEMORIES, the exploits of Martins Bank employee Richard Michaud.Below we have two retirement stories for you, Mr King hangs up his suit and tie after 44 years in 1962, then in 1969 Mr Carpenter does the same after 43 years. In true “Paul Temple” fashion, each manager is bade farewell at a “cocktail party” – these were apparently de rigeur throughout the 1950s and even the swinging sixties!

Managers come and go…

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1962 02 MBM.jpg1946 to 1962 Mr G A King Manager MBM-Su62P56.jpgAt the end of April Mr. G. A. King retired after 44 years' service and at a cocktail party held at Curzon Street branch Mr. and Mrs. King welcomed over sixty friends and colleagues. Mr. D. C. Bardsley, London District General Manager, and Mr. F. C. Hardman, Assistant District Manager, were present and Mr. Bardsley expressed his thanks and those of the General Management for Mr. King's loyal and efficient service and wished him a long and happy retirement. The presentation of a cheque and book containing the signatures of the subscribers was made by Mr. Furniss, Pro Manager of the branch, who referred to the affection and esteem in which Mr. King had been held by colleagues and customers alike. He said that those colleagues who had served under him would always remember his kindly understanding and tolerance in the daily tensions and events of business life. Mr. King's secretary, Miss B. M. Roberts, then presented Mrs. King with a bouquet.

Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections – Geoff Taylor

Mr. King in his reply, paid tribute to the kindly assistance he had always received from the General Management and the District Office staff and said that he was leaving the Bank after a most interesting and happy career. He concluded by thanking the members of the staff, both past and present, for their loyal assistance during his sixteen years as Manager of the branch. We subsequently learned that Mr. King had decided to use his cheque for the purchase of a dinner service and, to remind him of all his Continental holidays, a copy Canaletto of a scene on the Grand Canal at Venice.  Mr. King entered the Bank in 1918 at Blundellsands, subsequently serving at Charing Cross, Higher Tranmere, in the Produce Department at Water Street, Ellesmere Port, on Relief, Birkenhead and in Inspection Department before his first appointment as Pro Manager at Bristol in 1938. He became Pro Manager at Fenchurch Street in 1943 and Acting Manager at Curzon Street in 1946, being appointed Manager there later the same year.

1969 01 MBM.jpgA cocktail party held at Curzon Street Branch at the end of December marked Mr Carpenter’s retirement as Manager after 43 years’ service, all spent in London District, apart from four years with H M Forces.

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Following his appointment as Pro Manager at Tothill Street in 1948 he became Manager at Garrick Street in 1935 and at Curzon Street seven years later.  A large number of colleagues past and present witnessed the presentation by Mr W E Turnbull of a cheque and a book containing the signatures of many friends.  Mr Carpenter, who was accompanied by his wife, son and daughter-in-law, enlivened his reply with anecdotes of his years in the bank.

Image © Barclays Ref 0033/0173

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A sign of the times (in its place)…

We were delighted to be able to match an item from our Archive to a photograph of it “in situ”.  We were contacted by Julia Lund, who sent this photograph of her relative Mr C K Lund (left), standing outside Martins Bank’s Curzon Street Branch with two other members of the staff who we are yet to identify.  The sign and the picture can both be traced to 1953, which is when Mr Lund moved there from London Agency Section. He completed his National Service 1950-1952, spending one year at Agency Section upon his return to the bank.

Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections - Julia Lund

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…and “The Curzon Street Society”…

This lovely and atmospheric cutting is held by the Archive, and comes from a feature article about Curzon Street published on 11 February 1950 in “The Sphere” - part of the London Illustrated News. Looking every inch the part, Curzon Street reminds us of so many of the London backdrops used in the many British “B” feature films churned out for the consumption of the 1950s cinema-goers. You can just imagine a robbery with a fast car being pursued by the police, with more than a touch of London’s grime and smog adding to the scene!  The article concerns itself with the formation of “The Curzon Street Society” by Lord Howe, and lists people from fact AND fiction who have had a connection in some way or other with Curzon Street…



Image Martins Bank Archive Collections - © London Illustrated News 11 February 1950

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1935 to 1937 Mr E Norman-Butler Manager MBM-Sp49P05.jpg

1946 to 1962 Mr G A King Manager MBM-Su62P56.jpg

1948 to 1951 Mr H A Lewe Signing Authority MBM-Su66P57.jpg

1948 to 1953 Mr P J Hore MBM-Su63P40.jpg

1951 to 1954 Mr G K Turner Pro Manager MBM-Su69P62.jpg

1952 to 1952 Mr B Mattingley joined the bank here MBM-Su65P04.jpg






Mr E Norman Butler


1935 to 1937

Mr G A King


1946 to 1962

Mr H A Lewe

Signing Authority

1948 to 1951

Mr P J Hore

On the Staff

1948 to 1953

Mr G K Turner

Pro Manager

1951 to 1954

Mr B Mattingley

Joined the Bank Here

1952 to 1952

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1955 to 1955 Mr P D Gash MBM-Sp67P06.jpg






Mr C K Lund

On the Staff

1953 to 1954

Mr P D Gash

On the Staff

1955 to 1955

Miss C A Bailey

Joined the Bank Here

1960 to 1961

Mr C J Carpenter


1962 to 1969

Mrs Pearl Hayes nee Hurley

On the Staff

1967 Onwards

Mr R Moore


1969 onwards


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Index Number and District:






11-22-30 London Curzon Street (a.k.a. Mayfair)

Full Branch

36 Curzon Street  London W1

433 London

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

01 629 2738/9

Nightsafe Installed

Mr R Moore Manager



London Cocks Biddulph (Whitehall)


15 December 1969

26 March 1976

Opened by Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-24-98 36 Curzon Street


London Earls Court SW5


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