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Bank of Liverpool

The Furness Peninsula is almost saturated with the Branches of the Banks that came together to make Martins – notably Messrs Grice and Company of Bootle, Messrs Petty and Postlethwaite of Ulverston, and Messrs Wakefield Crewdson’s Kendal Bank.  The Kendal Bank has amalgamated with the Bank of Liverpool barely six months before a sub-Branch at Kirkby in Furness is opened in December 1893. The sub-Branch is originally known as Kirkby Ireleth, and along with nearby Askam in Furness and Dalton in Furness acts as a satellite office to Barrow in Furness Branch. In 1956 an early cull of some of Martins’ tiniest Branches results in the closure of both Kirkby and Askam in Furness. We were delighted when Brian Brown contacted us with not one, but TWO photographs of this sub branch – considering it only opened for two hours a week and was closed in 1956 this is an amazing find.  The extract below is from Kelly’s 1924 directory of Lancashire and shows Kirkby in Furness opening only for two hours on the first Wednesday of the month.  Although the Bank’s signage is placed above and next to the front door, this will have been a private house with a room rented for the limited hours of banking service available here. 


In Service: 12 December 1893 until 1956


Image (1941) © Martins Bank Archive Collections – Brian BrownSep 1.jpg


Image (1941) © Martins Bank Archive Collections – Brian Brown

It is also likely to have been operated in its early days as an agency, not a Branch.  The toddler in the image above is Brian’s dad, Fred Brown. He was born in 1939. The family all lived in the one small house, which was also a bank. All of the people in the second photo are members of Brian’s family. The young man in uniform on the left is Ben Wilson, his nana's younger brother, the lady is Ellen Wilson.

Ben went off to the Far East to fight eventually. In the middle is Fred Wilson, Brian’s great granddad. He fought in the Great War and was in the Home Guard in WWII, and Brian remembers going to this house to visit his nana and great grandparents. He told us that as his mother remembers things, it was Mrs Wilson who looked after the sub Branch, and that Fred Wilson was the village cobbler. She recalls that Ellen used to sit a table with a ledger, doing the books. We are still on the look out for the remaining Furness Peninsula branches for which no images have to date been found – Askam, Lindal and Cark in Cartmel. If you can help with images or memories of these Branches, or indeed of ANY of the Bank’s 1000+ offices, please do get in touch with us at the usual address: .

We are also really grateful for the help of the KIRKBY IN FURNESS IN OLD AND NEW PHOTOS Facebook® Group, who swung into action to help us identify which of the almost identical houses on Herschell Terrace was actually our Bank, and for delving into census records on our behalf to sort out just who lived where, and just who worked as what! The Home Guard connection reminded us too of our Bank’s connection with WALMINGTON ON SEA. 

Stamp of office…

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Brian Brown also discovered amongst his father’s papers, a further piece of evidence of the existence of Kirkby in Furness Sub Branch. This piece of blotting paper bares many impressions of the Bank’s official crossing stamp. Each day the stamp had to be changed to the correct date using a selection of rubber letters and numbers which were applied with tweezers to the main body of the stamp as in the “training branch” illustration here. 

At Staff Training Branch, budding cashiers start the day by lining up letters and numbers with a set of precision tweezers!

Another day at the office: -

10 am, Wednesday 16th March 1955

Images © Martins Bank Archive Collections and Brian Brown

It would then have been quite appropriate for the cashier to check that the date was correct by testing the stamp out on some spare paper, or blotting pad. Better to discover an error then, than to have stamped customers’ vouchers incorrectly!  A few years later bank staff everywhere welcomed the introduction of stamps which could have the date changed by twisting internal rollers showing the day, month and year in order until it showed the date you wanted. From the jumble of test stamps impressed onto the blotting paper at Kirkby in Furness, we have been able to extract and clean up an image to show how the stamp would have appeared on cheques and other banking vouchers.




Index Number and District:






11-059 Kirkby In Furness                                              

Sub to 11-059 Barrow in Furness

2 Herschell Terrace Kirkby in Furness Lancashire

209 Northern

Wednesday 1000-1200

Saturday 0900-1130

No telephone

Counter Service only

Mr H G Parker Manager (Barrow in Furness)



Dalton in Furness

12 December 1893

18 December 1918

3 January 1928


Opened by the Bank of Liverpool 

Bank of Liverpool and Martins Limited

Martins Bank Limited


Lindal in Furness