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The 1906 amalgamation of the Craven Bank with the Bank of Liverpool brings a selection of branches from one of the the most beautiful parts of God’s own County (that’s Yorkshire, by the way).  Whether or not those feet walked upon this green and pleasant land, we are sure that the delights of North Yorkshire are enhanced further by a string of nicely appointed Branches of Martins Bank at conveniently spaced points along the A65.  Guiseley Branch itself starts out as a fairly small affair, as this wonderful Francis Frith image (right) shows.

In Service: Pre 1906 until 12 April 2023

Image © 1955 Francis Frith Collection Reference: G122011 – under licence


Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections

The original building is sandwiched in the middle of a row of banks and shops in Oxford Road, with the Midland Bank at one end, and the Yorkshire Penny Bank at the other.  However, as we shall see below, with the 1960s re-think and redevelopment of Martins Bank’s Branch Network, change is on its way for Guiseley. This special part of Craven district will forever be home to a small yellow bear, (see IN THE LIMELIGHT) but there is much more to Guiseley than Sooty himself, as some wonderful colour images kindly provided to us by David Baxter show. You almost feel like time travel is possible as this little piece of history comes to life… Guiseley Branch is still open today (see “Then and Now” below), but even though Barclays has for a change, chosen to return to a more traditional look, we feel it will never top how the Branch looked in 1966, that famous World Cup Year…  

Guiseley is one of a number of  branches across the north of England to undergo a makeover in the early 1960s. Some are completely rebuilt, others refurbished, and some redecorated. For Guiseley, a marbled frontage, and at least twice as wide as it used to be! The Spring 1963 edition of Martins Bank Magazine provides a centre page spread of such branches, with Guiseley’s new look interior shown off in colour.  We have placed this image in the article below, which is the Magazine’s only visit to Guiseley in 1950.  Later, you can see David Baxter’s wonderful colour image of the 1960s staff, whose faces have also been separated out from the group shot and included in the staff gallery at the bottom of the page.

Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections - David Baxter 1966

1950 02 MBM.jpgOur branch at Guiseley has quite a character of its own. For one thing, every member of the staff is a native of the district; and for another, it is the only branch we have so far come across where the counter is not shut off from the office by a screen. Quite what the Inspectors do when they make their periodic raids we don't know, but we ourselves would feel inclined to relieve the pressure on space by retiring with the ledgers and an adding machine to the nearby moorland. But I expect there's a clause about that. “Bertie” himself, as he is affectionately called from Mr. Verity downwards, has been managing Guiseley since 1931, his previous service having been at Keighley, where he started in 1912, Bingley, Silsden and Keighley again. He was Mr. Verity's second man at Silsden in 1926. He is also a veteran of the First World War in which he served from 1916-1919 and is Treasurer of Guiseley Baptist Church and the Aireborough Savings Committee.

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Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections

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F. Darnbrough entered the service at Colne in 1917 and subsequently served at Ilkley and Otley before going to Guiseley in 1930, where, apart from war service from 1942 to 1945, he has been ever since.  During the war he spent part of his time with the R.A.F. in South Africa.  He is quite a prominent bridge player in the district and often wins the weekly contest.


C. Preston is a bank clerk who might have made a name for himself as a golfer. He has won a great many trophies and has a handicap of 3. His wife is a golfer, too. He came into the Bank in 1921 and has served at Bingley, Keighley, Silsden and on H.O. Relief Staff before going to Guiseley in 1948. He served with H.M. Forces during the last war for a year but was invalided out. G. Vickers entered the Bank in 1948 at Otley and was transferred to Guiseley the same year. He was about to go for his “medical” prior to military service at the time of our visit and hopes to complete his Bankers' exams while he is away.  Miss S. Crosby has only been in the Bank since May of last year but appears to enjoy all the advantages which come as a result of being the only girl on the staff. At any rate, she seemed to be very happy.

Michael McMinn, Avril Outtersides, Philip Tindall, Jane Brumfitt, Richard Gilbert Hoyle, Yvette Servino

Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections - David Baxter 1965

Shortly after midday Mr. Kershaw took us to his home for dinner, where we had the pleasure of meeting his wife and younger son.They have a very pleasant home in a beautiful situation above the town and a few minutes away there is a breath-taking moorland view. We went to see it after dinner, but it wasn't the view which took our breath away but the blast of icy wind blowing up from Otley. Still, on a nice day it would have been perfect. We enjoyed our visit very much and the warmth of our reception was ample recompense for the wintry conditions without.

… and finally, Guiseley Branch first in 1966, then in 2013, and some significant but sympathetic alterations have been made to the façade of the building in the intervening years. Customers now obtain instant cash through what used to be the front door!

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Image © Barclays Ref 0030/1142

Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections

1931 to 1956 Mr Bertie Kershaw Manager MBM-Su56P48.jpg

1939 to 1942 Mr C P Smith MBM-Su65P08.jpg

1942 Mr JR Barrett MBM-Au66P06.jpg

1946 to 1948 Mr JM Thornton MBM-Wi67P03.jpg

1956  to 1965 Mr J R Hardcastle Manager MBM-Su65P54.jpg

1956  to 1965 Mr J R Hardcastle Manager MBM-Su65P54.jpg






Mr Bertie Kershaw


1931 to 1956

Mr C P Smith

Staff Member

1939 to 1942

Mr J R Barrett

Staff Member


Mr J M Thornton

Staff Member


Mr G H Hellewell

Joined The Bank Here

1947 to 1948

Mr J R Hardcastle








1965 Mr KW Baxter Manager MBM-Su65P07.jpg






Mr J Michael McMinn

Staff Member


Miss Jane Brumfitt



Mr K W Baxter


1965 onwards

Avril Outtersides

Staff Member


Philip Tindall

Staff Member


Richard Gilbert Hoyle

Staff Member







1967 Pat Hallam Staff Member MBM-Su67P47.jpg

1968 Mr RT Dewhurst pro Manager MBM-Su68P12.jpg






Yvette Servino

Staff Member


Pat Hallam

Staff Member


Mr R T Dewhirst

Pro Manager


















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Index Number and District:

Opening Hours:





Martins Bank Limited 11-23-41 Guiseley

Main Branch

45 Oxford Road Guiseley Yorkshire

118 Craven

Mon-Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Guiseley 3951

Night Safe Installed

Mr K W Baxter Manager




Pre 1906

23 March 1906

18 December 1918

3 January 1928

15 December 1969

12 April 2023

Opened by the Craven Bank

Bank of Lvierpool

Bank of Liverpool and Martins

Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-35-41 Guiseley

Closed permanently from 12 noon

Hale (Cheshire)



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