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Halifax Commercial Bank

The fifty-seventh annual report of the Halifax Commercial Banking Co. Ltd., for the year ended 30 June 1893, lists this office at Mytholmroyd as one of its branches. A branch is established at nearby Luddendenfoot in 1915, and so begins a somewhat strange relationship: Connected by the same road name, and never seemlingly separated officially by the Bank, Martins Bank’s branches at Mytholmroyd and Luddendenfoot have taken it in turns to play the parts of main branch and sub branch down the years.  It seems the two are inseparable.  On one occasion the staffs of the two branches are photographed together as one!Sep 1.jpg

In Service: 1893 until 31 March 1993 

1928 Mytholmroyd Exerior as B of l and M - steve Gee MBA.jpg

Taking centre stage in this lovely old photograph, Mytholmroyd branch is seen here

(and in close up below) in around 1926 as a branch of the Bank of Liverpool and Martins.

Image © Steve Gee Collection

However, not even two separate visits from Martins Bank Magazine can unravel this tale of togetherness in deepest Yorkshire…

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Images © Barclays Ref 0030/1951





Green and pleasant land…

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1954 04 MBM.jpgOur journeys hitherto have taken us to well-known places, many of them famous beauty spots, fashionable resorts, holiday centres, spas, county towns and so on. This time, for a change, we elected to visit places which, while well enough known in the North of England, are nothing but names to colleagues who are unfamiliar with Lancashire and Yorkshire. These places are not large and one does not find in all of them representa­tion from every one of the Big Five banks. But our branches in them are doing a good and necessary job, sometimes under trying conditions, and if the places selected cannot be classed in them­selves as beauty spots at least they are within a mile or two of lovely country and one does not have to look far for loveliness anywhere, though in some places it is not thrust upon one's notice and one has to keep a sharp lookout for it.

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We saw the first two branches of our choice under perfect conditions, on a lovely autumn day of mellow sunshine lighting up the fading glory of summer on the trees. The visit was made on September 23rd and we had to go by train right through to Halifax and then use the bus as the express trains from Liverpool do not stop at either Mytholmroyd or Luddendenfoot. As we left the station at Halifax we noticed the buildings of Mackintosh's Toffee Works and respectfully doffed our hat in their direction because of Lord Mackintosh who is a member of our London Board.


We lunched in Halifax with Mr. and Mrs. Hand and learned some unexpected pieces of information about the places we were to visit. Mytholmroyd possesses what is said to be the largest fowl producing concern in the country. It is also the headquarters for the manufacture of a well-known make of blanket and as may be expected it is much con­cerned with farming.  Mr. S. Hand has had a somewhat catholic banking career. He commenced his service with the District Bank in January, 1914, and after service during the First World War with the Royal Fusiliers and the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in France, Belgium, Salonica, Egypt and Palestine decided to change banks and entered Lloyds and National Provincial Foreign Bank in Paris, remaining there for three years. At that time this bank maintained a staff in Paris of about 500, half of them French. With that post-war restlessness which affected so many young men he tired of Paris and succeeded in obtaining a post with the Equitable Bank in Halifax, which became part of Martins Bank in 1927. He remained there until 1940 when he was appointed Manager of the two branches.  On reaching Mytholmroyd it was hard to realise that five weeks before, in the height of ' summer,' the main street had been a raging torrent and our branch was over a foot deep in water.  In 1946 the water reached nearly to the top of the counter in an even worse flood.

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Standing on the bridge and looking at the River Calder flowing sluggishly over its shallow bed many feet below the level of the houses it was hard to realise that in times of excessive rainfall it can rise with startling suddenness and maroon the whole place. The floods may subside in 48 hours and then the houses have to be pumped out and the slime, sand and dirt removed. No wonder the insurance companies will not touch a property in Mytholmroyd, but what a disaster such a visitation can prove. On one occasion a local butcher had his shop, house and effects swept away, putting him out of business. Yet the place seems high and flooding the last thing one would expect. After a flood, cheque books have to be reclaimed, stationery scrapped, furniture dried so that drawers will open once more, carpets cleaned, and all the time business carried on as usual. Mr. E. P. Green, who is normally in charge at Luddendenfoot, was looking after Mytholmroyd when we arrived. His service has been at Halifax, Sowerby Bridge, Huddersfield and Brighouse before going to the twin branches in 1948. During the war he served with the R.A.F. in Italy. Mr. L. M. Hunt is another R.A.F. type, but only a National Service one. His previous experience has been at Bradford, Pudsey, Brighouse and Halifax. Miss J. M. Sunderland is a native of Mytholm­royd and if her mother thought working in a bank would be a nice clean job, she must have had a shock when she heard about the floods. She started work in 1935 in King Cross and Halifax branches, returning to her native place last November. A quick look around the little town and then it was time to catch the bus back to Halifax and the train home after a very pleasant day.

1954 Flooding in Street outside branch MBM-Au54P34.jpg

This picture was taken from our branch one

day this summer when the River Calder

overflowed and flooded the main street.

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1966 Mytholmroyd and Luddenden Foot Staff MBM-Su66P21.jpg1966 02 MBM.jpgWe emerged into the narrow Burnley Road, and set off for Mytholmroyd two miles away!  Much as we regret having to confuse readers in this matter of road names, we invite their sympathy for the postal authorities who long ago gave up in despair at this apparent local obsession with Burnley road. It carries gaily on eastward through Fooit – sorry, Luddendenfoot – as far as Halifax, but the numbering of business premises has become a sheer impossibility and if you doubt this, please refer to your Branch Address Book. Mytholmroyd and Luddendenfoot have taken turns at being the parent office since the Halifax Commercial Bank opened Mytholmroyd in 1914.  This office was attractively modernised six years ago, and is bright and clean despite the tendency of the Calder to flood it occasionally.  One cannot blame the Calder, it does its best against overwhelming odds, but the valley here is narrow, and water in a hurry is wicked stuff.  Again we found a smiling young staff, willing to have a go even on flood defences if necessary, and in Mr N L Jackson a manager who has adapted himself happily from large town business to the local concerns of day-old chicks, die-casting and corduroy.  His sub branch at ‘Fooit’ in a quaint but serviceable building is overshadowed by high long and narrow terraced houses from which in Autumn one may pick blackberries off the hill at the back through the second storey windows…

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A Norfolk Connection?


1958 HeachamIf the merger of Martins and Barclays had not taken place, neither would a certain degree of confusion and a strange connection between Mytholmroyd, and the Norfolk coastal village of Heacham.  In December 1969 Martins Bank Mytholmroyd becomes a branch of Barclays Bank with a sorting code of 20-58-55.  This is sufficiently similar to Barclays Bank Heacham’s own sort code of 20-38-55 that for around fifteen years after the merger, cheques and paying in slips are regularly mis-sorted by the central clearing, resulting in extra work for the two branches concerned, and delays for their customers – a bonus if you had written a cheque perhaps, because sometimes it could take longer to come out of your account, but not so good if your wages went adrift for an extra day or two!

1940 to 1958 Mr S Hand Manager MBM-Sp58P49.jpg

1954 Miss J M Sutherland MBM-Wi54P34.jpg

1954 Mr L M Hunt MBM-Wi54P34.jpg

1966 Mr N L Jackson Manager MBM-Su66P21.jpg

1960 to 1960 Mr RC Tattersall joined the bank here MBM-Sp67P04.jpg

1966 Miss L E Binns MBM-Su66P21.jpg

Mr Septimus Hand


1940 to 1958

Miss J M Sutherland

On the Staff


Mr L M Hunt

On the Staff


Mr N L Jackson


1958 onwards

Mr R C Tattersall

Joined the Bank Here

1960 to 1960

Miss L M Binns

On the Staff


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1966 Miss S J Warrington MBM-Su66P21.jpg

1966 Mr A D Blackburn MBM-Su66P21.jpg

1966 Mr K E Ingle MBM-Su66P21.jpg

Miss S J Warrington

On the Staff


Mr A D Blackburn

On the Staff


Mr K E Ingle

On the Staff











Index No and District:






11-24-60 Mytholmroyd

Full Branch

Burnley Road Mytholmroyd Yorkshire

609 Leeds

Mon to Fri 1000-1500 

Saturday 0900-1130

Calder Valley 3261

Nightsafe Installed

Mr N L Jackson Manager



Morpeth Auction Mart


16 January 1920

3 January 1928

15 December 1969

31 March 1993

Opened by the Halifax Commercial Bank

Bank of Liverpool and Martins

Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-58-55 Mytholmroyd