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Originally opened in 1868 by the Manchester and Salford Bank, Martins Bank’s Branch at 38 Market Street Lancaster is acquired in 1883 by Messrs Wakefield Crewdson’s Kendal Bank, as Lancaster is deemed to be too far away from the catchment area of the Manchester and Salford Bank! 

Ten years later, the Branches of Wakefield Crewdson are acquired by the Bank of Liverpool, and Lancaster continues its journey towards being part of the modern-day Martins Bank.  The fine premises comprise a ground and three upper floors, and a basement containing the safes and other rooms.

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Customers are greeted by this mosaic, one of a number of ARTWORKS specially commissioned by the bank.

In Service: 1868 until 25 April 2024

Branch Images © Barclays Ref: 0030/1540


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Branch Images © Barclays Ref: 0030-1540

In the mid to late sixties, Martins updates the interior of Lancaster Branch almost beyond recognition, opting for same the smooth lines and bright lighting of the new Branch at Lancaster University. 

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Branch Images © Barclays Ref: 0030-1540

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In the mid to late sixties, Martins updates the interior of Lancaster Branch almost beyond recognition, using the most up to date designs and materials, and reducing the opression of dark wood by opting for same the smooth lines and bright lighting of the new Branch at Lancaster University.  The use of brown asbestos will however, come back to haunt the Bank’s new owners in the 1990s, when a major refit has to first cope with the discovery and extremely careful removal of a substance nowadays known to be deadly.  The two uppermost floors had not been fully utilised until Barclays needed to expand its operation at the site, and expand it did, into every one of the upstairs rooms.  This is one of a long line of re-fits for Lancaster including two during Martins’ time.  Lancaster’s sub-Branches include flagship new premises at LANCASTER UNIVERSITY, the LANCASTER FARMERS’ AUCTION MART, and the villages of CATON and HORNBY.  Along with four more Branches in MORECAMBE, this area is well served by Martins Bank.  Martins’ Lancaster.

Roman Towns

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Martins Bank’s 1949 Advertising Campaign features a series of drawings by the artist Geoffrey Wedgwood which depict the connection between various English towns and the Roman occupation of Britain. This advertisement features Lancaster Castle, and an explanation of the Latin words from which “Lancaster” is derived. Lunecastrum is said to have been an important Roman settlement. Amongst the other towns featured in this series of advertisements are WORCESTER, LEICESTER and BUXTON.

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Goodbye Barclays?

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image068At the time of the 1969 merger, many Martins Branches are not simply closed, or swapped for better equipped Barclays Branches in the same town. In fact TWENTY-TWO Barclays Branches are closed and the business moved into the local Martins Branches. In the North of England, where until 1969 Martins has been the predominant Bank, the Branches are large, modernised and ready for expansion. Barclays Bank Lancaster has until this time taken up about half of Lancaster’s old Town Hall, a building which nowadays is a museum.  Our friends at Barclays have unearthed some rare images of what this part of the City is like in 1961. The following three pictures show the Barclays Branch from the front and the side, and one with a view of Martins, (the current Barclays premises), in the background…

Image © Barclays Ref 0033.0932a

Image © Barclays Ref 0033.0932b

It pays to advertise…

When your main advertising market is newspapers and magazines, you need to be sure that your message gets through to as many readers as possible, in order to justify the expense of taking out an advert in the first place.  Until Banks are allowed to advertise individually on TV at the end of the 1960s, they must use every available techinique to make their adverts stand out from those of the competition.  What seems to us nowadays like a very strange ban on banks advertising on television, there was what was referred to as “A gentlemen’s agreement” that it should not be allowed, unless its purpose was a joint message from ALL Banks. This smacks somewhat of snobbery, and doesn’t seem to fit with other prohibited advertising of that time – Undertakers were not allowed TV ads, nor were solicitors, and you couldn’t show the toilet bowl that the toilet cleaner was meant for, lest it might upset those of a delicate mind(!) 

Martins is a little late is harnessing the huge youth market for banking products brought about by that rare phenomenon - full employment, but from 1964 onwards we start to see intelligent witty and occasionally surreal copy from the Bank that “goes to extremes” to help its customers. Before that, things were a little staid, like this generic ad used to publicise the whereabouts of the Martins Mobile Branch Caravans. Standard wording can be amended to fit the occasion, and room is left to cram in a mention of any number of local Branches of the bank. Otherwise, and at a quick glance, these ads will have been very difficult to tell apart from one another. 

This reproduction is from the Bank’s original advertising copy, as used in 1959 to publicise the Bank’s prescence at the Lanaster Agricultural show.  Whilst the advertisement clearly shows the address both of Lancaster Branch, and of the Bank’s Liverpool head Office, we can only hope that everyone knew where the Lancaster Agricultural Show itself was taking place, as the advert does not tell us!

Image © Martins Bank Archive

Collections – Restored 17/05/2019

1911 to 1915  Mr T A Fawcett joined the bank here MBM-Su55P52.jpg

1914 Mr N E Cavendish joined the bank here MBM-Su61P52.jpg

1917 Mr H L Scholefield Joined the bank here MBM-Au56P50.jpg

1922 Mr E Herd MBM-Wi54P46.jpg

1935 to 1936 Mr J Bainbridge MBM-Au46P24.jpg






Mr T A Fawcett

Joined the Bank Here

1911 to 1915

Mr N E Cavendish

Joined the Bank Here


Mr H L Scholefield

Joined the Bank Here


Mr E Herd

On the Staff


Mr E M Nelson

On staff 1930 to 1953

Pro Manager from 1946

Mr J Bainbridge

On the Staff

1935 to 1936

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1937 to 1939 Mr FR Alston MBM-Wi67P01.jpg

1953 to 1964 Mr J G Young Manager MBM-Su64P58.jpg

1938 to 1968 Mr J Moffatt pro Manager from 1968 MBM-Sp68P06.jpg

1941 to 1943 joined, then 1955 to 1960 pro manager then 1964 onwards Mr EA Youdell Manager MBM-Su64P07.jpg

1941 to 1955 Mr H Lofthouse joined the bank here MBM-Wi68P06.jpg

1943 to 1953 Mr J E Leake Manager MBM-Sp63P54.jpg






Mr F R Alston

On the Staff

1937 to 1939

Mr J G Young

Accountant 1937 to 1946

Manager 1953 to 1964

Mr J Moffat

Pro Manager

1938 to 1968

Mr E A Youdell

Joined 1941 to 1943

Manager 1964 onwards

Mr H Lofthouse

Joined the Bank Here

1941 to 1955

Mr J E Leake


1943 to 1953

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1947 to 1951 Mr J N Edgar MBM-Sp64P05.jpg

1951 to 1953 Mr P C Towers MBM-Au68P07.jpg

1951 to 1955 Mr MJM Anderton MBM-Wi66P04.jpg

1960 to 1963 Mr A W Denton Pro Manager MBM-Sp66P04.jpg

1963 to 1966 Mr DG Brogden Pro Manager MBM-Sp66P07.jpg






Mr J R Williams

On the Staff

1946 to 1948

Mr J N Edgar

On the Staff

1947 to 1951

Mr P C Towers

On the Staff 1951 to 1953

Assistant Manager 1969

Mr M J M Anderton

On the Staff

1951 to 1955

Mr W A Denton

Pro Manager

1960 to 1963

Mr D G Brogden

Pro Manager

1963 to 1966

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1966 Pamela Whittaker Cashier MBM-Wi66P51.jpg

1967 to 1968 Mr N A Pritchard MBM-Wi68P07.jpg






Mr Rex H Abbott

Joined the bank here


Miss Pamela Whittaker



Mr R N Mulholland

Pro Manager

1966 to 1969

Mr N A Pritchard

On the Staff

1967 to 1968






Five Branches

Trustee Department










Three Branches


T­wo Branches
















Index Number and District:






Martins Bank Limited 11-27-50 Lancaster

Main Branch

38 Market Street Lancaster Lancashire

215 Northern

Mon-Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Lancaster 64385

Nightsafe Installed

Mr E A Youdell Manager




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27 June 1893

18 December 1918

3 January 1928

15 December 1969

25 April 2024

Opened by the Manchester and Salford Bank

Acquired by Wakefield Crewdson – The Kendal Bank

Bank of Liverpool

Bank of Liverpool and Martins Bank Limited

Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-47-60 Lancaster*

Closed permanently from 12 Noon

Lancaster Farmers’ Auction Mart


*Martins Bank Lancaster is originally allocated a Barclays sorting code number of 20-47-60 until the nearby smaller Barclays Branch is closed. 

The combined business then operates under the sorting code 20-47-61. 


**Martins Bank Lancaster University is originally run as a sub-Branch under the Martins Lancaster sorting code of 11-27-50.

In 1968 the staus of the Branch is changed to “self-accounting sub-Branch” and it is allocated its own Martins sorting code number – 11-80-80.

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