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Martins Bank 1928+

Martins Bank’s Branch at Laygate is originally opened in 1894 by the North Eastern Banking Company, and is listed until 1938 at 44 Laygate.  At this point the Branch moves to 29 Green Street, which from the beginning of 1960 to the end of 1961 is knocked down and rebuilt – as 187 Laygate. From 1 January 1960 until 18 December 1961, Martins moves out and takes temporary premises at Nos 42-44 Laygate Lane - the original site of Laygate Branch! The building is leased from South Shields Corporation.  Once the new building is completed, and takes the address of 187 Laygate that’s how things will remain, through the Merger with Barclays, and up to the closure of the branch in 1996.

In Service: 1938 until 31 December 1959, then 13 February 1962 until 29 March 1996

1960 s South Shields Laygate Exterior 12 BGA Ref 30-2740

All Branch Images © Barclays Ref 0030-2740


Laygate old and new…

We have a number of images from Barclays’ collection, including interiors from both the 29 Green street and 187 Laygate. Sadly however, we still do not have an exterior view of the premises as 29 Green Street.

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…as 29 Green Street

1960 s South Shields Laygate Interior 2 BGA Ref 30-2740

Cramped Conditions… the old counter area and banking hall.

1960 s South Shields Laygate Interior 4 BGA Ref 30-2740

… later transformed into 187 Laygate

1960 s South Shields Laygate Interior 11 BGA Ref 30-2740

The new banking hall is much lighter and roomier…


1960 s South Shields Laygate Interior 10 BGA Ref 30-2740

A dramatic change in styles sees a rather garish collection of wallcoverings and carpets in the new office/interview room (below left and right).

(We prefer the old one!)

1960 s South Shields Laygate Interior 3 BGA Ref 30-2740

1960 s South Shields Laygate Interior 1 BGA Ref 30-2740

Now you see them, now you don’t – in the first of the two images below, the electric cables of South Shields Tramways

are clearly visible in front of the new building, and in the second, another piece of local history is gone…

1960 s South Shields Laygate Exterior 14 BGA Ref 30-2740

1960 s South Shields Laygate ( New premises) Exterior 13 BGA Ref 30-2740


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Special thanks also go to Denis Richardson, amongst whose many generous donations of items to the Archive is this computerised Branch Cheque bearing the address “187 Laygate” from the early 1960s.

Martins Bank Magazine does not visit Laygate, but we do have two retirement features for you.  The first concerns Mr Gibson, who retires in 1930 after twenty years as Manager, and then in 1964 it is the turn of Mr W J Richardson, Manager for the last fourteen years, to retire from Martins.  Mr Gibson gives a farewell tea to his friends and colleagues, and following a career that has spanned 45 years, Mr Richardson has become a very popular figure, as is evidenced by some two hundred staff, friends and associates, who attend a cocktail party in his honour…

1950 04 MBM.jpg1930 to 1950 Mr H M Gibson Manager MBM-Wi50P22.jpgAfter 42 years' service, Mr. H. M. Gibson, Manager of Laygate, South Shields branch, retired on 31August. He entered the North Eastern Banking Company in 1908, and, apart from service in Belgium and France during the First World War and five years as Manager of Tyne Dock branch, between 1925 and 1930, the whole of his banking career has been spent at Laygate branch. To mark the occasion of his retirement, Mr. and Mrs. Gibson entertained to tea thirty-five present and former members of the staff. In making the presentation of a clock and reading lamp, Mr. I. Skipper spoke of the very high regard in which Mr. Gibson was held by staff and customers, many of whom called during his last few days to wish him a happy retirement. Tributes were also paid by Mr. C. V. H. Vincent, Mr. W. J. Richardson, the new Manager at Laygate, Mr. G. C. Whittingham, Manager at Gateshead, and Mr. W. O. C. Garrick, Manager at Newburn branch. Mrs. Thelma Jackson, who was Mr. Gibson's first lady clerk, handed a bouquet of carnations to Mrs. Gibson.Mr. Gibson, in expressing thanks for the gifts, referred in happy reminiscences to the various characteristics of the men and women who had served under his management. A telegram of good wishes was received from Mr. C. Armatage, Manager of Stafford branch, who was prevented from being present.

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1964 02 MBM.jpgon the occasion of his retirement Mr W. J. Richardson, Manager of Laygate branch, entertained 200 colleagues, business associates and friends to a cocktail party and buffet at the New Crown Hotel, South Shields. Of his 45 years' service, 26 had been spent in three different periods at Laygate, the last 14 as Manager. He entered the Bank at King Street branch in 1918 and received his first appointment as Manager at Chester Road in 1945. Two years later he became Assistant Manager at Sunderland and in 1950 he took over the managership of Laygate branch. Mr H. Taylor (Assistant District Mana­ger) headed a representative body from District Office and it was good to see five colleagues from a staff of nine at Laygate branch forty years ago. In making the presentation of a camera, two fireside chairs and a cheque, Mr J. Stephenson (Pro Manager) paid tribute to Mr Richardson's active life both in the Bank and in public affairs. Mrs Richardson was presented with a handbag and a bouquet by Miss Lightfoot and Miss Tutin. After Dr Cohen and Mr Scott had spoken on behalf of the customers Mr Richardson replied mentioning the happy association which had existed between himself and the customers, the loyalty of his staff, and the assistance given by District Office officials. During the day Mr W. Weatherill (District General Manager) had called to extend his good wishes to Mr Richardson for a long and happy retirement and, earlier in the week, Mr Richardson had been enter­tained to lunch at both Head Office and North Eastern District Office.


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1938 approx to 1940  Mr W O C Carrick MBM-Su61P50.jpg

1941 to 1943 Mr G Hammond joined the bank here MBM-Sp69P07.jpg

1945 to 1947 Mr A Cuthbert joined the bank here MBM-Wi66P02.jpg

1950 to 1964 Mr W J Richardson Manager MBM-Su64P54.jpg

1961 to 1963 Mr J W G Nelson Pro Manager MBM-Su63P53.jpg

1963 to 1965 Mr J Stephenson Limited Authority MBM-Wi65P04.jpg






Mr W O C Carrick

On the Staff

1938 to 1940

Mr G Hammond

Joined the Bank Here

1941 to 1943

Mr A Cuthbert

Joined the Bank Here

1945 to 1947

Mr W J Richardson


1950 to 1964

Mr J W G Nelson

Pro Manager

1961 to 1963

Mr J Stephenson

Limited Authority

1963 to 1965

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1964 Mr EH Jackson Manager MBM-Su64P06.jpg

1965 to 1967 Mr A Cook Limited Authority MBM-Sp67P05.jpg

1966 to 1968 Mr P J Lamb Limited Authority MBM-Su68P12.jpg






Mr E H Jackson


1964 onwards

Mr A Cook

Limited Authority

1965 to 1967

Mr P J Lamb

Limited Authority

1966 to 1968




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74 King Street



101 King Street

89 Laygate Lane


Harton               Tyne Dock

King Street       Westoe








21 Fowler Street

Bede Trading Estate



40 King Street



2 Market Place





Index Number and District:






11-31-50 South Shields Laygate

Full Branch

187 Laygate South Shields County Durham

339 North Eastern

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

South Shields 62095

Nightsafe Installed

Mr E H Jackson Manager


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South Shields 42-44 Laygate


31 December 1959

13 February 1962

15 December 1969

29 March 1996

Opened by Martins Bank Limited

Closed for rebuild, and moved to teporary premises


Barclays Bank Limited 20-80-48 South Shields Laygate


South Shields Tyne Dock