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Bank of Liverpool


Welcome to Martins Bank’s imposing office at Grange Road in the millionaires’ playground of West Kirby. This lovely photograph shows West Kirby Branch in the 1940s. Our text, accompanied by images of various items of late 1960s Branch stationery, comes from 1954, when, according to colleague Chris Barker, he was a bank junior, still “wet behind the ears”, and it was commonplace for his manager to insult the customers – in fact they expected and enjoyed it…

I started in the bank in 1954 at West Kirby and the Manager was one of the most delightful men I have ever known, a real boon for a wet-behind the-ears 16-year-old starting work.

In service: 21 April 1897 – 15 January 2021

Image © Barclays Ref 0030-3152

As well as being a member of the ARGOSY PLAYERS, he was a stalwart of the OPERATIC SOCIETY , and it was quite usual for him to stand at the back of the office, customers or not, and give us a stirring rendition of whatever part he was playing including full vocals. There can have been no better place to start work. We were expected to get in by 8.30 and he and I used to catch the same bus from the village where we lived. Getting on at the stop before mine he always sat in the same seat and occasionally, if I was a bit on the drag and had to run to catch the bus, he would be waving his arms about encouraging me to get a move on. If I did miss the bus, I would hear about it for days afterwards. Equally, he liked to catch the 4.10 bus home and if I hadn't finished the remittances by 4 there was hell to pay. Fortunately it didn't happen often. In the summer if we did miss that bus, we used to walk the three miles home - he was nearly as wide round as he was tall and reckoned the exercise did him good.

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The customers loved him as much as his staff did. West Kirby in those days was an up-market residential area for Liverpool and it was quite usual for some customers to arrive in their chauffeur-driven cars to collect the housekeeping, usually on a Friday. There was one particular pair of widowed sisters who came and he would always greet them with some pithy comment whether there was anyone else in the banking hall or not. We never knew what he was going to come out with, but it was usually something along the lines of "what do you want you silly old bats?" They loved it. Another customer had won £75000 - then the maximum - on the football pools and used to pay for all the staff to have dinner at the local pub on balance nights.

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Apart from the routine jobs like the local clearing and stoking the boiler, I did have other less usual duties to perform. We had an elderly widower who was an alcoholic and there was an arrangement with his family whereby I had to deliver to him one bottle of Johnny Walker every Wednesday afternoon. Needless to say I always received a warm welcome. I was a very keen cricketer in those days and was selected to go and play in a match in Wakefield which necessitated taking the Saturday morning off. The assistant manager and I used to have regular discussion about the game and I was explaining to him how I had had to turn down the opportunity because I was working.

The Manager must have overheard me, half an hour or so later I was called into his office and told to go as long as it didn't become a regular practice. As well as being kind he was also strict and I learnt a lot from him. At one point I had bought a huge pipe and I was called into his office and told in no uncertain terms never to speak with it in my mouth. That was embarrassing enough, but how many other managers would have told me the same thing, but out in the general office?


Redacted Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections

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Redacted Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections

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Redacted Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections


A counter screen is added, and otherwise minimal change is made at first, both to the interior and exterior of West Kirby Branch, seen here as Barclays in 1972…

Images © Barclays Ref 0030/3152

We are indebted to Robert Montgomery, who since 2009 has been taking and providing us with photographs of British banks.  This is intented to be a permanent record of the existence of bank branches of all names and sizes, as we watch them gradually disappear from our towns and villages in the twenty-first century.  Here, Robert provides us with two shots of West Kirby from 2009, when the Branch still has twelve years to go before closure…

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Images © Martins Bank Archive Collections – Robert Montgomery

1921 to 1923 Mr J K Washington MBM-Au60P48.jpg

1921 to 1946 Mr H J Ashcroft Manager MBM-Su46P15.jpg

1931 to 1934 Mr R G Dakin joined the bank here MBM-Wi64P08.jpg

1940 to 1942 Mr J H Jennings joined the bank here MBM-Au66P02.jpg

1949 to 1951 Mr TW Siggs MBM-Su67P07.jpg






Mr J K Washington

On the Staff

1921 to 1923

Mr H J Ashcroft


1921 to 1946

Mr R Dakin

Joined the Bank Here

1931 to 1934

Mr J H Jennings

Joined the Bank Here

1940 to 1942

Mr D J Scott

On the Staff

1947 to 1948

Mr T W Siggs

On the Staff

1949 to 1951

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1953 to 1966 Mr E Wylie Manager MBM-Au66P49.jpg

1957 to 1959 Mr N A Pritchard MBM-Wi68P07.jpg






Mr K L Roberts

Joined the Bank Here

1952 to 1953

Mr E Wylie


1953 to 1966

Mr C J Barker

Joined the Bank Here

1954 to 1957

Mr N A Pritchard

On the Staff

1957 to 1959

Mr R I Kerr

On the Staff

1958 to 1963

Mr D G D Bosworth

On the Staff

1964 to 1965

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1966 Mr PH Mellor Manager MBM-Au66P04.jpg






Mr P H Mellor


1966 onwards























Index No and District:






11-33-90 West Kirby

Full Branch

22 Grange Road West Kirby Wirral Cheshire

48 Liverpool

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

CALdy 5742

Nightsafe Installed

Mr P H Mellor Manager

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West Cornforth

21 April 1897

by 1914

18 December 1918

3 January 1928

15 December 1969

15 January 2021

Opened by the Bank of Liverpool at 6 Grange Road West

Re-numbered 22 Grange Road West

The Bank of Liverpool and Martins

Martins Bank Limited

Barclay Bank Limited 20-94-33 West Kirby

Closed permanently from 12 noon