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Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections

The Craven Bank opens a sub-branch to Skipton at Barnoldswick on 7 December 1876, and it is fair to say that these are indeed small beginnings for a branch that will remain open well into the twenty-first Century. The majority of Martins Bank’s branches in the Craven District are to be found in the County of North Yorkshire.

In Service: 7 December 1876 (rebuilt 1969) and closed 14 April 2023

1973 Barnoldswick exterior Barclays BGA No Ref

Image © 1970 Barclays Ref 0030-0099

BarnoldswickWhilst Barnoldswick fits this category, it is one of many towns whose POSTAL address puts it into Lancashire!  In 1880, when it is decided to incorporate the Craven Bank, Barnoldswick is still a sub branch to Skipton.  By the 1960s however, it is a branch in its own right, and grows to the point where Martins can take full advantage of the redevelopment of Church Street, and the chance to rebuild.  With the merger on the cards, the branch is built and fitted out to Barclays’ specifications, and whilst no images can currently be obtained of the old Martins Branch, our good friends at Barclays have tracked down some images of the new building from the beginning of the 1970s.  The Branch is still open today…  Our Barnoldswick features look at the retirements of two long serving members of the staff– Jessie Watkinson, who we were saddened to hear died in the early Summer of 2013, and first of all Mr W Whittaker, (Manager of Barnoldswick for sixteen years) who retires in 1959 after a career spanning 34 years in the bank. 


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On the occasion of the retirement of Mr. W. Whittaker, Manager at Barnoldswick, he and Mrs. Whittaker invited a number of old colleagues to an evening party at the Crown Hotel, Colne. Earlier in the day his staff at Barnoldswick had made him a presentation of a brief case. At the evening proceedings which were attended by many of the managers of the Craven District Mr. E. L. Fielden (Manager, Burnley), made a happy little speech in the course of which he referred to his long association with Mr. Whittaker and conveyed the good wishes of everyone to Mr. and Mrs. Whittaker. In replying, Mr. Whittaker made special reference to the support and loyalty he had always received from his second man, Mr. Openshaw, and his staff.

1973 Barnoldswick Interior Barclays BGA No Ref

Image © 1970 Barclays Ref 0030-0099


1943 to 1959 Mr W Whittaker Manager MBM-Sp59P53.jpgA man of many interests, Mr. Whittaker is a keen violinist and a member of the Colne Orchestral Society, while for some years he has been Chairman of the Barnoldswick National Savings Committee. His work received wider recognition in his appointment as Vice Chairman of the West Riding Con­stituency and a Deputy Assembly member of the Yorkshire Region. During the last war he was Commanding Officer, with the rank of Major, of the local Home Guard. During the First World War he served for four years in the R.A.M.C. Mr. Whittaker entered the Bank in 1919 after serving with H.M. Forces for four years. He served for varying periods at Chester, Water Street, Burnley and Bingley before his first appointment as Pro Manager at Barnolds­wick in 1940. He became Manager there in 1943.

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Forty-Four Happy Years – of RETIREMENT!

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Miss Jessie Watkinson retired from Barnoldswick branch at the end of July after over 28 years' service. She entered the Bank at Skipton in 1941 and moved to Barnoldswick in 1948.  On her last day at the office Mr F. H. Makin, deputising for the Manager who was on holiday, presented Miss Watkinson with a silver bracelet on behalf of her past and present colleagues. Later in the evening the staff were entertained at the Watkinson home where various brews of home-made wines were consumed.

Jessie Watkinson is listed in the final batch of retirement write-ups in the last full edition of Martins Bank Magazine, Autumn 1969. 

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1947 to 1969 Miss Jessie Watkinson DOB-MBA.jpg

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She is a much loved member of staff, and the esteem in which she is held by her colleagues is reflected in a  letter, written to Jessie by Mr Jennings, Joint general Manager of the Bank at the end of July 1969…

Jessie Watkinson retirement Letter.jpg

The wish for “many happy years to come”, comes true - with Jessie spending more than one and a half times as long a Bank pensioner as she was an employee!

With special thanks to David Baxter for permission

to reproduce items from Jessie’s estate.

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1913 approx to 1936 Mr T E Green MBM-Au53P51.jpg

1917 to 1925 Mr P A Scott  MBM-Wi61P51.jpg

1943 to 1959 Mr W Whittaker Manager MBM-Sp59P53.jpg

1943 to 1959 Mr W Whittaker Manager MBM-Sp59P53.jpg

1959 to 1969 Mr D Mellin Manager MBM-Sp69P57.jpg

1961 to 1962 Mr G Catton MBM-Su68P13.jpg

Mr T E Green

On the Staff

1913 to 1936

Mr P A Scott

On the Staff

1917 to 1925

Mr W Whittaker


1943 to 1959

Miss Jessie Watkinson

On the Staff

1948 to 1969

Mr D Mellin


1959 to 1969

Mr G S Catton

On the Staff

1961 to 1962

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1969 Mr W Long Manager MBM-Sp69P11.jpg

Mr W Long

Acting Manager











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Index Number and District:






Martins Bank Limited 11-39-00 Barnoldswick

Full Branch

5 Church St Barnoldswick Colne  Lancashire

101 Craven

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Barnoldswick 2308

Nightsafe installed

Mr W Long - acting Manager


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Barnard Castle

7 December 1876

23 March 1906

18 December 1918

3 January 1928


15 December 1969

14 April 2023

Opened by the Craven Bank

Bank of Liverpool

Bank of Liverpool and Martins

Martins Bank Limited

Demolished and rebuilt

Barclays Bank Limited 20-04-47 Barnoldswick

Closed permanently from 12 noon