Sep 1.jpg


















Sep 1.jpg

Save for the Twenty-First Century wheelie-bin, the Institute at Cononley seems to have changed very little since it was home to a Friday Morning Banking Service from the early part of the Twentieth Century until the mid-1950s. 

There has however been a Banking Service in the Village since at least the 1890s, when Cononley opens as a sub-Branch to Skipton.

In Service: Pre 1906 until 31 August 1956



Images - Martins Bank Archive Collections © D Gulliver

Sep 1.jpg

This was under the ownership of the Craven Bank, which merged with the Bank of Liverpool in 1906.

Image © Barclays


The Banking service starts life in a house at No 80 Main Street, which as we shall see later, becomes home to the Cononley Village Institute before a permanent hall can be built.  The sub-Branch at Cononley endures the various changes of bank that eventually bring it under the ownership of the modern day Martins Bank, and staff are sent from Skipton to attend the customers of Cononley each Friday.  As we shall also see later on this page, the opening hours have changed a few times down the years, but were almost always on a Friday. Skipton has a number of branches and sub branches under its control at various points from the days of the Craven Bank until those of Martins Bank, but so many tiny branches cannot be indefinitely sustained, and through reasons of wartime and economics amongst others, many are closed well before the 1969 merger with Barclays. 


This paying in slip was the property of the late

Trevor hodgson. It was used on the last day of

banking service at Cononley, 31 August 1956

Images - Martins Bank Archive Collections © D Gulliver

Sep 1.jpg

“We have now decided to close your branch”…

If you thought that Bank Branch Closures was an annoying twenty-first century phenomenon, think again: When Martins decides to close Cononley in 1956, the Bank is busy pruning its portfolio ready to embark on an ambitious programme of new builds, refits and closures, and a second Southward expansion.   Not having to pay rent and rates on a number of tiny Northern sub-Branches will help fund the Bank’s ambition to be a truly NATIONAL concern.

Here we have a curious comparison with our modern day banks – most are closing branches in all but the largest towns, as the use of technology by customers makes bricks and mortar redundant.  Yet, sixty years earlier we have ANOTHER branch closure programme, again for reasons of economic sense.  What is even more spooky, is that the way in which the closure communication to the customers of Cononley is worded, is practically identical to that used today when a Branch is closed.

We are grateful to Dave Baldwin whose own research into the history of Cononley sub-Branch, lead us to that of David Gulliver who was able to provide us with a copy of the original letter sent out to customers, to advise them of the closure of the service:



Cononley’s banking history…

History of cononleyWe are grateful for the help of Local Historian David Gulliver, who together with the late Trevor Hodgson wrote “The History of Cononley (an Airedale Village)” which was published in the year 2000. 

Sep 1.jpg

David has pieced together details of the Banking service at Cononley, first provided in the 1800s by the Craven Bank and ended in 1956 by Martins Bank.  We are currently trying to trace exactly when the Bank moved from 80 Main Street to the purpose built Cononley Institute, whose founders, as you will see further down this page receive the help of the Directors of the Bank of Liverpool…


{Martins Bank and its predecessors in Cononley.

It is not known if the Craven Bank always occupied 80, Main Street or when it transferred to the Village Institute. However, in 1906/7 the Village Institute (as yet without a building of their own opened a reading room in ‘Craven Bank House’ which was 80, Main Street. By the 1920’s there was a confectionery shop in the building.

Craven Bank Limited

1895    Saturdays 12.30-1.30

1900    Ditto

1904    Fridays 1.45-2.45  [Kelly’s Directory of the West Riding of Yorkshire].


Closure advice sent Trevor Hodgson, a customer at Cononley sub-Branch.

Images - Martins Bank Archive Collections © D Gulliver


Bank of Liverpool Limited

1906    Fridays 11-1.30         

Recorded as being at 80 Main Street, Cononley

1908    Fridays 11-2   [Kelly’s Directory]

1917    Fridays 11-1.15  [Kelly’s Directory]


Bank of Liverpool and Martins Limited

1922    Fridays 10.30-12.15   [Kelly’s Directory]

1927    ditto                                        [Ditto]


Martins Bank Limited

1932    Fridays 10.30 -12.15 

Recorded as being at Cononley Village Institute, Main Street

1936    [Kelly’s Directory] Hours unknown

1956    Bank at Cononley Village Institute closed on 31st August 1956.}

Education, no politics, non-sectarian, and tee-total…

In 1906, the founders of the Cononley Village Institute are given space by the Bank of Liverpool in the property used for the once-a-week Banking Service, known as Craven Bank House. We were intrigued to find in David Gulliver’s collection, two letters written by the founders, appealing to recipients to help in any way they could, to achieve a venue in the village where people could better themselves, and enjoy wholesome entertainment without fear of political or religious bias, and of course without the temptations of alcohol. In the first letter below, the Directors of the Bank of Liverpool are thanked for their generosity in giving the Cononley Village Institute its first – somewhat cramped – home, and the message to prospective investors is clear and strong – the village must have “an attraction that will keep our young men from degenerating”…

Sep 1.jpg

Sep 1.jpg

The second letter hammers home the importance to Cononley of having some way to keep its young men on the straight and narrow. Entertainment will be at a minimum – EDUCATION is the key, and a library will form a key part of the planned Institute. It is interesting to note that the Village has no “Gentry” – that is to say no local wealth in the form of a titled or otherwise wealthy landowner, to whose vanity the Village Institute founders can appeal to become benefactor and stump up the cash for a suitable venue…

Sep 1.jpg




Index Number and District:






11-744 Cononley

Sub to 11-744 Skipton

Main Street Cononley Keighley Yorkshire

108 Craven

Friday 1030-1215

No Saturday Service

Counter Service Only

No Telephone

Mr John Mashiter Manager (Skipton 1956)



Coniston (Lancashire)

Pre 1906

23 March 1906

18 December 1918


3 January 1928

31 August 1956

Opened by the Craven Bank at 80 Main  Street

Bank of Liverpool

Bank of Liverpool and Martins

Moved to Cononley Village Institute

Martins Bank Limited


Consett (County Durham