Martins Bank’s presence in the town of Northampton
begins first at 17 Wood Street in 1937, and relocates to this lovely building
at 18 The Drapery in 1939, where it remains open for business until 20 April
In 1958 it is joined by a sub Branch at Northampton
Cattle Market (which is closed in 1969), and, in 1967, it opens two self
accounting sub branches, one at Kettering, the other at Wellingborough.
Although both do survive the merger with Barclays,
they are now long since closed, the first was at one time home to an estate
agency, the second a branch of the Yorkshire Bank.
In Service: 1 November
1937 until 20 April 2022
(relocated to 19 Abington St 27
Image © Barclays Ref 0030-2072
We can put Northampton branch’s longevity down to
its prime location - The Drapery, providing an attractive and large shop
front in the middle of a shopping area.
In 1950 the intrepid team from Martins Bank Magazine heads South to
Northamptonshire, but are held back for some hours by the actions of a
Liverpool bus driver, whose vehicle skids and causes a knock-on travel
We don't suppose that the Liverpool
bus driver who skidded his bus on the bridge at Edge Hill Station flattered
himself that the repercussions of his action would be felt in various parts
of the Midlands and the South in missed train connections and broken
engagements. In our own case the ten minutes by which we missed the train
at Nuneaton for Northampton involved us in nearly two hours' wait for the
next train on a bitterly cold morning, to say nothing of the consequent
shortening of our visit to the Staff at Northampton. As we shivered on the cold, wet platform
it occurred to us that Northampton was about to be featured in the wrong
article. Even "Outposts" would be an understatement; nothing less
than "Backwoods Branches" would do justice to this peculiarly
inaccessible place which most of the London trains miss, in spite of its
size and the importance of its industries. A relief man leaving Liverpool
on the 8-15 a.m. train will often arrive as we did, at 2 p.m.
Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections
Three-fifths of Martins Bank’s Northampton Staff
Teasdale on the right). Mr. Mellin and Miss Middleton were, unfortunately,
away from work on the day the photographer arrived.
Image © Barclays Ref 0030-2072
We once made a vow, having
ourselves suffered from the inconvenience of visitors on busy days, that we
would never visit a branch on a Saturday or on the first day of the month.
Owing to a very full timetable we broke the second part of our vow by
visiting Northampton on the first day of February, market day and sheet
night, so maybe the shortness of our visit was a blessing in disguise for
the staff! Be that as it may, we would like to express our appreciation of
the very friendly reception which awaited us from the staff, who obviously
took the line that we had been sufficiently punished on the way for our
choice of the day. Mr. Teasdale commenced his career at Darlington in 1920,
his previous service including District General Management Staff, Newcastle
upon Tyne, and Hanley.
Image (September 1947) © Martins Bank Archive Collections
D. Mellin entered the Bank at
Skipton in 1933 and has previously served at Nelson, Barnoldswick and
Earby, also with H.M. Forces from 1939 to 1946. We regret that he is
missing from the photograph as the result of illness following our visit! The other three
members of the staff are all " locals." H. G. Norman entered the
Bank at Northampton in 1940 and served with the Forces from 1944 until
1947. He has recently married and hopes to finish his Bankers' Examinations
this year. D. Bull has only been on the staff since last May and is sitting for
the first part of his Bankers' Examinations this year.
The female staff is represented by
Miss J. M. Middleton who joined our staff at Northampton in 1947. We are
quite sure it is not mere male gallantry which gives her the name of being
a very good worker. We regret she also is missing from the photograph. In
fact, all the members of the staff are good workers and have been known to
turn up at 8-15 a.m. without any bidding on days which were known
beforehand to be likely to be "sticky." It rained all the time we
were in the town and the shortness of our visit precluded both sightseeing
and a visit to a shoe factory which Mr. Teasdale had been anxious to
arrange. In few other places have we sensed the feeling of isolation we
experienced at Northampton and there was no disguising the genuine pleasure
which a visit from a Head Office official gave the staff. They have a fine
office, one of the most attractive and comfortable we have seen and the job
being done is a worthy contribution to the Bank's progress.