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Carlisle and Cumberland Bank


The Carlisle and Cumberland Banking Company Limited is the first joint stock bank to be founded in Carlisle.  Although it could consolidate the position of banking in the area by merging with a Scottish or a North Eastern bank, the Carlisle and Cumberland chooses to amalgamate with the Bank of Liverpool in 1911.  The strong cotton industy in Carlisle, and many other local industries use the port of Liverpool both for the import and export of goods and materials.  Thus the top half of Martins Bank’s Northern district begins to be defined through the addition of the Carlisle and Cumberland Bank’s small network of branches and sub branches.

In Service: 10 September 1836 until 21 June 2019

1969 Wigton Exterior 3 BGA Ref 33-582

Image © Barclays Ref 0033-0582

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The prospectus for the Carlisle and Cumberland Banking Company is issued in 1836, and attracted by the new safeguards afforded by joint stock bank legislation, many interest parties, from families whose names are famous in the area since tudor times and before, come forward to provide the necessary capital. At this time however, the responsibilities of those whom we refer to nowadays as “the bank manager” are somewhat different…

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Wigton’s early days

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1969 Wigton Exterior BGA Ref 33-582Four Centuries CoverOn 10TH September 1836 the directors appointed Samuel Rigg as agent at Wigton and resolved that he be allowed a percentage or a salary. He was to guarantee all transactions, to provide security for £2,000 and to assume responsibility for notes in transit from Wigton to Carlisle.  In return he was to be granted twenty-five shares in the bank…”    “The failure on the part of the Bank’s agent at Applyby to repay a substantial overdraft, may well have been the reason why the Board decided on 17 June 1844 to revise their agreement with Samuel Rigg at Wigton, who received £50 per annum plus an interest free loan of £1,000.  The Board decided that Rigg must repay the loan.  In return his salary was doubled to £100 per annum; books and stationery were to be provided by the Bank.  At busy times e.g. Whitsuntide and Martinmas markets – a clerk was to be sent from Carlisle to help Rigg.  If Rigg’s services merited a gratuity, he would be granted one not exceeding £10 per annum.  The agreement was to last three years, and the Bank carried the risks of the transmission of money to and from Carlisle, Rigg was to bear the other risks…”



And now, in colour…


1969 Wigton Interior 1 BGA Ref 30-3212

1969 Wigton Interior 2 BGA Ref 30-3212

Branch Images © Barclays Ref 0030/3212

Who’s that?

Apart from a rather late “rush” of colour Martins Bank Magazine articles about new branches from 1966 onwards, there are very few colour images of Martins Bank’s branches in the 1960s, so to find two together for the same branch is quite special.  Someone did, it seems, possess a colour camera back then, and managed to take it along to a select few Branches in the Northern district of the Bank.  (You can see more by using the Branch Finder to visit our pages for Cockermouth, Kendal, and Settle, and there is also a rare 1950s colour image of the Temporary Branch at Lowther Street in Carlisle). In this colour picture from Wigton we see a member of staff hard at work. Do you recognise him?  We would love to know his identity so that he can take his place is the staff gallery below.

1969 Wigton Interior 2 BGA Ref 30-3212

Times change…

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Worlds apart from each other are these Wigton cheques – the first from is from 1902 - the days of the Carlisle and Cumberland Bank, and the second is from Martins Bank in the late 1950s.  The third and fourth show that the 1960s will bring yet more change, not least the introduction of automated cheques which can be read at high speed by machines coupled to computers.  This will be the first stage in the removal of human involvement from the day to day internal accounting of our banks, that will lead to the eventual demise of branch banking in the twenty-first, less than fifty years after the merger of Barclays and Martins…


1902: Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections - Stephen Walker

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1959: Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections

1963: Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections - Stephen Walker

1966: Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections - Stephen Walker

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In a slight departure from our usual “then and now” feature, our thanks must go to Old Cumbria Gazetteer for the contemporary photos (right), which were taken in July 2013. 

As the amount of space needed in which to conduct a banking service diminishes, Wigton Branch was downsized and operated from the right-hand side of the building only until it was closed permanently in june 2019 - hence the strange display of both MARTINS and BARCLAYS above the door, a rare but welcome sight.

The close up shows the origins of the building, opened in 1905 by the Carlisle & Cumberland Bank, in the form of this wonderfully preserved carving in the stonework above the door of the Branch.  Special thanks also, to friend of the Archive, Ange Robinson, for bringing these lovely images to our attention.

Image © 2013 Old Cumbria Gazetteer

Image © 1969 Barclays Ref 0030-3212

Image © 2013 Old Cumbria Gazetteer

1915 to at least 1920 Mr P Wardle joined the bank here MBM-Sp59P50.jpg

1924 Mr M E Dixon joined the bank here MBM-Wi62P54.jpg

1945 to 1947 Mr R P Johnson Assistant Manager MBM-Sp47P31.jpg

1945 to 1950 Mr J H Ritchie Manager MBM-Au63P55.jpg

1950 to 1958 Mr H Scurr Manager MBM-Au58P58.jpg

1958 to 1963 Mr R N Mulholland MBM-Sp66P03.jpg






Mr P Wardle

Joined the Bank Here

1915 to 1920

Mr M E Dixon

Joined the Bank Here


Mr R P Johnson

Assistant Manager

1945 to 1947

Mr J H Ritchie


1945 to 1950

Mr H Scurr


1950 to 1958

Mr R N Mulholland

On the Staff

1958 to 1963






1958 to 1964 Mr S E Blacklock Manager MBM-Su64P56.jpg

1959 to 1969 Mr N D Carter MBM-Sp69P54.jpg

1964 Mr B Wilson Manager MBM-Su64P06.jpg






Mr S E Blacklock


1958 to 1964

Mr N D Carter

Branch Second

1959 to 1969

Mr B Wilson


1964 onwards















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Index Number and District:






Martins Bank Limited 11-44-90 Wigton

Full branch

6 King Street Wigton Cumberland

222 Northern

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Wigton 2226

Nightsafe Installed

Mr B Wilson Manager


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10 September 1836

20 March 1911

18 December 1918

3 January 1928

15 December 1969

21 June 2019

An agency, later a branch of the Carlisle & Cumberland Bank

Bank of Liverpool

Bank of Liverpool and Martins

Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-96-43 Wigton

Closed permanently from 12 Noon

Willaston (Cheshire)