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Mercantile Bank of Lancashire

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The Mercantile Bank of Lancashire transfers its business on 1 July 1904 to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank. Sale is one of thirty-one branches across the North West and the Isle of Man to be merged. The earliest detail we have for Sale as part of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank is from 1922, when the Manager of the branch is recorded as Mr W H Shaw. Sale becomes part of Martins Bank in 1928, and survives until August 2021.

In Service: pre 1904 until 6 August 2021

Image © Barclays Ref 0030-2538

In 1959, in a very short feature entitled “The Page of Memory”, Martins Bank Magazine publishes this rarely seen image of the staff at Sale branch in 1938, and for those still in service, it provides us with their current (at 1959) roles in the Bank…

1938 Sale Branch Staff MBM-Wi59P41Sale Branch Staff 1938: Left to Right – A R Janion (Deceased), J A Coombes (Manager, Broadheath), G K Eaves (Manager, Newcastle City Office) J F Davenport (Former Manager, Sale) W E Taylor (Former Manager, Gatley) M Hollway (manager, Coventry) and A Greir (Assistant Manager, Manchester City Office).

Within our one thousand or so branch pages, there is a small number that include the memories of people who worked for Martins towards the end of its days, that is to say before it is merged with Barclays. Hilary Currah joined the bank at the beginning of August 1969, and had just over four months to acquaint herself with the role of “junior”, which was the cover-all title for the general dogsbody that we all were when we started out in banking. Hilary’s memories include the daily battle which occurred when a group of people were trying their best to undertake a mountain of work, and still get home the same day! There are some banking terms which have an asterisk next to them, and the explanations appear at the end of this feature…

Definitely a TRUE Martini!

{“I suppose I can’t really call myself a true Martini* as I didn’t join Martins Bank until 6th August 1969 , when I started to work there four months before the merger in December 1969. I was told to present myself at Sale branch on Northenden Road for 9am , but when I arrived the doors were firmly closed. No-one had explained they didn’t open until 9.30am! Panic, what do I do now? Luckily a member of staff turned up and let me in. So began my first day of work for Martins Bank. I was taken under the wing of Barbara Slater nee Griffin who along with Hugh Oldham showed me the debit clearing. After that was listed and dispatched, Barbara explained how debits and credits worked , which seemed to take all day and by the end of it I was none the wiser!

As a Junior (that was your title when you first joined the Bank), I had to make Tea and Coffee for the rest of the staff, list the rems* and balance them, and make up the post. By the end of the day at 5pm, I was ready to go home. Wrong again! No-one had told me you only went home when everything balanced. About 6pm the phone rang, it was my Mum wondering where I was. Unfortunately the Manager Arthur Jackson (who made exceedingly good cakes) answered the phone (he did that frequently) and he was not happy! He basically told me in front of the whole branch no-one went home until everything was balanced and put away. Eventually we were done and I went home exhausted. Here ended my first day.

As well as the normal Junior duties, making drinks, balancing the rems, doing the post and every week balancing the stamps (they never did!) I had to make up Customer’s statements. As this was in the days before Computerisation they had to be prepared by hand and the envelopes addresses accordingly. In those days customers had their cheques and dividends returned with their statements, invariably there would be at least one statement missing an item, usually for a business account customer. As they all wanted their statements at the same time, usually lunch-time, it was like juggling with snow! Mr Jackson was given the statements to check they were made up properly and the envelopes addressed correctly. Woe betide you if you spelt a name wrong or a customer’s address was incorrect or incomplete. My biggest faux pas was when preparing statements one day for a well-known business account was to send one of the Director’s personal statements to them “c/o The Secretary”. I didn’t make that mistake again. By then Mr Jackson had retired and our Manager was Jim Kay he wasn’t best pleased with me. The most important thing to remember when doing statements was to tear off the side piece making sure you had written the final balance on it along with the customer’s name, then leave it on a spike for the machine room girls to prepare a new statement.

Mr R Hugh Oldham

Worked at Sale

From 1969

Mr A M Jackson

Retired as Manager

In 1969

Sale branch also had a sub-branch in Sale Moor, it opened later and closed about 3.30pm and was manned from Sale branch. Twice a day a member of staff used to have to travel between the two branches taking the day’s entries from Sale Moor to Sale. I was sent down to Sale Moor for several months to cover for a member of staff who was leaving. I didn’t want to go but soon got into the swing of things which was just as well as you had to do everything including the Waste*. This consisted of everything coming in over the counter which had to be processed. The Waste was done by hand on a manual adding machine, powered by steam! After processing a large stack of vouchers it was a relief when they balanced !

Another job was writing up deposit and savings passbooks from ledgers. These were passed over by the cashiers, I used to dread receiving one which hadn’t been updated for several months or years. I can’t remember how long I was at Sale Moor but the experience did me good.

I don’t remember whether I went onto the Counter before going into the Machine room and training as a Machinist. Life went on until the merger with Barclays in December 1969. We all moved into the existing Barclays branch which was several doors down from Martins and when alterations were complete back to the former Martins”.}

Hilary certainly packed a lot into her first four months in Martins, and her excellent memories show that perhaps being a Martini, for however long, made a deep impression upon her! Now for those banking “terms”:

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Martini” (also “Martian”) - this is how those who worked for Martins Bank would often describe themselves, and many still do!

doing the rems - any cheque presented at the counter of the bank, that came from another branch or another bank’s branch is a “rem” or REMITTANCE.  The clearing banks were obliged to list and balance the total amounts of them each day, before sending off to the clearing, where eventually, each cheque would arrive back at the bank and branch on which it was drawn.

Waste The banking term ‘waste’ refers to the assortment of vouchers – cheques, paying-in slips etc., - that come into a bank branch from customers and other sources throughout the day, and specifically to the printed or handwritten records of these transactions. The information they contain is more important than the pieces of paper themselves, and once processed to accounts the vouchers are largely redundant unless requested to be returned to a customer or used to check for errors. They are stored for a number of years for reference, and eventually the ‘waste’ is shredded or burned to become REAL waste! Those who don’t work in a bank are often surprised that such seemingly valuable items are so named…

Finally, our retirement feature, concerns the career of Mr C J Platts, who has managed Sale for seventeen years by the time he retires in May 1964. His career has spanned an incredible forty-three years, which began in 1921 at the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank…

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1947 to 1964 Mr C J Platts Manager MBM-Au64P59.jpg1964 03.jpgAfter forty-three years’ service, which began with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank in 1921, Mr Platts retired at the end of May. Apart from three years in H M Forces the whole of his career was spent in the Manchester District and he received his appointment as Manager at Sale Branch in 1947. Some of his early life was spent in Canada, and he worked for twelve months in the purchasing department of the Canadian Pacific Railway in Montreal. To mark the occasion Mr Platts entertained about forty friends and former colleagues at the Woodcourt Hotel, Sale, on the eve of his retirement. During the evening Miss Monica Flanagan presented Mrs Platts with a bouquet, and Mr H Boothman, Clerk in Charge at Sale Moor and life-long friend and working colleague presented Mr Platts, on behalf of the subscribers, a cheque which is being used to buy an easy chair. Mr Boothman was speaking for all when he expressed thanks for the kindness and consideration Mr Platts had always shown to colleagues and customers. Everyone, he concluded, wished Mr Platts and his wife a long and happy retirement.

Then and Now.jpgNot quite then and NOW, Sale Branch is pictured here as Barclays in 1974. Sadly the imposing stonework has given way to some unimaginative concrete, the main door has been moved to the middle, and the lovely brick “porthole” features at either end of the building have been covered over. What a shame…

Images © Barclays Ref 0030-2538

1938 Mr J A Coombes Manager 1956 to 1969 MBM-Wi58P41

1936 to 1936 M Hollway joined the bank here MBM-Su68P12

1915 Mr W E Taylor joined the bank here MBM-Wi59P53

1939 to 1942 Mr R W Nuttall joined the bank here MBM-Sp67P04

Mr J W Harvey

On the Staff


Mr G K Eaves

On the Staff


Mr J A Coombes

On the Staff


Mr M Hollway

On the Staff


Mr W E Taylor

On the Staff


Mr R W Nuttall

Joined the Bank Here

1939 to 1942

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1939 to 1947 Mr H Ingham Manager MBM-Au57P53

1947 to 1964 Mr C J Platts Manager MBM-Au64P59.jpg

1953 to 1954 Mr R Paulson  MBM-Au69P12.jpg

1968 David Wood MBM-Wi68P14.jpg

Mr H Ingham


1939 to 1947

Mr C J Platts


1947 to 1964

Mr R Paulson

Staff Member

1953 to 1954

Mr A M Jackson


1964 onwards

David Wood

Joined the Bank Here

September 1968

Mr R Hugh Oldham

On the Staff







Ashton on Mersey

Sale Moor







Sale Moor




Ashton on Mersey
















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Index Number and District:






11-47-70 Sale

Full Branch

17 Northenden Road Sale Cheshire

778 Manchester

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

061 873 3386/061 962 5555

Night Safe

A M Jackson Manager


St Mary Cray (Kent)

Pre 1904

1 July 1904

3 January 1928

15 December 1969

6 August 2021

Opened by the Mercantile Bank of Lancashire

The Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank

Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-74-90 Sale

Closed permanently at 12 Noon

Sale Moor