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Martins Bank 1928+

A number of Martins Bank’s branches are situated at the entrance to the Wirral Peninsula in Cheshire.  The main branch is ELLESMERE PORT, from where the outlets at BROMBOROUGH, EASTHAM and Little Sutton are looked after.  These are all self accounting sub branches – each has its own Clerk in Charge, and each is open full hours across the six day banking week.  The branch at Little Sutton is opened in 1933 in brick-built premises on a pleasant corner site. All runs smoothly for a number of years, until  early in 1965 when an unexpected visitor makes a rather too direct an entrance through the front door, causing chaos on a grand scale.  Martins Bank Magazine takes up the story below. The good news is that Little Sutton does survive and goes on to serve Barclays for thirty-one before being shut down in 2000…

In Service: 1933 until 7 April 2000

Image © Barclays Ref 0030-1654

1965 02 MBM.jpgat 12.15 p.m. on Wednesday, March 24th, the last of several lunch-time customers had just left Little Sutton branch, Cheshire, when an 8-wheeled lorry, after being involved in an accident, crashed into the front of the office. The cashiers, Mr S. W. Ash and Mr R. J. Shaw, were showered with bricks and rubble as the lorry hit the counter, pushing it back, but very luckily neither was hurt. Even the driver escaped injury though his mate received hospital treatment. Mr J. B. F. Bardsley (Clerk-in-Charge) was in his room at the time and the picture below (left) gives his view of the office.  This and the photograph of the lorry inside the branch were taken by Mr Walter Cartwright, a customer of the branch, whose firm started repair work within an hour. During rebuilding, banking business was continued at a mobile branch parked across the road.

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Ram-raid, or smash and grab?

Images © Martins Bank Archive Collections

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Perhaps a Clerk in Charge should keep a tidier office, and (right) that counter could do with a good polish, too…

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For our retirement feature, we look back to 1958 and the farewell gathering for Mr Eustace Edgar Betenson, Clerk in Charge at Little Sutton for fifteen years.  Mr Betenson was the first member of Martins Bank staff to be included in our collaboration with LIVES OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR, a major project run in association with the Imperial War Museum.  Based on the retirement information we hold about a large number of Martins Bank staff who served their country between 1914 and 1920, we can help Lives of the First World War tell the stories of these brave men. Our article below has also been reproduced as part of Mr Betenson’s timeline on the LIVES OF site, which includes his service record from World War I, and other key moments from his life… 

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Little Sutton branch has surely never before in its history been called upon to accommo­date so many members of the staff as squeezed into it on the last day of January to wish Godspeed to Mr. E. E. Betenson on the last day of his 43 years' service. His friends and colleagues from surrounding branches, from Liverpool and on the retired staff crowded in to express their good wishes. The presentation of a cheque on behalf of the subscribers was made by Mr. J. H. Pickering, Assistant Staff Manager, who referred in the warmest terms to Mr. Betenson's sense of duty and conception of service. His attitude had always been, said Mr. Pickering, not what he got out of life but what he could put into it, a remark which evoked a murmur of general assent. Mr. Betenson thanked all his friends for their attendance and for their gift, and refreshments were then served. We were very pleased indeed to welcome Mrs. Betenson to the little party. Mr. Betenson entered the Bank in 1915 at Egremont. He served in H.M. Forces from 1917-20 and afterwards served for varying periods at Ellesmere Port, Bootle, Foreign, on H.O. Relief, Charing Cross, Claughton Village, and at Liverpool City Office. His first appointment, in charge of Upton branch, came in 1938 and he was appointed Clerk-in-Charge at Little Sutton in 1942.

1938 to 1943 Mr R W Chisholm Clerk in Charge MBM-Wi64P56.jpg

1943 to 1958 Mr E E Betenson Clerk in Charge MBM-Sp58P48.jpg

1958 to 1964 Mr R G Dakin Clerk in Chagre MBM-Wi64P08.jpg






Mr R W Chisholm

Clerk in Charge

1938 to 1943

Mr E E Betenson

Clerk in Charge

1943 to 1958

Mr R G Dakin

Clerk in Charge

1958 to 1964

Mr J B F Bardsley

Clerk in Charge

1964 onwards








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Index Number and District:






11-54-50 Little Sutton

Self-Accounting sub to 11-68-30 Ellesmere Port

392 Chester Road Little Sutton Wirral

60 Liverpool

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

HOOton 2133

Nightsafe Installed

J B F Bardsley Clerk in Charge


Litherland Temporary Branch


15 December 1969

7 April 2000

Opened by Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-50-60 Little Sutton