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Kendal Bank

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A branch with several lives…

Messrs Wakefield Crewdson’s Kendal Bank opens a Branch in Carnforth in 1887 at 30 Market Street. There seems to have been a period of itchy feet, and a change of owner, before the Bank of Liverpool finally settles on No 3 Market Street in 1907, but even then, future expansion is on the cards. Our first image is wonderfully evocative, showing the branch in 1936, with a poster that reminds customers of the forthcoming August Bank Holiday. This image is a rare enlarged and framed photograph from the Barclays collection, which was saved when Carnforth was closed for good in October 2022. 

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In each of the windows is a promotion for Martins Bank’s Home Safes, with the slogan: “For The Odd Coins That Do Not Usually Find Their Way Into The Bank Account”!

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Compare and contrast with the second view of the Branch (right), and you will find some familiar aspects remain along with a smarter and cleaner “shop front”. Later on this page we look at advertising copy from some of the local companies who were contracted to effect this facelift at Carnforth…

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Carnforth’s enduring claim to fame is the starring role played by its railway station in the 1945 classic film, ‘Brief Encounter’.  Since then the station itself has gone through several different phases, including a post-Beeching ugly stage, and thankfully a twenty-first century handsome stage, whereby period features have been restored, and you can even take afternoon tea in the very café seen in the film. Even without many of the brutalist structures and fashionable fads of the swinging sixties, some things do seem to have changed forever. 

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Nowadays if wanting to travel North from Carnforth to Kendal by electric train, you must first go south to Lancaster by diesel, change trains and go back the way you came to pass through Carnforth and head North to Oxenholme where you change again to go to Kendal!  No doubt modern PR would hail this as a great service to customers… 

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Just like MORECAMBE, Martins Bank’s Branch at Carnforth bears a similar, but smaller scale, resemblance to an eastern European palace.  It would appear that Messrs Wakefield Crewdson went in for a certain amount of grandeur in their bank branch buildings.  

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“From the North”…

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In this scene from a 1968 Granada TV documentary about life in the town, we see the Martins Bank Branch captured in the background of an interview at the nearby Royal Station Hotel. 

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Here, the bank has a pleasant corner aspect, which faces the War Memorial in one direction and in the other towards the Royal Station Hotel and the Carnforth Co-Operative Society and railway station beyond.

In Service: 1887 until 13 October 2022

Carnforth Branch Pictured in August 1936

Image © Barclays Ref 2364-1


Carnforth Branch 21 November 1938 until 13 October 2022

Image © Barclays Ref 0030-0565

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Carnforth Branch with onlookers in 1968

Image © ITV Studios 1968 to date

It is also worth noting that even in the smaller towns such as Carnforth, Martins Bank’s customers enjoy Saturday morning banking.  Just the thing when you need money for your train ticket.  The Midland Bank next door is decorated with new branding that will last until the 1980s, although the Midland Bank itself will not remain in Carnforth beyond that particular decade.

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Banking on horseback…

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Four Centuries CoverJohn Mashiter Began his career with the Bank in Manchester in 1925, worked throughout the Northern District of the Bank and retired in 1969. In 1963 he was a member of the History of Martins Bank Committee, whose remit was to collect the history of Martins Bank together for Publication.  He recalls his own time at Carnforth Branch in Volume I of “Four Centuries of Banking”…

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{There were only two of us at Carnforth. The Manager Edmund Herd was an old friend and life there was very good.  I cycled the eight miles from Milnthorpe and with practice could do the daily stint of sixteen miles in remarkable time.  This was the main A6 road but in those days traffic was light and I did the journey for two years without mishap.   The Reynolds family from Leighton Hall were customers;  one of them was a director of the Bank and they frequently came to the Branch on horseback.  On these occasions I had to go out and hold their horses.  The sight of me being towed up and down the street by two restive horses always amused our shopkeeper customers, who came out to watch the fun and urge on the horses.}

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Business as usual…

After several months at 2 Scotland Road, the Bank moves back into its premises at 3 Market Street on 21 November 1938. The building has been reconstructed, and an attractive stone fascia gives customers a feeling of extra security. An advertisement like this one, from our collection of remastered Martins Bank advertising copy is published in the Lancaster Guardian on 18 November 1938, and an accompanying news article explains just what has been done to the building…

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{On Monday next, 21st instant, Martins Bank, Limited, will transfer the business at present carried on in temporary premises in Scotland Road to their reconstructed building at the corner of Market Street and New street, Carnforth. By the inclusion in the Bank premises of the area of the adjoining shop in New Street the Banking Hall has been doubled in size and it has enabled a spacious and attractive modem office with Manager's room to be provided.

Those conversant with the previous Bank front will remember the wooden cornice supported by wooden pilasters, and the timber screen at the entrance. These have been removed and the building has been refronted in stone with a new cornice and new entrance door. It is considered that the design has added a feature of architectural interest to the town and that customers will appreciate the increased accommodation and comfort provided in the interior of the building. All the internal fittings are in polished mahogany and have been constructed to meet modem banking requirements. The counter has been extended and there is ample desk accommodation for the clerical staff. In addition to the ground floor extension, the basement has also been proportionately enlarged wherein has been constructed an up-to-date strongroom to provide all possible security both far the Bank's requirements and customers’ needs.}

Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections

Advertisement Re-Mastered 2018

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Local companies whose services were contracted to the Bank to bring about the renovations to 3 Market Street, advertise alongside the opening announcement in the Lancaster Guardian 18/11/1938.

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Frightfully Keen…

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A Bank manager used to be seen as a pillar of the local community – someone who knows everyone and knows everyone’s business. Just occasionally along with chairing a few local committees or holding the treasurership of one or two charitable concerns, a manager may be called upon to impart knowledge of his life’s experience. In October 1954, Mr G Keen, Manager of Martins Bank’s Carnforth Branch lets members of the local Junior Anglican People’s Association know all about his days in India during the Second World War. Once again the trusty Lancaster Guardian is on hand to report mr Keen’s presentation…


Newspaper Images (above,) Lancaster Guardian 18/11/1938 and 29/10/1954 © Johnstone Press.

Images created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.  Images reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive

This is not exactly then and NOW, but it is a good example of how Barclays’ Branding interfered only minimally with the appearance of Carnforth Branch. Even the addition of a cash machine in the 1990s did not detract from the pleasant look of this building.


Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections - Phil Dunster

Images © Barclays Ref 0030-0565


1929 Mr E Herd Manager MBM-Wi54P46.jpg

1947  to 1969 Mr John Mashiter Manager MBM-Sp69P55.jpg

1935 to 1937 Mr J G Young Clerk in Charge MBM-Au46P20.jpg

1937 to 1937 Mr C H Exley joined the bank here MBM-Wi65P04.jpg

1964 to 1967 Mr R Thornton MBM-Wi67P01.jpg






Mr E Herd


1929 to 1935

Mr John Mashiter

On the Staff

1930 to 1932 approx

Mr J G Young

Clerk in Charge

1935 to 1937

Mr C H Exley

Joined the bank here


Mr A Martin


1937 to 1952

Mr R Thornton

On the Staff

1964 to 1967










Index No and District:






11-55-20 Carnforth

Main Branch

3 Market Street Carnforth Lancashire

227 Northern

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Carnforth 2647

Nightsafe Installed

Mr G W Keen Manager



Carlisle Lowther Street (Temp)



27 June 1893


11 December 1907

18 December 1918

3 January 1928


21 November 1938

15 December 1969

13 October 2022

opened at 30 Market Street by

Messrs Wakefield Crewdson, the Kendal Bank

Bank of Liverpool

Moved to Lancaster Road

Moved to 3 Market Street

Bank of Liverpool and Martins

Martins Bank Limited

Moved temporarily to 2 Scotland Road

Moved back to 3 Market Street (re-built)

Barclays Bank Limited 20-18-56 Carnforth

Closed permanently from 12 Noon

Carnforth Scotland Road (Temp)