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Martins Bank 1928+Nestling on the South Coast, somewhere between Brighton and Eastbourne, is the lovely old town of Walmington on Sea. Martins Bank’s Branch is opened there in 1936.  Largely unspoilt for decades after the Second World War, the town of Walmington on Sea plays a surprising part during the conflict, as does the staff of the Branch there - three of whom work hard for the Bank during the day, and for their Country each night and at weekends.  We meet the staff of the branch and learn more about life there, from Martins Bank Magazine’s 1947 visit to Walmington on Sea…

1947 03 MBM.jpgWhen journeying to the furthest outposts of the Bank, we are always delighted by the welcome we receive, and it makes us proud to know that we are all part of one big happy family.  Our trip to the south coast ended on 24TH June  and having already taken in the sights and sounds of the towns that host our Branches at Bexhill, Eastgate and Frambourne, we made the quaint old seaside town of Walmington-on-Sea our final port of call. 

In Service: 1 April 1936 until 12 December 1969

1936-03-26 Walmington on Sea opening Announcement Sussex Courier Framed - MBA

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Eastbourne Gazette 26 Mar 1936

Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections


Dad's Army - Martins Bank side view

Image © 1971 Columbia/United Artists –

Caution, see copyright notice at foot of page.


As we drove along the high street, past Stead and Simpson’s, Timothy Whites, the butcher’s and the greengrocer’s, we felt already at home, almost as if Walmington was OUR town – which has to be the best advertisement for anywhere, we think! At the end of the high street stands our Branch, a rather unassuming red-brick building with a corner entrance, and the golden grasshopper of the South hangs at right-angles to the longest wall.   We were greeted by Miss King, the only girl at the Branch, who divides her time between the secretarial work of the Branch, and assisting at the counter as required. 

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Images © Martins Bank Archive Collections

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Miss King is a delightful local girl, who really brightens up the place.  Frank Pike is the cashier, and we couldn’t help but notice that he knew the name and the business  of every customer that passed through the doors whilst we were there. 

Our Chief Clerk is the Honourable Mr Arthur Wilson, known to all as a true gentleman, and we were indeed impressed by the way in which communication between Chief Clerk and our Manager, Mr George Mainwaring, kept the Branch running s­o smoothly.  We discovered the secret of such harmony lay in the parts played by our staff in the last conflict.  Mr Mainwaring established the local Home Guard Platoon, in which he held the rank of Captain.  He was ably assisted by Mr Wilson as his Sergeant. 

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Many of the proprietors of local businesses also numbered amongst the ranks.  As he was too young to join up at the time, Mr Pike, whom we are sure on several occasions we heard referred to by Mr Mainwaring as “that useful boy” or some such, also joined the home guard.   This situation was of benefit not only to the Country, but also to the Bank, as unlike so many of our Branches, Walmington was able to stay open and in service throughout the war, save for the inconvenience of a bomb which landed on the strongroom, but thankfully did no lasting damage. 

Walmington on Sea Staff

© 1971 Columbia/United Artists

Caution, see copyright notice at foot of page.

In 1941 Mr Wilson actually attained the managership of his own Branch at Eastgate, but the building unfortunately sustained such damage from bombing, that the Bank was minded to close the Branch altogether, and return Mr Wilson to his old job – all of which he simply took in his stride. We had the good fortune not only to take an excellent lunch with Mr Mainwaring, but at his invitation, to also be accommodated for the night, before the long drive back to Liverpool.  This sounded much more agreeable to us than the thought of a night at the Clifftop Hotel, and after an early evening stroll taking in the air, and a visit to the Novelty Rock Emporium, we enjoyed the Mainwarings’ delightful hospitality.  Having spent such an agreeable time in the company of Mr Mainwaring, and his charming wife Elizabeth, we feel sure it won’t be long before we find the excuse to go “down south” again for the Summer.

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Down memory lane…


Mr Mainwaring will probably consider himself lucky to have retired from banking before computers and account numbers became all the rage, and he will most likely find it good to see again one of the older and more traditional Martins Bank cheques, from Walmington-on-Sea Branch. Those were the days when a customer was known by his or her face, and by the way he or she signed cheques and forms...

Walmington on Sea Cheque

Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections

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Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections

It sticks out half a mile!

At the end of 1947 Mr Mainwaring retired and spent a short time travelling abroad.  He worked for a while inspecting cuckoo clocks in Switzerland, before returning to the UK.  Upon hearing of the plight of the old pier at Frambourne-on-sea, Mr Mainwaring was unexpectedly reunited with his former Chief Clerk Mr Wilson who by that time was manager of Martins Bank at Frambourne.  Thanks to a loan from the Bank, Mr Mainwaring was able to persuade the local council to sell him the pier, and work began in earnest to restore it to its pre-war glory.


Please remember that whilst every other Branch of Martins Bank is real, Martins’ Branch at Walmington-on-Sea definitely is NOT, and is celebrated here out of the affection we have for the role played by Martins Bank in the 1971 film version of “Dad’s Army”, and several early episodes of the TV series where Martins Bank is mentioned by name.  Martins Bank Archive is required to remind all visitors to this site, that the images, character and place names used on this page remain at all times the absolute property of the respective copyright holders, and to point out that at no time has or will this property be used by Martins Bank Archive for any form of financial gain.  Film images courtesy of Norcon Productions, Columbia/United Artists Copyright 1971.  The story of Mr Mainwaring’s purchase of Frambourne pier is taken from the 1981 radio comedy pilot “It sticks out half a mile” written by Harold Snoad and Michael Knowles, starring Arthur Lowe and John le Mesurier. Sadly, Arthur Lowe was too ill to continue with this series, and it was remade with the character of Mr Wilson taking the lead.




Index Number and District:






11-55-80 Walmington on Sea

Full Branch

High Street Walmington on Sea Sussex

495 London

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

WALmington on Sea 325

Nightsafe Installed

Mr G Mainwaring Manager (until 1947)


Wallsend The Forum

1 April 1936

12 December 1969

Opened by Martins Bank Limited

Closed and Business moved to Barclays Bank Eastbourne



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