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Martins Bank 1928+

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In Service: Unknown until approx 23 February 1970

Banking at the cradle of Christianity…

Berwick & Holy Island.jpgFirst.jpgMartins bank is known for a number of notable FIRSTS – computers, drive-in banking, Martins Auto Cashier and so on – so it probably won’t surprise you to learn of another “first” at one of the most Northerly outposts of the bank: The Holy Island Banking Service.  By car, over road and sand flats, two members of the Berwick upon tweed Branch staff journey to bring Martins Bank to its customers on Holy Island!  This surely takes going to extremes to be helpful to a whole new level, and it all seems inconceivable in the more dangerous times of twenty-first century banking, but yes, it really did happen.  In 1965 Martins Bank Magazine itself takes a trip to Lindisfarne, learns about the hardiness of the Holy Islanders, and accompanies the Staff as they drive around the Island dispensing the helpful extremes of Martins’ banking services…


1960 Berwick upon Tweed exterior BGA Ref 30-173.jpg1965 03 MBM.jpgWe joined Mr T. H. Donkin, our manager, and Mr D. Clark of the relief staff, on a singular banking service to Holy Island, travelling by car from Beal across the causeway and the sand at low tide to call at hotels and boarding houses where in the holiday season proprietors are sometimes too busy to travel to the mainland. Lindisfarne, the cradle of Christianity in Northumbria, has a population of 250 who at the time of our visit seemed mostly concerned with the artistes and technicians of a London film company spending some weeks on making Cul-de-sac, and on that day monopo­lising the 400-year-old castle. The Holy Islander is tough and adaptable. He can man a lifeboat, run a hotel bar, manoeuvre a duck punt, grow potatoes, drive a car and exchange pleasantries with a French film actress.  He and his fellow Northumbrians are not the products of the welfare state but of a varied and often violent history. Direct and dependable, there is little wonder that they go a long way. Even in banking!

1965 Mr T H Donkin Manager MBM-Au65P14

Mr T H Donkin











Index Number and District:





11-59-00 Holy Island Banking Service

Special service operated by 11-59-00 Berwick upon Tweed

47 Hide Hill Berwick upon Tweed Northumberland

310 North Eastern

As dictated by the needs of local business in holiday season

Berwick upon Tweed 7545

Door to door banking services

Mr T H Donkin Manager (Berwick upon Tweed)

Holmfirth (Yorkshire)

Date Unknown

23 February 1970

Opened by Martins Bank Limited

Most likely to have ended when Berwick upon Tweed Branch Closed

Honley (Huddersfield)



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