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North Eastern Banking Company

If Sea Houses Branch were a car, someone would surely have written “clean me” in the grime by now!  In one of the most beautiful parts of England, Sea Houses sits on the coast of Northumberland, looking North across the sea to the Farne Islands, home to seal colonies and sea birds, an area of outstanding natural beauty. 

Sea Houses

In Service: September 1876 until present day – still open as Barclays

Image © Barclays Ref: 0030-2577

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In September 1876, the North Eastern Banking Company opens a branch at Sea Houses, which along with a sub-Branch at Bamburgh is inherited by the Bank of Liverpool in 1914, and progresses to the ownership of Martins Bank in 1928. This image from the 1930s shows Sea Houses branch under a considerable amount of grime.  In the twenty-first century however, the building is much cleaner and still home to Barclays.  In February 1963 Martins Bank’s Sea Houses Manager Mr Swanson is about to retire early through ill-health. Note that by this time he has already served forty years – these really are the days of the job for life! and in the feature below, note also the retirement gift his colleagues have clubbed together to buy for him.

Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections

The genuine wishes of good health that come with this gift seem incongruous in our health aware twenty-first century.  What an illustration of just how much times have changed…

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1965 02 MBM.jpg1951 to 1963 Mr J Swanson Manager MBM-Su63P53.jpgAt the end of February Mr. J. Swanson (Manager, Sea Houses) retired prematurely on the grounds of ill health. Prior to his retirement Mr. Swanson was entertained to lunch in Newcastle by Mr. W. Weatherill (North Eastern District General Manager) who was also present at a cocktail party given by Mr. Swanson at his home to past and present members of the Sea Houses staff.   In making the presentation of an inscribed silver cigarette box on behalf of subscribers, Mr. J. C. Henderson, the second-in-command, expressed regret at Mr. Swanson's early retirement and added the hope that once relieved of business cares his health would speedily improve. After Mr. Swanson had suitably replied, Miss Hope presented a bouquet to Mrs. Swanson. Entering the service of the Bank in 1923 at Amble, Mr. Swanson subsequently served at Newbiggin and Rothbury before his appoint­ment as Manager at Sea Houses in 1951. He spent the years 1941-46 in H.M. Forces.


1914 to 1920 Mr J A Charlton joined the bank here MBM-Wi57P48.jpg

1933 to 1951 Mr R C Gair Manager MBM-Wi51P36.jpg

1951 to 1963 Mr J Swanson Manager MBM-Su63P53.jpg

1963 Mr JC Henderson Branch Second MBM-Su64P08.jpg

1963 to 1968 Mr J Barrow Manager MBM-Wi68P57.jpg

1968 Mr ED Teasdale Manager MBM-Wi68P09.jpg






Mr J A Charlton

Joined the Bank Here

1914 to 1920

Mr R C Gair


1933 to 1951

Mr J Swanson


1951 to 1963

Mr J Henderson

Branch Second


Mr J C Barrow


1963 to 1968

Mr E D Teasdale


1968 onwards




Index Number and District:






11-59-71 Sea Houses

Full Branch

1 Seafield Road Sea Houses Northumberland

354 North Eastern

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Sea Houses 216

Nightsafe installed

Mr E D Teasdale Manager


Scarborough South Cliff

September 1876

18 December 1918

3 January 1928

15 December 1969


Opened by the North Eastern Banking Company

Bank of Liverpool and Martins

Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-76-25 Sea Houses

Still open today as a branch of Barclays

Seaham (County Durham)