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With a liberal sprinkling of apostrophes, Besses o’ th’ Barn sub-Branch at Whitefield, is opened by Martins Bank in 1937.  Although like many of the other shops on Bury Old Road, the new Branch has been converted from a previously substantial private dwelling, the Bank’s Architect still manages to bring a feeling of security to the building, with a fantastic stone facing to that ever popular bank branch device, the corner entrance. During the Second World War, Besses o’ th’ Barn is managed by one of many female Clerks in Charge, who step in as Managers in all but name to help the Bank stay open… 

In Service: 23 August 1937 until 12 September 1988

1960 s Whitefield Besses O The Barn Exterior 1 BGA Ref 30-3370

Image © Barclays Ref 0030-3370

Miss M A Lonsdale features in our Staff Gallery below, and you can read more about the Wartime female staff in our Martins at War feature: GENTLEMEN-THE LADIES. Besses o’ th’ Barn survives the 1969 merger with Barclays and stays open for another twenty years or so, closing in the Autumn of 1988. For our feature, we go back to 1968 - Retiring from forty-three years with the bank, and also just before the merger, is Jack Lightfoot, who has been Clerk in Charge at Besses o’ th’ Barn since 1958.  As ever, Martins Bank Magazine is there to report on the festivities…

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1968 04 MBM.jpg1958 to 1968 Mr J E Lightfoot Clerk in Charge MBM-Wi68P57.jpgretiring as Clerk-in-Charge of Besses o' th' Barn branch after 43 years' service, Jack Lightfoot gave an informal party at the Derby Hotel, Whitefield, on September 27. Some fifty of his friends and colleagues, including Mr N. E. Foster and Mr F. Tunstall, were present. After a buffet meal Mr Derbyshire (Manager, Whitefield) spoke of the well-deserved esteem with which Mr Lightfoot was regarded by staff and customers and of the loyalty and help he had given four successive managers while at Besses o' th' Barn.  Mr Derbyshire then presented a cheque which would be used to buy a power mower, and Mrs Eileen Webb gave a bouquet to Mrs Lightfoot. Mr Lightfoot responded with characteristic sin­cerity, acknowledging with gratitude the gifts and good wishes of his friends. Earlier that day he had been entertained to lunch at Manchester District Office. With the exception of five years with H.M. Forces his whole career had been spent in the Manchester District, beginning at Accrington in 1925, and culminating in his appointment as Clerk-in-Charge at Besses o' th' Barn in 1958.

Images © Barclays Ref 0030-3370



1943 to 1946 Miss M A Lonsdale Clerk in Charge MBM-Sp47P24.jpg

1946 to 1948 Mr F N Openshaw Manager MBM-Su46P16.jpg

1950 to 1951 Mr N D Crompton joined the bank here MBM-Au68P14.jpg

Miss M A Lonsdale

Clerk in Charge

1943 to 1946

Mr F N Openshaw


1946 to 1947

Mr F Whewell

Clerk in Charge

1947 to 1949

Mr C Coope


1949 to 1958

Mr N D Crompton

Joined the Bank here

1950 to 1951

Mr J E Lightfoot

Clerk in Charge

1958 to 1968

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1968 Mr T Whittaker Clerk in Charge MBM-Wi68P07.jpg

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Mr T Whittaker

Clerk in Charge

1968 onwards







Index Number and District:






11-60-00 Whitefield Besses o’ th’ Barn

Self accounting sub to 11-35-90 WHITEFIELD

142 Bury Old Road Besses o' th' Barn Manchester

712 Manchester

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

061 766 2506

No Nightsafe

Mr T Whittaker pro Manager


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Berwick-upon-Tweed Corn Exchange

23 August 1937

15 December 1969

12 September 1988

Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-95-77 Whitefield Besses o’ th’ Barn


Bexhill on Sea



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