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Martins Bank 1928+

Martins Bank’s Branch at Oswestry opens in May 1956, and is placed within Liverpool District.  Much later, following the merger, Barclays has its own Local Head Office in Shrewsbury, and the Branch will therefore be under a much more local Control.  Martins Bank Magazine seems quite excited at the prospect of visiting Oswestry, for two main reasons – the proximity of the visit to the actual opening date of the Branch, and the fact that it has been opened in an area where Martins faces a fair degree of competition.


In Service: 3 May 1956 until March 1975

Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections - Amanda McGregor

That Oswestry will be closed less than twenty years after it opened is, thankfully, not yet on anyone’s radar, and the Magazine sets about commenting on the individual staff and their backgrounds, as well as the prospects of this brand new Branch…

1956 02 MBM.jpgWe have never before visited a branch within a few days of its opening and our visit to Oswestry on May 7th was, therefore, an especially interesting experience. We once said to Mr. Tarn,   when discussing the opening of new branches, that we would feel appalled at the prospect of making a “go” of a new branch in a place where our competitors had been strongly entrenched for years.   His reply has always stuck in our mind: “To me it would be a challenge”. This is surely the only possible spirit in which to storm a fortress and, listening to Mr. S. B. Evans, as he enthusiastically unfolded his plans for making a success of his first branch, it did us good to feel the purpose-fulness and drive which he radiated. With men like this, willing to put every ounce of energy and determination into the job, the virility and future prosperity of the Bank is assured.

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Interior Branch Images © Barclays Ref 0030-2190

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Mr. Evans has certainly moved around. A native of Wem, he entered the Bank at Blackpool, then served at various branches in the North-Eastern District. A spell at the South Welsh branches followed, interrupted by four years in India with the R.A.M.C. Then came seven years at Taunton as second-in-command, after a few months in Liverpool, and then a year in Wrexham while the new branch was being built. His roots are very much in the district, where his father and grandfather were Welsh Congregational ministers. He has farming relatives in Shropshire and Montgomeryshire and his wife is a native of Llanerfyl, near Oswestry.  

Mr Morris, Mr Evans and Miss Ellis

His second man is Mr. C. F. Morris, who entered the Bank in 1941: all his service up to now having been in branches in the Liverpool District. The third member of the staff is Miss S. M. Ellis, who started her career at Shrewsbury nearly a year ago, and is proving first class in every way. She is, incidentally, organist at the Welsh Methodist Chapel. Our new branch occupies a very good position in the centre of this extremely busy market town, which boasts of having one of the six largest markets in the country. The office is very bright and cheerful and has a welcoming air about it; and this is just what we want. We had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Evans and their three children and, later, of making a brief tour of the lovely surroundings of the town and of admiring what is probably the unique view from the old racecourse, where the farming activities are spread out for a bird's-eye inspection and are sharply divided by the valley: one side entirely devoted to arable farming and the other entirely to pasture.





Cross Street









Cross Street

5 Beatrice Street Executor & Trustee




1956 to 1963 Mr S B Evans Manager MBM-Wi63P05.jpg

1956 Mr CF Morris pro Manager MBM-Au66P04.jpg

1956 Miss S M Ellis MBM-Su56P20.jpg

1961 to 1962 Mr C Jones Joined the Bank Here MBM-Au63P40

1963 Mr J M Holdsworth Manager MBM-Wi63P06.jpg






Mr S B Evans

First Manager of Branch

1956 to 1963

Mr C F Morris

Branch Second

1956 to 1966

Miss S M Ellis

On the Staff


Mr C Jones

Joined the Bank Here

1961 to 1962

Mr J M Holdsworth


1963 onwards





Index Number and District:






11-66-60 Oswestry

Full Branch

24 Cross Street Oswestry Shropshire

86 Liverpool

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Oswestry 2520

Night Safe Installed

Mr J M Holdsworth Manager

Orton (Westmorland)

3 May 1956

15 December 1969

March 1975

Opened by Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-64-59 Oswestry 24 Cross Street


Otford (Kent)