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Martins Bank 1928+

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Martins Bank’s Selby Branch arrives with little fanfare in 1958, taking its place in The Crescent and looking for all the world like a slighty larger version of the many “front room” sub branches that fly the flag for the bank across the North of England.  Barclays has no need for the branch, and closes it within six months of the merger, but Martins Bank Magazine does pay Selby a full visit shortly after it opens, in which they are reasonably enthusiastic about this latest edition to the Leeds District of the Bank.

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When Miss Mann set up her Establishment for Young Ladies on Febru­ary 13th, 1844, she made a note in French in the front of the ledger in which she intended to keep the accounts of her pupils, couched in terms which showed that she had the highest regard for her responsi­bility of influencing the young minds which she hoped would be entrusted to her care. Her sisters joined her in 1847 and 1852 re­spectively and the establishment flourished until, with the passage of time, the property fell into other hands and was converted for use as a shop.

In Service: 1958 until 14 June 1970

1958 Selby Exterior MBM-Au58P34.jpg

Image © Barclays Ref 0030-2582

Today it has once more been converted and the only visible link with the past is the school ledger with its faded writing, now kept in the Manager's room. Our first reaction on seeing the internal decor was to advise that enthusiastic exponent of modern bank architecture, Mr. Edward Norman-Butler to lose no time in visiting Selby to see what they can do in Yorkshire.  In its own way it is every bit as fine as some of the better publicised new branches in the London District. Skilful use of contrasting colours for floors, bright green and pink, enhance the furniture and woodwork, while even the steel cupboards have been painted a special shade of metallic blue which gives them an attrac­tion entirely in harmony with the general colour scheme.

1958 Selby Interior 1 BGA Ref 30-2582

1958 Selby Interior 3 BGA Ref 30-2582

Images © Barclays Ref 30-2582

Over the bank a very attractive house has been made with its best rooms looking on to the venerable Selby Abbey, from the bell tower of which every third hour a carillon plays well-known hymn tunes. The Abbey has other claims to fame than that of having been founded at the time of the Norman Conquest. The ancestors of George Washington worshipped here and the great American President was the great-great-grandson of the member of the family who went to live in America. The family connections go back to the early years of our own Grasshopper tradition. The Washington coat-of-arms appears in one of the stained-glass windows and a patriotic American has presented a flag which hangs below the window. The Abbey has another curious little surprise. The capitals of some of the short decorative columns are hollow and in one of them, revealed to the gaze by the use of an electric hand-lamp which is kept on a bench for the purpose, is a bust of King Edward VII, beautifully carved.

1958 Selby Exterior 1 BGA Ref 30-2582

Image © Barclays Ref 30-2582


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On arrival in Selby we were met by Mr. J. Holdsworth, the Manager, who is very well known to us as a result of his tour of duty with the Mobile Bank. We motored to Monk Fryston Hall Hotel for lunch and there we met Mrs. Holdsworth, better known to us all in the Liverpool District as Nora Owen. Before her marriage she was one of the principals in the Argosy Players and served for some years in Staff Department and later in Inspection Department.  The new branch has started right from scratch and the success with which it will undoubtedly meet will be due entirely to the efforts of Mr. and Mrs. Holdsworth who are quite dedicated to the task of planting Martins Bank firmly in this corner of the East Riding.  Mr. Holdsworth is a Leeds District man, having commenced his service at Pontefract and, apart from war service, 1939-46, having been at Scarborough, South Cliff and Sheffield before becoming Clerk-in-Charge of the Mobile Branch in 1956. He spent part of 1957 at Heywoods to prepare for the task of opening at Selby.   

Acting as second man is Mr. D. E. Greaves, on relief duties from Leeds. Miss A. D. Gowthorpe, who came to Selby from York, was on holiday on the day of our visit, July 14th, and in her place was Miss Betts, also from York.  Circumstances conspired to arrange our visit very soon after the opening of the branch, and we regret that some of the other new branches which have been open longer have not yet received a visit, but we will try to remedy this state of affairs as soon as possible. The new branch is one in which we can all take pride, and, architecturally at any rate, it will be one of the showpieces of the Leeds District.
















1958 to 1963Mr J M Holdsworth Manager MBM-Wi63P06.jpg

1958 Miss Bett on relief from York MBM-Au58P34.jpg

1958 Mr D E Greaves On Relief as 2nd Man MBM-Au66P05.jpg

1963 to 1966 Mr G H D Smith Manager MBM-Wi63P06.jpg

1966 Mr JR Barrett Manager MBM-Au66P06.jpg

Mr J M Holdsworth


1958 to 1963

Miss Bett

On Relief from York


Mr D E Greaves

On relief from Leeds


Mr G H D Smith


1963 to 1966

Mr J R Barrett


1966 onwards


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Index Number and District:






11-66-70 Selby

Full Branch

4 The Crescent Selby Yorkshire

622 Leeds

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Selby 3892

Nightsafe Installed

Mr J R Barrett Manager



15 December 1969

14 June 1970

Opened by Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-76-35 Selby The Crescent


Sevenoaks St Botolph’s Road