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Craven Bank

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A year of reconstruction…


Between 1962 and 1963 Martins Bank rebuilds, reconstructs or generally modernises a large number of its branches across the country.  Some of these buildings have changed little since they were inherited from the myriad banks that amalgamated with the Bank of Liverpool and Martins, and are therefore desperate to be brought up to twentieth century standards. 

You can see what in today’s terms would be called Otley’s “makeover” below, and also some other very good “before and after” examples by visiting our branch network pages for KENDAL, NEWCASTLE WINGROVE and SOUTH SHIELDS TYNE DOCK.  In Craven District, the interiors of GUISELEY and Otley receive internal reconstruction, and these are shown off with colour pictures in Martins Bank Magazine under the title “design in banking”. Additionally, Guiseley is given a new blue marbled frontage.


This particular Branch building stays open after the merger with Barclays until 1976, when it is closed and the business transferred to 1 Manor Square. You can read a little more about this just below the information sections at the foot of this page.

Otley receives its official branch visit from Martins Bank Magazine in 1951, and as well as meeting the staff and describing the local area, the article also questions why a particular type of business is based in the town…

In Service: 16 February 1872 until 26 April 1976

 Image © Barclays Ref: 0030-2193

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1951 02 MBM.jpgIt never occurred to us that Guy Fawkes would have any traceable descendants and we certainly never expected to find one located in Otley, but one of the thrills of our first visit to this old Yorkshire town was to rub shoulders in the street with Major Fawkes, who is a genuine descendant of the immortal Guy. Our next surprise was to discover that a business for the manufacture of printing machinery, famous all over the world, is established at Otley. It is bad journalism to ask questions which leave the reader guessing, but we ask this one in the hope that some knowledgeable reader will write and tell us the answer which we were unable to discover for our­selves during our short stay there. Why did Otley, of all places, become the centre of a business of this description? Leeds would be understandable, but Otley is in the heart of farming country and not specially suitable, one would have thought, for a specialised industry of this type. Going to Otley was like goinghome, for Mr. and Mrs. R. B.Barrett were members of our 1949 Swiss Tour Party and our visitwas made on April 6th shortly before our Italian Lakes Tour to which they were also coming. They were both very disappointed that the day was dull and misty so that they were deprived of the opportunity of demonstrating the superiority of Yorkshire over Lancashire scenery.

1963 Otley Interior MBM-Sp63P33They needn't have worried for, with the exception of parts of mid and north Lancashire, we were quite prepared to concede the point. Otley itself is somewhat drab, with lines of old terrace houses, very ugly, and its qualities as a residential district must bow to nearby Harrogate and Ilkley, but it has some interesting old buildings of which the Manor House, in the grounds of which the photograph was taken, is one. It was built upon the site of the ancient Archbishop's Palace which went to ruins in the reign of Henry VIII and the civil war of 1640. Mr. Barrett wanted to be a doctor and in fact his First World War service was performed as a works chemist. But things did not work out that way and he came into the Bank at Halifax in 1911. If we except his war service 1915-1918, he has held an official appointment for 33 of his 40 years' service, which must be pretty nearly a record. In 1918 he was in charge of Greetland and Stainland sub-branches and in 1921 he was appointed Clerk-in-Charge at King Cross. He became Manager at Castleford in 1923 and at Otley in 1935, a long record of responsibility. He also taught for five years at Hebden Bridge Technical School and is a Vice President of the local Rugby Union Football Club. D. Tindall, who has signing authority and is principal cashier, entered the Bank in 1924 and has previously served at Silsden, Settle and on H.O. Relief Staff.

1951 Otley Staff MBM-Su51P33.jpgN. Milner entered the service in 1926 at Keighley, subsequently going to Bingley and thence to Otley in 1936. From 1941 to 1946 he served with H.M. Forces, returning to Otley at the end of the war. He was a radar specialist with the Navy. F. Bamford entered the service in 1940 at Skipton and was called up in 1941, joining the Navy and serving on Admiral Sir Philip Vian's staff in planning the invasion. Later on he went to Japan and was at sea, about sixty miles away, when the atom bomb fell on Nagasaki. H. S. Brearley is another naval type, who served on Atlantic convoy work and then out East, getting as far as Colombo. We had previously met him when we visited Ilkley branch.  We believe there is at least one other instance of brother and sister working at the same branch, but it was the first time we had encountered it. Father and daughter we have often seen working together, father and son never, but this was a new experience. Miss N. M. Brearley joined the staff in 1946. During the war she served in the Wrens because her brother was in the Navy. It was interesting to note that whereas Heaton Chapel predominated in R.A.F. types, Otley specialised in the Senior Service. B. Pickles who entered the service in 1949 and does his National Service next year, is keen on swimming. If they will let him he wants to join the Navy, too.

In the evening we went to Harrogate and spent a very pleasant evening with Mr. and Mrs. Barrett and their son John, who is on the staff of our Leeds Trustee Department.He is another 1949 Swiss and 1951 Italian Lakes tourist. We made our way to Ilkley by the last bus from Harrogate, spending the night there before attending the Craven District Dinner.

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The rain in Yorkshire falls mainly in Otley!

1951 02 MBM.jpgWorking on the assumption that a picture paints a thousand words, Martins Bank 1951 Mobile Branch at the Otley Show - under water! MBM-Su51P13Magazine often includes whimsical vignettes, like this one from 1951, that relate either to particular staff members, their Branches, towns or cities. In this case typically British weather dampens the Otley Show, where the Martins Bank on wheels is having a difficult time of it. This almost local newspaper style feature is what often makes for fascinating reading – or viewing – in the Magazine, recording as it does those little events that are now such a precious part of our social history.

The heaviest May downpour for 43 years caused flooding at the Otley Showground, which isolated our mobile branch like a houseboat in a private backwater…

Its all just a little bit of history, repeating…

The life of a Martins Bank Branch can sometimes be a surprising one. The story of Croydon Branch and its connection to the Woolwich Building Society and Barclays is a kind of “full circle” of ownership, and Martins and Barclays’ connections with Otley prove to be similar.  Our friends at Barclays Group Archives tell us that in 1881, 18 Manor Square, is a Branch of the Birmingham, Dudley and District Bank. In 1882 they sell the building to the Craven Bank, which assures its progression through various mergers into the hands of Martins and finally Barclays. However, the Birmingham, Dudley & District Bank became part of the United Counties Bank in 1907 and then Barclays Bank in 1919! What goes around, comes around…

18 Manor Square - Martins

1-2 Manor Square -  Barclays from 1976



Manor Square

Cattle Market


Manor Square

Wharfedale Auction Mart











7 Manor Square


10 Kirkgate




1913 to 1932 Mr L S Lucas MBM-Wi57P49.jpg

1915 to 1917 Mr H Scurr MBM-Au58P58.jpg

1919 Mr G M Petty joined the bank here MBM-Au63P55.jpg

1932 to 1938 Mr N E Leach joined the bank here MBM-Sp68P07.jpg

1935 to 1954 Mr R B Barrett Manager MBM-Sp54P53.jpg

1937 to 1941 Mr CD Mudd joined the bank here and 1946 to 1950 MBM-Wi64P09.jpg






Mr L S Lucas

On the Staff

1913 to 1932

Mr H Scurr

On the Staff

1915 to 1917

Mr G M Petty

Joined the Bank Here


Mr N E Leach

Joined the Bank Here

1932 to 1938

Mr R B Barrett


1935 to 1954

Mr C D Mudd

Joined the Bank Here

1937 to 1941

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1944 to 1944 Mr RN Weightman joined the bank here MBM-Au64P04.jpg

1946 to 1949 Mr A S Tillotson Signing Authority MBM-Wi64P54.jpg

1953 to 1964 Mr H Sharp Manager MBM-Au64P57.jpg

1964 to 1968 Mr D Tindall Pro Manager MBM-Su68P53.jpg

1964 to 1969 Mr JM Bainbridge Manager MBM-Au64P05.jpg

1968 Mr F Shuttleworth pro Manager MBM-Su68P13.jpg






Mr R N Weightman

Joined the Bank Here

1944 to 1944

Mr A Tillotson

Signing Authority

1946 to 1949

Mr H Sharp


1953 to 1964

Mr D Tindall

Pro Manager

1964 to 1968

Mr J M Bainbridge


1964 to 1969

Mr F Shuttleworth

Pro Manager


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1969 Mr A Struthers Manager MBM-Sp69P09.jpg






Mr A Struthers


1969 onwards









Index Number and District:






11-67-60 Otley

Full Branch

18 Manor Square Otley Yorkshire

111 Craven

Mon-Fri 1000-1500 

Sat 0930-1100

Otley 2429

Nightsafe Installed

A Struthers Manager

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Otford (Kent)

16 February 1872



7 August 1906

3 December 1918

3 January 1928

15 December 1969

26 April 1976

Midland Banking Company

Birmingham Dudley & District Bank

Sold to The Craven Bank Limited for £200

Bank of Liverpool

Bank of Liverpool and Martins Limited

Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-64-66 Otley Manor Square

Closed and moved to 1 Manor Square