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Martins Bank 1928+

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A Wartime Acquisition…

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Martins Bank opens a branch at 140 High street Oxford in 1938, but is already on the lookout for larger premises in the City.  It takes nearly four years to find somewhere, but at last Head Office Circular No E717(M) dated 28 July 1942, (see below) proudly informs the staff of the acquisition of the Branch and Business of Messrs Glyn and Company at Carfax.  So begins an association with this extraordinary building, which will outlast Martins, and be run by Barclays until 1985. Today the builing is still used as a Bank by Santander.  In 1950, Martins Bank Magazine pays a visit to Oxford, and writes this lengthy article about the City, the Branch, and the Staff.

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1950 04 MBM.jpg

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However much the city of dreaming spires may have merited its name when first it was thus christened, the east-west, north-south main roads which quarter it, crossing each other at right angles at Carfax, have created a traffic hubbub which would do no discredit to the West End of London.   Dream one certainly dare not do in the centre of Oxford and one's first impression of noise and bustle does not fit preconceived notions of the city of learning.

In Service: July 1942 until 17 May 1985

Image © Barclays Ref 0030-2201-02

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Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections

The Southern bye-pass is one of the few roads of this nature which motorists and even the drivers of heavy vehicles do not take full advantage of. Most people seeming to want to drive through " just to have a look." But a few minutes spent in the deer park in Magdalen helps to restore one's sense of per­spective. Here, although the roar of traffic on the main road to London is a literal stone's throw away, the noise does not pen­etrate the cloistered seclusion, and a walk across Christchurch Meadow is like turning back the pages of Time. The business man who comes to Oxford would be hard-headed indeed if he failed to be influenced by the atmosphere of the place and the manager of a bank in Oxford would not make the most of his opportunities if he did not take every possible opportunity of entering into the life of the city.  In Mr. W. S. Moorhouse, Oxford has found not only a worthy representative of the Bank's tradition of willing service to its customers but a man whom its citizens have considered worthy to be one of their representatives on the City Council, an honour he has held since April. Mr. Moorhouse enjoys Oxford and its institutions, and plays no mean part in the life of the city. He is a member of two famous clubs, Treasurer of the Conservative Association, keenly interested in the religious life of the city, and numbers among his acquaintances and friends heads of colleges, students and businessmen of every description.

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Images © Barclays Ref 0030/2201

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He is an appreciative listener to religious music and on occasion sits in the organ loft with his friend the organist of Christ Church, for the joy of watching as well as listening. Of course, our site at Carfax, the very hub of the wheel, is one of the finest sites we have anywhere and the office is itself about the finest office of its size we have been in. It was originally built for Glyn's and was their only branch outside London, the University connection being a prime reason for this departure from tradition. We acquired it from them in 1938 and Mr. Moorhouse lives over the Bank.  The office is spacious and the oak panelling is sumptuous. We saw some interesting photographs of the excavations which preceded the erection of the present building and were very much intrigued by the old passages into which the excavations broke, passages similar to those under Christ Church, a short distance away. It is said that these passages ran underground, connecting several of the colleges in days gone by. Mr. Moorhouse is well-known to most of us up north, having served in the Craven district, which he entered in 1920 and in Inspection Department, Head Office, and as Pro Manager at Southport before going South in 1942.

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1950: The Oxford Staff – at this time Martins Bank Magazine

does not provide a list of their names….

The transfer of the branch from the Midland to the London district has introduced him to our Southern colleagues while Oxford itself ensures visitors from all over the service, so he is probably one of our best-known men. Mr. C. H. Goodband, who has only recently been appointed Pro Manager, has performed all his previous service in the London district. We are all of us familiar with the man who doesn't know what he wants but is fed up with what he has got, and it is refreshing to meet a man who knew he wanted to get to Oxford and did not hesitate to let his wishes be known and, now that he has got there has determined that he is going to enjoy his work. He has thrown himself into the work of the branch with enthusiasm and energy and the very happy spirit prevailing in the office is undoubtedly due in no small measure to his infectious gaiety and sense of fun, as well as to the efficient way in which Mr. Moorhouse manages the branch. On the occasion of the Royal Show recently held at Oxford the two of them were singled out by the B.B.C. commentator on the grounds that they appeared to be typical townsmen and were invited to broadcast their impressions of the Show.

Despite their disclosure of the fact that they are both sons of farmers the official insisted and their broadcast was duly made. We were sorry not to meet Tom Blossom on the day of our visit, as he was on holiday. We had the pleasure of meeting him on our last visit two years ago, however. D. D. Staunton, who has been at Oxford since 1948, was formerly at Church Street branch.

1960 s Oxford Interior Counter CU BGA No Ref

Image © Barclays Ref 0030-2201

He met his future wife there and we sponsored her (nee Doreen Pepper) when first she entered the service. They have recently bought an attractive bungalow with an acre of ground at Radley. On being introduced to D. J. Hill we were most surprised to hear a Canadian accent, the explanation being three years spent there during the war under the Empire Air Training Scheme. His knowledge of Canada extends from coast to coast and his subsequent service with Transport Command out as far as India certainly gave him a broad outlook. E. D. G. Eva is a new boy who has only recently entered the Bank, straight from military service, and Oxford is his first branch. Miss C. E. M. Walters has been with us for two years. Miss M. I. Scott will have left the service by the time these lines appear, which accounts for the other girl in the photograph, Miss D. P. Squires, whom we have not met. The strongroom and storage accommodation is perfect and the spotless condition of every corner of the premises, even the furnace room, reflects great credit on the caretaker, Mr. E. W. Abbey, who also acts as porter. After visiting the branch we had a very pleasant lunch with Mr. and Mrs. Moorhouse, returning afterwards to complete the job. It did not take us five minutes to discover why Mr. Moorhouse has been able to devote himself so whole-heartedly to the establishment of our business in Oxford. The answer is simply that he and Mrs. Moorhouse are both of the same mind and Mrs. Moorhouse is, when not engaged in her primary job of looking after Mr. Moorhouse, as deeply engrossed in public work as he is. In the evening they took us for a drive round the city and out to Woodstock for supper.

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The sight of Blenheim in the evening light made us resolve that we could not go back without a close look at the magnificent seat of the Duke of Marlborough, given to him by a grateful sovereign for his services to the nation.  So two mornings later we called for Mrs. Moorhouse and both paid our first visit to this house in which Winston Churchill was born. The almost priceless paintings and tapestries, the magnificent rooms, the wonderful collections of pottery, objets d'art, furniture and historic relics, and the eight hundred acres of parkland and gardens all combine to present a most memorable picture of days gone by and a pageant of English history from the time of Queen Anne, maybe equalled but certainly not surpassed anywhere else in the country.


Even more than the magnificence of the structure and the overpowering personality of the first Duke of Marlborough we shall cherish the memory of an unpretentious bedroom on the ground floor, a brass bedstead, a baby's garment and three thick locks of reddish-brown hair, intimate, personal relics of the mightiest Englishman of our time. We have always been interested in the stately homes of England and more so than ever at the present time as they form the subject of our 1951 series of pictorial advertisements, the preparation of which has occupied our attention for quite a long time.

1960 s Oxford Exterior CU BGA No Ref.jpg Image © Barclays Ref 0030-2201

The managership of Oxford branch is a wonderful appointment, with opportunities of a cultural and social nature which are not open to the managers of many branches and the impression we took away with us was of a happy and contented staff, fully appreciative of the many advantages open to them by reason of their service there.



Twenty years as Manager…

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Mr W S Moorhouse has a long career in the Bank, which begins at Skipton Branch in 1920.  He is appointed Manager at Oxford when the Bank takes over the business of Glyn and Company at Carfax, and he remains at the helm for the next twenty years, holding civic office in the City of Oxford, and becoming well known and well liked.  When he hangs up his Bank tie for the last time in 1962, he is about to move to a new house for his retirement, and as usual on these occasions, Martins Bank Magazine is on hand to describe his last day in the Bank.  Note what might be seen today as slightly sexist language, when they refer to a young lady “gracefully” handing a bouquet to Mr Moorhouse’s wife, almost as if being “graceful” is her only function!

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When more than twenty out of 43 years' service to the Bank have been spent in a city such as Oxford, the laying down of office must be an affecting experience. The large number of friends who were present at Oxford branch on 31ST August to honour Mr.W. S. Moorhouse were conscious that to say farewell stirred very deep feelings beneath his apparently easy manner of speech. Few managers have figured in the public life of a city with greater popularity, and it is fitting that Mr. and Mrs. Moorhouse should be building a house for retirement in the Ward which Mr. Moorhouse represented for six years as a City Councillor.


1942 to 1962 Mr W S Moorhouse Manager Full Image MBM-Wi62P53His countless city and club associates appreciate their continuing to live where so much service has been  freely given. In a happy speech recalling the days when he worked alongside Mr. Moorhouse on the Head Office Inspection Staff, Mr. F. C. Hardman, London Assistant District Manager, conveyed the thanks of the General Management for his loyal and unsparing service. Mr. J. F. O. Burgess (Pro Manager), then expressed the affection and respect of the staff, and on behalf of the subscribers presented Mr. Moorhouse with a leather-bound volume containing their good wishes and signatures and also a cheque, which Mr. Moorhouse is using in the purchase of an antique desk for his new house. Miss B. Moore then gracefully handed Mrs. Moorhouse a bouquet. In his reply, Mr. Moorhouse paid tribute to the support he had received from Mr. Burgess and all the staff and thanked those friends, including Mr. and Mrs. Hardman and Mr. and Mrs. Reekie, who had travelled far for the occasion. He also particu­larly referred to the invaluable support of Mrs. Moorhouse over the years. After the ceremony in the Bank, all present proceeded at Mr. Moorhouse's invitation to the fine new premises of the Oxford Masonic Club, which with its lovely garden made an ideal setting for the happy party which completed the occasion. Mr. Moorhouse entered the Bank in 1920 at Skipton. In 1935 he was transferred to H.O. Inspection Department and in 1938 he was appointed Pro Manager at Southport. He was made Manager at Oxford in 1942.

Surviving under Barclays until 1985, Oxford Carfax retains its good looks as evidenced by the colour image below from 1983. That there is still a bank operating in such a large building today might be seen as encouraging in the economic climate of the Twenty-First Century…

Image © Barclays Ref 0030-2201



High Street


High Street Tax/Ttee

Banbury Road

54 Cornmarket Street

141-5 Cowley Road


Regional Hospital Board

St. Aldates


The Broad


86 High Street


1-3 High Street

Broad Street

Cowley Road











Marygold House Carfax



73 Banbury Road

Cornmarket Street


Littlemore Hospital



Cornmarket Street

91 High Street









Westminster House Alfred Street


121 High Street

121 High Street Tax/Ttee






106a High Street

1938 to 1955 Mr D J Hill joined the bank here MBM-Wi65P05.jpg

1942 to 1948 Mr R C Reekie Assistant Manager MBM-Su61P57.jpg

1942 to 1962 Mr W S Moorhouse Manager MBM-Wi62P53.jpg

1948 to 1951 Mr D D Staunton MBM-Wi67P05.jpg






Mr D J Hill

Joined the Bank Here

1938 to 1955

Mr R C Reekie

Assistant Manager

1942 to 1948

Mr W S Moorhouse


1942 to 1962

Mr D D Staunton

On the Staff

1948 to 1951

Mr C H Goodband

On the Staff 1950

Pro Manager 1954-56

Mr Tom Blossom

On the Staff


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1952 to 1957 Mr D C Bourne joined the bank here MBM-Wi68P08.jpg

1953 Mr D J Hill MBM-Wi53P28.jpg

1955 to 1961 Mr MJ Francis MBM-Su67P04.jpg

1956 to 1958 Mr D L Francis Pro Manager MBM-Su65P05.jpg

1959 to 1964 Mr J F O Burgess pro Manager MBM-Su64P07.jpg

1960 to 1965 Mr I H W King MBM-Wi65P04.jpg






Mr D C Bourne

Joined the Bank Here

1952 to 1957

Mr D J Hill

On the Staff


Mr M J Francis

On the Staff

1955 to 1961

Mr D L Francis

Pro Manager

1956 to 1958

Mr F J O Burgess

pro Manager

1959 to 1964

Mr I H W King

On the Staff

1960 to 1965

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1951 to 1959 Mr H B Turton Manager MBM-Au59P41

1964 Mr JC Quevillart pro Manager MBM-Su64P08.jpg






Mr H B Turton


1962 Onwards

Mr J C Quevillart

Pro Manager



On the Staff



On the Staff



On the Staff



On the Staff





Index No and District:






11-69-60 Oxford

Full Branch

Marygold House Carfax Oxford Oxfordshire

458 London

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Oxford 41156/7

Nightsafe installed

Mr H B Turton Manager

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July 1942

15 December 1969

17 May 1985

Purchased from Messrs Glyn Mills & Co Bank

Barclays Bank Limited 20-65-17 Oxford Carfax


Oxford High Street