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Martins Bank 1928+

After some digging, including reference to the telephone directories for just about every year between 1931 and 1968, we can at last bring you the story of Martins Bank�s Sevenoaks Branches.This involves THREE different addresses, a change of name, and a change of Branch type, so here goes:Martins Bank�s first Sevenoaks Branch is listed at No 2 St Botolph�s Road from 1931 to 1960.Between 1960 and 1968 the address changes to 5 St Botolph�s Road, but this appears to have been a re-numbering exercise by the local authority.The plot thickens again in 1968 when Martins opens a new branch at 12 London Road, and to it transfers the business of Sevenoaks Branch. The premises at 5 St Botolph�s Road are retained and downgraded to a sub branch and the premises become known as Tubs Hill Branch. The photograph that accompanies the article below, is from the Geoff Taylor Collection. It is from the 1950s, and therefore the building we see here is No 2 - later No 5 - St Botolph�s Road.

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What beautiful places there are within quite a short distance of London and how few of them are as well known as they deserve to be! Our branch at Sevenoaks, which we visited on 15th May, has the distinction of being the smallest branch so far featured in this series of articles.

In Service: 1931 until 30 November 1992

(but see also additional history at foot of page)


Branch Images � Barclays Ref 0030-2590

1952 Sevenoaks Staff MBM-Su52P43.jpgAt one time under the control of Tunbridge Wells it is now answerable direct to District Office. It is situated opposite the station, far away, alas, from the main street and the imposing positions occupied by the other banks, but better premises are being sought and this problem will be solved in time.Sevenoaks is a very old town, with picturesque side streets, a fine old school, a venerable Parish Church in a perfect setting, lovely gardens, both private and public, ancient inns, majestic tree-lined avenues, the Vine Cricket Ground, said to be the oldest in England, and, above all�Knole, home of Archbishop Cranmer until Henry VIII coveted it.There is also the present home of Lord Sackville, and the birthplace of Miss V. Sackville-West, the well-known novelist. We called at the branch early in the day and after chatting to Mr. Cotter and Mr. Lewis for a short time we set out for Knole where we stayed until the early after�noon. From the outside it looks more like a fortress than a home, and stands in a thousand acres of parkland.

Image � 1953 Martins Bank Archive Collections

- Geoff Taylor

It has seven courtyards, which legend says correspond to the days of the week, 52 staircases to the weeks of the year, and 365 rooms to the days of the year.The fact is, however, that it grew a bit at a time and was added to by different owners. It has been an Archbishop's Palace, a Royal Palace and then the home of the Sackvilles for 300 years.Now it is under the care of the National Trust though the family still lives there. During the war it narrowly escaped destruction when a land�mine fell at its gates, blowing in 500 windows. It houses a fine collection of the paintings of the old masters and the rooms are magnificent beyond description.

The views on to the 26 acres of gardens within the walls are gracious and stately and the whole vast pile leaves an impression on the mind of tradition and continuity which somehow is most comforting in these changing times. We walked through the park and sauntered slowly through the picturesque little streets of Sevenoaks and finally down the magnificent avenue of chestnut and other flowering trees which leads to our branch, arriving back shortly before 3 p.m. Having obtained the permission of the postmistress we then went into the garden at the back of the Post Office for the purpose of taking the photograph of the staff, afterwards going with Mr. Cotter to his charming home amid sylvan surroundings where we met Mrs. Cotter and had tea in their lovely garden.

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Mr. J. W. Cotter entered the Bank in 1924 and served at Chislehurst, Swanley, Sidcup, Reading, London District Office, Orpington and Tunbridge Wells before his appointment as Clerk-in-Charge at Sevenoaks in 1946. During the War he served in the Navy. Mr. P. J. Lewis commenced his service in 1942 at 68 Lombard Street and served for a short time at Tunbridge Wells before joining the R.A.F., in which he served in India. By the time these notes appear he will have married and settled in his new home at Sevenoaks. We wish him and his wife every happiness.




80 High Street

The Square Riverhead


138 High Street


83 High Street

111 St John�s Hill

9 the Square








12 London Road


69 High Street

White Hart Parade Riverhead


70 High Street

1 White Hart Parade Riverhead








67 High Street

3 River Parade Riverhead




1943 to 1946 Miss Sybil Coope Clerk in Charge MBM-Au46P28.jpg

1946 to 1948 Mr F E Gillham MBM-Wi64P05.jpg

1946 to 1968 Mr J W T Cotter Clerk in Charge then Manager from 1966  MBM-Sp68P48.jpg

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Miss Sybil Coupe

Clerk in Charge

1943 to 1946

Mr F E Gilham

On the Staff

1946 to 1948

Mr J W T Cotter

Clerk in charge 1946-66

Manager 1966 to 1968

Mr P J Lewis

On the Staff







Index Number and District:






11-69-70 Sevenoaks

Full Branch under District Office Control

12 London Road Sevenoaks Kent

430 London

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Sevenoaks 52738

Nightsafe Installed

Mr E Wilson Manager





15 December 1969

30 November 1992

Opened by Martins Bank

Address Changes to 5 St Botolph�s Road

Downgraded to Sub Branch known as Tubs Hill

Barclays Bank Limited 20-76-56 Sevenoaks London Road

Closed and moved to 7 Station Parade

Sevenoak London Road