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Martins Bank 1928+

1930 is VERY busy year for Martins Bank and its plans to establish itself as a truly NATIONAL Bank through a comprehensive network of Branches and sub-Branches. For the benefit of shareholders and customers of the Bank, newly opened and forthcoming offices are proudly listed in the Bank’s Annual Report and Accounts.  The sub-Branch opened that year at Southampton Docks is however, another tantalising example of a Martins office that is only open for a few short years. It is closed at the same time that Southampton Branch is itself moved from 139 above Bar to 171 High Street, and this may have been some kind of consolidation, with the loss of the docks branch providing the cash to support better premises in the town centre. We also have the extract below from the 1931 phone directory, showing telephone numbers for both the main Branch and the Docks sub-Branch.  If you can help with images or information about this, or any of Martins Bank’s other Branches, please do get in touch with us at the usual address

In Service: 3 November 1930 until 1935

This illustration of Southampton Water is drawn for Martins Bank in 1947 by Graham Smith as part of

his “Famous Banks” (i.e. RIVER banks) collection for that year’s advertising campaign. 


Extracts from Martins Bank Limited Annual Report and Accounts 1931 © Barclays

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1931 Phone Book Entry BT.jpg

Image © BT 1931

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Full service, down at the docks!

It’s all go at Southampton Docks at the end of 1930 - a dedicated sub-branch of Martins Bank is opened for the convenience of customers, with a full range of services available - including the encashment of travellers’ cheques, and, importantly for a branch at the docks, the collection of seamen’s allotment notes!  

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It does seems somewhat sad that the Bank went to the trouble of constructing a permanent building for this sub-branch, complete with the sign of the Grasshopper above the door, and then the place is only open for about five years. The expansion of Martins Bank is key to the success of the business throughout the 1930s, and in addition to building a new Head Office and rebuilding the London Office in Lombard Street, Martins opens several new branches each year…

The Hampshire Advertiser and Southampton times 8 November 1930

Rights holder Unknown - Image courtesy British Newspaper Archive









11-746 Southampton Docks

Sub to 11-746 Southampton 139 Above Bar

Central Road, The Docks Southampton Hampshire

Not known

Southampton 4560

Counter Service Only

Mr Lyle F Ellis DSO Manager (Southampton 139 Above Bar)


Southampton 139 Above Bar

3 November 1930


Opened by Martins Bank Limited


Southampton High Street