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“Goings on” in “Sleepy Town”…

Another of Martins’ picturesque little branches that looks almost as if a child has carefully constructed it from LEGO® bricks, Farningham is a self accounting sub branch to Swanley.  This means it enjoys full banking hours and a Clerk in Charge who acts “per pro” the Manager. 

The address is quoted in the telephone directories from the 1930s simply as “next door to parish church”.   The branch is opened by the Bank of Liverpool and Martins at the beginning of 1922. Below we can see the view along the counter back to the main door, through which we can just glimpse a little bit more of Farningham itself.

In Service: January 1922 until Friday 1 September 2017



Image © Barclays Ref 0030/0976

At least the Branch is not so isolated as a first look at its exterior photographs might suggest! Sadly, bandit screens had to be fitted in 1964. An audacious raid on this little sub-branch - like something from a film - came complete with a stolen limousine, a countess, a kidnapped dog, the threat of a gun, a baby doll and the theft of £2,750 ! (That is equivalent to more than £61,000 in 2022). Caught unawares, was a 24 year old cashier, and his elderley guard, as the branch reached closing time - 12.30pm - on Wednesday 2 September 1964. The national newspapers obviously relished the story (see below) and the raid was also covered by Independent Television News…

Daily Mirror, 3 September 1964

Daily Herald, 3 September 1964

Text © Reach PLC and Find my Past created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

Text reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive





Branch Images © Barclays Ref 0030-0976

Sep 1.jpg1948 Farningham Wall Plate Geoff Taylor



In the lovely image below (left) from 1948 – another from the collection of Martins Colleague Geoff Taylor – there is no Martins Bank sign above the door, and the brass plate to the side of the door still shows the name and opening hours of the Bank of Liverpool and Martins Ltd.  We were contacted by Martins Colleague Richard (Mich) Michaud, who provided us with a recent photo of Farningham branch from which we are delighted to see that not only did this tiny branch once undergo an extension, it remains open as a branch of Barclays until late 2017, looking every bit as welcoming as it did in its Martins heyday…

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1948 Farningham Exterior Geoff Taylor.jpg

Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections - Geoff Taylor

2011 October Farningham Barclays Richard and Ennis Michaud.JPG

Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections - 2011 R Michaud


1967 Mr PA Doye Clerk in Charge MBM-Wi67P04.jpg






Mr T John Harrison

Clerk in Charge


Mr P A Doye

Clerk in Charge

1967 onwards









Index Number and District:






11-81-30 Farningham

Self Remitting Sub to 11-44-80 Swanley

High Street Farningham Dartford Kent

493 London

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Farningham 3110 & 3552

Counter Service Only

Mr P A Doye pro Manager

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Farnborough (Kent)

January 1922

3 January 1928

15 December 1969

Friday 1 September 2017

Opened by Bank of Liverpool and Martins Limited

Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-31-08 Farningham

Closed permanently from 12 Noon

Felling - Morley Terrace