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Martins Bank 1928+

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Opened in 1967 at Alsop Building, Brownlow Hill, these purpose-built premises will cater much better for Martins Bank’s Liverpool University customers than the previous ones.  Brownlow hill is redeveloped between 1965 and 1968, and the Bank has to leave the original University Branch at 164 BROWNLOW HILL, and open a temporary branch at 45 BEDFORD STREET NORTH. Martins Bank’s presence at university campuses all over England has proved a successful move for the Bank, tapping in to a student banking market that is set to become a huge fighting ground for competition amongst the major banks throughout the 1970s, 80s and 90s. 

In service: 1967 until 29 January 2021

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Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections

Whilst many University Branches offer only limited banking hours, Liverpool University is a full Branch, open for the full banking week across six days, and is open to all customers of the Bank, students or not.  This is evidenced by this interior photo (right) from 1968, which seems to show customers of mixed ages being served at a busy counter. 

Martins Bank publishes leaflets for students at just about every university in England, directing them either to an on-campus branch of the Bank, or one situated nearby. Students are reminded that Martins is an especially friendly bank, and that is why so many students bank there. The leaflets also contain useful information about banking with Martins, and often a map of the relevant university campus, so that no-one gets lost finding the Bank!

Images © Martins Bank Archive Collections

Liverpool is one of the longest serving of the Bank’s university branches, opening in its original premises in 1958, and closing at the end of January 2021 – a total of sixty-three years.   Barclays have kindly provided us with the following: an exterior shot from 1981, and an interior from 1985, and a little further down the page, we journey back to 1968, when our short feature throws the spotlight on Liverpool University Branch Manager, Bill Morris, who in October of that year appears to have changed profession altogether…

1985 Interior as Barclays BGA Ref 1688-10.jpg

Images © Barclays Ref 0030-1688

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“ee’s gettin’ married in the mornin’…”

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Mr W G Morris, Manager of Liverpool University Branch, outside his newly-built office.




Yes, it really is Bill Morris and his outfit had nothing to do with the recent strike of the Liverpool dustmen.  This is how he appeared on stage at Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre as Alfred Doolittle in ‘My Fair Lady’ which the Birkenhead Amateur Operatic Society staged for a fortnight in October.


And if that dustbin looks heavy – it was.  Said Bill: “We had a session taking pictures and I picked up this dustbin full of clinkers.  The expression of anguish is not altogether staged”…

The piece above, from Martins Bank Magazine’s Autumn 1968 issue, assumes that readers already know of the glittering singing career of Liverpool University Manager William Morris. For those not quite so clued up, we turn to the assistance of Harold Brough, who wrote the following article in the Liverpool Echo, on 10 October 1968…

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

Text and image Reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive

{NOW WHAT'S an immaculate sort of gentleman like a Liverpool bank manager doing staggering under the weight of dustbin? And in those clothes? And, what's more, letting his hair grow “I’ll need an anaesthetist next time,”’ said Bill Morris. “It's going to be quite a haircut.” As he says, he hopes that his customers at Martins Bank, Liverpool University branch, would never recognise him like this.  It's all due to Birkenhead Amateur Operatic Society's second production this year, “ My Fair Lady,” which opens at Liverpool's Royal Court on Monday. Forty-two-years-old Bill, of 22 Chatsworth Road, Ainsdale, plays the part of Doolittle, the dustman father of Eliza, and he is now amusing the rest of the cast with his cockney accent far removed, of course, from the voice his customers usually hear. “ It comes easy,” he said. “I don't have to practise and actually I feel I can do a Cockney accent better than I could, say, a Scottish one.” The dustbin? “It was a very heavy dustbin,” said Bill.  I picked up the wrong one. “We had a session taking pictures at Bidston and I picked up this dustbin full of clinker. The expression of anguish is not altogether staged.”


 His musical career started when he was 13-years-old and at 16 he was second bass in the Liverpool Philharmonic choir. He was only 19 when he sang solo at the Royal Albert Hall and he has appeared with the B.B.C. Northern Singers and on radio and television many times. He Joined the Birkenhead Society in 1963 and gave a magnificent performance as Joe (Old Man River) in “Showboat” his favourite part and show—and he followed this with Dr. Engel in “The Student Prince” and the Earl of Essex in “Merrie England”. He is the founder-conductor of the William Morris Singers, founded four and a half years ago and now with more than 60 oratorio performances to their credit. Ambition? To play Porgy in “Porgy and Bess” and Mephistopheles in “Faust.”  By the way, he tells me that for “My Fair Lady,” he won’t be carrying any bins, “just a pint of ale or something like that.” Which must be a relief.}

As we have discivered, having featured many old newpaper articles in our online Archive, it was quite normal in the late 1960s to have your home address printed in the newspaper! Sadly, it seems letting would-be bank robbers know where the bank manager lived was not the best idea, and perhaps this is why from around 1967 onwards, more and more security features are added to branch banks, including the screens that separate customers from cashiers…






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Mr W G Morris


1968 onwards

Mr W T Green

Pro Manager


Mr R Newton

Limited Authority

1968 to 1969







Index Number and District:






Martins Bank Limited 11-81-80 Liverpool University

Full Branch

Alsop Building Brownlow Hill Liverpool

90 Liverpool

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

051 709 1796/2877

Night Safe

Mr W G Morris Manager


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Liverpool Tue Brook


15 December 1969

9 January 2021

opened by Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-50-93 Liverpool University

Closed permanently from 12 noon

Liverpool University Bedford St Nth


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