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Martin's Private Bank

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Built to last � Martin�s Private Bank opens its Branch at Sidcup at the beginning of 1886, and although it is merged with Barclays in 1969, the building does not see its own centenery as a bank.The Summer 1963 edition of Martins Bank Magazine includes a full visit to the branch, which forms our main feature below, and which we have enhanced with some interior views from the Barclays Collection�

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1963 02 MBM.jpg

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We called at Sidcup in April to find Mr. Cyril Richardes, the manager, looking more youthful than he did 20 years ago in Liverpool. Resilience is the word which keeps recurring to us. This, coupled with energy, the ability to unwind and an interest in other people must surely make him one of our youngest 'old' managers.

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In Service: 1 January 1886 until 17 July 1975


1960 s Sidcup Exterior 3 CU BGA Ref 30-2649

Image � Barclays Ref 0030-2649

1963 Sidcup Staff MBM-Su63P24.jpg

Sidcup opened on new year's day 1886 as did Bexley Heath and Chislehurst�they are the oldest of our Kent branches�and Sidcup's oldest customer is still with them. The Kentish Times Limited, which now produces nine newspapers, opened an account in March 1886 and has stayed with us over the years. We were delighted to meet Mr. John S. Massey, Director and Editor-in-Chief, at the branch that morning and if time had allowed we would have been glad to accept his spontaneous invitation to go with him to see over the works. Here was a typical example of the relationship in which we take such pride and illustrates the high esteem in which the Grasshopper is held in the south on both sides of the counter. Sidcup has a soul of its own. It makes friends and keeps them. Mr. Richardes began his banking life with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank at St. James Street, Burnley, in 1923 working at Burnley and Friargate, Preston, before going to Head Office in 1937 and thence for two years to the Visiting Inspectors.

In 1940 he joined London District Office and after three months as Acting Manager at Wigmore Street from September 1944 came to Sidcup as Manager. His wide interests�from homes for old people to publicity for the Kent County Cricket Club�make it inevitable that he should be fully occupied outside banking hours. But he loves it and, of course, he has the support of his wife�formerly Miss Eileen Stuart of the Sidcup staff�who joined us for a most enter�taining lunch. On our return to the branch we met Mr. Richardes� right hand man, Mr. J. W. Booth who, apart from four years in destroyers and frigates during the war, has spent his banking life in the London District. He entered Lombard Street in 1940 and has since had experience at Tothill Street, on relief and with the Visiting Inspectors. In September 1959 he went to Orpington and on November 1st, 1962 came to Sidcup as Pro Manager.The branch is a busy one but Mr. Booth gets things done in the true manner of the silent service�with efficiency and unruffled calm. Mr. D. W. Fortman who entered the service in 1946 has been at Sidcup since 1953 and, as first cashier, maintains a courteous, cheerful and prompt service for which the branch is noted. Two young men of 27 and 25 complete the male staff. Mr. P. D. Jackson, whose father is on the London District Relief staff, was active in athletics until a recent unfortunate motor accident put what we hope is only a temporary stop to these outside activities. He entered the service in 1954 and spent his two years� National Service as a radar instructor.

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1960 s Sidcup Interior 1 BGA Ref 30-2649

1960 s Sidcup Interior 2 BGA Ref 30-2649

Images � Barclays Ref 0030-2649

Mr. R. C. W. Downton had joined the branch from Bexley Heath on the day before our visit but we gained the impression that he would have no difficulty fitting into the team. Joining the service in August 1954 all his experience has been gained in London District branches. There are four ladies on the staff. Mrs. M. R. Burns, who is married and lives locally, joined us in June last year from an Insurance Company and is a valuable shorthand typist. Miss P. L. Fisk who has been in the service since January 1959 also helps with the typing and machining and it is regrettable that on the day the photograph was taken she was away. Miss B. A. Hills and Miss B. E. Hobbs, who have been with us since August 1960 and September 1961 respectively, cope with the machines and �everything else which gets the day�s work done�. During the war the branch operated with a staff of three and the office, which could take six or seven with comfort, now holds ten but there are plans for alterations. Why, in a tour of new branches, did we visit Sidcup ? We felt it right that London should have priority in this issue and, knowing the difficulties which have beset the District in recent years, we sought an established branch which had ridden the storm yet is typical of so many to-day where experience is limited to very few but where there is a good spirit and where the work goes through not in spite of a young staff but because of a young staff, imaginatively led. Had we seen the branch photograph before our visit we might have guessed that our choice was the right one and now we know it.

1910 Mr T H Beecham joined the service here MBM-Au47P20.jpg

1928 to 1929 Mr K R Wright MBM-Sp59P53.jpg

1933 Miss M S Morgan MBM-Wi60P51.jpg

1934 to 1942 Mr E J Bennett MBM-Sp67P56.jpg

1937 to 1939 Mr A W Sheldrick joined the bank here MBM-Sp68P06.jpg

1943 to 1944 Mr G L Taylor MBM-Sp66P04.jpg






Mr T H Beecham

Joined the Bank Here


Mr K R Wright

On the Staff

1928 to 1929

Miss M S Morgan

On the Staff


Mr E J Bennett

On the Staff

1934 to 1942

Mr A W Sheldrick

Joined the Bank Here

1937 to 1939

Mr G L Taylor

On the staff

1943 to 1944

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1945 to 1965 Mr C C Richardes Manager MBM-Su65P51.jpg

1951 to 1952 Mr S E Davidson MBM-Su64P07.jpg

1951 to 1953 Mr D B Woolgar MBM-Wi52P34.jpg

1953 to 1953 Mr K W Quigley MBM-Au65P02.jpg

1953 to 1957 Mr HC Bradwell Pro Manager MBM-Su64P04.jpg

1954 to 1955 Mr R C Purkiss joined the bank here MBM-Sp66P06.jpg






Mr C C Richardes


1945 to 1965

Mr S E Davidson

On the Staff

1951 to 1952

Mr D B Woolgar

On the staff

1951 to 1953

Mr K W Quigley

On the Staff

1953 to 1953

Mr H D Bradwell

Pro Manager

1953 to 1957

Mr R C Purkiss

Joined the Bank here

1954 to 1955

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1962 to 1967 Mr JW Booth Pro Manager MBM-Wi67P03.jpg

1963 D W Fortman MBM-Su63P24.jpg

1963 Miss B A Hills MBM-Su63P24.jpg

1963 Miss B E Hobbs MBM-Su63P24.jpg

1963 Miss I M R Burns MBM-Su63P24.jpg

1963 Mr P D Jackson MBM-Su63P24.jpg






Mr J W Booth

Pro Manager

1962 to 1967

Mr D W Fortman

On the Staff


Miss B A Hills

On the Staff


Miss B E Hobbs

On the Staff


Miss I M R Burns

On the Staff


Mr P D Jackson

On the Staff


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1963 Mr R C W Downton MBM-Su63P24.jpg

1964 Miss MR Veale Former Manager's Secretary MBM-Wi64P38.jpg

1965 CH Piper Manager MBM-Su65P08.jpg

1967 Mr EDV Garrett pro Manager MBM-Wi67P03.jpg






Mr R C W Downton

On the Staff


Miss M R Veale

Former Manager�s

Secretary 1964

Mr C H Piper


1965 onwards

Mr E D V Garrett

Pro Manager





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Index Number and District:






11-83-70 Sidcup

Full Branch

39 Sidcup High Street Sidcup Kent

408 London

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

01 300 4307 / 8

Nightsafe Installed

Mr C H Piper Manager



Shrewsbury Cattle Market

1 January 1886

18 December 1918

3 January 1928

15 December 1969

17 July 1975

Opened by Martin�s Private Bank

Bank of Liverpool and Martins Limited

Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-78-08 Sidcup 39 high St


Sidcup Station