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Martins Bank 1928+

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In service: 10 March 1965 – 20 January 2012

Image © Barclays Ref 0033-0458

The South Western District of Martins Bank is the youngest of the nine Districts of the Bank.  It opens officially for business in 1960, and from then until the 1969 merger with Barclays, it doesn’t stop adding some of newest and most up to date Branches in the Bank’s portfolio.  Branches are opened at Poole and Keynsham - within a month of each other - in March and April 1965, and Martins Bank Magazine makes great play of the Bank’s “family” reputation by producing articles about each new branch linked by the theme of the card game “Happy Families”.  It is interesting to note within the article below, that in 1965, Poole becomes one of a staggering 237 branch banks between Christchurch and Dorset.  We wonder if the number today would even reach double figures!  Whilst Keynsham makes it to celebrate its fiftieth brithday in 2015, Poole misses out, having been closed by Barclays in 2012…

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1965 02 MBM.jpgpoole branch opened in March at 10 Parkstone Road to reinforce our representation in the 'Bournemouth Complex' which, from Christchurch to Poole, contains 237 branch banks. Nobody in the South West, least of all our Mr Palk, is worried about that. Poole prides itself on its independence as a borough and in having an almost land-locked estuary—Poole Harbour—second only in the world as a natural harbour to Sydney. Its 28 square miles with double tides are a yachtsman's mecca with beautiful surroundings in which are some of the finest residences on the south coast; from a banking viewpoint Poole has other attractions among which are light industry, ship building, marine engineering, pottery and timber.

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It is natural that maritime interests figure largely in Poole's history. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth I the quay was only 192 feet long, but from here, 600 years ago, four ships sailed for the siege of Calais. Poole vessels harried the Spanish Armada and Poole men were some of the earliest to settle in Newfoundland. It seems appropriate that the Manager of our new branch should have come to Poole via a year's special tour of duty in West Africa and while there he met a girl from Wallasey in government service whom he subsequently married.   Mr Palk's branch is a typical example of imaginative conversion of what was a large boarding house.


Even though the photograph, taken on a dull rainy day, hardly does it justice, it is refreshing, brightly decorated, roomy, and planned with expansion of business in mind.  Assisting Mr Palk are Mr M. G. W. French, most of whose banking life has been spent at Cheltenham branch, and Mr J. W. Bufton who entered the Bank at Bournemouth and worked in London branches and at Lilliput before coming to Poole. Miss M. D. Taylor joined the Exeter staff in 1963 with previous banking experience both in this country and in Canada, while Miss C. J. Brown is a local girl who joined the Bournemouth staff last year. Those who visit Poole will be met with a smile, and no caller will ever be given the impression that he is interrupting somebody's work; rather will he feel glad he has called. Of course, it should be so.  In this District it is infallibly so…

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1965 Miss C J Brown MBM-Su65P12.jpg

1965 Mr G W French MBM-Su65P12.jpg

1965 Miss M D taylor MBM-Su65P12.jpg

1965 Mr J W Bufton MBM-Su65P12.jpg

1967 Mr JJ Meyer Manager MBM-Au67P06.jpg






Miss C J Brown

On the Staff


Mr G W French

On the Staff


Miss M D Taylor

On the Staff


Mr J W Bufton

On the Staff


Mr S E Palk


1965 to 1967

Mr J J Meyer


1967 onwards


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Index Number and District:






11-84-60 Poole

Main Branch

10 Parkstone Road Poole Dorset

166 South Western

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Poole 3500

Nightsafe Installed

Mr J J Meyer Manager



10 March 1965

15 December 1969

20 January 2012

Opened by Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-48-81 Poole Parkstone Road

Closed permanently at 12 Noon