Branch is opened by the West riding Union Bank in 1888 in this quite splendid
building, looking like something from a Brothers Grimm fairy tale. The
Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank inherits this branch from their takeover of the
West Riding Union Bank in 1902, and in
1928 it becomes a branch of Martins, thanks to the merger of the L & Y
with the Bank of Liverpool and Martins.
down this page you can see photographs of the branch bearing the signage of its
two previous owners. It is not until 1950 that Martins Bank Magazine pays
Cleckheaton a visit, and discovers on this occasion, that the staff are
apparently ‘mothered’ by the Branch Caretaker, and ‘fathered’ by the Manager
– how curious…
1888 until 29 May 2020
Branch Images © Barclays
Cleckheaton was the choice of Manchester District for our next visit and on 9th January we took the train to Manchester where John Southworth
was waiting for us with a car. It was a mild day with fog hanging about as we threaded
our way through the city to the Oldham road, with John assiduously
pointing out the sights of Manchester to make the journey more interesting. There was Strangeways Gaol,
Shudehill branch and the executioner Pierrepoint's pub, with its macabre name ‘Help the Poor
Straggler’, and then we were speeding via Oldham to Brighouse, over the moors
to the Spen valley, with mist spoiling the magnificent view from the backbone of England.
Images © Barclays Ref 0030-0671
Mrs. Taylor seemed to think our visit was
unnecessary, for when she was told that we were coming to get a bit of local colour she told her
husband: - “Tell him it's black.” It's a funny
(peculiar) little place, with factories and residences all mixed up. One sees quite a nice house and garden with a factory round the comer. The black of
which Mrs. Taylor complains is
largely borne by the wind from the nearby large manufacturing towns. But
we didn't go to see Cleckheaton; our little family there was our primary
interest. Mr. A. L. Taylor, the Manager, is well-known to many of us
as the Captain of the Manchester cricket team
for the past two seasons, and he has also been Captain of the Spen Victoria
team for the past two years. He
has a daughter at Birmingham University, training to be a gymnastic
mistress, and a young son who has
only just started school. Mr. Taylor entered the Lancashire and Yorkshire
Bank in 1919 and has served at Ashton, Harpurhey and Elland (where he
became Pro Manager in 1941) before his appointment to Cleckheaton
He served with H.M. Forces
from 1942-1946. R. Sharpe, the second man, is another L. and Y. man, who commenced
his service in 1915, and has been at
Cleckheaton since 1923, twenty-seven years.
He has a daughter on our staff at Heckmondwike.
He saw service in the first World War and his chief claim to distinction outside the Bank lies in his skill with the
cue—he is an accomplished billiards player. K. B. Ramsden is one of those northerners who volunteered for
service in the London District
during the war, working at Bexley, Kingsway, Moorgate and Welling for
varying periods. He entered the service in 1936 at
Huddersfield and has also been at Sowerby Bridge. This is
his second spell
his first being in 1938.
D. Reynolds, the junior, has only been with us for six months. The only girl, Miss H. Hardill, came into the Bank in 1941 and has been at Cleckheaton all the time.
What struck us about the place was the real family spirit prevailing; we are getting
quite accomplished in sensing the atmosphere
at a branch, and when we went to meet Mrs. Annie Rumley, the caretaker, who
lives on the premises, we knew why. Mrs.
Rumley is no ordinary caretaker;
she mothers the family and it
was she who told us that Mr.
Taylor fathers his staff. Between them they keep everybody happy and the regard in which they are held is plain for all
to see. After lunch we went to have a look at the sub-branch at Gomersal—far too nice an office
to be used twice a week. We were sorry not to meet G. D. T. Pickering, the
bank guard, who, in the course of an adventurous career has
been a factor with the Hudson Bay Company. On the way back we called in at Oldham and had tea with Mr. P. B. Walton, arriving back in
Manchester at dusk.
Images © Barclays Ref 0030-0671