little bit of old Hull…
Martins Bank’s association with Hull
goes back to 1899 and the Equitable Bank branch at 46-48 WHITEFRIARGATE.
Fast forward sixty three years, and Martins moves the business to the
Market Place. Although we do not have
a picture of the new branch, here you can see a photograph taken by Martins’
premises department, showing which buildings will be demolished to make way
for it! We are still looking for
external images of Martins Bank’s branch at Hull Market Place, and its
predecessor at Whitefriargate.
1962 until December 1971
Image © Barclays Ref 0030-1386
Much of Hull was heavily bombed in World War II and rebuilding large
areas of the town centre from scratch has already taken more than fifteen
years. The buildings shown marked in ink on the photograph are to be
demolished and/or altered to allow for the new development that will include
a Branch of Martins Bank. The picture serves as rather a neat historical
record of the old that has now been replaced by the new. Luckily, the Bank does
keep hold of a couple of photos of the new Branch interior, which is every
bit as modern as you would expect for 1962…
Image © Barclays Ref 0030-1386
Martins Bank Magazine gvies the Staff of Hull Market Place
plenty of time to settle into their new surrounds and a new routine before it
arrives to write one of its Branch visit reports for its avid readers. It is
also time for the Manager, Mr G H Clark to Retire, a fact which is noted both
in the Magazine’s Article, and further down our page in his retirement
write-up from the same issue of the Magazine, Summer 1965…
his book The Call of England in
1928 H. V. Morton wrote 'Ships sail right into the heart of Hull. They saunter casually across the main
streets…. Ships never apologise in Hull!
They have the right of way; and they take their time, knowing full
well that they are all that Hull was, is and will be!' Times have indeed changed. As 'a north-east coast port'
Hull was anonymously and savagely bombed during the war and, though many of
the scars still show, a new shopping centre has risen from the rubble. That dock in the centre of the town was
rather a nuisance so it was filled in and laid out attractively as an open
space and now the traffic circulates on a complicated but effective one-way
pattern. Nobody misses the dock for
Hull now has seven miles of docks as well as an oil jetty along the banks of
the Humber, and the possibilities of extending eastwards are tremendous for
the city lies at the end of the road to nowhere and has ample elbow room. The
former homes and counting houses of the merchant adventurers still exist
alongside dock buildings and offices and near Bowlalley Lane stands the
original White Harte Inn where, in 1642, the Governor ordered the city gates
to be closed against Charles I, thereby furthering the Parliamentary cause
in the Civil War.
In this part of the town,
too, is the strangely named street 'Land of Green Ginger'. Enquiries at the
Guildhall produced two possible origins: that it was the favourite drink of
Henry VIII, a frequent visitor to Hull, and that in olden times it was 'the haunt
of sailors and local harpies'. With that one has to be satisfied, but there
is an Alice in Wonderland touch about its situation in the heart of the
business and commercial community. Hull branch itself was opened in 1899 by
the Halifax Equitable Bank but three years ago moved to modern and very
spacious premises in Market Place. Here we found Mr G. H. Clark with Mr G. A.
Weatherburn preparing for the management change-over three weeks later, and a
very young but energetic staff coping with the day's work despite commitments
at Newland, the sub branch near the University, and at Story Street which
must be maintained at full strength to ensure anything like a reasonable
finishing time and where, soon after our arrival in the morning, Mr G. E.
Jones vacated the desk in his room to enable a member of the staff to sit
down and post ledgers.
Hull branch copes: its figures prove it, and Mr Clark in
retirement can look back with satisfaction on his untiring efforts.
to Mr Clark, retiring as Manager of Hull
branch, took place at the branch on 30th April. More than 50 people were
present including several customers, and some former colleagues had travelled
more than 100 miles to be present. Mr Clark was accompanied by his wife and
his younger daughter, Susan. The proceedings were opened by Mr C. D.
Scurr (Pro Manager) who, after paying his own tribute to Mr Clark, called on
Mr Servant to make the presentation. Having
known Mr Clark personally for so many years Mr Servant regretted having to
bid him farewell. He spoke highly of his loyal and valuable service,
especially during his 18 years as Manager at Hull, and of his happy relations
with his staff. On behalf of subscribers he presented Mr Clark with two
folding chairs and a cheque with which Mr Clark intends to buy something of a
durable nature. In reply, Mr Clark thanked
everyone for their help and made special mention of his wife who throughout
his career had coped with everything from the customer unexpectedly brought
home late in the evening, to seeing that her husband never arrived at the
office without his keys. In expressing his thanks to the staff, Mr Clark paid
tribute to the younger members who had been so helpful during recent staff
shortages. After Miss Sheila Broughton had
presented Mrs Clark with a bouquet the company enjoyed the substantial
refreshments Mr Clark had provided. Mr
Clark, who was later entertained to lunch at Head Office by the General
Management, began his career in 1921 at Silsden branch, thereafter serving at
Leeds District branches. His first appointment was as Clerk-in-Charge at
Ripon in 1933 and two years later he moved to Bridlington as Manager. In 1947 he was appointed Manager at Hull.