Sep 1.jpg

















Sep 1.jpg

Martins Bank 1928+

Sep 1.jpg

The Martins Bank branch at Leeds Vicar Lane opens in 1938 in these splendid premises on the corner of Vicar Lane and Eastgate.  Martins’ coat of arms is shown prominently, in ornate relief above the already impressive doorway.  One of seven branches of Martins open at one time or another in Leeds, Vicar Lane sadly doesn’t make it past the Merger with Barclays, closing on the last working day beforehand.  For some branches of Martins, this is their fate when the merger takes place, but many others actually take over from Barclays Branches considered smaller or in a less favourable trading position. Business is transferred to Barclays’ own Branch at 1 The headrow.  At least Vicar Lane has the honour of only ever being a Martins Branch.  The interior of the building is left largely untouched from the 1938 original fittings, but in 1960 the counter is replaced and new lighting brightens things up a little, as we shall see in the images below which accompany an article from Martins Bank Magazine, marking the retirement of Manager Mr Barnes at the end of June 1965…

Sep 1.jpg

In Service: 1 September 1938 until 12 December 1969


Image © Barclays Ref 0030-1588

Sep 1.jpg

1965 03 MBM.jpg1960 to 1965 Mr G L Barnes Manager MBM-Au65P56.jpgafter spending all but two of his 43 years' service in Leeds it did not surprise his colleagues when Mr Barnes, Manager of Vicar Lane branch, announced his intention to spend his retirement in Leeds among his many friends. He was saying a word of thanks for their help and generosity at a retirement cere­mony held at the branch on June 29 and attended by 40 past and present colleagues. A cheque had been presented to him on behalf of subscribers by Mr J. Servant (District General Manager) who spoke of his long and pleasant association with Mr Barnes and wished him a long and happy retirement. After Mr Whiteman had added the good wishes of the staff, Mrs Barnes received a bouquet from Mrs Walton. The guests were then entertained to a buffet meal arranged by Mrs Barnes. After entering the Bank at Leeds in 1922 Mr Barnes's only excursion outside the city was for two years at Ripon branch from 1930. A short spell in District Office in 1949 was followed by appointment as Pro Manager at Vicar Lane where in 1960 he became Manager.


1938 Leeds Vicar Lane Interior 1 BGA Ref 30-1588.jpg

1960 Leeds Vicar Lane Interior 2 BGA Ref 30-1588.jpg

All Branch Images © Barclays Ref 30/1588

Sep 1.jpg

The riddle of Vicar Lane…

Our good friend and former Martins Colleague Dave Baldwin has provided us with some wonderful photographs of how some of Martins Bank’s Branches look today – be they betting shop, beauty salon, bakery, bookshop or boutique. At the end of 2013 he was in Leeds, and took some shots of Vicar Lane Branch.  It was only when he compared them with the originals from Barclays’ collection of Martins Branch Photos, that he saw something very puzzling…

Sep 1.jpg

1938 –Images (Combined) © Barclays

2013/14 – Image © Dave Baldwin

Sep 1.jpg

In order to see just what’s been going on with this Branch, we have, first of all, made a COMPOSITE (left) of the two 1938 images of Vicar Lane from the Barclays collection. When you compare this with Dave’s 2013 image, it certainly looks like subsequent owners have been extremely busy down the years – to the right as we look at the building, we’ve lost two arched windows in favour of doors with small windows above them.  A whole new set of nine windows is now in the brickwork section where once there were only four – and is that an extension on the far right, where in 1938 we see a gap and plain daylight?  Now the plot thickens even more – when we separate out the two black and white images, there are actually differences between those, too!

Sep 1.jpg

Front and RIGHT side of building

Front and LEFT side of building

Sep 1.jpg

To the left of the building as we look at it, what was once an ornate window with a small doorway underneath suddenly becomes just a large window, and the window to the left of that has been made to look the same so that they both come down almost to floor level. It would therefore appear that changes to this building have been going on more or less since Martins first opened the front doors!  Historians and those with extremely long memories, are welcome to add to the debate by emailing us – [email protected] Sep 1.jpg

1938 to 1948 Mr L W Smith Manager MBM-Su53P53.jpg

1947 to 1952 Mr W Hanson Pro Manager MBM-Wi66P56.jpg

1948 to 1954 Mr F A A Beresford Manager MBM-Au61P50.jpg

1960 to 1964 Mr JF Firth Pro Manager MBM-Sp64P06.jpg

1960 to 1965 Mr G L Barnes Manager MBM-Au65P56.jpg






Mr J C Wood

Pro Manager

1938 to 1939

Mr L W Smith


1938 to 1948

Mr W Hanson

Pro Manager

1947 to 1952

Mr F A A Beresford


1948 to 1954

Mr J F Firth

Pro Manager

1960 to 1964

Mr G L Barnes


1960 to 1965

Sep 1.jpg






1964 Mr DP Whiteman pro Manager MBM-Sp64P06.jpg

1965 Mr JES Mason Manager MBM-Au65P02.jpg

1967 Mr C Harris pro Manager MBM-Sp67P05.jpg

1968 Mr K Hartley pro Manager MBM-Su68P23.jpg

BW Logo

BW Logo






Mr D P Whiteman

Pro Manager


Mr J E S Mason


1965 to 12/12/1969

Mr C Harris

Pro Manager


Mr K Hartley

Pro Manager





Sep 1.jpg




Index Number and District:






11-88-80 Leeds Vicar Lane

Full Branch

90/92 Vicar Lane Leeds 1 Yorkshire

633 Leeds

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Leeds 29746/7

Nightsafe Installed

Mr J E S Mason Manager


Sep 1.jpg

Leeds University

1 September 1938

12 December 1969

Opened by Martins Bank Limited

Closed and Business transferred to Barclays 1 The Headrow

Leicester Charles Street