If you remember
either working at Castrol House or being a customer there, we’d love to
hear your memories of conducting or transacting business in sweltering
conditions whilst the staff still went to extremes to be helpful!
paid a visit to Marylebone Road to see the new premises shortly after the
business was transferred from Baker Street. Our visit to see the staff was
finally made, after postponement, on July 30th. Castrol House, in which the branch is situated, is a
magnificent new building of the glass and chrome variety, almost opposite
Marylebone Town Hall. Externally, our branch inevitably draws unto itself
some of the aura of its imposing setting. Internally, it is quite different
from what we have come to expect from our new branches. The ceiling
lighting is subdued, the walls are dark and the fittings are a little
austere, so that although the effect is pleasing, it does not evoke that
gasp of admiration which is often heard when a new branch is entered for
the first time. The effect is, of course, deliberate in order to get the
maximum effect of the glass doors and front. From the point of view of the staff it gets uncomfortably hot, a
problem which has been there since the branch opened and which, despite
additional ventilation, remains.
In recent years we have almost come to regard the staff of the
London District as a floating population, so many have been the changes in
personnel, especially among the girls. It was, therefore, a pleasant
surprise to find Miss P. A. Loader and Miss T. P. Carey still with us, and
doing excellent jobs for the Bank. Miss Loader entered the Bank in 1958 at
Ludgate Circus, went to Baker Street the same year and thence to Marylebone
Road. Miss Carey started her service at Lombard Street in 1959 and went to
Marylebone Road in 1960. With so
much mechanisation around,; it struck an odd note to find a London branch
still on hand posting, but partial mechanisation has taken place recently.
The Manager of the branch is a Yorkshireman, Mr.
H. A. Packett, whose service prior to the last war was performed in
Bradford. From 1940-46 he was with the Royal Scots, with three years in the
Mediterranean—Italy and Palestine. In 1946 came an invitation to spend two
years in London Foreign, as it then was, and, liking life in the London
District, Mr. Packett decided to settle there. From 1949 to 1951 he served
on the London Relief staff, and then went to Oxford Circus. In 1953 he was
transferred to Victoria House, Westminster, and in 1959 he was appointed
Assistant Manager at Kingsway. He became Manager at Marylebone Road last
Second in command is Mr. F. W. Crouch, whose whole career
since he entered the Bank in
1925 has been spent in the London District, at Swanley, Sidcup, Eltham
(where he first became a signing officer), District Office, Tothill Street,
Baker Street and at Marylebone Road, where he is again a signing officer. M. J. Francis entered the Bank at Oxford in 1955 and
came to London only last year. K. J. Richardson came to Marylebone Road
this year, his previous service having been at Lombard Street, on Relief,
Southall and Cocks Biddulph, with a spell on National Service, 1955-57. M.
H. Middleton is a late entrant, whose previous service was with British
Railways. He has been with the Bank since 1960, first at Baker Street.
B. V. Brehout, a Devonian by birth and a Channel
Islander by ancestry, joined the Bank in 1959 at Baker Street. The junior male member of the staff, D. D. Coleman,
also started his career at Baker Street in 1960. The staff are keen, and are obviously a well knit team.
It was a pleasure to meet them, to renew old friendships and to meet new
colleagues. They are doing a good job in a district where the quality of
the service they give and its subsequent recommendation is the soundest way
of getting new business.
lurks in Castrol House?