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Martins Bank 1928+

Another classic forties scene in which a Martins Bank Branch takes centre stage – 153 Sloane Street certainly looks the part, and undergoes some changes too.  The Bank does have another branch in Sloane Street, No 48, which leads something of a double life when it takes on the name and the business of 32 Lowndes Street office when that branch is destoyed by bombing in World war 2. In a moment we bid farewell to the Manager Mr Wright who has spent twenty-eight years working at the two Sloane Street Branches, but first some more images of Sloane Street Branch over the years. Seen here when the stonework was still in desperate need of a good clean, Sloane Street has only one main window to the right of the door. An expansion of the premises will swallow up the shop next door, providing ample room inside for a banking hall and facilities that befit a branch at an exclusive London address. This is a necessary step if Martins Bank is to attract lucrative high net worth customers and the quality business such people and their connections bring. Below are images of the branch interior from before and after the refurbishment. In many ways it is a shame to disturb this classic interior, but there comes a time in the life of every older branch when dark wood panels, and darker fixtures and fittings seem oppresive.

In Service: 20 January 1947 until 1979


Branch Images © Barclays Ref: 0033/0510

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Branch Images © Barclays Ref: 0033-0510

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The Bank’s architects are faced with the dual responsibility of re-fitting the branch interior tastefully, but within a reasonable budget.  Below we have the finished article, substantially more room in the customer area, a screened corner for private interview, and the darkness is removed through the combination of clearing the picture window, adding a large reflecting mirror, and regularly spaced uplit ceiling lights. Sloane Street is about to say goodbye to the man who has been at its helm for the last 28 years, the Manager, Mr Wright – a popular man, some of whose friends travel from the other end of the Country to say farewell. As ever, Martins Bank Magazine is on hand to eavesdrop on the proceedings…

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1959 01 MBM.jpg1931 to 1959 Mr K R Wright Manager MBM-Sp59P53.jpgAt the end of the old year Mr. K. R. Wright retired after over 46 years' service, for 28 of which he has been Manager at Sloane Street. To mark the occasion he gave a cocktail party in the branch on December 30th and it was attended by about 100 of his colleagues, past and present, including five former lady members of his staff who are now married.  One had travelled from Yorkshire and another from Cheshire.  The formal part of the proceedings was introduced by Mr. J. A. Fowler, the Assistant Manager, and a bouquet was presented to Mrs. Wright by Miss Webster, Mr. Wright's Secretary for many years. Then Mr. Norman-Butler, Joint General Manager, made the presentation on behalf of the subscribers of a handsome Sheraton cabinet, and an illu­minated book containing the signatures of nearly 200 subscribers. He paid a warm tribute to Mr. Wright's qualities as a manager and Mr. Wright responded by thanking everyone with whom he had worked for their never failing co-operation and help. Mr. Wright was an old Martin's man and. joined the service in 1912 at Lombard Street. During the First World War he served with the Northumberland Hussars and Middlesex Yeomanry, being wounded in France in 1918. He returned to Lombard Street in 1919 and in 1928 he went to Sidcup, returning to Lombard Street in 1929 for a year before the commencement of his long run at Lowndes Street branch, which he opened.  The branch was destroyed by a bomb in 1940 and business was conducted for a time in temporary premises. Before leaving the office for the last time on Balance night,  Mr.  Wright was handed a substantial cheque which had been subscribed by his customers: this was in addition to many handsome presents he had already received to mark the occasion. A fitting end to a distinguished career.

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1931 to 1959 Mr K R Wright Manager MBM-Sp59P53.jpg

1948 to 1951 Mr N Turner joined the bank here MBM-Su68P13.jpg

1950 to 1954 Mr G C Denton MBM-Wi62P48.jpg

1950 to 1957 Mr P C Twitchin MBM-Au64P05.jpg

1959 to 1966 Mr H A Lewe Manager MBM-Su66P57.jpg

1960 to 1960 Mr P J Hole MBM-Wi66P03.jpg






Mr K R Wright


1931 to 1959

Mr N Turner

Joined the Bank Here

1948 to 1951

Mr G C Denton

On the Staff

1950 to 1954

Mr P C Twitchin

On the Staff

1950 to 1957

Mr H A Lewe


1959 to 1966

Mr P J Hole

On the Staff


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1961 to 1961 Mr A H M Brain MBM-Su65P06.jpg

1969 Mr M B Kerton Pro Manager MBM-Au69P11.jpg

1969 Mr R Pennington Assistant Manager MBM-Au69P13.jpg

BW Logo

BW Logo






Mr A H M Brain

On the Staff


Mr J F Willis


1966 onwards

Mr M B Kerton

Pro Manager


Mr R Pennington

Assistant Manager





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Index Number and District:






11-92-70 London 153 Sloane Street

Full Branch

153 Sloane Street London SW1

426 London

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

01 730 6206/7 & 6471

Nightsafe installed

Mr J F Willis Manager


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11-08 London 48 Sloane Street

(Run as Lowndes Street from 1940 to 1948)


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London 48 Sloane Street

20 January 1947

15 December 1969

October 1978


opened by Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-78-54 London 153 Sloane Street

Branch Closed and building retained for book-keeping purposes


London 11 Soho Square