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West Riding Union Bank

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Long before children everywhere thought it was simply the name of a small yellow fund-raising bear, Pudsey was, and still is a town in Yorkshire. Martins Bank’s Branch there is an original office of the West Riding Union Bank, and comes to Martins in 1928 through the amalgamation of Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank and the Bank of Liverpool and Martins.   Every part of the UK has a few unusual place names, and Yorkshire too has its fair share – Hipperholme and Kippax being two more that spring to mind.  In 1965, even the Manager at Pudsey is called Mr Kippax, and as Martins Bank Magazine now reports, it is his turn to hang up his bank (kipper?) tie and retire….

In service: pre-1898, rebuilt 1938 – 21 January 2012

Image © Barclays Ref 0030-2357

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1965 02 MBM.jpg1949 to 1965 Mr R G Kippax Manager MBM-Su65P59.jpgmany colleagues assembled in the club­house of the Wood Hall Golf Club on April 30th to say farewell to Geoffrey Kippax, Manager of Pudsey branch for the past 16 years. His wife, who was at one time on the staff of Leeds City Office, accom­panied him and was handed a bouquet by Miss Jacqueline Simpson. The presentation of an automatic tea maker was made by Mr P. M. Lister (Assistant District Manager) who spoke of the warm humanity of Mr Kippax's character and emphasised the esteem in which he was held by colleagues and customers. Mr Kippax's response was one of thanks to everyone, after which a buffet supper was served and reminiscences exchanged.  Mr and Mrs Kippax’s retirement begins with a month’s holiday in Ireland after which he will indulge his hobbies of golf and gardening. He entered the Bank at Halifax in 1921 and served at many branches in the Leeds District including three spells at Bradford. In 1939 he moved to York and the following year received signing authority at York Cattle Market branch. He was appointed Manager at Pudsey in 1949.

The original building used for Pudsey Branch was part of Pudsey Town Hall, in what was known as the Mechanics Institute.  Around 1937/8 these premises were demolished and Pudsey branch was rebuilt. This is not the end of disruption at this site, as once in Barclays’ ownership, changes are made which move the main door and some of the windows of the branch as can be seen below in our “then and now feature. The 1938 rebuild is covered in this article in the Yorkshire Observer of 1 July 1938. As some of the image is hard to make out, we have reproduced the wording as follows:

MARTINS BANK - New Premises Opened At Pudsey.


Martins Bank at Pudsey is now transacting business in the new building erected on the sire formerly occupied by the bank at the corner of Lowtown and Manor House Street.  The branch was originally opened in 1898 as an office of the old West Riding Union Banking Co., Ltd., in premises of the mechanics institute which formed part of the Town Hall.  The West Riding Union Banking Co., Ltd., was absorbed by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank Ltd., in 1902 which in turn was incorporated with the Bank of Liverpool and Martins Ltd., in 1928 when the name of the bank was changed to Martins Bank  Limited. Martins Bank has 575 branches, some 100 of which are in Yorkshire. It is a member of the London Clearing House, has separate foreign branches where all descriptions of foreign and colonial business are transacted, and trustee departments which undertake all kinds of trustee business. The Pudsey branch is under the control of Mr W Barbour, manager of Bradford (Tyrrel Street) Branch.

Image Courtesy British Newspaper Archive, copyright holder currently unknown.

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A treat now as we glimpse the minimal changes that have been made to Pudsey Branch at around ten years, and then major changes at FORTY years after the merger of Martins and Barclays. 




1942 to 1945 Miss B R Wilcockson Clerk in Charge MBM-Au46P29.jpg

1949 to 1965 Mr R G Kippax Manager MBM-Su65P59.jpg

1960 to 1962 Mr R C Tattersall MBM-Sp67P04.jpg

1965 Mr GC Walsh Manager MBM-Su65P05.jpg

Miss B R Wilcockson

Clerk in Charge

1942 to 1945

Mr R G Kippax


1949 to 1965

Mr R C Tattersall

On the Staff

1960 to 1962

Mr G C Walsh


1965 onwards




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Index Number and District:






11-97-60 Pudsey

Full Branch

1 Manor House Lowtown Pudsey Yorkshire

632 Leeds

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Pudsey 3406

Nightsafe Installed

Mr G C Walsh Manager


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15 July 1902

3 January 1928

1 July 1938

15 December 1969

Friday 21 January 2012

West Riding Union Bank

Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank

Martins Bank Limited

Re-opened after being rebuilt

Barclays Bank Limited 20-70-09 Pudsey

Closed Permanently from 12 noon