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At long last we have begun the monumental task of representing the prolific sporting activities of Martins Staff.  The sports features in Martins Bank Magazine are the big opportunity for staff who have taken part to be shown “in action” – and a flick through ANY of the ninety-six editions of the magazine quickly shows the sporting prowess of those who go to extremes to be helpful.   In what can be a very sedentary life working in a branch bank, sport - and the chance it brings for some to socialise with their colleagues - is very important.  We are not just talking about kicking a ball around for half an hour before regrouping in the pub.  Banks had teams - seriously competitive teams - teams that competed at local, inter-district, and even at national level.  Where this interest in playing a sport for your branch, district or bank peaked in popularity is probably the 1970s, when many banks had established their own sports grounds, or taken medium to long-term leases on existing ones.  The following images demonstrate the relationship between bank clerks and their favourite sports going back in time further than you would think:

1906 - The Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank Club Football Team

Image © Barclays Ref A61 (LYC0606P85)

1909 - The Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank Club Cricket Team

Image © Barclays Ref A61 (LYC0909P33)

1933 - Martins Bank London District Football Team

Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections - Michael Jaques

1950s - Mens and Ladies Inter District Tennis Teams

Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections - Beryl Creer

1956 - Liverpool Ladies District Hockey team

Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections - Beryl Creer

1958 - London Inter-District Rugby Team

Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections - MBM-Sp58P45

The constituent banks of Martins will each have had their own “sporting life” to some degree.  The “Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank Club” was an early example of a bank trying hard to bring together its employees as a team.  Their quarterly “club” magazine covered no end of topics, from trips abroad to flower arranging, the welfare of colleagues, and pictures of staff branches and sporting teams. As a staff magazine it was probably ahead of its time, and it is true to say that it became the basis for Martins Magazine when that began publication in 1946.

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The purpose of our “Grandstand” feature pages is to highlight the love for sport held my so many of Martins Bank’s Staff, as they stood outside in the winter mud and cold, as well as the summer sunshine. Some competed for the fun of it, others for glory. Some won cups and other prizes, others were good enough to compete for England in the Commonwealth Games. It will probably take us years to do justice to the numerous Bank and Inter-Bank teams that run, jump, swim, bat and participate in just about every sport known to man, so the plan is to gradually build up a menu below that eventually will do justice to Martins’ Sporting Life.  In the meantime, as newcomers to competitive sport, we have made something of a modest start below. Please click on the images below for your grandstand seat for these events…

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