HOME

 

WELCOME

 

NEWS

 

BRANCHES

 

GRASSHOPPERS

 

LEWIS’S BANK

 

CONTACT US

 

SITE MENU

MARTINS BANK MAGAZINE

 

WELCOME to Martins Bank Archive, and to MARTINS BANK MAGAZINE - our news feature in honour of the Bank’s staff publication, which from 1946 to 1969 brought news of changing times, new Branches and services and even new technologies to those working in branches and departments in England Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. From Drive-In Branches to computers and the Cash Dispenser, it seems that Martins Bank has it all, yet on 1 November 1968, it becomes just one more of the Barclays Group of Companies. This status is maintained only until close of Business on Friday 12 December 1969, as from the following Monday, 730 branches of the bank will open their doors under the name of Barclays. 

Holidays!

Our theme for May 2024 is holidays.  At the height of the “swinging 60s” Martins Bank was busy promoting “MARTINPLANNING” – the way that everyone could save for that rainy day, and even have some left for that all important HOLIDAY.  Since travel to destinations outside the UK became popular in the 1950s, Martins Bank was keen to ensure that its customers were well-informed about how to deal with any number of financial problems which might lie in wait for you at your holiday destination.  At first, leaflets were very practical – the “Pocket Guides” for instance, which were filled with information about foreign currencies and travellers’ cheques, local shopping hours, weights, measures, etc., etc..  For British Eagle Airways, one of the Bank’s Corporate Account Customers, a special pocket guide was produced, and included in the flight pack of every passenger. 

By the mid to late 1960s, the Bank’s iconic advertisements featuring various zoo animals had arrived, and the little girl who took her elephant to the bank, is seen in a second campaign with her advertising family and a camel(!) as they purchase their currency and travellers’ cheques from a cashier who takes it all in his stride. Martins Bank’s travellers’ cheques are little works of art in themselves, and you can see examples of these, and a range of the bank’s services for holiday-makers in our “At Your Service” section under OVERSEAS BRANCHES.

In the twenty-first century, there is a certain irony about the month of May having TWO “Bank Holidays” – with most Banks closing the majority of their branches, the idea of a “Bank Holiday” is all but redundant, so perhaps we should now refer to these statutory days off as PUBLIC holidays??? If you are lucky enough to get the chance to take ANY kind of break in the current cost of living crisis, we wish you a peaceful and happy time of it!

Martins Bank and Trade Unions

UPDATED! From humble beginnings in 1940, Martins Bank Staff Association went into competition with the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE), before eventually becoming a trade union. In a new feature, we look at the origins of Martins Bank Staff Association, its absorption into Barclays Staff Association and its eventual journey into being part of UNISON, one of the UK’s largest trade union organisations in the twenty-first century.  We also profile the career of Mr W E Gale, who achieved the role of General Secretary of the Staff Association at Martins, and continued the role with Barclays following the merger of the two banks in 1969.  You can visit our new page by clicking on the leaflet.  We would also like to hear from Martins Bank Staff who remember the staff association, and about whether they joined, or became members of its “rival” NUBE.  Whilst we have a number of Staff Association related items in the Archive, there is currently only one exhibit from NUBE – a book of discount shopping vouchers, given as an incentive to its members.  Please do get in touch with your trade union memories at the usual address – martinsbankarchive@btinternet.com. We have updated Martins Bank and the Trade Unions to include the story of how the Staff Association emerges towards the end of the Second World War as a negotiator of terms and conditions for the employees of the Bank. You can also read about how the Easter Bank Holiday of 1944 was ruined for many staff by of all things, the introduction of the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) Income Tax system!

 

Branch Closures – 2023/4

11-12-80

Spalding

10/05/2024

11-81-00

Blackburn Darwen Street

10/05/2024

11-36-00

Bangor

10/05/2024

11-03-50

Keighley

09/08/2024

11-99-20

Cockermouth

17/01/2025

The High Street Banks are continuing to deplete their High Street presence at an alarming rate. Several affecting Martins Bank Branches have already taken place in 2023, and you can keep fully up to date with developments, and see the full list of Martins Branch closures since April 2007 by visiting our BRANCH WATCH pages. The remaining branches dwindled by the end of August 2023 to just twenty-three, and these can be viewed along with their history and the option to visit the feature page for each one, by visiting THE REMAINING BRANCHES.  One month into 2024, the axe is being wielded once more, and you can see here the next round of Martins Branch closures, taking us up to May 2024.  As – inevitably – more are announced  we’ll keep you posted here. One further closure has been scheduled for January 2025 – COCKERMOUTH. It might actually close any time between now and that date, as these longer scheduled closures normally relate to the establishment of a Banking hub in a particular area. When we know more about this one, we will bring you the details. 

I bought the Bank (continued)…

We are always delighted to hear from friend of the Archive David Phelan, who featured on this site a few years ago when he purchased the former Martins Bank Branch at Grange-over-Sands following its permanent closure on 1 May 2019. He has turned it not only into a beautiful and comfortable home, but has also collected appropriate banking memorabilia with which to furnish and decorate it. 

Sep 1.jpg

David is of course very interested in the history of the building, and always on the lookout for period pictures. This lovely image (right) of the branch in its days as the Bank of Liverpool Ltd, is one of those acquisitions, and we are always grateful for David’s input to our own Archive. Many people down the years have wondered if Grange-over-Sands branch was originally some kind of chapel or even a church, but no, it was built this way as a bank.

Images © Martins Bank Archive Collections – D T Phelan

Keeping a permanent record

1960s Image © Barclays Ref 0030-1693

2000s Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections

– ROBERT MONTGOMERY

An unexpected result of the closure of former Martins Bank Branches in recent years, has been the sight of the Bank’s original signage still etched – sometimes faintly, others clear as day – in the stonework above the door or window of a branch.  Friend of Martins Bank Archive, Robert Montgomery, has since 2009 been on a mission to photograph former branches of the big banks, that have fallen on their sword in the name of progress.  In the process he has accumulated many images of former Martins Branches. We look forward to being able to add these to our Branch Network pages over the coming months, but as a taster, we are showing here a side-by-side comparison of LIVERPOOL WOOLTON Branch.  On the left you see the branch in the 1960s, and on the right, looking almost as if time has stood still for sixty years, you can see how the branch looked a couple of days after it was closed in June of this year.

Liverpool Childwall Five Ways – Closed 02/10/2015

Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections

 - GARY OWENS

Liverpool Booker Avenue – Closed 19/02/2016

Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections

 - GARY OWENS

South Shields Harton – Closed 10/05/2019

Image © Martins Bank Archive Collections

 - ROBIN LAWSON

Buyer Beware…

We have left the following article here once again for reference, to help explain the position regarding the theft of copyrighted images for the purposes of re-sale. There is a common misconception that if you can Google an image, then it is “in the public domain” and you can do what you want with it. Even some staff at eBay® believed this until they were recently put right – if you take or copy someone else’s work or property without their permission or acknowledgement, and sell it on to make even a penny out of it, this is breach of copyright, and the real owner can take legal recourse to stop further theft and misuse of their property. There are currently on eBay® a number of listings of photographs for sale, showing scenes from the past and old buildings including these four (and many more) Branches of Martins Bank.  These images originated on our web site.  As you can see, under our agreement with the owner, we prominently display copyright. These images have been copied and printed onto cheap photographic paper. The seller even has the gall to add their own watermark to the displayed images to prevent others from stealing them!!!

STAINLAND

Image © Barclays

SITTINGBOURNE

Image created by Martins Bank

Archive and © Barclays

BURTON UPON TRENT

Image © Barclays

WALLASEY

Image © Barclays

As well as being against copyright law, these items are worthless, having little more than sentimental value – you will often find that collections and archives will make images available free of charge for private use, but you MUST check with them first. You should always check the seller’s right to copy the image – reputable sites such as eBay® do now allow you to report copyright infringement. For ANY item of memorabilia, the best thing to do is shop around and compare prices – in the case of Martins Bank there are often more than two hundred different items for sale on eBay® alone on any given day.  For printed material which looks as if it has been copied, or actually claims to be a copy, ALWAYS question the seller about copyright.

Sep 1.jpg

 

Best Regards, Jonathan.

Westmorland, Sunday 31ST March 2024

WHILST MARTINS BANK ARCHIVE HAS NO CONNECTION WITH THE DAY-TO-DAY TRADING ACTIVITIES OF THE

BARCLAYS GROUP OF COMPANIES, WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR THE CONTINUED GENEROUS GUIDANCE, ADVICE

AND SUPPORT OF BARCLAYS GROUP ARCHIVES IN THE BUILDING AND SHAPING OF THIS ONLINE SOCIAL HISTORY.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sep 1.jpg                                                                                                                                             

Supported By

Sep 1.jpg