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Hanley receives its first taste of Lewis’s Department Stores in 1934, when the wonderful building in the advertisement shown below, plays host to this British Shopping Phenomenon. “Pile ‘em high and sell ‘em cheap” does not do justice to Lewis’s methods of trading; from the start they care noe only about value for money for their customers, but also for the creation of a shopping “experience” where it is possible to stay all day in the store, to shop, to eat, to be entertained, and from 1928, to bank.  The Hanley store Bank Counter is featured here on the right of the page, the photograph – from Martins Bank Archive Collections – was taken for publicity purposes when the store opened in 1934.

Lewis’s Hanley moves to new premises in 1964, and you can see an altogether different incarnation of the building itself, towards the end of this page.  Martins Bank Magazine visits Lewis’s Bank Hanley in its original site, at the beginning of 1960. Describing Hanley as “classless” and with “no barriers”, the Magazine is also surprised at how young the Branch Manager is, marvelling at how quickly he appears to have made it to the top.  In our second feature -  which is from 1962 – you can read about three members of the same family, all of whom work for Lewis’s Bank at Hanley.  (This is not something that was tolerated by most of the larger banks, right up to the end of the twentieth century, for fear that such relatives, particularly a married couple, might collude in fraudulent activity!)

1957 Lewis's Store Image Ad1960 01 MBM.jpgWe visited the Hanley branch of Lewis's Bank Ltd., on 29th January, and found it a new and interesting experience. When visiting new branches we often hear the same remark from managers, no matter in what part of the country the branch is.  It is to the effect that English people seem to display a reserve towards a newcomer and there is a barrier which has to be broken down before a new branch can forge ahead.  Hanley is one of the places where this does not seem to apply. It is a classless place and there are no artificial barriers.  As a con­sequence, it is a most friendly place and one is immediately struck by this. Lewis's store in Hanley is quite different from those in the other towns we have visited. It is much smaller, not nearly so crowded and very compact. It is less impersonal than the big modern stores and one feels the friendliness of the place. The bank is a tiny bank, pushed into a corner, short of space and, in a way, makeshift. Even so, it has more floor space than when it started in 1946 on the floor above. Our biggest surprise was meeting Mr. B. G. Hook, the Manager. Mr. Hook is the youngest manager in Lewis's Bank and he must also be younger than any manager in Martins Bank, and no one can surely have received a managerial appointment after so short a career, and while still engaged in completing Part I of his Institute of Bankers' Examinations. He entered the Bank in December, 1955, at Leeds, after doing his military service with the Royal Artillery in the Suez Canal Zone, 1954-1955, and was appointed Manager at Hanley in June, 1959.

1957 Lewis's Hanley Ad1960 Hanley Staff MBM-Sp60P09.jpgApart from the fact that Mr. Hook is a very presentable and obviously capable young man, the moral of the story seems to be that in a bank whose staff is about 95 % female, opportunities for pro­motion for the few males who manage to gain entry are very bright indeed. In fact, in Martins Bank as a whole the chances of a young man gaining an appointment are now one in two for the same reason, a very big improvement over the past few years.  Two of the three girls on the staff are sisters. The elder one, Mrs. Mary Martin, is also the senior girl and has been in the bank over four years. The younger one, Miss Maureen Doyle, shares the work of the counter with Miss Maureen Heames. All three girls started in the store and were then selected for the bank. There is no separate children's counter at this branch, though there is a separate section of children's ledgers. The space available doesn't permit of two counters and the cashiers are well able to deal with all classes of customer, especially as the children tend to do their business on Saturdays and during the holidays. We were able to study the customer relationship and were impressed with the obviously friendly bond existing between staff and customers.  These girls have nothing to learn from the American film on customer relationship now being shown round the branches. Quiet, respectful, friendly and competent—this about sums them up. The banking hours here and at Glasgow are from 10 a.m.—4 p.m. The extra hour is an anomaly which at times has proved burdensome. Before so very many years have passed the whole store will be rebuilt and made into a really modern store. There is little doubt that the opportunity will be taken of planning the branch of the bank on a much more satisfactory scale, but we feel quite sure that the quality of service is in no danger of needing improving. It was a pleasure to visit the branch.

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Martins Bank Magazine pays one more visit to Lewis’s Bank Hanley in 1962.  This time the focus is on the number of staff working at the branch who are related to each other!  Our Lewis’s Staff Records show that Mr B G Hook, who is mentioned above as the high flying and particularly young Manager at Hanley, tenders his resignation in the Summer of 1963, but no reason is given.

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Hanley Staff 1962 MBM-Sp62P101962 01 MBM.jpgSome months ago our attention was drawn to the fact that the majority of the staff of girls at Lewis's Bank Ltd., Hanley, were related. When we visited the branch and subsequently featured it in the Magazine we mentioned that two of the girls there were sisters. The number has now grown to three! Mrs. Mary Martin, (on the left) the senior clerk, has been there since 1954: Miss Maureen Doyle, (in the middle) now first cashier, has been at the branch since 1957, and Miss Teresa Doyle (on the right) entered the service in 1960.

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Lewis's Hanley Late 60s (httpwww.thepotteries.orgphotosPete_late60s10.htm)

The picture on the left, of a newly built Lewis’s Department Store at Hanley dates from 1964 when the business relocates to a building whose looks, whilst progressive and typical of the time, are nevertheless disappointing when compared to the original store. You can read more about Lewis’s Department Store in Hanley in our special feature by clicking HERE. The web site goes into much more detail and includes some fascinating images of changes to the town’s shopping area.

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Our thanks to the for the use of several images on this page of our Archive.

1962 Mrs Mary Martin MBM-Sp62P10.jpg

1962 Mrs Maureen Doyle MBM-Sp62P10.jpg

1960 Mr B G Hook Manager MBM-Sp60P09.jpg

1962 Mrs Teresa Doyle MBM-Sp62P10.jpg

1966 Christine Bowman Cashier MBM-Su66P39.jpg

1967 P Shackleton Manager MBM-Su67P09.jpg

Miss Mary Martin


since 1954

Miss Maureen Doyle


since  1957

Mr B G Hook


1959 to 1963

Miss Teresa Doyle

Joined the bank here


Christine Bowman



Mr P Shackleton



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Lamb Street Hanley Stoke on Trent Staffordshire

Stoke on Trent 21110

P Shackleton Manager