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Lewis’s Department Store opens in Manchester in 1877, and closes in 2002.  Lewis’s Bank first appears in the store around the time of the Bank’s establishment in 1928. Amazingly, this advertisement (whose fonts would look easily at home in advertising today) is from the same year.  It advertises the second week of the Manchester Store’s Mid-Season Fashion Clearance Sale.  The run up to Christmas 1928 is obviously going to be a good time for all customers of Lewis’s, with the promise of new and different “bargains” being offered  every single day. With this Store stretching from 106 to 122 Market street, Lewis’s tradition of occupying very large premises certainly continues in Manchester.  Add this to the unrivalled buying power of the group iteslf, and the unique offerings within each store – hairdressing, breakfast lunch tea and dinner, live music, and of course a bank with a children’s counter open six FULL days each week, and you are onto a winner!  Martins Bank Magazine visits the branch and its twenty seven strong staff in 1959, and discovers that the Bank has already relocated three times within the store!  Our second feature concerns Lewis’s Bank staff member Susan Trenor who in 1967 is presented with her Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award at Buckingham Palace, by the Duke himself…

A full line up…

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1959 02 MBM.jpgThe branch of Lewis's Bank in the Manchester store is the second largest of the nine branches of the Bank, having a staff of 28, six men and twenty-two girls. Although Lewis's Bank is comparatively young in years, the Manchester branch has about it a certain aura of respectable antiquity. Here you can still see the high stools and desks and the solid fixtures of another generation, though at the time of our visit there were signs on every hand of the march of progress and mechanisation that is now in operation.  The branch was opened in 1928 and its present location is its third site in the store. It is not outside the bounds of possibility that the constant growth of the business may cause a further re-siting in the near future.

Image (right) : Burnley Express and Advertiser 03/11/1928

Image © D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD


E Adamson  L Tilley

L Ridge  J Bent  N McElroy  D Freebairn

B Beaton  P Neild


P Baker  J Redfern

M Brumby  J Birch  B Tyler  J Wood

S Kirhham


H Foulkes  S Walker

D Barnie  A Thompson 

FRONT ROW:      

F Stones (20 years)

H Birchenough (30 years)

Mr J A Kibble  Mr L Watson

K G Royle (26 years) 

L Smith (29 years)

E Seymour (21 years)

An attractive children's counter stands at the entrance to the branch, on the right of the door, and we were rather amused to note that not by any means all its customers were children. It seems that once a child opens an account in the children's section the habit is formed of using the children's counter and although every effort is made to persuade the customers to promote themselves to the adults' counter and to change their accounts into ordinary accounts when they grow up, some of them decline to alter their habits and continue to patronise the section of the bank which custom has made familiar.  Unlike the Liverpool office, the bank in the Manchester store is not separated from the store except by a partition and there is no separate entrance from the street.

This Lewis’s Bank Cheque from the early 1960s bears an

unusual variation of Martins Bank’s Coat of Arms

Image © Barclays

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Two of the ladies have been with the branch almost since it was opened, and before that they were employed in the store itself. Miss Birchenough can do any job and at the moment is engaged on general duties. Miss Smith is correspondence clerk and is in charge of Standing Orders. Other ladies of long service are Mrs. Stones, cashier, very highly thought of by the customers; Mrs. Seymour, in charge of the current accounts, and Mrs. Royle, in charge of credits and dividends.  Most of the other girls are teenagers or in their early twenties. The Manager is Mr. Lewis Watson, who commenced his career in 1938. He served with H.M. Forces from 1942-1947, and in 1948 was appointed Manager of the Leicester branch. The following year he was promoted to be Assistant Manager at Manchester, and in 1956 he became Deputy Manager. He has been Manager at Manchester since last year.  Mr. J. A. Kibble, the Assistant Manager, entered the Bank in Birmingham in 1950, after military service, 1947-1949, and was appointed in 1957. Mr. Kibble's wife was formerly a member of the Birmingham staff of the Bank and it was there they met.  During the hours we spent at the branch we were most impressed with the business of the counter and the volume of business handled. We were also impressed with the very obvious cordiality of the relationship which exists between the bank and its customers. The atmosphere is most homely.

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Going For Gold!

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1967 Susan Trenor  wins D of E Gold Award MBM-Sp67P38.jpg1967 01 MBM.jpgafter three years of hard but very enjoyable work Susan Trenor, aged 19, of Manchester branch travelled to London on February 7 to attend at Buckingham Palace for the presentation by the Duke of Edinburgh of her Gold Award. Award winners are allowed to take one guest to the presentation and, while Susan's mother along with the many relations and friends was being shown to her seat in the State Ballroom, the 450 winners were organised alphabetically in the adjoining corridor. On receiving her certificate Susan was able to assure Prince Philip in response to his enquiry that she had not pinched any money from the Bank!  Under four headings in the Award Scheme - Adventure, Service, Interests and Design for Living - an increasingly high standard must be attained for the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards. Susan's 'Adventure' activities ranged from rambles and two-day hikes to a 50-mile hike and a fortnight at a residential college which included canoeing, lessons in pottery and a visit to the cells in a police station. 'Service' included hairdressing and make-up, hospital work and a W.V.S. course, while 'Interests' covered badminton and knitting. In 'Design for Living' Susan studied first aid, Junior Red Cross work, home nursing and mothercraft. With the continuing and growing popularity of the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme among younger people, blending as it does personal achievement with service to others, we hope it will not be long before we are able to feature the successes of other young colleagues.

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1964 Mr GK Moore Manager MBM-Au64P63.jpg

1967 JD Millar Assistant Manager MBM-Su67P09.jpg

1967 Lewis Watson Assistant Manager Manchester (2) RF-SW.jpg

1967 Mr Hatton Manager - SW.jpg

1967 Susan Trenor MBM-Sp67P38.jpg

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Mr G K Moore



Miss Jean Redfern



Mr J D Millar

Assistant Manager


Mr Lewis Watson

Assistant Manager


Mr W J Hatton



Miss Susan Trenor

On the Staff



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Telephone Number:




Lewis’s Bank Limited - Manchester

106-122 Market Street  Manchester 1

CENtral 6604

Mr W J Hatton