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Book keeping – a slow and steady job…

Martins Bank Statements are produced for customers by branch machinist staff.  Each line of the statement is produced by fitting the sheet into the machine just like a typewriter, and using the various keys to select and calculate the many different types of transaction. This is quite laborious, and there is no room for error without having to start all over again.  It is also fairly messy, as the same sheet is pulled out of a file and put into the machine every time there is activity on an account.  

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The more advanced machines have two platens side by side so that a copy statement (known as a ledger) can also be produced line by line for the bank to keep.  As Martins’ own computerisation plans are put on hold for the Merger with Barclays, sadly this is how statement production will continue in the majority of Martins Branches until the end of the bank, and the advent of Barclays’ own ambitious automation plans.


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1968 NCR 32 Range NCR-CNF MBA

302 Customer Statement - Machine

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(NCR) “National 32” Range Statement and Ledger Machine

Image © 1966 N C R Limited

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Martins Bank Machine Produced Statement

Image – Martins Bank Archive

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Computerised statement 1.jpgThis is a re-creation of one of the statements produced from the mid-sixties onwards using Martins’ new NCR 315 CRAM Computer System. Staff Loan Accounts are among the first to be computerised and copies sent to District offices, whose advances staff controlled the borrowings of staff and customers.  Originally, the Pegasus II Computer was used to bookkeep the accounts of business customers whose accounts experience a large volume of transactions. The first immediate advantage of computerisation is of course the reduction in the time and manpower used in the production of statements, and without wishing to offend the hard working machinist, we think you will agree that the computerised version is definitely neater and a little easier on the eye! You can read more about Martins’ computerisation plans at LIVERPOOL COMPUTER CENTRE and LONDON COMPUTER CENTRE.

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Off to Machine School!

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A good friend of the Archive, the late Iris Brooks was lucky enough to be a trainer for Martins Midland District Machine School, which gave a large number of female staff in the district the chance to learn how to operate the machines they would be using from day to day in the branches to provide the necessary book keeping facilities for the Bank and its customers.  These machines are referred to in Martins’ staff recruitment advertising campaign as being able to “do most of the donkey work”.  The ads are aimed at young girls who have just left school.  At this time the Bank offers what is still a quite meagre salary, especially to its female staff. We can however say in all fairness, that the expenses that can be claimed in respect of courses are generous. Judge for yourself, as we reproduce below a copy of the Joining Instructions for the Machine School run at Derby in 1956…  

1960 Section of Machine School MBII-OppP8

A section of a typical Machine Accounting School, circa 1960


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TRAINING takes place at the District Office School at Derby Branch. Instruction is given from Monday to Friday each week, commencing at noon on Mondays and at 9.15 a.m. on other days and the course covers a period of two to three weeks, depending on the extent of the trainees' prior experience. Trainees are allowed to return home for the weekends on Friday afternoons.


ACCOMMODATION is arranged in a comfortable private house in one of the best residential areas in Derby where breakfast and an evening meal are provided.  Trainees will be given full instructions regarding the bus route by the Machine School Supervisor at Derby Branch which is situated at 5, Market Place, Derby. 


ON ARRIVAL at Derby Railway Station, a taxi should be taken to the Branch and trainees should make arrangements as far as possible to arrive by mid-day on Monday mornings.  If this presents any difficulty, the Manager of the Branch at which the trainee is employed should be requested to advise District Office beforehand.




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The following will be paid by the Bank and should be claimed from the Machine School Supervisor who will supply the necessary form for completion:-

·         2nd Class rail fares between home and Derby, (including visits home during the weekends of the Course)

·         Meals, on the train and taxi fares.

·         Bus fares to and from Derby Branch for the period of the Course.

·         Gratuities paid on the journey.

·         Lunches at the usual rate of 3/6d. a day*.

·         The charge for accommodation will be settled by the Bank. As the charge is inclusive, the question of gratuities will not arise.


*(Lunch at three shillings and sixpence per day is equivalent to 17½p or US$0.28!

With inflation that amounts to a “generous” £3.22 or $4.22 in 2018)  

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