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1897 Bank of Liverpool Wakefield Crewdson Cheque title MBA

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Kendal – The Principal Branch of the Northern District

Image © Barclays Ref 0030-1458


The Northern District of Martins Bank consists predominantly of the branches and sub branches that are subsumed in 1893 by the merger of Wakefield Crewdson’s Kendal Bank, and the Bank of Liverpool.  There are some exceptions, those being the branches and sub branches added to the Northern District after 1893 by the Bank of Liverpool until 1918, the Bank of Liverpool and Martins between 1918 and 1928, and Martins Bank itself, beween 1928 and 1969. Craven and Northern, are the only two Districts of Martins Bank not to have their own administrative centre, or District Office. 


It is however acknowledged, that what little autonomy these small districts enjoy is under the watchful eye of Skipton Branch, in the case of Craven District, and Kendal Branch in the Northern district.  Our pages for these Districts do therefore differ from the others, as there are no district managers or departmental staff to record here. We will however fill our Craven and Northern Pages with stories that feature in Martins Bank Magazine over the years…


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Am-dram, thankyou man(ager)…

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1954 to 1962 Mr M E Dixon Manager MBM-Wi62P541958 03.jpgMr M E Dixon, Manager of our Bowness on Windermere Branch, has been interesting himself in amateur dramatics and earlier in the year he entered a one act play in the Westmorland County Drama Festival, which is regarded as the first round of the British Drama League Festival of One-Act Plays.  There were ten teams competing from the County, and Mr Dixon’s team were the winners.  They went on to the North Western Divisional Final at Ulverston where they met the winners of Furness and North Lancashire, and the winning team from Cumberland.  Once again they were the winners and thus qualified for the North of England Finals at Doncaster.  There were in all, six teams there, being the survivors from Cumberland, Westmorland, Northumberland, Durham, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cheshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire.  Although beaten, they were not disgraced.  The Phoenix Players from Hull were adjudged the winners, but the Windermere Amateur Dramatic Society received the Harry Mellor Trophy, which was awarded for the best stage presentation, which included set, costume, make-up, stage movement and grouping. Well done! – the trophy is a NEW one and was awarded for the first time.

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Boxing Clever at Milnthorpe!


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1964 Mr T E Wood Clerk in Charge MBM-Sp64P51It is quite a rare occurrence for Martins Bank Magazine to publish details of staff who work at Martins Bank’s many Sub-Branches up and down the land.  In this very short article from Northern District News, Winter 1960, we learn of the green fingers of Mr T E Wood, Clerk in Charge, who  maintains a window box above the door of his Sub Branch in Milnthorpe, Westmorland.  Although our image of Milnthorpe (© Barclays) is taken around the same time as the article appears, we are puzzled to say the least by the LACK of a window box!  Are we looking hard enough?

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Milnthorpe Branch ca.1960.

Image © Barclays 0030-1915

1960 04.jpgCongratulations to Mr T E Wood, Clerk in Charge of our Milnthorpe Sub Branch, who recently won a first prize in a competition in Cumberland and Westmorland for his window flower box over the Bank door.

Tributes paid…

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1942 to 1957 Mr A A Rushforth MBM-Wi57P461961 03.jpgOn the occasion of the retirement of Mr A A Rushforth, former Manager of our Carlisle English Street Branch, from the Chairmanship of the East Cumberland Hospital management committee, a post which he has held since its formation in 1948, many tributes were paid to him by various officials of the hospital, and at a presentation ceremony held at the Cumberland Infirmary, Mr Rushforth was given a television set, and a drawing of the Cumberland Infirmary. Mr and Mrs Rushforth are leaving Cumberland to live in the South of England.

From Abbott Hall Gallery to Kendal Grammar School…

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1968 Mr C Clark Manager MBM-Su68P41.jpg1962 04.jpgMr Charles Clark (Manager, Kendal Branch) had the honour of being present at the opening of the Abbott HallArt Gallery by Princess Margaret on 28 September… Mr Clark attentded the Careers Conference in Kendal Town Hall in October, organised by the Ministry of Labour in conjunction with the local Youth Emplyment Committee, as the representative of banking, and spoke to many of the boys and girls who attended, and answered many questions…

Furness Grasshoppers

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1965 02.jpgThe fourth annual competition for the Ion Tankard was held at Rampside Miniature Golf Course on Tuesday 4 May. The weather was good, and in keen competition Richard Wimpress (Dalton in Furness Branch) won the Ion Tankard with a score of 35 (40 minus a handicap of 5).  William Johnson, (Barrow in Furness Branch) playing off scratch, also achieved a score of 35, but Richard took the tankard on the best performance over the last five holes, William taking second prize.  Ladies first prize was won by Miss Pat Barker (Barrow) with a score of 34 (46-12) and Miss Jean Forrest (Ulverston) won second prize with 35 (47-12). Special prizes were won by Miss Carol Ditchfield and Norman Crellin, both of Barrow Branch.

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1946 to 1948 Mr JM Thornton MBM-Wi67P03

1962 Mr W O Davies Liverpool Assistant District General Manager MBM-Su62P05

1960 to 1966 Mr Norman Crellin JC-MBA

1967 Mr W Johnson MBM-Sp67P23

1946 Mr T R Ion MBM-Au69P57

1940 to 1943 Mr A Struthers joined the bank here MBM-Sp69P09

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Mr J M Thornton

Mr W O Davies

Mr Norman Crellin

Mr William Johnson

Mr T Roger Ion

Mr Alan Struthers


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The visitors’ prize was won by Mr Alan Struthers of Skipton Branch and the prize for the tallest competitor from Liverpool whose father once worked at Ulverston Branchwas both donated and won by Mr W L I Brockbank, Mr W O Davies, who very kindly presented the prizes, was also presented with a small cup.  A pea and pie supper followed at the Rose and Crown Gleaston, after which there was an informal get-together when Mr Fred Newby, Messenger at Barrow Branch, sang some songs in his own inimitable manner, and others did their best.  Our thanks go to all who helped to make this a most enjoyable evening.  Mr J M Thornton stood in most ably at short notice for Mr T R Ion who with his wife inaugurated and attended these meetings but was unable to be present owing to his wife’s illness. The news of Mrs Ion’s death early next morning came as a shock and a shadow, but to  Roger in  his tragic  loss more than 200 letters have clearly demonstrated the sympathy respect and affection of friends young and old.  The Furness Grasshoppers’ motto Dum vivimus vivamus (while we live, let us live) is so typical of the Ion outlook that we feel he would be glad for others to know that the meeting on 4 May was tremendous fun and a great success. And so, we believe, would his wife.

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No mean feat! (but perhaps painful ones . . . )

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1968 02.jpgOn Sunday 21 April, Wendy Birkbeck and Jacqueline Moore of Ambleside Branch, and Robin Ellis of Coniston Branch, took part in a sponsored walk – twenty-seven miles round Lake Windermere – organised by the Rotary Club of Ambleside. Both Miss Moore and Mr Ellis finished the course – Miss Birkbeck retired after twenty-two miles – which was no mean feat as they started off in a heavy thunderstorm and conditions throughout the day were hot and humid.  The total amount raised by the effort was over £1000.

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We were amazed to find that £1000 raised in 1968 by Jacqueline Moore and Robin Ellis equates to more than £14,700 in today’s money, using the official calculation of price and inflation – well done!