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Queen's Silver Jubilee Visit to Birmingham: Part 1

- views from Head Office rooftop

The following photograph shows Head Office following its 'Jubilee Clean'. The Bank's title in 1977 was Birmingham Municipal Trustee Savings Bank, and two Trustee Savings Bank boxed signs have been added to the front elevation of the building.

When the whole building was sand-blasted and cleaned prior to the Royal Visit, a number of small holes on the Broad Street frontage (that had been caused by shrapnel 'strikes' during the wartime bombing of Birmingham) were filled in by the firm carrying out the restoration work. This desecration of the Bank's wartime battle scars was noticed by the Bank's then Chairman (Councillor Dennis Martineau) who immediately ordered their restoration. The contractors were somewhat mystified by this order, but duly chiselled out their unauthorised repairs, leaving a slightly polished version of the erstwhile jagged holes, and thus fully restoring the building to its former glory. History was not to be changed on a whim! (See: Preservation of the Bank's Assets)

(Photographs by David Parkes)

In 1977, the BMB celebrated the Queen's Silver Jubilee by cleaning the exterior stonework of its Head Office in Broad Street. As part of her Jubilee, the Queen visited several parts of the United Kingdom. The Royal visit to Birmingham, on July 27th, included a ceremony performed on the opposite side of Broad Street from the Head Office building, in what is now Centenary Square. The second and third photographs feature parts of the ceremony - the Queen presenting new colours to the 2nd Battalion Mercian Volunteers.

These photographs were taken from the roof of Head Office, to where several staff had climbed in order to obtain an excellent view of Her Majesty. The photographs include portions of buildings that (togther with the BMB Head Office) were part of a plan to transform Broad Street by creating a Civic Centre. That plan was never fully implemented due to the commencement of the Second World War. Those other buildings are the Hall of Memory (top photo) and Baskerville House (2nd photo).