Next Image

Branch Openings: 1940 to 1976


The Bank recorded each of the official openings of its permanent branches with a series of photographs. This series normally included views of the branch's exterior and interior; a copy of the commemoration tablet affixed to an interior wall of the branch; a record of the dignitaries who attended the opening ceremony; and photographs of the assembled crowd. Selections of photographs from these events are included in individual branch entries - this page portrays other aspects from opening ceremonies in the years 1940 to 1976.

Smethwick -
December 1st 1939
Although this branch opening ceremony was for the temporary premises that were used for less than one year prior to the construction of a permanent office, several photographs recorded the event. Here, the General Manager (J P Hilton,right) accompanies the Mayor of Smethwick (Alderman C W Taylor) to the branch

Shirley -
January 18th 1940
Formal luncheons often formed part of the branch opening procedures. Although the official photographer recorded some of these, the accompanying captions did not state the venue. At Shirley, however, it is recorded that the luncheon was held in the
Connaught Room at the Saracen's Head - not far from the branch's location. This photograph includes Fred Parsonage (third right), then Controller of Branches, and later Deputy General Manager

Halesowen -
December 17th 1940
The original caption for this photograph was 'The Lord Mayor visiting Alderman J B Downing, OBE, at his house on occasion of opening Halesowen branch'. Alderman Downing does not appear to have been involved in the opening ceremony, except that he presented a cheque to open the branch's first account. The Lord Mayor is Wilfrid Martineau (see Rubery below)

Tower Hill -
April 28th 1961
After the Halesowen opening illustrated above, only three more branches were opened before Tower Hill. This photograph of the Bank's Chairman (Councillor Seymour J Brown) is unusual in that it was taken in the entrance vestibule

Ladywood -
October 8th 1965
These premises, at 218 St Vincent Street West, replaced the original Ladywood branch opened in 1924. This group includes both staff and ex-members of staff: identified in this photograph are Stanley Guy; Bernard Hayward; Hedley Massey; Elsie Jones; Norman Ling; Gertrude Leedham; and Fred Parsonage. Other staff/ex-staff known to have attended the occasion were Frank Jones; Cecil Selwyn; Alf Maggs; and Lawrence Shaw

Rubery -
June 7th 1968
A bouquet is presented to Molly Martineau, the wife of the Bank's Chairman, Denis Martineau, who performed the branch's opening ceremony. Denis Martineau was the youngest son of Wilfrid Martineau (see Halesowen above)

Castle Vale -
June 18th 1970:
This image of the Lord Mayor (Alderman Stanley Bleyer) and the Bank's Chairman (Councillor D K Rowe-Ham) admiring the commemoration tablet, illustrates the secure cabinet used to store ledger cards

Chelmsley Wood -
January 27th 1972
The Bank's General Manager (B P Hayward), the Mayor of Solihull, and the Bank's Chairman (Councillor D K Rowe-Ham) stand in front of two symbols that featured on the frontage of branches: the City of Birmingham's 'Coat of Arms', and the Bank's 'Key' logo