Broad Street - an update, 2021
After the Broad Street branch of LloydsTSB (the former Head Office of the Birmingham Municipal Bank, the Birmingham Municipal TSB, and the TSB of Birmingham and the Midlands) was closed in 1998, the building remained unoccupied for over 20 years. In 2018, after a period of ownership by Birmingham City Council, the University of Birmingham purchased the Grade II listed former Bank on a long-lease. In September 2021, the building reopened to the public as 'The Exchange' - a building that "will use the University's research, teaching and local, national and international networks to create a place of curiosity, celebration, collaboration and change".
On August 19th and 26th, the University gave access to former Bank employees, giving them the opportunity to view their old Bank Head Office prior to the building being opened (on a more limited basis) to the public. The following images were taken on those two dates.
The building is now known as 'The Exchange' - and its refurbishment has included a cleaning of the stonework. The west side of the building appears to have retained an access facility to the rear of the building - the access point originally used by staff. There are few references to the historic origins of the Bank, although the portico has the original Letter Box; Night Safe; and the BMB's key logo.
The Ground Floor corridors have a new style of lighting fixtures and the original main lift has been modernised.
Left to right: north corridor (Broad Street entrance on left); west corridor; lift at the junction of north and west corridors.
(above) The former House Purchase Department on the west side of the ground floor.
If required, this large room can now be split into two sections with a folding screen.
As elsewhere in the building, a feature has been created with doors from the Safe Deposit (below left). Original interview rooms, later the Current Accounts Department
(right) retains the original panelling.
The feature utilises 99 individual safe doors taken from the blocks originally added to the Safe Deposit in 1946. These blocks contained 5,888 safes and brought the total to 10, 528.
The Banking Hall now contains a cafe. The original south corridor that provided access to two machine rooms, two cloakrooms, and a central stairway (that incorporated a lift to the basement) has now been completely removed - in its place an extension has been built that is just visible through the right-hand door.
A major refurbishment of the Banking Hall ceiling has vastly improved the lighting of this very large space, with the natural light supplemented by decorative strip lights. A number of features of the Banking Hall, including the high level mottoes, the building's opening date (MCMXXXIII), and the suspended clock have been retained. Disappointingly, the wall shields that incorporate Egyptian signs for gold and silver; symbols of plenty or prosperity; and trade or commerce, have lost their original bright colours.
Another view of the Banking Hall (left) shows the cafe set up for customers.The suspended clock can be more easily seen, as can the view through the rear arches.
(left) The rear, ground floor, entrance that replaces the rear corridor and the machine rooms etc, described above. This new doorway allows visitors to 'The Exchange' to pass through the building from Broad Street to Bank Square. The floor above is furnished as a lounge area (below).
Accounts Department.
North Corridor, first floor.
Broad Street on the right, balcony door on the left.
Also on the first floor, visits were made to the
old Accounts Department and the offices on the west side of the building.
Continued ....
The balcony accessed from the North Corridor provided a photo opportunity
for the August 19th tour group in the Banking Hall below.