Monday, 6 January 2014

Where did Haslingden folk save their brass?

"Image (c) Barclays Ref 30/1215 Courtesy Martins Bank Archive" To check out the Martins Bank Archive click here and then enter Haslingden in the search.
Haslingden Brass..

“So where did all rich folk hoard their brass,
In District or Martins or Midland I’ll bet,
And where did all middle folk put their two bobs,
In Trustees and Co-op for middle working set.
And where did all poor folk put their pennies,
In Halifax or Yorkshire, or well out of way”.

I can only remember the District, Martins, Midland, Trustees and the Co-op.  There was also the Halifax and the Yorkshire Building Societies.

The District was amalgamated into the National Westminster Bank but now closed down (2009 ish), Martins has been taken over by Barclays Bank and it is now closed down (2014), The Midland was taken over by the HSBC but now closed down (2009 ish), The Trustee Savings Bank is now Lloyds TSB, and the Co-op on Bank Street closed down in the 1960s.

The Halifax Building Society was on Dale Street corner and ran from the offices of Cotton and Garnett Solicitors.  As far as I know this was closed down many years ago, and the Yorkshire Building Society was in the offices of Statham and Hirst Insurance Brokers of Lr Deardengate, and that also has been closed down for many years.

Martins Bank Limited - later becoming the Barclays Bank - Deardengate and on the corner with Pleasant Street.

Martins Bank, Regent Street 
The original Branch opened in 1881 by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank, and was situated on the corner of Regent Street and Blackburn Road. I cannot remember it, but have this photo of it and when I think what a fabulous building it looks and what a shame it was demolished.  I went to the "Top Church School" which was just at the back of the Bank, you can see some of the school in the background of the photo.  I would pass this site everyday and remember clearly the area where it was, which always looked like a demolition site with piles of red brick rubble for years and years, in fact I witnessed it like that for at least seven years and I guess to others passing by it must have looked a eyesore, but eventually (many, many years later) the area did finally get landscaped and its now a lovely little area with a small garden and seat.  

Jackie Ramsbottom has kindly sent in the above "Newspaper Cutting" which is most interesting and shows how the stone from the old Bank was taken over to Accrington to build the St. Josephs Catholic Church.  

Interior of the Bank
 (photo:c. Barclays Ref 30-1215
 Courtesy of Martins Bank Archive.
By 1937 Martins needed more space and so a building is chosen at 34 Deardengate  (see photo at top of page).  Mr. J. Kay was manager at the Deardengate branch for some 17 years out of his 48 year career being the manager from 1936 to 1953.  Also from 1965 onwards the Manager was Mr. Harold Slater.  I am wondering if this is the same gentleman who lived at Altham who was the Organist and Choirmaster at the Top Church

It was 15th December 1969 that the Branch was amalgamated into the Barclays Bank Company, and has sucessfully continued trading under the Barclays name ever since.  Although like most of the other Banks did also fall victim of closure in 2014.

Photo from 2003

Its also interesting to know that Martins Bank did also have a sub branch at 365 Manchester Road, Sykeside. The branch was opened from 1927 to 1932. 

I am so grateful to Jonathan Snowdon who runs the Martins Bank Archives for allowing me to reprint some of the historical notes from the archives to include within this blog.  If you would like to read about the full "Martins Bank - Haslingden" please go to the archive by clicking here and then putting Haslingden in the search box, then select

The District Bank Ltd - later becoming the National Westminster Bank
Situated on Lower Deardengate at the corner with Ratcliffe Street.

Before being known as the District Bank it was called the Manchester and Liverpool District Bank with the Company being formed back in 1829.  It retained this name until 1924 when it was decided to shorten the name to "District Bank".  In 1962 the Bank was acquired by the National Provincial Bank and Westminster Bank and it wasnt until 1970 that the Bank became the National Westminster Bank.

My earliest memories are from the mid 1960s when Mr. Johnson was the manager and walking in it was so dark with all the beautiful polished wood and the cashiers bar were lined to your right hand side going the full length in a Westerley direction it more or less remained like this until the new National Westminster Bank converted it all and modernised it to take in the cashiers bar to a horizontal to the road position, in otherwords a full change of direction.

I can only remember two later managers was Mr. Ogden and Mr. Haworth.

The Trustees Savings Bank - Deardengate and on the corner of Pleasant Street.

Click over to enlarge. Photo when
doing re-roofing in the 1990s
"I remember hearing it once described as the bank for people with moderate means"

 This was the very first bank that I became associated with, because my parents opened up a account when I was very young.  From what I can remember It seems to have been the bank used by the majority of people in Haslingden those days, but whether it had the most savings funds would be very debatable! Lets put it another way.  If you stood outside and watched how many people walked into Martins (now Barclays) compared to how many walked into the Trustees.  I'll take a mad guess that the Trustees would outnumber Martins (now Barclays) by about ten to one.  But that was back in the 1960s. All administration to the TSB was run from its headquarters in Blackburn.

TSB Interior 1960s - click over to
Obviously looking at the old internal photo here on the right you will see that the Bank has changed around with the layout since the 1960s.
I can remember the manager Mr. Kay (that's the guy stood up looking directly at the camera.   One tale I do remember reading about in the local newspaper was that his family had acquired a dog and it had previously belonged to none other than the entertainer Bruce Forsyth.   The other gentleman in the above photo is Mr. Bury, and the girl on the adding up machine is Pat Leonard.


Email from Alison May (ex pat) dated: 9th January 2014

Pin badge offered by TSB
 I’m sending you a pic of a pin badge from the TSB.  When I was a pupil at the Haslingden County Primary School in the early to mid 60s we were encourage to save.  We had a savings card from the Blackburn Trustee Savings Bank and the badge.  We paid in a bit each week (or so) and it was entered on the card.  Can’t remember ever drawing it out – not like these days when I’m forever using the ‘hole in the wall’!  


was the Co-op Bank - click over to
I can only just remember the Co-op Bank which was on Bank Street, behind the old Woolworths and next street to the Empire Pictures (today a supermarket).  I do remember going there once or twice with my mum for her to cash her "divi" (divi = dividend which you got when you shopped with co-op, similar to collecting points for money).  I can remember my cousin Joan getting her first job there as a cashier. It closed down in the 60s or early 70s and later became a hotel, then the Haslingden Conservative Club for a short while before being closed down again.


Here is a scan of a "blotter" which states "The Yorkshire Penny Bank Limited" which was on Higher Deardengate. In fact its the next building to the Library but separated by the alleyway


"I used to run Eley Long Estate Agents which was the first shop on the left of Higher Deardengate (next to Jack's Butchers).  We had a sub-branch of the Leeds Permanent Building Society where people would come and pay their money in.  I would fill in their pass-books, put the money in a tin and at the end of the day pay all monies into the society's account at, I think, Barclays.
Just a little snippet for you - Christine

Kindly contributed by Chris Haworth on 8th Jan 2018