526 Moseley Road, Birmingham, B12 9AE
021-440 0435

A front room of a house situated at 148 Mary Street, Balsall Heath was the branch's temporary accommodation from September 1st 1919. Opening hours were Monday, Friday, and Saturday evenings from 18:00 to 19:30. Increased business resulted in standard daily opening hours being applied at this address from May 1st 1920. However, the premises were far from ideal, a report in October 1921 stating that "these premises are too small and most unsatisfactory. The domestic conditions are very bad, and the arrangements existing are a hardship to the staff. The Branch cannot develop in its present position, and the [General] Manager recommends Mr Wilde being instructed to find other accommodation without further delay. The rain having forced itself through by the window, instructions have been given for the defects to be set right immediately". A property at the corner of Moseley Road and Brighton Road was inspected but proved to be too large for the Bank's purposes; other properties in Clevedon Road and Gooch Street were also rejected.


But premises nearby, at 526 Moseley Road, became available and were deemed to be sufficiently large to suit the requirements of a permanent branch without the taking in of any part of the dwelling portion. The existing branch in Mary Street was less than mile away, and after classifying the addresses of depositors at that office the opinion was that the branch should be transferred from Mary Street to Moseley Road. The branch staff were consulted, and they were of the opinion that the present depositors could, in the main, be persuaded to use the Moseley Road address. Although it was felt that a few depositors may be lost,  it was anticipated that there would be a considerable gain by the larger premises being on a main thoroughfare. It was decided that the necessary structural alterations to 526 Moseley Road be made prior to the transfer from Mary Street being made, particularly as the cellaring underneath the new shop needed special attention. Building Plans were lodged with the City's Engineer & Surveyor on February 13th 1922. In the changeover period, March 31st 1922 to November 30th 1922, total deposits increased from 167,324 to 215,875.


The Bank paid 1,100 for the freehold shop and dwelling-house; the shop was immediately available, but the residential accommodation was sub-let at 13s. 9d per week. A reconstruction at this address was opened on September 4th 1922 by Eldred Hallas, MP, who said: Those who took part in the formation of the Bank looked further ahead than the end of the war. They visualised the possibility of the establishment of a permanent Bank which would be the means of inducing the population to subscribe to their own funds for the purpose of financing their own public institutions and Municipal services at a profit to themselves. The success of the permanent Bank has been such that one in every ten of the entire population of the city is a member of the Bank.


The architect for the structural alteration work was Gerald McMichael, ARIBA, of 105 Colmore Row, Birmingham, and the contractor was Richard Fenwick Ltd who completed the work at a cost of 909. The opening of these premises provided the Bank with its third permanent branch. However the problem with the cellar does not seem to have been entirely solved as a report in May 1924 stated that a leakage of electricity had occurred owing to the condensation and damp in the cellar, and that the Electric Supply Department had reduced their account for the supply from 8. 15. 3. to 4. 15. 3. to make good the loss of current that had occurred.


During 1923 and 1924, attempts were made to purchase the adjoining premises at 528 Moseley Road, but without success. But in March 1925 the owner of the property intimated that she would sell for 2,000, and the Bank authorised its agent, Frank Wilde, to negotiate for the acquisition of the property at a sum not exceeding 1,500, including vacant possession and fixtures. With the necessity for obtaining more accommodation becoming acute, a report in May 1925 stated that:

the Branch has made considerable progress, and latterly its development has been most marked. The Staff has been increased from two to three and of late: from three to four. The attached table shows the development on the Savings Bank side.

The available space for the public is 15 feet by 10 feet, and more cannot be given. The particularly narrow width makes it exceedingly difficult to work and affords no privacy whatever.

The increase in new accounts to the extent of 45 per week (which is the average for the last 12 months) cannot go on indefinitely, without reaching the stage when depositors begin to be dissatisfied and close their accounts. That we must try to avoid. The transactions show how well the Branch is patronized.

Unfortunately for the Bank, the adjoining premises which we are now seeking to procure were offered to the present owner (Mrs Marshall) by the then owner (Mr Bates) a few days before Mr Bates intimated his willingness to sell to us at 1,200 if Mrs Marshall did not take up the offer. This was on the 29th January 1924. Mrs Marshall, however, did so with the result that we were cut out. She has intimated her willingness to sell, but is asking too high a figure. She asked 2,000 inclusive of fittings and fixtures. We refused to consider such a figure, but intimated that we would pay 1,200, (which was the price she paid) plus a reasonable sum for fittings and fixtures. These fittings would be no use to us, and would fetch little under the hammer, but to an ingoing party for a similar trade, they are of course valuable.

If we are unable to come to terms and have to look elsewhere for premises, we shall incur much more expense, and probably not improve our situation.





No. of


No. of

Accounts Opened

7 Months ended March 31,1920





Year ended March 31, 1921





   "        "          "     31, 1922





   "        "          "     31, 1923





   "        "          "     31, 1924





   "        "          "     31, 1925






Negotiations for the purchase were protracted until the Bank agreed to pay 1,200, plus 550 for goodwill. It was not until February 1926 that advertisements for tenders for the alterations were published. In these advertisements the Architect, Mr McMichael, inserted in the General Conditions that nine months was the period for the completion of the work. The General Manager thought that this time limit was too long, and the time limit was subsequently reduced to five months. At the same time, the adjoining tenant asked permission for the provision of an entry between her shop and the Bank premises; the application was not acceded to. The contractors for the amalgamation of the two premises was done by E M Squires at a cost of 2,500. The amalgamation of the two premises was finally completed in early  1927.


Balsall Heath branch was one of the Bank's properties seriously damaged by bombing during World War II, particularly resulting in the residential accommodation being made unusable. A contract for the extensive remedial work was entered into in January 1948 with Messrs R G Stainton & Co Ltd,  with John Surman acting for the Bank as architect. The total cost of the work was 3,556 of which 230 was the Bank's liability for additional expenditure above that which was due to war damage. The latter expenditure was authorised by the Ministry of Health under Defence Regulation 56A, with the agreement of the War Damage Commission. On the advice of Mr Surman, the top floor of the premises were removed, and a flat roof constructed at the next lower floor level, instead of reconstructing the original apex roof. As a result, the rather splendid upper facade was lost.

Temporary premises used for Balsall Heath branch at 148 Mary Street -
from September 1st 1919 to
September 3rd 1922
The branch after the first reconstruction
of 526 Moseley Road
below: The assembly at the opening ceremony on September 4th 1922 -
see Newspaper Report of the occasion
below: Mr Appleby (the Bank's Chairman) handing the branch key to Mr Hallas at the branch opening ceremony on September 4th 1922. The Bank's General Manager (J P Hilton) is on the left of the photograph (with umbrella)
Councillor Tiptaft speaking at the opening ceremony, and
(below) the interior of the branch in 1922
(above & below)
The branch after the extension to include the next door premises, May 6th 1927
The premises, now without the upper floor, are occupied by the Bangladesh Islamic Social Organisation
1919 - W R Robins
1921 - W F Heath
1922 - H R B Rees
1926 to 1928 - H R B Rees
1929 - E H Viney
1930 - J W Raftery
1931 - S G Brotherton
1934 - F H Whitehouse
1937 - E H Viney
1958 to 1961 - G A Ridley
1963 - K N Whittaker
1965 - N C Goddard
1966 to 1967 - J A Cox
1968 to 1970 - H T K Haslam
1971 - J Ward
1972 - J A Allkins
1972 - C L J Bolton
1974 - B W Godwin
Located just over a mile southeast of Birmingham's centre, Balsall Heath began to be developed in 1829, in order to accommodate middle-class residents of Birmingham seeking better quality accommodation. This development was centred on the rural Moseley Road, the route to the isolated village of Moseley, and beyond to Alcester and Redditch. By 1891, Balsall Heath was an affluent outpost of Birmingham, and lured by the promise of a lower Council Rate and the provision of a library and baths, the population voted to join Birmingham. Subsequent building was of a lower quality, including both terraced housing and back-to-backs, and the middle-class residents moved out to Moseley and Kings Heath. The Bank established a presence in Balsall Heath from its commencement in September 1919.
OpenStreetMap contributors
= location of the permanent branch at 526 Moseley Road
right: Mr Hallas performing the opening ceremony
= Mary Street, site of temporary branch
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