836 Yardley Wood Road, Birmingham, B13 0JE
On April 30th 1927, one of the Bank's substantial wooden buildings was placed on land leased from the City's Estates Department
at 687 Yardley Wood Road (opposite Trittiford Road). Business was transacted on Monday and Saturday evenings (18:00 to 20:00).
This arrangement was made with a view to finding the most suitable spot for a branch to cover this residential area, about four miles
southeast of the city centre, located between the Alcester Road (A 435) and the Stratford Road (A 34).
The Billesley Estate was
constructed between 1919 and 1931, when some 3,500 council houses were built to the west of the River Cole and the railway line between
Birmingham and Stratford-upon-Avon.
The temporary Evening Branch recruited over 1,000 depositors with total balances exceeding £12,000.
Eventually, the Bank found a plot to construct a full-time branch, at the junction of Yardley Wood Road and Brigfield Road. Although
the site was close to the large, undeveloped Billesley Common, it bordered another residential area: Yardley Wood. The address of
the permanent branch was 836 Yardley Wood Road.
Newly constructed premises (1930)
The Lord Mayor and the Bank's General Manager arrive for the opening of the premises,
July 5th 1930. In the background is Billesley Common.
The crowd assembled for the opening of the new branch included many possible future depositors.
Branch interior in 1930
the building now houses a Bangladeshi/Indian restaurant (The Sweet Chillies), but the roof features remain.
Road is to the left of the branch;
Brigfield Road on the right
Branch Deposit Balances at March 31st:
1946 - £493,245
1947 - £516,216
Number of Open Accounts at March 31st:
1947 - 7,288
(Savings: 7,236; Mortgage: 52)
Annual Transactions - Year Ended March 31st 1947: 33,327
The new premises near completion
The new premises were opened on July 5th 1930, by the Lady Mayoress (Mrs M L Lancaster). Many of the architectural features
of the branch were the same as Short Heath
branch, which had been opened a few months previously.
Prior to the opening ceremony, the
Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress (Alderman and Mrs Lancaster), with Sir Percival Bower (the Bank's Chairman) and invited guests, took
tea at the Unitarian Church Hall. At the conclusion of the tea, Sir Percival presented the Lady Mayoress with a silver rose bowl as
a memento of the occasion.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Sir Percival Bower criticised the Estates Department of Birmingham City
Council. Referring to the site of the new branch, he remarked that if the Estates Committee had given them the land it would not have
been a burst of generosity on their part because it had been an extremely awkward site to develop. Sir Percival added that the Bank
Committee had managed to knock off a little from the original price, but he stated quite seriously that he did not think it was wise
for one department of the Corporation to hold another one up to ransom. He continued that it was a comparatively few years ago that
the land was purely agricultural; and yet the Bank was asked to pay 15 shillings a square yard for this extremely difficult site;
and having regard to the fact that when they got it they could only utilise one-third, the price worked out at 45 shillings a square
yard for effective purposes. He hoped that a more reasonable view would be taken in the future, otherwise the existing policy meant
that the Bank's depositors were being milked.
During part of the Second World War, the branch was one of twenty-two offices that were
opened on a restricted basis due to a shortage of staff. Details at Combination of Branches
In 1960, the branch was the target for an Armed Raid
= location of the permanent branch at 836 Yardley Wood Road -
opposite Billesley Common, in a mainly residential area
1931 - W L Hannah
1934 - W C Baker
1958 - B R Endall
1959 to 1967 - J L E Edwards
1969 to 1970 - H I Madeley
1971 - H W Powell
- G P Copsey