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 BILLESLEY
 08
40th
SW
836 Yardley Wood Road, Birmingham, B13 0JE
021-444 1435
BY
1930
 
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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.
left:
Newly constructed premises (1930)
 
below:
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. 
below:
The crowd assembled for the opening of the new branch included many possible future depositors.
left:
Branch interior in 1930
2009:
the building now houses a Bangladeshi/Indian restaurant (The Sweet Chillies), but the roof features remain.
 
Yardley Wood 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
 
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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.
OpenStreetMap contributors
= location of the permanent branch at 836 Yardley Wood Road -
   opposite Billesley Common, in a mainly residential area
Managers:
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
1972 - G P Copsey
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