(after 1979: renamed PERRY BARR)
293 Birchfield Road, Birmingham, B20 3BX
On April 1st 1928, most of the rapidly urbanising District of Perry Barr became part of Birmingham
. During the Inter-War years, this
very large area on the north side of the city continued to be developed for both private and council housing. These developments were
constructed on a number of estates (eg: Hamstead; Kingstanding; Perry Common; Tower Hill), each of which had its own identity and
name, but the name Perry Barr attached colloquially to the Birchfield commercial area - where the Outer Circle bus route crossed the
Birmingham to Walsall (A34) road, and close to Perry Barr railway station.
The Bank established a branch just south of this junction
(2½-miles north of the city centre) and named it Birchfield. (The name of the branch was changed to Perry Barr, after 1979, to reflect
how the area was known locally.) At a meeting of the City Council on February 2nd 1926, the Bank Committee was authorised to purchase
480 square yards of freehold land fronting Birchfield Road and the extension of Broadway. However, having regard to the prescribed
building lines in Birchfield Road and Broadway, the City Surveyor advised that it was desirable to secure a little more land to provide
a better layout for the proposed building and greater banking accommodation. Acting upon such advice the Committee then purchased
120 additional square yards. A new building was erected on this plot, and the branch was formally opened on October 8th 1927, by the
Lady Mayoress (Mrs A H James). Departing from the Bank's general practice, the Committee decided to open the branch with full daily
facilities, rather then gradually building up a clientele by means of evening banking only; this policy change was probably based
on the potential growth for the area pending the local extension of the city boundary.
Birchfield branch in 1927, Birchfield Road on the left, The Broadway on the right
A crowd gathers outside the branch prior to the official opening ceremony.
Councillor Cooper, a member of the
Bank's Management Committe, speaking at the opening of the branch on October 8th 1927. The Bank's Chairman (Percival Bower) and General
Manager (J P Hilton) are on his right; the Lady Mayoress is on his left
Interior of the branch in 1927.
The Branch's Commemoration Tablet
The office is now the Perry Barr branch of Lloyds TSB
Branch Deposit Balances at March 31st:
1946 - £1,619,737
1947 - £1,698,541
Number of Open Accounts at March 31st:
1947 - 11,733
(Savings: 11,588; Mortgage: 145)
- Year Ended March 31st 1947: 83,021
The Erdington News dated October 15th 1927 reported on the opening of the branch as follows:
The Birchfield Branch at the Municipal
Bank was opened by the Lady Mayoress (Mrs A H James) on Saturday.
Tea was served [in the Birchfield Institute] to a company of civic
representatives and well-known local residents. After the repast the Lady Mayoress was presented with a bon-bon dish by the Bank Committee.
The presentation was made by Councillor A H Cooper, who presided at a subsequent meeting.
Among those present were the Lord Mayor
and Lady Mayoress (Alderman and Mrs A H James), Alderman Sir Percival Bower (the chairman of the Bank Committee), Lady Bower, Mr J
P Hilton (general manager of the bank), the Chief Constable, Sir C H Rafter, Mr H H Humphries (city surveyor), Councillor D Rose,
Councillor T Hampson, Councillor and Mrs John Thacker, Mr S Adkins (chairman of the Handsworth Bench), Mr E J Thomas, and Mr H Milnes.
Councillor Cooper said the bank was one of the greatest Socialistic undertakings the city had adopted. Taking the bank as a whole,
it was gratifying to report that there are 237,142 depositors whose accounts represented a value of £8,033,887.
Some idea of the important
position which the Municipal Bank held in the civic life of Birmingham could be gathered from the fact that the transactions representing
deposits and withdrawals during the course of the year amounted to a million and a half.
In the House Purchase department, £2,434,182
had been loaned to depositors in order to purchase their houses and 7,279 houses had been purchased with such assistance. That had
been of considerable help in trying to solve the housing problem in Birmingham.
The Lord Mayor said it was astonishing how the openings
of the bank's branches had won the confidence of the citizens. The bank was a democratic institution, and while depositors in joint
stock banks could not transact business after 3pm, in the case of the Municipal Bank business on certain evenings was transacted until
There was a large crowd at the opening by the Lady Mayoress, who also unveiled a tablet recording the date of the ceremony.
D Rose proposed, and Councillor T Hampson seconded, a vote of thanks to the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, Alderman Sir P Bower, and
Councillor Cooper for their services.
Alderman Sir P Bower and the Lord Mayor responded.
During the Second World War, due to delayed
action bombs in the vicinity of the branch, business was temporarily transferred to Aston branch from August 26th to September 6th
= location of the branch - close to the junction of the A 34 and the 'Outer Circle' bus route
1928 & 1929 - E C Neighbour
1930 & 1931 - J Hastie
1934 - R T Piper
1937 - E Price
1946 - G T Edwards
S F Jones
1959 & 1960 - C E Harper
1961 - G T Edwards
1963 to 1967 - R W G Rowe
1969 - S Gregory
1970 to 1974 - J W Smith
Birchfield Road in 1952 -
the branch is on the far left,
on the far side of The Broadway
(Photograph courtesy of Alton Douglas:
'Birmingham in the Fifties - Vol 2', published by Brewin Books)