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 BOURNVILLE
(originally BOURNVILLE WORKS)
 11
77th
SE
83 Bournville Lane, Birmingham, B30 2HP
021-459 5826
BW
1978
 
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This branch was originally entitled Bournville Works, and was established on a completely different basis from the Bank's remaining branches as described in J P Hilton's 1927 book: Britain's First Municipal Savings Bank:

 

Soon after the establishment of the Bank on a permanent basis, negotiations took place with Messrs Cadbury Brothers respecting the taking-over of their savings fund, established for the benefit of their employees, which fund had been in operation for many years. It was felt that the time had arrived when this fund might be administered as part of the machinery of the Municipal Bank. In March, 1920 it was decided that the transfer should be effected, and with a view to causing as little disturbance of the existing arrangements as possible, it was agreed that it should be managed by the same staff as had previously officiated.
This branch is worked on different lines to other branches of the Bank. Departmental collectors, chosen by the employees in each department, receive contributions from their co-workers every week, and transmit the same to the branch office at the works, the clerks checking the cash against the record books of the collectors, and confirming the passbook entries. The ledgers are kept in the branch office, and no one has access to them other than duly appointed officials. Withdrawals can be made either at the branch office or through the departmental collectors.
At the time it was taken over by the Bank, Messrs Cadbury Brothers announced they would continue, until further notice, to add 1.50% interest per annum on deposits up to 60 per depositor, and would add a special bonus of 0.50% on new money saved during the year up to 30 per depositor. This public-spirited action of the firm has had much to do with the success of the branch, and places the depositors in a favourable position. It is an example which other employers might copy.
The branch has worked smoothly, and as instancing its popularity, it may be stated that as at 31st March, 1921, there were 5,137 depositors, whereas at the 31st March, 1927, the depositorship had grown to 8,304. Naturally, under a system of week by week collections the transactions do not show such a wide difference between the two dates named, the average per week for the period ended 31st March, 1920, being 1,510, while for the year ended the 31st March, 1927, the average works out at 1,631 per week.

 

The association with Cadbury's Savings Fund began after the BMB made enquiries in 1919 regarding the availability of the Bournville Institute in Linden Road for use as temporary branch premises. The Bank was probably unaware of the existence of the Savings Fund and were merely looking to establish a branch to serve the local residents. However, the area was dominated by Cadbury's factory and the majority of residents would have been employed there. The question of the use of Bournville Institute was deferred after the directors of the chocolate firm became aware of the Bank's interest in establishing a branch in the district and a communication was received from Councillor W A Cadbury. Consequently, a conference was arranged with Mr Walter Barrow, a Cadbury director, and the arrangements described by J P Hilton above were agreed.

 

The transfer of funds from the Bournville Works Savings Bank to the BMB took effect from May 1st 1920, and different hours of opening ('Works Hours'), to those applicable to other daily branches, were followed at Bournville Works - see copy of insert to 1938 passbook, reproduced below. For some years, the branch was administered in conjunction with the Bournville Savings and Thrift Joint Committee.

 

In March 1921 the following report of the Finance and General Purposes Sub-Committee was presented to the Bank Committee:

Your Sub-Committee report that the Chairman of the Bank Committee and the Manager have now agreed to the remuneration to be paid for the work of administration at the Bournville Works Branch.

 

During the year there have been four of the Bournville Works Clerks continually engaged on this work, and in the period of obtaining transfers from the Bournville Works Savings Fund to the Bank additional clerical labour was provided.

 

The Committee will remember that it was arranged for the work to be undertaken by the staff who had dealt with the same in the past, the wages to be paid by Messrs Cadbury Bros to the clerks in the ordinary way, and that at the end of the year the Municipal Bank would remit to the firm an amount to be agreed upon. The Chairman and Manager were convinced that at the present time, the figure could only be agreed from year to year owing to the conditions existing at the Bournville Works in relation to the wages of clerical employees, which are subject to the rise and fall in the cost of living.

 

From the information submitted, it appeared that the wages of the clerks in question amounted to about 1,000 per annum, and having regard to the business transacted and the value of the fund, and also to the special report which has been furnished by the Auditors on the work of this branch, the Chairman and Manager agreed to a payment for the year ended 31st March 1921 of 1,000, and your Sub-Committee have approved their action. They now ask for the confirmation of the Committee.

 

The Chairman and Manager have intimated their desire that slight re-arrangement of the clerical staff might be made with a view to bringing the expenditure of future years substantially below the figure given above, and this matter is now being looked into.

 

The amount of deposits transferred to the Bank is not known, but the total balance due at March 31st 1921 was 78,824. In the early years of the Bank, an interest margin of 1% was calculated as necessary to cover management expenses - Bournville's balances would therefore have generated 1,182 annually. The Bank's investigations had resulted in an expectation that salary costs of the branch would amount to about 1,000, a reasonable amount as the Bank's average salary per person was about 245. However, the Committee (after receiving a bill from Cadbury's of 1,025 for the year ended March 31st 1922) directed that the General Manager be instructed to submit statistics showing the cost of administrative expenses at other Branches in relation to transactions and turnover as compared with the Bournville Branch.

 

The outcome of this investigation is not known, but the system employed at Bournville Works was different to other branches in that departmental collectors were employed in the factory. Some aspects of this system were found to be unsatisfactory following  a fraud investigation in 1926, and the General Manager initiated a number of changes.

 

For the year ended March 31st 1926, the annual charge by Cadbury's (which included rent and utility costs) amounted to 1,249. By 1934, the charge had risen to 1,345, but ten years later it was 1,676.

 

Included within the arrangement between the Bank and the firm were the employees of Cadbury's factory at Somerdale, near Bristol. Somerdale was operated as a sub-branch of Bournville branch, but it does not appear to have attracted many depositors. A report to the Bank Committee in 1947 gave the sub-branches' number of open accounts as 572, with balances of 37,558. The corresponding figures for the Birmingham factory were 7,989 and 871,824. Total costs for the year ended March 31st 1947 were 2,419 of which 300 related to the sub-branch - meaning that each 100 of Somerdale deposits cost 80 pence, compared with 24 pence for Bournville.

 

The staff of the Bournville Works branch were appointed and employed by Cadbury's. In 1946, however, a number of these staff were made redundant by Cadbury Brothers, and those officers were transferred to the employment of the Bank.

 

In the Bank's Annual Reports, Bournville was appended to the list of branches each year as 'and at Bournville Works'. In the 1966 Report, Bournville Works was included in the alphabetical list of branches for the first time as: 'Bournville Works, Cadbury Bros.....KINgs Norton 2000'

 

Following the Bank's change of status to become a Trustee Savings Bank in 1976 (and in anticipation of the BMTSB amalgamating with the TSB of the Midlands), the special relationship with Cadbury Brothers ceased. During 1978, the branch's name was amended to Bournville, and it became open for general use instead of its previous status of being available exclusively to employees of Cadbury's. Alterations were then made to the premises to improve the service to customers. The branch was now listed as being at  83 Bournville Lane, and became the Bank's 77th (and last) permanent office to be opened.

 

Prior to this change of ownership, the staff at Bournville Works branch were on the payroll of Cadbury's. Although staffing the branch was the responsibility of Cadbury's, the BMB provided holiday relief when required - one of the benefits of doing this relief duty was obtaining access to the Cadbury staff shop where chocolates were available at reduced prices!

 

Following cessation of the special relationship, the staff of Bournville was transferred to the employment of the Bank.

 

2010:
Two views of the premises (dated in the stonework: 1895) at 83 Bournville Lane - now used as offices
Branch Deposit Balances at March 31st:
1926 - 199,243
1946 - 908,670
1947 - 909,382
 
Number of Open Savings Accounts at March 31st:
1947 - 8,561
 
Annual Transactions
- Year Ended March 31st 1947: 99,466
 
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OpenStreetMap contributors
= location of the branch in Bournville Lane - opposite the Cadbury factory
= location of Stirchley branch
Managers:
1928 to 1931 - F A King
 
1958 to 1963 - J C Hartill
1965 to 1972 - J K Genders
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