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257 Alcester Road South, Birmingham, B14 6DT
021-444 2011
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Following these large housing developments on the Alcester Road south of Kings Heath, the Bank's Committee began to look for a site for a branch in the area of Alcester Lanes End in the late 1920s. Eventually, a large plot with two houses thereon was purchased in 1931. It appears that only one of these houses fronted on to the main road, the second being behind the first. It was initially proposed to reconstruct one house as a branch and convert the second property into flats. This proposal was deemed to be too expensive and only the front house was reconstructed and the second demolished. The reconstructed premises were opened as a daily branch on Saturday, May 20th 1933, by the Lord Mayor (Councillor H E Goody). He was accompanied by the Lady Mayoress; Alderman R R Gelling (the Bank’s Chairman); Aldermen J S Pritchett and W W Saunders; Councillors Fryer, Lamplugh, and Dalton; and the Bank’s General Manager – J P Hilton.

A contemporary newspaper reported the occasion as follows:

It was a double pleasure to open the branch, said Councillor Goodby, for not only did he come among them as Lord Mayor, but he was also one of their representatives on the City Council. The ceremony marked the fiftieth occasion on which permanent premises had been opened, and in giving them a new daily branch without first testing the district with an evening branch, the committee had been influenced by the fact that there had been a large housing development on both sides of the Alcester Road, and that it would prove a convenience to residents of such areas to have a branch nearer to them than the present King’s Heath branch. It would be the fifty-sixth branch operating in the city and the urban district of Oldbury.

It might appear difficult, the Lord Mayor said, to reconcile his appeal to spend more with that of his position that day, in which there was the implication that they should save; but while he asked citizens to spend for all they were worth, that meant, of course, to spend wisely and not rashly. It was the individual who could afford to spend whom he asked to spend for the common weal, and the “Spend More” campaign had been a great success, if it might be incongruous to say so from the steps of a bank. (Laughter.)

On the same subject of financial expediency, he would like to bring to their notice that in Birmingham there was one shop for every forty-nine persons, thus prompting the question – could forty-nine persons keep one shop? He would be sorry to see a man or woman who, through thrift, had accumulated a sum of money which he or she then sunk into a business that might not be remunerative, and, therefore, he would urge that enterprise should be tempered with prudence.

After opening the bank, the Lord Mayor unveiled a tablet commemorating the event, and in expressing the thanks of the gathering, Alderman Pritchett echoed a general appreciation of the Lord Mayor’s services to the city. Councillor Lamplugh endorsed the tribute.

At tea, before the ceremony, the Lord Mayor was presented with a silver inkstand as a memento of the occasion.

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
The newly constructed branch: 1933
two photographs taken at the tea served prior to the branch opening -
(left) The Lord Mayor and the Bank's General Manager (both wearing wing collars)
(right) The Lord Mayor addressing the invited guests
The crowd and dignitaries assemble at the branch to witness the official opening ceremony: May 20th 1933
Interior of Brandwood branch: 1933
the branch is now occupied by Lions Clubs International, but the upper level decorative features remain

Prior to the First World War, the hamlet of Brandwood End existed in a rural area, 1 mile to the south of Kings Heath, and 4 miles to the south of Birmingham’s centre. The only features of the area were the Brandwood Tunnel on the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal and Brandwood End Cemetery. The cemetery was opened in 1899, and was administered by Kings Norton District Council until Kings Norton and Northfield amalgamated with Birmingham in 1911.

Housing developments gradually crept south from Kings Heath, along Alcester Road South. Some development was by the City Council under the South Birmingham Scheme of 1925, whilst the Brandwood Park Estate was laid out on the former Brandwood Golf Course

© OpenStreetMap contributors
= location of the branch at 257 Alcester Road South
1934 - H Huggins
1937 - A Oldham

1958 - T A E Wilner
1958 to 1963 - B R Endall
1965 - C Russ
1966 to 1967 - G Copsey
1969 to 1971 - N Slater
1972 to 1974  - T J Lafford
1974 - A Woodbridge
The Lord Mayor (Councillor H E Goodby) performing the door-opening ceremony, and leaving after completion of the formal procedures