Following the establishment of this new housing, the Bank opened a branch on Alcester Road South - the formal opening was performed 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.
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