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In 1923, the Bank took the opportunity to purchase two shop premises in Hockley (2 and 4 Soho Hill) that were excellently located on this busy thoroughfare. The cost of these freehold premises was 3,325. As possession could not be obtained of 4 Soho Hill at the time of purchase, a reconstruction of just 2 Soho Hill was initially undertaken. The cost of this work, that was done by T Elvins & Sons, was 870, and the architect was Gerald McMichael. The formal opening of Hockley branch took place on January 19th 1924, with the Lord Mayor (Alderman T O Williams, JP) conducting the ceremony. The Bank's Chairman (Councillor Appleby) told the assembled gathering that the Association of Municipal Corporations would shortly have before them the question of promoting legislation to empower Municipalities of 150,000 population to establish Municipal Banks - although that legislation was not to be forthcoming. The branch began its life as a full-time daily branch, with standard opening hours.
In 1925, possession of 4 Soho Hill was obtained, and steps were immediately taken to complete the structural alterations originally envisaged. The resulting branch had a very striking appearance, thanks to a tower-like structure (part of the original premises at 2 Soho Hill) that dominated the across-the-corner front door. The incorporation of 4 Soho Hill was undertaken by Surman & Sons at a cost of 449, the architect again being Gerald McMichael.
During the 1960s, a number of road schemes were undertaken in Birmingham to ease the flow of traffic. One of the major bottlenecks was at Hockley Brook. The solution to the traffic problems here (where the A41 crossed the A4540 Inner Ring Road) was the Hockley Overpass Scheme, which required the branch premises to be demolished. On Thursday, February 25th 1965, the branch was relocated to 232 New John Street West. Hockley branch was closed on June 2nd 1995, and business transferred to Broad Street branch.
1924: Hockley branch after the
reconstruction of 2 Soho Hill.
At this date,
4 Soho Hill
is still occupied
by a footwear shop
January 19th 1924:
The Lord Mayor officiating at the branch opening ceremony.
see Newspaper report of the occasion
Two views of the interior of Hockley branch in 1924
Interior and exterior views of the branch after
the reconstruction to include 4 Soho Hill
2 Soho Hill, Birmingham
From 1965:
232 New John Street West, Birmingham, B19 3UA
021-554 0591
Hockley Brook, a small stream that is now largely buried in culverts, formed Birmingham's northern boundary with Aston Manor prior to the amalgamation of the two boroughs in 1911. By that date, the complete urbanisation of both Hockley and Aston made that boundary imperceptible. Both areas were dominated by a mixture of industry and working-class houses. The houses were mostly back-to-backs, with some terraces of through houses. It was near Hockley Brook, where the Birmingham to Handsworth and West Bromwich road crossed the stream, that the Bank established its Hockley branch.
(Right: The area known as Hockley Brook at the beginning of the 20th-Century. The premises purchased by the Bank in 1923 are topped by a dome and slender pole)
Branch Deposit Balances at March 31st:
1926 - 116,605
1946 - 1,001,094
1947 - 1,054,002
Number of Open Accounts at March 31st:
1920 - 976
1927 - 5,205
1947 - 10,052 (Savings: 10,017; Mortgage: 35)
Average Weekly Transactions:
1924 - 341
1927 - 716
Annual Transactions - Year Ended March 31st 1947: 52,527
OpenStreetMap contributors
= location of first permanent branch at 2 Soho Hill, demolished in 1965 for construction of the Hockley Flyover.
   The replacement branch was sited in New John Street West, to the east of the Hockley Flyover.
1926 - J Baker
1928 - W J R Tooby
1929 & 1930 - C Danks
1931 - S F Jones
1934 - W K Robottom
1937 - J A Duff
1958 - F M Thompson
1959 - G L Boden
an example of a passbook for a Hockley accounts shows:
 - the branch name rubber stamped on the front cover;
 - that over 21,800 accounts had been opened at the branch by March 1942
see: Numbering of Accounts and Branch Sort Codes
1960 - L A Instone
1961 - W H Stanton
1963 - S C Stringer
1965 to 1969 - K N Whittaker
1970 - A Radburn
1971 - N E Jackson
1972 - R A Snow
1974 - E L Yates