410 Nechells Park Road, Birmingham 7
An area known as Nechells Green
(2-miles northeast of the city centre) was the site chosen for the Bank's twenty-fourth permanent
branch. On May 7th 1927
, the Lord Mayor (Alderman A H James) opened newly-built premises at 410 Nechells Park Road
, Birmingham 7.
The buildings originally on this site had previously served as a laundry and a police station, amongst other uses, and had suffered
structurally during the various changes of use. It was decided therefore, to purchase the existing premises for £850, and to then
demolish rather than attempt a reconstruction scheme.
Amongst the dignitaries making speeches at the opening ceremony was a Councillor
Corrin, whose remarks concerning the role of women in regard to saving money for their families reflects the attitudes of the late
1920s. Britain's First Municipal Savings Bank records that Councillor Corrin in a capital speech, appealed to Nechells people to use
the Bank to the full extent. He pointed out how useful such a bank could be to the residents in the area. It would provide them with
an opportunity to place their small savings in safe custody until such time as they were required. He stressed the value of the Bank
to the women-folk whom he regarded as the real savers. It was marvellous what they could do in this respect, and said, after all,
it was the influence of the wife and mother which counted for so much in this connection.
Britain's First Municipal Savings Bank also
The chairman (Alderman Sir Percival Bower), who presided, said we had had a splendid example of keen saving in Duddeston
where the branch occupied a prominent place in the Bank records, and he felt sure no less favourable results would be forthcoming
in the Nechells branch. The popularity of the Bank was largely due to the fact that it belonged to the citizens - it was their Bank.
Lord Mayor expressed his pleasure at being asked to perform that ceremony. He regarded the Bank as a magnificent institution, and
said it was almost unbelievable that such wonderful results had been achieved. He congratulated the builders and the architect and
paid a tribute to the enthusiasm of the staff. In unveiling the tablet he apologised for paraphrasing a certain anthem, but said it
was true that "the more we save together, the thriftier we shall be".
The districts of Duddeston and Nechells were the first
areas of Birmingham to be cleared of slum housing, on a large scale, in the 1960s. The Bank's 1969 Annual Report stated that the business
of Nechells branch had been transferred to temporary premises at 105 Nechells Park Road pending the construction of the proposed shopping
centre in the St Clement's Development Area.
That temporary address was listed for Nechells branch in the following three Annual Reports,
but the branch was closed in 1973. At this time the balances and business of the branch was low, and would not have justified
keeping it open.
Two views of the newly constructed branch at 410 Nechells Park Road in 1927
Three more views of the large crowd assembled to witness the official opening of the branch by the Lord Mayor (Alderman
A H James)
Branch Deposit Balances at March 31st:
1946 - £420,667
1947 - £435,034
Number of Open Accounts at March 31st:
1947 - 5,552
(Savings: 5,545; Mortgage: 7)
- Year Ended March 31st 1947: 27,670
1928 - W James
1929 - J A Duff
1930 - W C Baker
1931 - A H Read
1934 - A J Smith
1937 - G T Edwards
1958 - W G T Gray
- R J Fryman
1960 & 1961 - S C Stringer
1963 - J W Walker
1965 - J A Cox
1966 to 1967 - R Gregory
1969 to 1970 - L S Bellmore
- J Pardoe
1972 - R J Stanley
Nechells became part of Birmingham in 1838, and by the early 20th-century was a thickly-populated area with brass foundries, the gas
works, and gun making factories amongst the principal forms of employment.
= location of second permanent branch at 105 Nechells Park Road
105 Nechells Park Road, Birmingham, B7 5PY
May 7th 1927 -
A crowd gathers to hear the Bank's Chairman (Percival Bower) speaking at the branch opening ceremony.
To his left are the Bank's General Manager and his deputy.
Branch interior in 1927, from the customer side of the counter....
....and the staff side, where the ledger desks run parallel
to the counter
Nechells Park Road in March 1968, shortly before the branch was transferred to temporary premises at 105 Nechells Park
Nechells Park Road in 1964
(Image courtesy of Alton Douglas:
'Birmingham in the Sixties'
published by Brewin Books)