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 NECHELLS
34
24th
SE
410 Nechells Park Road, Birmingham 7
021-327 1239
NS
1927
 
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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 records that
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.
The 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
below:
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)
 
Annual Transactions
- Year Ended March 31st 1947: 27,670
 
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Managers:
1928 - W James
1929 - J A Duff
1930 - W C Baker
1931 - A H Read
1934 - A J Smith
1958 - W G T Gray
1959 - 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
1971 - 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.
OpenStreetMap contributors
= location of second permanent branch at 105 Nechells  Park Road
From 1965:
105 Nechells Park Road, Birmingham, B7 5PY
 
below:
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.
below:
Branch interior in 1927, from the customer side of the counter....
....and the staff side, where the ledger desks run parallel to the counter
right:
Nechells  Park Road in 1964, shortly
before the branch was transferred to temporary premises at 105 Nechells Park Road
 
(Image courtesy of Alton Douglas:
'Birmingham in the Sixties '
published by Brewin Books)
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