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Collingwood Drive, Great Barr, Birmingham, 22A
Pheasey branch opened on February 20th 1943 at the corner of Collingwood Drive and Hillingford Avenue (ie the terminus for the 29A bus service), Great Barr. The branch was probably established not only to serve a very large estate of privately built houses constructed just before and during the War, but also (like Perry Beeches branch) in an attempt to relieve the pressure of business on Kingstanding branch. A report by the Bank's Committee to the City Council (dated May 31st 1938) stated that .... Your Committee have concluded arrangements with The First National Housing Trust whereby advances are now being made in respect of 3,246 houses in course of erection on the Pheasey Estate at Great Barr. This scheme was one of a number that the Bank was negotiating just before the Second World War whereby a facility was to be provided to enable developers to construct housing estates.
The ability to make repayments seems to have suffered difficulties during the Second World War. The General Manager reported to the Bank Committee on January 16th 1943 as follows:
Application is made for continuance of the suspension of capital repayments on Pheasey Estate mortgages. In May 1941, when the original application was made, the Bank expressed their willingness to suspend payments of principal on Pheasey Estate to the same percentage as would apply to Building Society loans on other housing Estates of the Trust. Considerable delay occurred in obtaining necessary consents from Building Societies, Local Authorities and the Ministry of Health, but finally all agreed to the suspensions. In January 1942 it was decided the Trust should pay the Bank half the amount of capital payments and full interest charges on outstanding balances, and this arrangement should apply for a period of twelve months from the 1st January 1942. The arrangement has been adhered to, and it is recommended it should continue for a further twelve months.
The arrangement was renewed on an annual basis. In January 1945, it was determined that the amount outstanding on the loans represented 74% of valuation.
As Pheasey Estate was outside Birmingham's boundary, the agreement of Aldridge Urban District Council was necessary to establish the branch. The First National Housing Trust erected a wooden hut to serve as the branch premises, although the Bank defrayed the cost. Employees of the Trust acted as the branch's officers, with Mr H Foster (Chief Clerk) taking charge and assisted by Miss F G Lugsden. The officers also staffed Perry Beeches branch - Mr Foster was paid 1 per week, and Miss Lugsden 7/6d.
The initial hours of opening were on Saturdays only from 14:00 to 15:30. The branch operated as a sub-branch to Kingstanding, where the ledgers and cash were kept when the branch was not open. On the opening day, 13 new accounts were opened, 9 transfers taken, 27 deposits taken totalling 176. 6. 0d, and 2 Home Safes issued. By the end of March, 59 accounts had been opened.
In June 1945, the day of opening was switched to Mondays, with the hours being 18:30 to 20:30.
The following year these hours were amended to Mondays - 18:00 to 20:00

From November 11th 1948, the hours were extended to include Thursdays 11:00 to 13:00
The branch was closed on February 26th 1959, and the accounts transferred to Kingstanding. It was likely that, with the full-time Kingstanding branch being only a short bus ride away from the Pheasey Estate, few depositors thought it worthwhile to transfer their accounts to a branch located in a wooden hut, and opened on a very restricted basis.
The branch's Code Number (40) was later re-assigned to Blackheath branch.
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1943 - H Foster
The Minister of Health (Sir Kingsley Wood) cuts the first sod of the new Pheasey Estate on July 14th 1937. The 340-acre estate (40-acres in Birmingham; the remainder in the area of Aldridge Urban District Council) was developed by the First National Housing Trust to provide houses at rentals ranging from 12/6d to 14/6d per week. The housing trust had already erected 9,300 houses in Birmingham in the previous 17 years. The houses, described as "of the middle-class type" were a mixture of terrace blocks and semi-detached. The majority were rented and eventually sold to their tenants in the early 1960s.
During the Second World War, 410 of the estate's houses were occupied by British Forces, and later by American Forces. In 1945, the First National Housing Trust arranged to sell these houses when they were handed back to the Trust by the War Office. The houses were then sold by the Trust on a leasehold for 99 years and a ground rent of 3. The purchase prices were fixed at 500, 550, or 575, according to the type of house. Purchasers were required to find a deposit of about 10% and the Bank agreed to provide mortgage loans of 450, 500, and 520 on the respective house types.
Some of the houses had been damaged by the wartime occupiers. The Bank's valuer (Mr Wilde) issued a certificate to enable a loan to proceed when the necessary repairs had been made. Mr Wilde was paid fifty guineas for the leasehold valuations, plus 5/- for each certificate.
A circular from Head Office to Branch Managers (dated October 2nd 1945) stated:
Some of the houses erected by The First National Housing Trust Ltd. on Pheasey Estate, Great Barr, are being sold to individual purchasers in accordance with a scheme arranged by the Trust in conjunction with the Bank.
It is most important that all enquiries on this matter should be directed to Mr A S Taylor at Head Office, and not dealt with at any Branch. I am compelled to ask that this procedure be followed because of observations made by Bank officers to intending purchasers, which have caused confusion and displeasure to the Trust. Please see that each member of staff at your Branch is told of this position.
In due course any Branch which may be concerned in these transactions will receive instructions governing any loan which may be sanctioned.
OpenStreetMap contributors
= location of branch at the corner of Collingwood Drive and Hillingford Avenue