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157 Dudley Road, Birmingham B18 7QY
021-454 1666
The early history of Rotton Park branch (the Bank's ninth permanent office) is fully covered in a lengthy entry in J P Hilton's book  Britain's First Municipal Savings Bank, which is reproduced here in full:
This branch was first opened in an office at the corner of Dudley Road [number 368] and Algernon Road, belonging to the Screw, Nut, Bolt and Rivet Trade Society. No other accommodation could be found, and it was through the good offices of Mr J A Garner, the secretary of the society, that we were able to get a start in this area on the 1st September 1919, and carry on the branch each Monday, Friday and Saturday evening. Mr Garner has been one of our keenest supporters, and at the works of Messrs Guest, Keen & Nettlefold, where he conducted for some time a works bank under the temporary scheme, he was instrumental in persuading many people to join the Bank.
The branch made headway to such an extent that when the chance came of acquiring Nos 155, 157 and 159 Dudley Road, it was seized. Possession could only be obtained of the middle shop, but it was decided to take advantage of even that accommodation, and so the branch was transferred to 157 Dudley Road in July, 1920, and daily openings provided. [From July 9th 1920]. Subsequently, No 155 Dudley Road became vacant, and it was then decided to reconstruct the two premises. During the alterations [from December 28th 1922] the branch was transferred to a small shop at No 7 Heath Street, but on the 16th June, 1923, the reconstructed premises were opened.
The Right Hon Neville Chamberlain, MP (Minister of Health) performed the opening ceremony the Lord Mayor presiding. On this occasion Mr Chamberlain made an important speech, from which the following is an extract:-
I often ask myself what it is about the Bank which gives it such an extraordinary vitality and growth. Well, it is a well-managed bank; it has certain obvious advantages compared with the Post Office in the facilities which it affords, especially in the matter of withdrawals. Its rate of interest is also attractive. But there must be something more than that, and the conclusion I have come to is that the secret of success lies in the fact it is associated with our Municipal system.
The depositors feel a special confidence in the Bank. They know that there is the security of the rates behind the Bank; that there is a vigilant and watchful committee of the Council looking after it, and it seems to me that this connection with the Municipal system gives it a unique character and makes a special appeal to the working-classes.
You may call it Socialism if you like; I have never been frightened by a name; I do not care whether it is Socialism or not so long as it is a good thing.
I think our experience proves that the Municipal Savings Bank has advantages which other forms of savings banks have not. Well then, I say, all power to it, and it will be a good thing for this country if it should be further extended. Perhaps when I have emerged from my present troubles the question of Municipal Banks will be one of the subjects to which I will endeavour to give attention.
I have always thought it would be a good thing if more people were to pay their rates direct instead of through the rent. It would bring home to the people the responsibility as well as the privilege of citizenship. It would cause them to take a greater interest in the doings of their representatives. It would bring home that some of the more desirable reforms are also expensive and have to be paid for by the citizens in proportion to their means.
Councillor Simmons said he was glad to take part in the ceremony that day, particularly as there appeared to be a silver lining in the dark cloud of unemployment which had hung over him so long, and one of the first things he should do was to make use of the Bank. He regarded it as one of the finest things inaugurated for the benefit of the community.
The branch was later extended to incorporate 159 Dudley Road.
The branch following reconstruction of 155 & 157 Dudley Road in 1923. Number 159 is still occupied by a milliners
Neville Chamberlain making the speech referred to above
June 16th 1923: a crowd gathers for the branch's opening (right) which is to be performed by Neville Chamberlain and the Lord Mayor (below)
Neville Chamberlain and the Lord Mayor (David Davis) leave the branch
The branch interior in 1923 (left) and after the incorporation of 159 Dudley Road
The premises are now occupied by
a Kebab House and a Florist
Branch Deposit Balances at March 31st:
1921 - £42,715
1926 - £275,660
1946 - £1,585,466
1947 - £1,640,442
Number of Open Accounts at March 31st:
1920 - 749
1927 - 8,808
1947 - 13,831 (Savings: 13,799; Mortgage: 32)
Average Weekly Transactions:
1920 - 119
1927 - 1,037
Annual Transactions
- Year Ended March 31st 1947: 66,739
Temporary premises at 157 Dudley Road, used to accommodate Rotton Park branch from July 1920. Eventually, the properties on each side were acquired to extend the branch
Located 1½-miles west of Birmingham's centre, Rotton Park was developed in the second half of the 19th-century as a middle-class suburb alongside the upper-class neighbourhood of Edgbaston. Features of the area include Edgbaston Reservoir, and four complexes built about 1850 at Winson Green on the north side of Rotton Park: the city's prison; lunatic asylum; workhouse; and fever hospital - the last three now housing hospital facilities.
1919 - W F Heath
1921 - W E Jackson
1926 - J E Chapman
1928 - F FitzPatrick
1929 - L A Wright
1930 & 1931 - J C W Brown
1932 to 1934 C H Massey
1958 & 1959 - W James
1960 - G T Edwards
1961 to 1963 - H Huggins
1965 to 1970 - W G T Gray
1971 - H T K Haslam
1972 - A Radburn
1974 - J D Briden
© OpenStreetMap contributors
= location of branch at 157 Dudley Road
Neville Chamberlain officially opens the new premises