The result of all the efforts described above was that the Bank had no branch to serve the residents of Rubery. The establishment
of a branch in Rubery itself, however, required the permission of the local authority: Bromsgrove Urban District Council. Late in1938, the Bank received a letter from Bromsgrove UDC intimating that the establishment of such a branch would be welcomed. The Bank
immediately began to search for a suitable site, but it would be over ten years before a full-time branch was opened in the village.
began to purchase a site in Bristol Road, Rubery, that adjoined Messrs Dabbs' Stores, but were abandoned when it was discovered that
a road widening proposal by Worcestershire County Council required practically the whole of the land in question. The Bank's agent,
Frank Wilde, identified various sites and properties in January 1939 that were available, but several of these were quickly
sold. In June 1939, the Bank's Finance and General Purposes Sub-Committee recommended that no further delay should take place
in securing a site, having regard to the rapid development of the locality. The Sub-Committee reported that:
there is a possibility
of acquiring a plot of land with five cottages fronting Callowbrook Lane and The Avenue, which, if secured together with adjoining
land under another ownership, fronting the Bristol Road on the right-hand side from the City, would constitute an excellent site for
a branch. The last named portion of land is seriously affected by road widening requirements but the whole purchase would provide
ample room for the erection of suitable branch premises, which would eventually have frontages to both the Bristol Road and the Callowbrook
Lane. Your Sub-Committee have, therefore directed that negotiations should proceed for these two plots of land and the cottages referred
As there is considerable doubt whether both these plots can be obtained (in which case the scheme could not be carried out) and
as sites are few and are being rapidly taken up on the main road at Rubery, your Sub-Committee have also directed that negotiations
should simultaneously proceed for a plot of land on the left-hand side of Bristol Road from the City between the shop of K Hems and
a house named 'Wyvern' which could have been obtained in January last at the price of 6/7d per square yard. This land is subject to
a restrictive covenant, but the Town Clerk is of the opinion that the nature of the restriction is such that an application for its
modification might be granted under the Law of Property Act. This site is not considered to be in the most favourable position but
would meet the needs of the Bank if no other more suitable site could be obtained.
Your Sub-Committee have directed that negotiations
should proceed simultaneously in respect of the above-mentioned properties on the ground of urgency, and they recommend that the Chairman
and the Chairmen of the two Sub-Committees with the General Manager be empowered to take any necessary steps to secure the most suitable
accommodation for a branch as soon as possible.
Within a month, the Bank agreed to purchase the properties fronting to Callowbrook
Lane, The Avenue, and Bristol Road for a total price of about £980. The two freehold sites comprised approximately 1,860-square yards
- more than sufficient space for a permanent branch after allowing for the projected road widening scheme. In the meantime, the
Bank planned to provide a wood building on the site until the business transacted warranted the erection of a permanent branch.
Negotiations for the property on the other side of the Bristol Road were abandoned.
As the process of purchasing the two properties
proceeded, and an order was placed for a wooden hut, the Second World War commenced. After some consideration, the Committee
decided not to establish a branch on its site at Rubery until after the War, and arrangements were made for storage of the wooden
hut (which was in sections) at the makers.
In October 1940, the Bank agreed to a request from the Bromsgrove Council for the
erection of an air raid shelter on the site, without charge. It was also agreed that the sectional hut in storage at the makers should
be loaned to the Air Raid Precaution Services without charge.
Following the War, but with wartime building restrictions still
in place, negotiations with Bromsgrove UDC were revived with a view to obtaining permission for the erection of temporary branch premises.
In 1948, the General Manager arranged to interview Bromsgrove's Engineer and Surveyor (Mr F W Goodman) and Architect (Mr
D A Goldfinch) to ascertain whether a certain type of prefabricated concrete building would be acceptable under Bromsgrove's Town
Planning Scheme. Approval was obtained, and the Bank then made a formal application to the Ministry of Health for authority to proceed
with the erection of the structure under Defence Regulation 56A, the estimated cost being £1,120. However, the Ministry stated that
as the £1,120 cost included £220 in respect of fittings and equipment, the actual cost of the building work was below the £1,000 restriction
that applied to local authorities by virtue of the Control of Building Operations (No 12) Order, 1948.
The provision of this
modest facility was not without some controversy. In this period shortly after the end of the War, building materials were in short
supply, and Bromsgrove and District Trades Council raised objection to the use of scarce materials for the bank (and a proposed cafe)
instead of constructing a public convenience.
The Bank's 1950 Annual Report stated that By arrangement with the Bromsgrove Urban
District Council, a Branch of the Bank was opened at Rubery in January and is making satisfactory progress. Residents of the area
are invited to make full use of the facilities provided. The date of this opening in the temporary building was Monday, January
30th 1950. The address of these premises was 75 New Road; standard daily opening hours applied.
(* Without any explanation, a
Head Office circular to branches dated February 4th 1950, informed staff that Rubery's identifying letters had been changed from YR
The freehold land owned by the Bank in Rubery branch was quite extensive. In 1962, a total of 1,443 square yards
were sold in connection with the construction of the Rubery By-Pass, and the erection of a Public Library. The freeholds of 3-5 The
Avenue were sold to the Ministry of Transport for £800 plus costs; the freehold of 1 The Avenue, plus land at the rear of 75 New Road,
was sold to Worcestershire County Council for £550 plus costs.
The 1968 Annual Report included the following: The new premises
for the Rubery Branch have been completed and the business transferred there from the former temporary premises. The opening ceremony
took place on June 7th 1968,
and was performed by the Bank's Chairman, Councillor A D Martineau.
The address was now: 147 New Road,
The village of Rubery is located in Worcestershire, about 8-miles to the southwest of Birmingham's centre. However, the eastern part
of the village was absorbed into Birmingham in 1911 when Northfield was incorporated into the city. The Birmingham part of Rubery
was utilised for the Rednal Hill council estate of some 600 houses after the Second World War. The Austin Motor Works was located
close to this estate.
branch first opened on February 6th 1925
in the front room of a house at 4 Cock Hill Lane, Rubery
This location placed the branch within Birmingham; until Sections 56 and 57 of the Birmingham Corporation (General Powers) Act, 1929,
were passed, branches could only be opened within Birmingham. Deposits totalled £2,964 at November 30th 1926
. (See Statistics
Number of Transaction etc for the 1925/26 period.)
Rubery was open on Friday evenings (18:30 to 19:30), until Rednal
the front room of 399 Lickey Road - opening on Saturdays, 12:30 to 14:00) was opened on May 3rd 1926
, when they were switched to Tuesdays
- 12:30 to 14:00. These two locations (plus Longbridge
) were sub-branches of Northfield, and were all operated by the same staff.
In the seven months following its opening, Rednal branch only attracted Deposits of £204.
Rubery was amalgamated with Rednal
on August 27th 1928
, the new branch was named 'Rednal and Rubery'
, and the individual offices at Rednal and Rubery were closed.
The new location was still a sub-branch of Northfield
; the address was now 1547 Bristol Road South
. The hours of opening are still
12:30 to 14:00, but Mondays had been added to Tuesday openings. By 1930
, the same hours had been extended to four days: Mondays; Tuesdays;
In 1932's Annual Report, Rednal and Rubery was no longer designated as a sub-branch, but was listed as one
of six Evening Branches. The opening hours of these six branches were 18:00 to 20:00 on Mondays and Fridays.
A new building at
the nearby location of 1401 Bristol Road South replaced the Rednal and Rubery Evening Branch, when it was opened on September 7th1935. That branch was named Longbridge.