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 RUBERY
(includes REDNAL and
REDNAL AND RUBERY)
44
69th
SE
147 New Road, Rubery B45 9JW
021-453 2140
YB*
1968
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.
 
Negotiations 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 to.
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 to YB.)
 
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, Rubery
Rednal sub-branch at 399 Lickey Road (1926)
Two views of the temporary premises at 75 New Road, Rubery 
left (June 7th 1968) :the Bank's Chairman performs the opening ceremony of the permanent office watched by the General Manager (S A Guy - right) and a Branch Inspector (J A Smith)
below: the new premises at 147 New Road
below: branch interior - Denis Martineau unveils the branch's Commemoration Tablet before the invited guests
2010:
 
75 New Road is now being used by Worcestershire County Council for training purposes (left)
 
 
147 New Road is occupied
by a cafe (right)
 
Home
 
Managers:
1934 (Rednal and Rubery) - C Selwyn
 
Managers (Rubery):
1958 - F Hood
1959 & 1960 - H Wheelock
1966 - W Porritt
1967 to 1970 - D J Holbeche
1972 - K N Parkes
1973 - R A Bunten
1976 - R J Tonks
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.
 
Rubery 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 for Number of Transaction etc for the 1925/26 period.)
 
Rubery was open on Friday evenings (18:30 to 19:30), until Rednal Branch (in 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; Wednesdays; Fridays.
 
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.
OpenStreetMap contributors
= location of branch at 147 New Road
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