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(1976: amended to HOLYHEAD)
141 Holyhead Road, Handsworth, Birmingham B21 0BE
021-554 3435
In December 1929, the Bank obtained formal approval from the City Council to purchase 672 square yards of land (owned by the Co-operative Society) at the corner of Holyhead Road and Clarence Road, Handsworth. The following year, 349 square yards of this land was sold to the Electric Supply Department, with that department paying a proportionate part of the original cost plus expenses. The Bank and the Electric Supply Department then proceeded with a joint building scheme. The result of that new building is illustrated below.
The branch was formally opened (as Sandwell Branch) on July 18th 1931, by Alderman Sir Percival Bower, the Bank's Chairman. Prior to the building being opened, the Lord Mayor (Alderman W W Saunders) presided at a tea given to invited guests at the Handsworth Assembly Rooms. The new branch ended a search for an office in the area that began in 1924.
The architects for the building were Messrs Collier and Keyte; the building contractors were Messrs Maddocks and Walford; and the fittings were supplied by Messrs Harris and Sheldon Ltd. Sandwell was the Bank's 45th permanent branch to be opened.
The Bank's Chairman (Sir Percival Bower) speaking at the opening of the new branch
The crowd assembled for the
official opening ceremony
the premises are now occupied by a Carpet & Furniture Discount Warehouse.
In both photographs, Clarence Road is on the right, and Holyhead Road is on the left
1934 - C Danks
1937 - L C Abbiss
1958 - K R Willingham
1959 - W G T Gray
1960 & 1961 - H E Whitehead
1963 - S C Wilson
1965 to 1970 - G H Pardoe
1970 to 1972 - R C T Wozencroft
1972 - J A Allkins
1972 - C L J Bolton
1973 & 1974 - P W Limbrick
1974 - K N Higgins
1976 - D Longfils
Sandwell branch was located in a residential area about 3-miles northwest of Birmingham's centre, on the A41 road, not far from the city's boundary with West Bromwich. The location is part of Handsworth, and is less than 1-mile from Handsworth branch, which was opened in 1919. The opening of Sandwell branch followed a number of local petitions for a branch in the area between Booth Street and the city boundary. The new branch would have had the benefit of lessening the workload of the busy Handsworth branch.

The name of Sandwell for the branch was odd, as the district of Sandwell is a part of West Bromwich, commemorating Sandwell Priory that closed in 1525. The branch name became even more erroneous when 'Sandwell' was chosen as the name for the new Metropolitan Borough that was formed in 1974 by the amalgamation of Warley and West Bromwich. To avoid confusion, the branch's name was amended to Holyhead in 1976, reflecting its location on Holyhead Road. Another possible choice, New Inns, was not selected.
OpenStreetMap contributors
= location of the branch at the corner of Holyhead Road and Clarence Road,
   close to the Birmingham/West Bromwich boundary and the ground of
   West Bromwich Albion
The new premises
nearing completion
The newly built premises in 1931 - the Holyhead Road side of the building on the left, and the Clarence Road side on the right
Those arriving for the official opening ceremony include
Sir Percival Bower on the right
The opening ceremony speeches continue inside the branch