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 SHIRLEY
52
57th
SW
248 Stratford Road, Shirley, Solihull, West Midlands B90 3AE
021-744 1975
SY
1940
The Bank's authority to establish branches outside Birmingham's boundaries under the provisions of Sections 56 and 57 of the Birmingham Corporation (General Powers) Act, 1929, allowed the Bank to follow its depositors to this dormitory town for the city's workers. Two branches were opened, both initially on a part-time basis at temporary premises. The Shirley temporary office was located at 306 Stratford Road, and was probably opened on February 14th 1934, and the hours of business were:
    Wednesdays .... 10:00 to 14:30
    Thursdays ......... 10:00 to 12:00
    Fridays .............. 10:00 to 14:30 and 18:00 to 20:00
 
As Solihull branch was open on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Saturdays, the same staff probably covered both offices. When Solihull moved to reconstructed premises on July 20th 1938, and commenced daily opening hours, Shirley branch also adopted full-time opening. The premises at 306 Stratford Road comprised a shop unit with a frontage of 21' 6" and a depth of 13 feet, and were taken on a lease of 75 per annum plus rates to June 1940. The size and location of this unit was not considered suitable for full-time working and alternative premises were sought. A vacant shop in Stratford Road, known as Crown Buildings, that was advertised to rent at 150 per annum plus rates was considered; this had a frontage of 20 feet, and a depth of 40 feet. Although Crown Buildings was situated in Shirley's current shopping centre, it was felt that in view of housing developments on the south side of the district, that the ultimate shopping centre would be further away from Birmingham..
 
Attention then turned to land adjoining 135 Stratford Road, but this was not pursued. Instead, negotiations were commenced with Warwickshire County Council with a view to purchasing land fronting Stratford Road that was being used as a depot. At the same time, negotiations were pursued through the Bank's valuer (Frank Wilde) regarding one of a number of houses being erected by a Mr Tay on Stratford Road, and also a plot of land at the corner of Stratford Road and Blackford Lane owned by a Mr Archer.
 
Mr Archer required a sum of 1,600 for his plot, that had a total area of 2,783 square yards. However, a service road and other improvements to the site would have reduced the area for development to 867 square yards; this would have provided sufficient space for the erection of a bank and two shops. At the July 1938 meeting of the Bank's Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee, it was agreed to purchase this site at a cost not exceeding 1,600. Frank Wilde subsequently agreed a price of 1,515 but then the owner intimated that he was unable to give vacant possession of two cottages (let at 15/- and 12/6d per week) that were on the land. The proposed purchase was therefore abandoned.
 
The land owned by Warwickshire County Council was put up for auction in October 1938, but was withdrawn at 1,575 (ie 1.82 per square yard). Shortly afterwards, however, the Bank purchased a plot of approximately 750 square yards almost opposite the land owned by Warwickshire County Council. This plot, adjoining 214 Stratford Road, was purchased at 1.50 per square yard. The Bank obtained the right of way over adjoining land to permit access to the rear of the branch, and also to safeguard the position with regard to right of light. The Bank was required to bear a portion of the cost of the maintenance of the right of way, and was also required to bear the expense of the construction of a service road.
above and left:
Temporary premises at 306 Stratford Road, Shirley; although the street numbering system has since changed, these premises can still be identified, at the corner of Stratford Road and School Road
below (January 18th 1940):
Councillor Miller (fifth left in left photograph - Chairman of Solihull Council) speaking at the official opening of the branch.
On his immediate right is Councillor Harrison Barrow (Bank Chairman).Councillor  Miller then unlocks the door.
below:
Councillor Miller unveils the branch's Commemoration Tablet;
and the Bank's General Manager (J P Hilton) 'takes a deposit' on the opening day of the new premises
2008:
the premises are now a branch of LloydsTSB
 
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Managers:
1934 - W Buxton
1937 - E R Jennings
 
1958 - J L E Edwards
1959 to 1965 - H E Shaw
1966 to 1967 - S Gregory
1969 to 1971 - J A Cox
1973 - K N Whittaker
1974 - A Radburn
1974 - R M Atkins
The Bank's 1933 Annual Report commented that:
Negotiations have been successfully concluded for the establishment of a Branch or Branches of the Bank in the area of the Solihull Urban District Council, and it is to be hoped during the present year to make such provision.
 
The following year's Annual Report then stated that:
By arrangement with the Solihull District Council the activities of the Bank now extend to the area of such Council, and Branches have been opened at Shirley and Solihull. Residents of these areas are invited to make use of the two Branch Offices and are reminded that the guarantee of the Birmingham Corporation in respect of deposits and interest thereon applies to these external Branches to the same extent as it applies to Branches within the area of the City of Birmingham.
 
In the 1930s, the population of Solihull was growing as people moved into the town from Birmingham. Shirley, one of the main residential areas of Solihull, located three miles from Solihull town centre, saw its population grow from about 7,000 in 1930 to about 35,000 by 1970.
OpenStreetMap contributors
= location of permanent branch at 248 Stratford Road
= location of temporary branch at 306 Stratford Road
Following the branch opening ceremony, a luncheon was held at the Saracen's Head in Shirley
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The Bank then constructed a new office on this site (architect: W N Twist, FRIBA), and these premises were formally opened on January 18th 1940, by the Chairman of Solihull Council: Councillor H W Miller (see Newspaper Report). The branch's address was listed at that time as 244 Stratford Road, but was amended to 248 Stratford Road in the 1950 Annual Report - Solihull's address was also slightly amended at this time.
above and left:
The newly constructed permanent branch: 1940
 
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