228 Witton Lane, Birmingham B6 6QE
Following the alteration of 228 Witton Lane, a part-time Evening Branch was opened on November 15th 1924 (Monday and Saturday Evenings
- 18:00 to 20:00).
In the Bank's 1926 Annual Report, under the list of premises owned, 226 and 228 Witton Lane is included - and it
is reported that extensions are in progress at this site.
On September 3rd 1927
, the Lord Mayor (Alderman A H James) opened Witton
branch as a full-time office. At that date, the part-time office had 1,492 depositors with accumulated balances amounting to £23,742.
The Lord Mayor performed the opening ceremony with a key that was presented to him by the Chairman of the Bank Committee - Alderman
Sir Percival Bower. A special appeal was made to children to become depositors, and at the close of the official proceedings
the Chairman announced that Mr W J Adams, JP, had offered to add 2/-d to the accounts of the first 250 children under 14 who opened
an account with a shilling. The generous offer was received with great enthusiam by the younger section of the large crowd present
at the ceremony, and there was a big rush to be among the first 250 (Image 039
). On the motion of Councillor Cooper, seconded by Councillor
Corrin, the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, together with Sir Percival and Lady Bower, were accorded a hearty vote of thanks.
Premises at 226 & 228 Witton Lane acquired for reconstruction; 228 is on the left
The newly reconstructed premises in 1927
below (September 3rd 1927):
(left - centre of doorway) the Bank's chairman (Percival Bower) at the official opening of the branch.
A notice in the branch's window advertises that the Lord Mayor will be conducting the ceremony . The guests of the Bank's Committee
pose for this photograph after they had assembled for tea in the Station Road Council School. The assembly included: Alderman Sir
Percival and Lady Bower; The Lord and Lady Mayoress (Alderman and Mrs A H James); Councillor J Corrin; Councillor A H Cooper; Mr H
Bown, JP; Mr W J Adams, JP and Mrs Adams; and Mr J P Hilton (the Bank's General Manager).
(right) Sir Percival hands the branch' s key
to the Lord Mayor. J P Hilton is on the Lord Mayor's right.
a crowd gathers for the official opening of the branch
The branch interior - location of the Commemoration Tablet that records details of the official opening
the former branch premises now have no obvious current use. The traffic island at the junction of
Witton Lane, Witton Road, and
Aston Lane is just off the photograph to the left, on which side the building no longer has an adjoining property
Branch Deposit Balances at March 31st:
1926 - £14,023
1946 - £712,361
1947 - £733,182
Number of Open Accounts at March 31st:
- 8,196 (Savings: 8,151; Mortgage 45)
- Year Ended March 31st 1947: 62,701
1928 & 1929 - A J Smith
1930 & 1931 - E C Neighbour
1934 - W A Camwell
1958 to 1961 - J Hastie
1963 - H E Whitehead
- S Gregory
1966 to 1967 - N A Worwood
1969 to 1972 - R F Lovell
The Witton area, a couple of miles north of the city centre, was the district chosen for a number of developments during the last
part of the 19th- century and the first part of the 20th- century: Birmingham City Cemetery (1860); Villa Park (1896); General Electric
factory (1901); and ICI Metals factory (1912). The two factories spurred the development of working-class houses near Witton railway
station, which continued after the First World War.
Anxious to provide banking facilities in the Witton area, the Bank purchased at
auction on May 23rd 1922, premises situated in an improving shopping centre at 407 Witton Road. The premises comprised a shop and
dwellinghouse, and were acquired for the sum of £900. At the time of the purchase it was hoped that the adjoining premises might also
be acquired at the auction, but the property was sold in separate lots at higher prices than the Bank was prepared to pay, the amounts
paid being substantially higher than the sum paid by the Bank for number 407. Efforts were subsequently made to secure possession
of the adjoining premises, but without success.
An opportunity then arose to purchase other premises in the area (near to the Villa
Park football ground): 226 and 228 Witton Lane. Following negotiations, the freeholds of these two retail shops plus dwelling houses
were acquired for £1,000. Number 228 was available for alteration for a branch bank upon suitable alternative accommodation being
found for the tenant. Although the house at 228 would be vacated, possession of number 226 was not immediately available at that time.
= location of branch at 228 Witton Lane