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 HEYBARNES
 34th
SW
170 Fosbrooke Road, Small Heath, Birmingham
1929
J P Hilton's book (Britain's First Municipal Savings Bank) mentions that the Bank had purchased a plot of land at this corner site, and the Bank's 1928 Annual Report states that a new building was then in the course of erection. The freehold plot, an area of 615 square yards, was purchased from the City's Housing Department in 1927 at a cost of 15s per square yard (461).

Surprisingly, considering that the plot was not in an established shopping area, and that there were a number of other branches nearby, there seems to have been no efforts to test customer demand with a temporary office as had been the usual practice at other branches opened in the previous few years. Nevertheless, a very substantial building was erected (including a flat) at a cost  of 4,035. The opening of the branch was reported in the Birmingham News.
 
The growth of business was poor, and for part of the time during the Second World War, the branch was opened only on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. The status of the branch then came under review in July1945, when the General Manager reported as following to the Bank's Committee:
 
This branch was open from April 1929 to August 1940 as a daily branch. To overcome staffing difficulties, openings were reduced to half-week, and the branch was run in conjunction with other branches until March 1942. From March 1942 to March 1943 daily openings were provided; but once again, to meet staffing difficulties, we had to run the branch in conjunction with Kitts Green, which arrangement continues.
Development of this branch has not been satisfactory, and there is no likelihood of appreciable improvement. The following figures show the position of the branch year by year:
below (April 27th 1929):
the official party arrives for the opening ceremony of the new branch.
below:
The crowd assembles to witness the opening ceremony, performed by the Lord
Mayor (fourth left); accompanied by the Bank's Chairman (fifth left - Sir Percival Bower); and the Bank's General Manager (second right - J P Hilton)
2008:    the building is now the site of
              the QAMARUL ISLAM MOSQUE
 
              The date '1928' is incorporated in
               a rainwater hopper
In July 1947, the Bank's Management Committee decided to close the branch and dispose of the premises. The Rateable Value of the branch was assessed at 105 and of the flat at 27 .15s. 0d. In view of the branch's proximity to the Heybarnes Estate, the City's Estates Department investigated the possibility of transferring the premises back to the Housing Department.
 
The Estate's Department passed the following resolution on October 21st 1947:
 
That the General Manager [of the Estate's Department] be instructed to consult the District Valuer and ascertain terms upon which he would be prepared to recommend the transfer of land and premises, now under the control of the Bank Committee in Fosbrooke Road, to Housing Account, and to report thereon to the Estate's Sub-Committee in due course.
 
On April 19th 1948, the Bank's Finance and General Purposes Sub-Committee reported as follows to the Bank Committee:
A letter has been received from the General Manager of the Estates Department, containing the following points:
(a) Whether the valuation of the Heybarnes branch for the purpose of appropriation to the Housing Act, 1936 is to be assessed under the basis of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1944, or under the Town and Country Planning Act, 1947.
(b) The District Valuer, without committing himself at this stage, is of the opinion that he would be unable to assess the transfer value at 4,035 which was the original cost of the buildings.
(c) To convert the ground floor into living accommodation would be both impracticable and expensive, and that taking all the circumstances into consideration, it would not be advisable for the premises to be appropriated to the Housing Act, 1936.
(d) That the various Committees of the Corporation have expressed no desire to appropriate the property.
Mr Wallace Smith [the General Manager of the Estate's Department] concludes by stating that it would seem advisable for the Bank Committee to decide to let the premises for commercial purposes outside the Corporation, and assumes that the matter would be referred to the Estates Department in the usual way for management.
Your Sub-Committee recommend that the General Manager be requested to inform the General Manager of the Estates Department that, in the circumstances, the Bank propose to deal with the premises direct as empowered by Bank Regulation No 13, and that the General Manager be further requested to arrange for Mr Glover, the Bank's Agent, to make enquiries regarding the prospect of letting the banking part of the premises to an Insurance Company or other suitable concern, and to give an estimate of the rent obtainable.
 
The Bank's Agent (Mr C M Glover) suggested that a fair rental would be 250 per annum, with the tenants paying rates and all outgoings, and being responsible for interior maintenance, on a lease of 7 years. The Bank stipulated that 3 months' notice would be required before vacant possession would be given, and that all the Bank interior fittings (including the counter) would be removed by the Bank.
 
During 1948, interest in the premises were expressed by L B Henderson & Partners, Consulting Engineers of Summer Hill Street; Messrs Santon Ltd, Electrical Engineers of 269 Broad Street; and the National Union of Public Employees. It is not known whether any of these enquiries came to fruition, but the premises were probably sold in the 1950s.
 
 Year Ended
March 31st
Balances
 
Open
Accounts 
Transactions 
 1930
 20,852
1,332
11,429
 1931
32,605
1,746
13,741
 1932
39,571
 1,829
13,157
 1933
46,526
 1,966
 13,145
 1934
 54,032
 2,084
13,910
 1935
58,491
2,268
 14,574
 1936
65,678
2,370
 15,361
 1937
 74,349
 2,484
 16,174
 1938
 80,784
 2,576
 18,115
 1939
 87,161
2,663
18,936
 1940
 95,362
 2,683
 17,226
 1941
 114,488
 2,768
 15,235
 1942
 140,175
2,854
 15,581
 1943
170,920
 2,904
 16,039
 1944
 195,523
2,908
 12,673
 1945
  219,416
2,952
 11,498
In view of these figures, I am of the opinion that the branch should be closed, and the accounts transferred to Yardley or other branches selected by depositors. Yardley branch is about a mile from Heybarnes; Hay Mills about  mile; Little Bromwich about mile; Bordesley Green 1 mile; and Small Heath 1 mile. Depositors would have a good choice in transferring to another branch.
 
The branch's balances reached 266,621 at March 31st 1946. This placed Heybarnes 63rd out of the Bank's 68 branches. Branches that had opened at dates near to Heybarnes' opening (27/4/1929) had attracted considerably higher deposits: Sparkhill (21/7/1928; 18th; 1,285,909); Sherlock Street (21/1/1929; 51st; 547,650); Short Heath (4/1/1930; 34th; 805,651).
 
However, the General Manager's recommendation to close Heybarnes was not implemented until 1948. In the meantime, when the Bank's opening hours were amended from January 1st 1946, other branches were notified that Heybarnes was to continue as a part-time branch (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) in conjunction with Newtown Row (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday). The branch's statistics for 1947 were:
 
Year Ended
March 31st
Balances
Open
Accounts
Transactions
1947
237,029
2,958
11,690
With a view to closing the branch on September 4th 1948, notice was sent to each depositor, and advertisements were placed in four local newspapers and repeated at fortnightly intervals. After the close of business on Saturday, September 4th, the remaining accounts of Heybarnes were transferred to Yardley branch.
 
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below:
the Lord Mayor speaking at the opening of the branch
Managers:
1930 - W L Hannah
1931 - W C Baker
1934 - W Buxton
Formally opened on April 27th 1929, by the Lord Mayor (Alderman W Byng Kenrick), Heybarnes branch was located at the corner of Hobmoor Road and Fosbrooke Road, on the Heybarnes Housing Estate in the Bordesley Green/Small Heath area to the east of the city centre.
OpenStreetMap contributors
= location of the branch at 170 Fosbrooke Road 
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