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Dunlop Branch

As recorded at Image-096, the BMB provided banking facilities at the Dunlop factory from 1942 to 1956. Commonly known as Fort Dunlop, the factory was established in Wood Lane, Erdington, in 1917. By the 1950s, the factory had about 10,000 employees producing tyres and other rubber products.

 

A banking facility was reintroduced at Dunlop, probably in the early 1970s. Although known as ‘Dunlop Branch’ the facility did not have its own Branch Sort Code, but was able to provide a full range of banking services to customers, whichever branch their account was based at, thanks to the Bank’s On-Line-Real-Time computer system.

 

The branch operated as a sub-branch of Pype Hayes, with that branch’s manager having overall responsibility and allocating which staff would work there. The unit’s opening hours were restricted to 3 hours – from 11am to 2pm. In 1973, these hours were worked on a daily basis, but prior to that may have been restricted to 2 or 3 days each week (probably Monday, Thursday and Friday). Staff would be sent from Pype Hayes branch on the days that the Dunlop facility was open, and consisted of an Assistant Manager plus two or three cashiers who were selected on a rota basis. After reporting to Pype Hayes each morning, the allocated staff would make their way to Dunlop, either in a member of staff’s car, or sometimes walking the comparatively short distance.

 

The branch was located just inside the Holly Lane entrance to Dunlop, sandwiched between the Staff Shop and the Staff Canteen. This location was beneficial to the Bank’s staff as they were able to get a subsidised lunch and also buy Dunlop goods (eg tennis equipment) at a discount! The building used was an old Dunlop office that was converted for the Bank’s purposes.

 

Although small, the branch had three cashier positions, an interview room, and sufficient space to accommodate fifty customers. Overall, the space was similar to that provided by the wooden huts that the Bank had sometimes utilised, eg at Perry Beeches branch. The branch was often very busy, particularly when the Dunlop manual employees had their weekly payroll deductions (made under the Bank’s Direct Transfer Scheme) deposited to their accounts. These DTS deductions were paid into bank accounts every four weeks, and occasionally this due date coincided with the monthly salary payment of the office staff, resulting in large numbers of Dunlop employees attending the branch to withdraw cash.

 

The branch’s cash was held overnight in a free-standing safe, and deliveries of cash were made by a security company as part of the twice-weekly system applicable to all branches. On the occasion of a strike by Dunlop employees, the security company delivering cash were denied access to the Dunlop premises by the pickets on the gate. This situation was overcome by Pype Hayes branch requesting a larger amount of cash than was required for their purposes, and this excess was then taken to the sub-branch by Bank staff.

 

After the close of business at 2pm, the staff would then return to Pype Hayes Branch, and all cheques,  credit transfers, Gas, Electricity, Water and Rates receipts were then amalgamated into Pype Hayes’ work for submission to clearing centres and appropriate departments.  All transaction slips for the day were stored at Pype Hayes branch.

 

Large scale tyre production ceased at the site in the 1980s, and it was probably at this time that the Bank’s facility was closed..

 

 

(This article compiled with the assistance of John Winterbottom and Peter Aston.)