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The Minutes reproduced below have been extracted from the records of the Bank's General Committee and its Sub-Committees.
 
The Minutes cover the early years of the Bank as a branch network was being established.
 

Sparkbrook branch was initially established in a Butcher's shop on September 1st 1919, and then extended into a greengrocer's shop next door.These two properties were converted to form the Bank's first permanent branch - opened July 25th 1921.

 
Premises
 
 
Sparkbrook
 

Bank Committee: February 2nd 1920

412 The following Report of the Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee was received:

 

Premises at Sparkbrook.

Your Sub-Committee report that they have had under consideration the question of the Branch Bank premises at Sparkbrook. For some time past, it has been found that the present premises (No 163 Stratford Road) were inadequate to meet the growing requirements of the Bank in this locality, and it is felt that the time has arrived when it is essential to obtain more commodious and suitable premises; otherwise it is feared that the cramped condition under which the business of the Bank is carried on there, may have a detrimental effect on the progress of the Branch, which up to the present has met with considerable success.

 

Enquiries have accordingly been made as to freehold property at the corner of Ladypool Road and Stratford Road, consisting of 7 shops Nos 195, 197, 199, 201, 203, 205 & 195a Stratford Road. These premises are let on annual tenancies, with the exception of No 205, in which case there is a three year's agreement expiring in 1922. It is thought that it may be possible to acquire the property for £3,000, plus reasonable costs; and should the purchase be carried out it is suggested that one of the shops be utilised as a Branch Bank until it is possible to obtain possession of No 205, which is now used as a garage, and appears to be highly suitable for the purposes of a large Branch Bank. The remainder of the property could either be re-sold or let, as may seem most desirable.

 

Your Sub-Committee are of opinion for the reasons above stated, that it would be desirable to acquire the block of property referred to, and recommend that the Housing & Estates Committee be requested to take the necessary steps to carry the purchase into effect.

 

413 RESOLVED:- That the Housing & Estates Committee be requested to take the necessary steps to purchase the shopping in Stratford Road referred to in the foregoing Report at an approximate sum of £3000 plus reasonable costs.

 

Bank Committee: March 1st 1920

Report of Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee:

 

Sparkbrook Premises.

Your Sub-Committee report that the negotiations in connection with the property at the corner of Stratford Road and Ladypool Road have not materialised and the price required has risen considerably. In view of the fact that this property may shortly be put up for sale by auction. Your Sub-Committee have directed the Manager to obtain a Report from Messrs Shaw, Gilbert and Carver as to the actual value of the property, before taking further steps in the matter.

 

432 RESOLVED:- That the Report of the Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee be approved.

 

Bank Committee: March 29th 1920

Report of the Town Clerk:

 

Branch Municipal Bank. 163 Stratford Road.

I have to report that, at the request of your Bank Manager made on the instructions of your Chairman, I have completed an Agreement with Mr Berkley Wright for tenancy of the above premises at an annual rent of £31.

I shall be glad if you will kindly confirm the action of the Chairman.

(Sgd) F H C Wiltshire. Town Clerk.

 

440 RESOLVED:- That the Report be approved and the action of the Chairman therein referred to confirmed.

 

Bank Committee: March 29th 1920

Report of the Finance & General Purposes Committee:

 

Sparkbrook Premises - (163 Stratford Road).

The tenant of these premises who sub-lets the shop front to the Bank, gave notice increasing his terms from 10/- to 30/- per week.

The tenant has refused all along to sign any agreement as regards the tenancy, but the Manager was able to secure a signed agreement to an extended tenancy at an increased rental of £5. 0. 0. per annum, and the Town Clerk, on the authority of the Chairman, has now completed an agreement in the matter.

 

Bank Committee: May 3rd 1920

 

475 The following Report of the Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee was presented:

Stratford Road premises.

Your Sub-Committee have had under further consideration the question of acquiring the 7 shops Nos 195 &c Stratford Road. The Committee will recollect that it was originally thought possible to acquire the property for £3000, plus reasonable costs, but the negotiations did not materialise. The property was recently put up for sale by auction, but as the reserve price was not reached the premises are still on the market.

 

Your Chairman and Manager have on the authority of your Sub-Committee made a firm offer of £4000 for the acquisition of the premises in question and the confirmation of your Committee is asked to any arrangement that may be made at or near the price mentioned.

 

477 RESOLVED:- That the action of the Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee in authorising the Chairman and Manager to make a firm offer for the acquisition of the shopping in Stratford Road, on the lines indicated in foregoing Report, be confirmed.

 

Bank Committee: June 7th 1920

 

514a The following Report of the Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee was received:

 

Shopping 195 etc Stratford Road.

The Committee will recollect that the Chairman and Manager were authorised to negotiate for the purchase of the above premises, but your Sub-Committee regret to report that the property has now been disposed of to another party.

 

In view of the urgency of obtaining suitable premises in the locality for Branch Bank purposes at an early date, your Sub-Committee have authorised instructions to be given to Mr Wilde to make enquiries as to the possibility of leasing or acquiring part of the above premises for this purpose.

 

Bank Committee: July 5th 1920

 

The following Report of the Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee was presented:

 

Stratford Road premises.

Endeavours have been made to lease a portion of the property at Corner of Ladypool Road (which your Committee recently sought to acquire) but without success.

 

Other enquiries have been made for suitable premises in Stratford Road and the Chairman and Manager have been in communication with Messrs Stone Hooper & Pickard as to renting 2 shops on the main road a little distance from the existing Branch Bank premises.

 

The matter is held up at present owing to the possession of the property being in dispute. The question of providing adequate accommodation for this Branch being of an urgent nature, your Sub-Committee recommend that the Chairman and Manager be empowered to secure these premises if possible when available, or to negotiate for other suitable premises in this district.

 

540 RESOLVED:- That the Chairman and Manager be empowered to if possible obtain a lease of the 2 shops in Stratford Road, referred to in the foregoing Report, or if considered more desirable to negotiate for other suitable premises in the District.

 

Bank Committee: July 23rd 1920

 

556 With reference to the Sparkbrook Branch the Manager reported that the owner of Nos 161-163, Stratford Road was prepared to accept £1,800 for the property. It would only be possible, however, to obtain early possession of one of the shops, and this would be insufficient for the purposes of the Bank. The question of obtaining suitable premises in this locality was left in the hands of the Chairman and Manager as authorised by Minute No 540.

 

Bank Committee: August 30th 1920

 

572 On Minute Nos 540 and 556, the Manager reported that the negotiations with Messrs Stone, Hooper and Pickard with reference to the acquisition or leasing of certain premises in Stratford Road had now fallen through. The question of securing the premises at present utilised as Branch (No 163) and the adjoining premises (No 161) was now under consideration, but the matter was held up owing to the difficulty of obtaining possession of No 161.

 

Bank Committee: October 4th 1920

 

603 The following Report of the Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee was presented:

 

Premises at Sparkbrook.

With reference to the negotiations which have been taking place for some time past as to the acquisition of premises for a Branch Bank at Sparkbrook, your Sub-Committee have now arranged for the purchase of freehold property Nos 161 and 163 Stratford Road, for the sum of £1,800 and a further charge of £25 for the fixtures. It will be recollected that the shop portion of No 163 has been used as a Branch Bank since the opening of the Bank in September of last year.

 

In view of the urgency of the matter, your Sub-Committee have authorised the Town Clerk to enter into a firm Contract in the matter, and they now recommend that their action be confirmed and that the Housing and Estates Committee be asked to complete the purchase on behalf of the Bank as in other cases.

 

Alterations to Sparkbrook premises.

Your Sub-Committee are giving consideration to the question of the structural alterations necessary to be made to these premises for the purposes of the Branch, and recommend that they be empowered to obtain such professional advice on the matter as may be necessary.

 

608 RESOLVED:- That the Housing and Estates Committee be requested to take the necessary steps to purchase Nos 161 and 163 Stratford Road, Sparkbrook, referred to in the foregoing Report at the sum of £1,800, and to instruct the Town Clerk to prepare and seal any necessary documents in the matter.

 

609 RESOLVED:- That the Finance and & General Purposes Sub-Committee be authorised to obtain such professional advice as may be necessary in connection with the required structural alterations to 161-163 Stratford Road.

 

Bank Committee: October 25th 1920

 

632 On Minute No 608, the following communication was submitted from the Housing and Estates Committee:

 

2476 RESOLVED:- That the Council be recommended to approve the purchase of Nos 161 and 163 Stratford Road, Sparkbrook for Branch Bank purposes at the sum of £1,800, the Bank Committee to be responsible for the whole of the outgoings in connection with the property, and that the Town Clerk be instructed to prepare and seal any documents in the matter.

(The Clerk reported that the approval of the Council to the purchase had now been obtained.)

 

636 The following Report of the Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee was presented:

 

161-163 Stratford Road, Sparkbrook.

With reference to your Committee's Minute No 609, arrangements have now been made for plans to be prepared of the required internal alterations necessary to combine the two shops for the purpose of the Bank, and the same will be submitted to your Committee in due course.

 

Instructions have also been given for a Specification to be prepared and Tenders obtained for decorating and repairing the living accommodation behind No 163 Stratford Road, so that the same can be tenanted, and also for putting up a fence giving right of way to the tenant of No 161.

 

Bank Committee: November 22nd 1920

 

673 The following Report of the Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee was presented:

 

Sparkbrook Premises.

As authorised by Minute No 609, your Sub-Committee have engaged Mr Gerald McMichael, ARIBA, of Colmore Row, to advise them as to the alterations needed to adapt the shopping 161/163, Stratford Road to the Bank requirements.

 

Mr McMichael attended the last Meeting and explained to the Sub-Committee his proposals, submitting also plans and specifications and the following Tenders:

           Mr F J Briley              £1,421

           Baker & Sons            £1,482

              Sparkbrook

 

Your Sub-Committee carefully considered the same, and now recommend that the Tender of Mr F J Briley at £1,421 for the carrying out of the alterations to the 2 shops Nos 161 & 163, Stratford Road be accepted, subject to adjustment in detail, and that the Town Clerk be instructed to prepare the necessary Contract and affix the Corporate Seal thereto. The cost of the alterations to be met out of the funds of the Bank, if possible.

 

With reference to the required repairs and decorations to the living accommodation at the rear of 163 Stratford Road, the construction of a new right of way through the land behind No 161, and certain outside repairs required to both premises, your Chairman and Manager have accepted the Tender of Mr R Hunt amounting to £217, for the carrying out of the work, which will be done under the supervision of Mr McMichael.

 

Arrangements have now been made to let the living accommodation at the rear of No 163 to Mr H Atkinson (an ex-soldier) at a rental of 10/- per week, plus proportion of the rates. Mr Atkinson will also act as Evening Branch Clerk at Sparkbrook.

 

With reference to alterations to shopping 161 and 163 Stratford Road mentioned in the foregoing Report, Mr McMichael, Architect, attended before the Committee and submitted plans of the alterations proposed.

 

676 RESOLVED:- That the tender of Mr F J Briley at the sum of £1421 for the carrying out of the alterations to the 2 shops Nos 161 and 163 Stratford Road in accordance with the plan and Specifications submitted, be accepted, subject to such adjustments as may be necessary to bring such tender into conformity with the Corporation Conditions; that the Town Clerk be instructed to prepare the necessary Contract and affix the Corporate Seal thereto; and that subject to the approval of the Finance Committee, the amount of £1421 referred to be defrayed from Revenue.

 

General Purposes Committee: January 10th 1921

 

Sparkbrook Stabling. Mr Thompson, Chemist, has been asked to submit an offer for purchase of the stabling as it stands.

 

Bank Committee: January 17th 1921

 

On Minute No 676 (161-163 Stratford Road) the following Minute of the Finance Committee was received:

 

17899 RESOLVED:- That the Bank Committee be informed that subject to the amount being provided from the surplus earnings of the Bank, this Committee offer no objection to the alterations of two shops Nos 161 and 163 Stratford Road, as a branch Bank, at an estimated cost of £1421.

 

With reference to this matter, the Town Clerk reported as follows:

 

December 31st 1920

I have prepared and completed a Contract with Mr Frederick J Briley, for carrying out alterations and additions required to 161 and 163 Stratford Road.

The Corporate Common Seal has been affixed to the document which is dated 8th December instant.

 

708 RESOLVED:- That Minute No 676 be discharged.

 

Report of the Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee: January 17th 1921

 

Tenancy of 161, Stratford Road.

Arrangements have now been made for Mr Henry Goodyear, the tenant of the living accommodation at rear of No 161, Stratford Road, to pay a rental of 10/- per week, plus proportion of rates.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: March 14th 1921

 

On Minute No 383, it was

420 RESOLVED:- That the Chairman and Manager be requested to consider and report their recommendation as to the desirability of letting or otherwise disposing of the stabling at rear of 163, Stratford Road.

 

 

 

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