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Premises - Balsall Heath
 
The Minutes reproduced below have been extracted from the records of the Bank's General Committee and its Sub-Committees. The Minutes cover the period up to January 1930, including the early years of the Bank when a branch network was being established.
 
The main subject of the early Minutes is the process of finding a suitable property for conversion into permanent bank premises to replace temporary premises at 148 Mary Street, where a part-time branch was opened on September 1st 1919.
 
Balsall Heath branch was opened in permanent premises at
526 Moseley Road on September 4th 1922.
 
Premises
 
 
Balsall Heath
 

Bank Committee: August 29th 1919

 

The Manager reported that ....

Fresh terms arranged with owners 22 per annum plus rates. Yearly tenancy. 10/- per week originally arranged with tenants.

 

310 RESOLVED:- That the Acting Town Clerk be instructed to prepare and complete agreements for the tenancy of premises at Ladywood, Erdington and Balsall Heath, for Branch Bank purposes.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: January 2nd 1920

 

Special Report of the Manager to the Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee:

 

The "hold ups" which have recently been reported at various Banks compel me to draw your urgent attention to the unsatisfactory condition of several of your premises, and to urge that immediate steps be taken to secure the safety of both money and staff.

 

In accordance with your previous decision, I have supplied each Branch Superintendent and the Chief Cashier at Head Office with a revolver and the necessary ammunition, and instructions to its use have been given by Mr Carver, one of the Superintendents and an ex-officer of His Majesty's Forces. I have further thought it advisable to provide police whistles.

 

With regard to the premises, I have thought it advisable to report upon each one separately as follows:

 

Balsall Heath. For this evening Branch we use a shop front. There is living accommodation behind, and access from one room to the other can be obtained. There is reasonable security here.

 

Bank Committee: March 1st 1920

 

Attention was called to premises at the corner of Clevedon Road Balsall Heath, which it was stated were shortly to be put up for sale by auction. It was understood that the property was now in the market for about 2300. The rental was estimated at 200 per annum. In view of the extension of business in this district and the present inadequate accommodation, it was:

 

435 RESOLVED:- That the Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee be authorised to negotiate with a view to acquiring the premises in question for Branch Bank purposes.

   

Bank Committee: March 29th 1920

 

Report of the Finance & General Purposes Committee:

 

Balsall Heath Branch.

 

Your Sub-Committee recommend that, in view of the results attained in connection with the Balsall Heath Branch, arrangements be made for the same to be opened as a daily Branch.

 

459 RESOLVED:- That the necessary steps be taken to open the Balsall Heath Branch as a daily Branch.

 

Attention was called to premises at the corner of Clevedon Road, Balsall Heath, which it was stated were shortly to be put up for sale by auction. It was understood that the property was now in the market for about 2300. The rental was estimated at 200 per annum. In view of the extension of business in this district and the present inadequate accommodation, it was:

 

Resolved (435): That the Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee be authorised to negotiate with a view to acquiring the premises in question for Branch Bank purposes.

 

173     RESOLVED:- That the Manager be requested to make enquiries for more suitable premises than those referred to in the Balsall Heath District.

 

 

Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee: April 23rd 1920

 

196     RESOLVED:- That Minutes Nos 82 (Premises, Alum Rock and Erdington) and 173 (Premises, Balsall Heath District) be discharged.

 

Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee: December 13th 1920

 

On Minute No 354 the Manager presented the following Report:

 

HEATING & LIGHTING OF BRANCHES.

 

This matter has been carefully looked into by the Chairman, Councillors Gelling and Ward, who have visited the various branches. The position is summarised below with the recommendations:

 

Balsall Heath.

 

The electric heater here would be sufficient were it not for the fact of the constant opening and shutting of doors. As these premises are inadequate, and not in a satisfactory position, it is recommended that as a temporary measure for the winter suitable stoves should be supplied.

 

From the foregoing it will be seen that the general conclusions arrived at are:

 

1. That electric heating is not a satisfactory method, having regard to the nature of the business.

2. That it is necessary to give the impression that the Bank is open during business hours, and to do this the outer door should be opened and vestibules arranged.

3. That where the premises are only in the nature of temporary premises or are otherwise fairly satisfactorily heated, additional warmth should be procured by oil stoves.

 

A statement was submitted showing the comparative costs of electric lighting and heating and gas, and while it was found that during the Christmas and Lady Day quarters last year the electric lighting and heating cost 26 at Sparkbrook and 21 at Lozells, gas lighting and heating at Duddeston and Saltley combined only worked out at 3. 14. 0d. The hours of business at these branches during the periods taken were the same.

 

The electric wires and fittings are on the hire purchase system, the installation becoming the property of the Bank at the expiration of 3 years.

 

The electric radiators are on the permanent hire system, and the agreements are for 3 years. It is recommended that the Electric Supply Department be asked to consent to the cancellation of the agreements in the cases where it is advisable to substitute gas heating.

 

The gas radiators (except in the cases of Aston Cross and Bearwood) are on the permanent hire system and the agreement are for 2 years.

 

It is recommended that Gas Department be asked to consent to the cancellation of the agreements in the cases now on the permanent hire system, and to substitute fresh agreements on the hire purchase system.

 

367     RESOLVED:- That the Report be approved and the General Committee recommended to adopt the recommendations therein contained.

 

Bank Committee: February 21st 1921

 

The Manager reported that, on the authority of the Chairman enquiries had been made as to leasehold property Nos 234-236 Gooch Street consisting of two shops and living accommodation at rear. The property was for sale and vacant possession of one of the shops could be obtained. It was pointed out that a Branch at this point would be far more accessible than the present Branch in the Balsall Heath District (Mary Street) and it was suggested that an Evening Branch be established on the Moseley Road to serve that end of the District.

 

750 RESOLVED:- That the Chairman and Mr Alderman Lovsey be authorised to continue negotiations for the purchase of the said property in Gooch Street (with freehold interest if possible) and that they be empowered to enter into a contract for sale if the property can be acquired at a reasonable price.

   

Bank Committee: March 21st 1921

 

On Minute No 750, the Manager reported that the efforts to acquire the property 234-236 Gooch Street, at a reasonable price had been unsuccessful, and the premises had now been disposed of.

 

757 RESOLVED:- That Minute No 750 be discharged.

  

Finance & General Purposes Committee: May 9th 1921

 

The Sub-Committee were informed that Mr Councillor Appleby and the Manager had inspected premises at the corner of Brighton Road and Moseley Road, the owners of which, it was understood, were prepared to sell. In view of the extensive nature of the property it was:

 

455 RESOLVED:- That no action be taken in the matter.

 

Report of the Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee: May 23rd 1921

 

Branch, Balsall Heath District.

 

With reference to the need for improved branch Bank accommodation in this district, enquiries have been made regarding premises at corner of Moseley Road and Brighton Road. In view of the extensive nature of the property, however, no action was taken in the matter.

 

Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee: October 10th 1921

 

535 RESOLVED:- That Mr Councillor Appleby and the Manager be empowered to obtain a lease of the premises No 526 Moseley Road for the purpose of a Branch Bank at a rental of 50 per annum plus rates, securing if possible an option to renew; also that they be authorised to agree a payment in respect of fixtures not exceeding 150.

 

Bank Committee: October 14th 1921

 

Report of the Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee:

 

Branch Bank Premises, Moseley Road.

 

Negotiations have been in progress for obtaining suitable premises to serve the Moseley District. An opportunity has now occurred of obtaining the lease of No 526, Moseley Road, for 6 years at a rental of 50 per annum plus rates, subject to a let off of the living accommodation at 13/9 per week clear. In addition it would be necessary to acquire the fixtures. Your Sub-Committee have referred the matter to Mr Councillor Appleby and the Manager with authority to obtain the lease of the above premises securing, if possible, an option to renew, and with power to agree an amount (not exceeding 150) in respect of the fixtures.

 

Your Sub-Committee now ask that their action in the matter be confirmed, and that providing satisfactory terms are agreed, the Town Clerk be instructed to enter into and, if necessary affix the Corporate Seal to any requisite documents in the matter.

 

With reference to the paragraph in the foregoing Report as to 526 Moseley Road, the Committee were informed that further negotiations had taken place with Messrs Shaw Gilbert & Carver. Arrangements had now been made for the lease of the premises (which included living accommodation, let off at 13/9 per week) to be assigned to the Bank for a period of 5 years at a rental of 50 per annum plus rates. On the authority of the Chairman, the sum of 175 had been agreed as payment in respect of tenant's fixtures.

 

936 RESOLVED:- That the action taken in regard to No 526 Moseley Road be confirmed, and that the Town Clerk be instructed to prepare, and if necessary, attach the Corporate Seal to any requisite documents in the matter.

 

Bank Committee: November 14th 1921

 

On Minute No 936 (526 Moseley Road) the Manager reported as follows:

 

 re 526 Mosley Road.

 

The Committee will remember that at the last meeting the proposal to take over the lease of the above premises for the remaining period, viz, 5 years, was approved; also that the shop fixtures should be taken too, and possession given in consideration of a payment being made to the tenant of 175.

 

On examination of the lease the Town Clerk drew attention to certain conditions which stipulated that the consent of the landlord must be obtained to any structural alterations, and that the premises should only be used for the trade of a tailor or costumier. The landlord was approached, both through the tenant's solicitors and direct, but was not prepared to give his consent or alter the terms of the lease.

 

The Manager, acting on the instructions of the Chairman, thereupon opened negotiations with Mr Bates, the owner, for purchase of the property, which is freehold. Negotiations continued until finally Mr Bates agreed to sell the property for 1100 which figure the Manager agreed to.

 

The property consists of a dwelling house with shop, is situate in a prominent position in the Moseley Road (near Clifton Road) and in the opinion of the late Committee is suitable for a permanent Branch of the Bank.

 

The shop is a large one, occupying a space of 22'2" x 14'8". The property appears in fair outside repair but requires internal repairs and decoration. The dwelling portion is at present sub-let, the standard rent being 9/- per week clear, and the present rent is 13/7 per week clear. The rental is very low for the accommodation provided, viz two attics (one very large), large bed-sitting room, two other bedrooms and a box room, sitting room and kitchen, enclosed yard and two cellars.

 

The Chairman and Manager are of opinion that the agreement reached is a reasonable one, and they ask the Committee to confirm their action, which has been taken as a matter of urgency.

 

962 RESOLVED:- That the action of the Chairman and Manager above referred to be confirmed; that the Council be asked to approve the acquisition of No 526 Moseley Road for Branch Bank purposes at the sum of 1100, and that subject to such approval, the Town Clerk be instructed to enter into and attach the Corporate Seal to any requisite documents.

 

Report of the Bank Committee to the City Council: December 6th 1921

 

NEW PREMISES FOR MOSELEY AND BALSALL HEATH.

 

Your Committee have been in negotiation for permanent premises to meet the needs of the Moseley and Balsall Heath districts, and have been successful in securing property which they are of opinion will be satisfactory for the purpose of a Branch Bank.

 

This property (indicated by pink edging on the plan "A" annexed to this report) is situate at 526, Moseley Road.

 

It is freehold, and consists of a dwelling-house and shop. The dwelling-house accommodation is sublet at 13s. 9d. per week, including rates, and the shop portion is immediately available for the use of the Bank.

 

The Committee have agreed to purchase the property for the sum of 1,100, such amount to be defrayed out of the funds of the Bank, and in accordance with No 10 of the Bank Rules, they ask for the approval of the Council to their action.

 

Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee: December 12th 1921

 

544 The Manager reported as follows:

 

Moseley Road Premises.

 

These premises are sufficiently large to suit the requirements of a permanent Bank without the taking in of any of the dwelling portion, and are capable of adaption thereof. The present Balsall Heath Branch in Mary Street is less than mile distant from the Moseley Road premises, and after classifying the addresses of depositors in that Branch the Manager is of opinion that the Branch should be transferred from Mary Street to Moseley Road. The Staff at Balsall Heath Branch have been consulted, and they are of opinion that the present depositors can, in the main, be persuaded to use the Moseley Road premises. We may lose a few depositors, but it is anticipated we shall gain considerably by the larger premises being on a main thoroughfare. The Committee are accordingly recommended to approve of such a course being adopted, and the present tenancy of Mary Street terminated.

 

The premises have been viewed by Members of the Committee, who are of opinion that whatever structural alterations are necessary to make the premises suitable for the needs of a permanent Bank, should be done before the transfer is effected from Mary Street, and it is accordingly recommended that a plan be prepared, and that in dealing with this matter special regard should be paid to the cellaring under the shop.

 

559 RESOLVED:- That the Manager be instructed to obtain plan and particulars of the requisite structural alterations to the Moseley Road premises for the purpose of adapting the same as a permanent Branch, and to submit the same to the next meeting of this Sub-Committee.

 

560 RESOLVED:- That the General Committee be recommended to authorise steps to be taken to transfer the present branch at Balsall Heath to the premises in Moseley Road above referred to, when the requisite alterations to same have been carried out, and to instruct the Town Clerk to determine the tenancy of 148 Mary Street, when necessary. 

 

 

                                                                                                              Continued ....

 

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