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Premises - Small Heath
 
The following Minutes have been extracted from the records
of the Bank's General Committee and its Sub-Committees.
 
The Minutes cover the period up to December 31st 1931, including the early years of the Bank as a branch network was being established.
 
Small Heath branch was initially opened on September 1st 1919 in Green Lane Baths. Shortly afterwards, the branch was relocated to 417 Coventry Road. A permanent site was then found at 479 Coventry Road that saw the branch opened there on September 25th 1922.
 
Premises
 
 
Small Heath
 

Bank Committee: August 29th 1919

 

With reference to premises at Small Heath the Manager stated that he had seen Mr Hoggins, the Baths Department Engineer, and an arrangement had been made with him for the use of the Green Lane Baths in connection with the Social Institute Committee. Mr Hoggins was putting repairs in hand and arranging to provide temporary accommodation for the Bank, which would be satisfactory for the time being. With regard to the premises at the corner of Jenkins Street and Coventry Road the Manager reported that he had an offer of these at 1,600 freehold. He read letter from the City Treasurer with reference to the purchase of premises at Small Heath when the subject was previously under consideration. The Committee discussed the matter, and it was,

 

306 RESOLVED:- That subject to the approval of the Council, steps be taken to purchase the premises at the corner of Jenkins Street and Coventry Road for use as a Branch Bank, at the sum of 1,600.

 

Bank Committee: September 22nd 1919

 

Report of Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee:

 

With regard to the decision of your Committee to acquire premises at the corner of Coventry Road and Jenkins Street for use as a branch bank, your Sub-Committee have given consideration to how this purchase can best be carried through, and the purchase money provided, and they have referred the matter to the Lord Mayor and Chairman to consider in conference with the Acting Town Clerk and City Treasurer.

 

On Minute 306, it was

 

324 RESOLVED:- That the Estates Committee be requested to purchase the old Bank premises at the corner of Coventry Road and Jenkins Street and to rent a portion of the same to this Committee for use as a Branch Bank.

 

Bank Committee: October 6th 1919

 

On Minute No 324, the Committee were informed that the premises at the corner of Coventry Road and Jenkins Street had been sold to another tenant but that other premises had been secured at 417 Coventry Road.

 

340 RESOLVED:- That Minute No 324 be discharged.

 

Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee: October 27th 1919

 

39 On Minute No 26 the Manager reported that he was having some necessary repairs carried out at 417 Coventry Road and the date of opening would be announced in due course.

 

Bank Committee: November 3rd 1919

 

The Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee presented the following report:

 

Branch Bank Premises.

With reference to Minute No 340, the premises at No 417 Coventry Road have been secured for branch bank purposes at a rental of 30 per annum clear. Certain necessary repairs are now being carried out and it is intended to open the branch on Monday 3rd November.

 

357 RESOLVED:- That the Report of the Finance and General Purposes Sub-Committee be approved.

 

Bank Committee: November 14th 1919

 

368 [The Chairman] stated that shop premises in Coventry Road, Small Heath, had been secured for a Branch Bank, and that considerable development of business had taken place since the opening of this Branch.

 

Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee: November 21st 1919

 

73        RESOLVED:- That the Chairman of the General Committee and the Manager be instructed to deal with the question of the needed alterations for the purpose of improving the security of the Branch Bank premises at Small Heath, Ladywood, Lozells and Sparkbrook, reporting to this Sub-Committee thereon.

 

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:

 

Small Heath. The premises here are a lock-up shop with room behind. The landlord has the right to use the shop during certain hours for hoisting timber up into the room above, which is used by him as a work room. The rear of the premises are used by a firm of painters and decorators. Access from the back is fairly easy, and it might be well to place bars across the window of the ante-room.

 

Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee: January 2nd 1920

 

[Extract from Report of the Assistant Chief Constable, regarding the security of premises, on a visit of inspection that had been made to branches on December 17th 1919]

 

Small Heath. Good Yale locks should be on three doors, or the doors screwed up. Strong iron bars outside window at back would be a protection. Safe should be raised 2 feet as to be seen by police.

 

Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee: January 30th 1920

 

Security of Branch Banks. Members of the Committee have, since the last meeting, visited the Branch Banks with the view of adopting measures for the safe custody of the cash and the better protection of the staff. The reports of the Manager and Assistant Chief Constable been considered and certain directions given thereon as follows:

 

Small Heath.

 

Bars to be put across one door and window, and an iron plate over the other. Better locks to be fixed. Safe to be raised two feet from floor.

 

The Chief Constable has notified the police covering the whole areas to pay particular attention to the Bank premises and has issued a full list of Police Stations with telephone numbers.

 

Having regard to the continued raids on banks and Post Offices, it might be desirable to fix a bell outside each daily Branch, which can be operated from inside by the foot.

 

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

 

189 The Manager reported that enquiries had been made with reference to premises at Camp Hill and Great Lister Street, but the negotiations had fallen through in each case.

 

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:

Small Heath.

 

These premises are somewhat protected, and while the electric radiator is a satisfactory one in the general office, its effect is to give a local heat. Having regard to the fact that these premises cannot be regarded as permanent premises, it is recommended to continue the electric heating and to supply an additional heater. To introduce a gas radiator at the moment would cost 12. 18. 6d. The question of supplying an outer gate or arranging a vestibule is important, as the premises have a closed appearance during hours of business. It is recommended that a suitable gate be fixed.

 

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 content 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.

  

General Purposes Sub-Committee: January 10th 1921

 

On Minute No 375, the Manager reported as follows:

 

The owner of the present premises is disposed to sell, and Mr Wilde has been instructed to negotiate for purchase with entire vacant possession.

 

While it is in the interests of the Bank to obtain possession of these premises, the Manager cannot advise the Committee to regard them as suitable for a permanent Bank, and is of opinion the Committee should consider the obtaining of a permanent site for a permanent Bank to be set up at a more favourable time.

 

392 RESOLVED:- That consideration of the matter be adjourned pending receipt of Mr Wilde's Report.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: February 14th 1921

 

On Minute No 375, the Manager reported that Mr Wilde had made enquiries as to the possibility of acquiring the Branch Bank premises 417 Coventry Road, but the price required (675) was considerably above the value of the property.

 

407 RESOLVED:- That the Manager be authorised to make enquiries as to other premises suitable for a Branch Bank in this District.

 

Finance & General Purposes Committee: June 13th 1921

 

On Minute No 407, the Manager submitted a Report from Mr F Wilde on his inspection of a freehold house in Coventry Road, Small Heath, which property there was a possibility of being able to secure for Branch Bank purposes. The Chairman of the Committee (Mr Councillor Appleby) having visited the house with the Manager had instructed Mr Wilde to negotiate with a view to purchasing the property, which it was understood there was a likelihood of acquiring for about 1,000.

 

460 RESOLVED:- That the action of Mr Councillor Appleby be approved and that the General Committee be recommended to authorise him to negotiate for the acquisition of the property at a sum not exceeding 1,000.

 

Bank Committee: June 20th 1921

 

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

 

Small Heath Branch.

Your Sub-Committee have had before them a Report from Mr F Wilde on his inspection of a freehold house in Coventry Road, Small Heath which property there was a possibility of being able to secure for Branch Bank purposes. The Chairman of your Committee (Mr Councillor Appleby) having visited the house with the Manager had instructed Mr Wilde to negotiate with a view to purchasing the property, which it was understood there was a likelihood of acquiring for about 1,000. Your Sub-Committee have approved the Chairman's action in the matter, and now recommend that he be authorised to carry through the negotiations with a view to purchasing the property at the figure mentioned.

 

With reference to the paragraph in the foregoing Report relating to the freehold house No 479, Coventry Road, the Committee were informed that it would probably not be possible to acquire the property for the figure mentioned, viz, 1,000. A further letter was submitted from Mr Wilde stating that the price required was now 1,250.

 

840 RESOLVED:- That the matter be referred to the Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee for reconsideration, with authority to carry out negotiations for the acquisition of the property at such sum as they may consider reasonable, not exceeding 1,250.

 

Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee: July 11th 1921

 

480 On Minutes Nos 407 and 460, the following communication from the General Committee was received:

 

With reference to the paragraph in the report of the Finance and General Purposes Sub-Committee relating to the freehold house No 479, Coventry Road, the Committee were informed that it would probably not be possible to acquire the property for the figure viz: 1,000.

 

A further letter was submitted from Mr Wilde stating that the price required was now 1,250.

840 RESOLVED:- That the matter be referred to the Finance and General Purposes Sub-Committee for reconsideration with authority to carry out negotiations for the acquisition of the property at such sum as they may consider reasonable not exceeding 1,250.

 

Bank Committee: September 19th 1921

 

Report to Committee:

Coventry Road premises.

Messrs Grimley & Sons now offer the present Bank premises for sale at 900. The property is leasehold for 68 years unexpired. There are two other tenancies which expire September 1922.

Mr Frank Wilde has the refusal of two shops Nos 433 and 435 Coventry Road at 1,000 each freehold, now used for Labour Exchange purposes, and which are leased for a period of 18 years with options to determine early. [This second paragraph was deleted in pencil.]

 

911 RESOLVED:- That Messrs Grimley & Sons be thanked for their offer to sell the present Bank premises No 417, Coventry Road, but that they be informed that this Committee are not prepared to purchase the property in question.

 

Bank Committee: October 3rd 1921

 

The Manager reported that, acting on the authority contained in Minute No 840, arrangements had now been made for the acquisition of freehold property No 479, Coventry Road, Small Heath, for the sum of 1,100. Completion was due to take place on the 14th November next.

 

It was pointed out that the property was subject to a covenant not to use it for any purpose other than that of a private dwellinghouse and the vendor would require an indemnity against any future breach.

 

918 RESOLVED:- That the Council be asked to approve the acquisition of No 479, Coventry Road, Small Heath, at the sum of 1,100, such sum to be defrayed out of the Bank funds and that, subject to such approval, the Town Clerk be instructed to enter into and attach the Corporate Seal to any requisite documents in the matter and that the vendor be indemnified against any future breach of the covenant above referred to.

 

 

 

 

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