Premises - Hockley
The following Minutes have been extracted from the records
of the Bank's General Committee and its Sub-Committees.
The Minutes cover the period when the Bank was establishing a branch network, mostly in temporary accommodation, but eventually in permanent premises. In the case of Hockley, however, a property suitable for conversion into a permanent branch was found at 2 Soho Hill, and opened on a daily basis on January 19th 1924. Extension of the branch into 4 Soho Hill occurred in 1926.

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


544 The Manager reported as follows:


Premises, Great Hampton Row.


Important corner premises are for sale in this area. Mr A J Smith has visited the site, and reports that they are at the junction of Great Hampton Row and New John Street West, situate on the Wheeler Street tram route, and in the midst of a thickly populated working-class district. The premises comprise, large corner shop 30 ft x 25 ft with gateway in New John Street West. The premises are leasehold, 56 years unexpired, with a ground rent of 20. The advertised price is 1,500, but Mr Smith was told the purchase price was 1,400 and doubtless could be negotiated at a lower figure. The Manager has taken no further steps in the matter pending the decision of the Committee as to whether they consider the position a suitable one for a new Branch.


568 RESOLVED:- That the Chairman and Mr Councillor Poole be requested to visit the premises at the junction of Great Hampton Row and New John Street West, referred to in the Manager's report, and to report as to their suitability for branch bank purposes.


Bank Committee: November 13th 1922


The Committee were informed that an opportunity had arisen of securing premises for Branch bank purposes situate at 2 and 4 Soho Hill, Hockley Brook. The following report of Mr Frank Wilde with reference to the property and as to his enquiries in regard hereto was submitted:


October 25th 1922


2/4 Soho Hill, Hockley Brook.


In accordance with your instructions I have made a careful inspection of the exteriors of Nos 2/4 Soho Hill, Hockley Brook but in deference to the wishes of the owner my examination of the interior of No 2 was of a cursory nature and I refrained from inspecting the interior of No 4.


The Buildings are modern of a most substantial nature and would be easily adaptable for your Bank at a small outlay.


The elevation is both attractive and imposing, consisting of bright red facing brick with Terra Cotta dressings.


In my opinion the situation is a good one, the Property occupying a position at the corner of a wide passageway connecting Soho Hill and Hockley Hill with Hunters Road. The Birmingham Co-operative Society have a shop in Soho Hill immediately opposite and a large Garage and new Picture Theatre are adjacent. The site is made additionally attractive by the convergence of a number of thoroughfares in close proximity.


The accommodation, as near as I was able to gather, is identical for the two Houses consisting I believe of:

GROUND FLOOR:  Shop and Scullery.


FIRST FLOOR:        Two Rooms, Kitchen and Pantry.

SECOND FLOOR:   Three bedrooms, Boxroom and WC.

The outbuildings include WC and Coals, is paved yard with back approach.


The interior measurements of the Corner Shop are 290 deep by 180 at front, tapering to a back dimension of 150


I am of opinion that you should acquire the Freehold of both these Shops if possible, but the Owner would much prefer to Let the Corner Shop and is asking a rental of 125 and rates, however in conversation he said he might sell, but would require 2,500 for No 2 with immediate vacant possession and about 1000 for No 4 which is at present Let at 60 per annum and Rates. These figures on the surface appear disproportionate but I understand that Mr Smith the Owner went to considerable trouble in covering over the Stream in order to construct the passageway referred to in this report. In addition he paid the Riparian Owner on the other side of the Stream 50 for his rights in order that he might construct such passage. The Tower erected over the Corner, though in my opinion useless, would be expensive. All this would account for the difference in his ideas as to price of the two Shops.


The frontage to Soho Hill of No 2 is 196 and that of No 4 146 with a total depth of 676.


Having regard to the importance of the position and the very substantial nature of the Buildings and paying due regard to the fact that the Owner would require some inducement to sever these two Shops from the remainder of his Freehold Investment, I am of opinion that his idea as to price (ie 3,500) is not altogether unreasonable, but that the value of the Property with immediate vacant possession of the Ground Floor and Basement of No 2, and subject to the existing Tenancies of No 4 (which is let at the Pre-War Rental of 60-0-0.) and the Dwelling Accommodation of No 2, (which is let at 13/6 per week clear) is THREE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED POUNDS. (3200.)


A Lease for twenty-one years of the corner Shop could be obtained at 125-0-0 per annum, with immediate possession of the Shop and Basement only, but I consider 100-0-0 per annum and Rates would be an adequate Rent. I do not, however, recommend a Tenancy for your purposes.


Awaiting your further instructions.


1259 RESOLVED: That that matter be referred to the Chairman and Manager with authority to direct Mr Wilde to continue negotiations with the object of acquiring the premises for a sum not exceeding 3,500.


Bank Committee: December 18th 1922


On Minute No 1259 (Negotiations for the purchase of 2-4 Soho Hill) the Committee were informed that this matter would be dealt with on the presentation of the report of the General Purposes Sub-Committee.


1284 The following report of the General Purposes Sub-Committee was presented:


Purchase of Property 2 and 4 Soho Hill, Hockley Brook.


It will be recollected that your Committee at their last Meeting, authorised negotiations with a view to the purchase of the above property for a sum not exceeding 3500. Your Sub-Committee report that Mr Wilde, acting on the authority of the Chairman of your Committee, has been able to purchase the same for the sum of 3325.


Your Sub-Committee recommend that the Council be asked to approve of the purchase of this freehold property at the sum named, and that the Town Clerk be instructed, subject to such approval, to prepare and affix the Corporate Seal to any necessary document in the matter.


1289 RESOLVED:- That the Council be asked to approve the purchase of freehold property Nos 2 and 4 Soho Hill, Hockley Brook, for Branch Bank purposes at the sum of 3,325; and that subject to such approval, the Town Clerk be instructed to prepare and attach the Corporate Seal to any necessary documents in the matter.


Report of the Bank Committee to the City Council: January 9th 1923:




Your Committee report that they have been able to secure suitable premises for Branch Bank purposes in the Hockley Brook district, in which there is at present no Branch of the Bank.


The freehold property is situate at Nos 2 and 4, Soho Hill, and consists of two shops with dwelling accommodation.


Immediate vacant possession could be obtained of the ground floor and basement of No 2, and this accommodation would be sufficient to meet the present requirements of the Bank. The dwelling accommodation of No 2 is let at 13s 6d per week inclusive of rates, and the tenancies of No 4 (shop and dwelling accommodation) are let at a rental of 60 per annum, plus rates.


Your Committee have agreed to the purchase at the sum of 3,325, which amount they consider reasonable in view of the excellence of the situation and the good condition of the buildings. The amount in question will be provided from the funds of the Bank and in accordance with No 10 of the Bank Rules, the Committee now ask for the approval of the Council to their action.


General Purposes Sub-Committee: February 12th 1923


The General Manager reported that possession of No 2 Soho Hill would be given on the 15th inst and as it was intended to open the premises as a Daily Branch he suggested that the premises should be viewed by the Sub-Committee to determine whether any structural alterations should take place before the premises were opened. The General Manager pointed out the difficulties which would arise in carrying out structural alterations during the occupation of the premises by the Bank and he was of opinion that certain alterations might with advantage be undertaken before the premises were actually opened, and that such alterations might form part of the larger scheme when possession of No 4 Soho Hill could be obtained. The Sub-Committee, being in agreement with the General Manager's view,


260 RESOLVED:- That the Chairman of this Sub-Committee with Alderman Simpson and Councillor Appleby together with the General Manager be empowered to decide what alterations should be undertaken at the present time and give the necessary directions reporting their action in due course to this Sub-Committee.


Bank Committee: February 19th 1923


On Minute No 1289, the Town Clerk presented the following report:


February 14th 1923

2 & 4, Soho Hill.

Smith to the Corporation.


I have to report that the purchase of the above premises has now been completed in accordance with your instructions.


I understand that the adjoining portion of Hockley Brook was covered over by the Vendor several years ago, and the conveyance includes all his estate and interest in the site of the passage over the brook but is subject as to this site to the rights (if any) of the adjoining owner.


1345 RESOLVED:- That Minute No 1289 be discharged.


General Purposes Sub-Committee: February 26th 1923


On Minute No 260, the General Manager reported that in accordance with the directions contained therein, members of the Sub-Committee had inspected the premises Nos 2 and 4 Soho Hill, and had come to the conclusion that the alterations to be made at No 2 Soho Hill, should form part of the General Scheme to be carried out when possession of No 4 can be obtained and the compete alteration proceeded with. The plan prepared by Mr McMichael to meet the views expressed was submitted. The approximate cost of the immediate alterations required was stated to be 550. It was though desirable that Mr McMichael should inspect the adjoining shop No 4 and ascertain if there was any drawback to the proposals, and it was:


268    RESOLVED:- That, subject to Mr McMichael being satisfied on inspection of the adjoining premises that the proposals indicated on the plan will be satisfactory, the plan be approved subject to minor alterations pointed out to the General Manager and that the latter be authorised to obtain tenders for the carrying out of the work.


General Purposes Sub-Committee: March 12th 1923


287 On Minute No 268 (Alterations to No 2 Soho Hill) the General Manager stated that the question of obtaining tenders had been deferred until the question of adequate support in the covered passage alongside the building had been settled.


General Purposes Sub-Committee: March 19th 1923


On Minute No 268, Mr McMichael (Architect) produced the plan (already approved) of proposed alterations at No 2 Soho Hill.


The question was considered as to whether the existing wood fascia should be retained or a new stone fascia introduced for No 2 which would form part of the complete stone fascia when the shop No 4 was available.


298     RESOLVED:- That the General Manager, in conference with the Architect, be instructed to obtain Tenders for the carrying out of the required work in stone as at other Branches, provision being made for a temporary lettering of the fascia until it is possible to proceed with the full alteration scheme.


General Purposes Sub-Committee: April 9th 1923


On Minutes Nos 268 and 298 (Alterations to No 2 Soho Hill) the General Manager stated that he had notified the Architect that tenders would be invited from seven firms for this work as soon as the Bills of Quantities were ready.


310     RESOLVED:- That the action taken be confirmed.


General Purposes Sub-Committee: May 14th 1923


On Minutes Nos 268 and 298, the following tenders were received and considered for the carrying out of the work at No 2, Soho Hill, Hockley Brook:

            F J Briley                   1,068

           Surman & Son              905

           Sapcote & Sons         1,138

            T Elvins & Sons           817

           G Webb & Co               925

           P Cox                           915

           R Fenwick                  1,080


After consideration of the above tenders it was:

336     RESOLVED:- That the General Committee be recommended to accept the lowest tender, that of Messrs T Elvins & Sons at 870 for the carrying out of the work, the same to be completed within a period of four months from the order to commence work. and to instruct the Town Clerk to prepare and seal the necessary contract.


The General Manager reported as to notice to quit sent by Mr Wilde to the tenant of No 4, Soho Hill, and as a reply received by him from the tenant's Solicitors. It was:

350     RESOLVED:- That the Town Clerk be instructed to serve the requisite notice on the tenant of No 4, Soho Hill for the termination of his tenancy at June 1924.


Bank Committee: May 28th 1923


1433 The following report of the General Purposes Sub-Committee was received:


Alterations at No 2 Soho Hill, Hockley Brook.


Your Sub-Committee report that they have received Tenders for the carrying out of the required work at No 2, Soho Hill, Hockley Brook. The alterations form part of a Scheme which it is proposed shall include No 4 Soho Hill when it is possible to obtain possession, and an extension of the Branch is required.


Your Sub-Committee recommend that the lowest tender, that of Messrs T Elvins & Sons at 870 be accepted for the carrying out of the work, and that the Town Clerk be instructed to prepare and affix the Corporate Seal to the necessary contract.


Your Sub-Committee have fixed a period of 4 months from the order to commence as the time within which the alterations should be completed.


1434 RESOLVED: That the tender of Messrs T Elvins & Sons at the sum of 870 for the carrying out of the necessary alterations at No 2 Soho Hill be accepted; and that the Town Clerk be instructed to prepare and affix the Corporate Seal to the requisite Contract.


Bank Committee: June 18th 1923


On Minute No 1434, the following report of the Town Clerk relating to the preparation and sealing of the Contract with Messrs T Elvins & Sons for alterations at No 2, Soho Hill, was presented:


June 11th 1923

Alterations and additions to No 2 Soho Hill.

Messrs T Elvins & Sons.


I have prepared, completed and affixed the Corporate Seal to a Contract with Messrs T Elvins & Sons, relating to the above mentioned work.


1453 RESOLVED: That Minute No 1434 be discharged.


1529 The following report of the Finance Sub-Committee was received:


Tenders accepted.

During and since the vacation the following tenders have been accepted for work, which is proceeding:

L J Palmer & Co      Electric Lights at Hockley Branch - 25. 10. 0d.

Gas Department       Heating arrangements for Hockley Branch - 80. 12. 6d


1532 RESOLVED:- That the action taken in accepting Tenders during and since the vacation for the provision of lighting and heating arrangements at Hockley Branch, as indicated in the foregoing Report, be approved and confirmed.



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