Premises - Harborne
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 Harborne, the branch was initially opened in a room in Harborne Library (left); after four years a property was purchased at 283 High Street - after refurbishment, these premises were opened as a permanent branch on February 2nd 1924.

Bank Committee: November 3rd 1919


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


Branch Bank Premises.

With regard to the Harborne Branch, negotiations are at present pending with regard to other accommodation in this district and a further report will be made to the Committee thereon at a later date.


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


Bank Committee: March 1st 1920


The Chairman stated that enquiries had been made as to shop and premises situate at 171 High Street, Harborne. A letter from Mr Wilde dated 26th February 1920, stated that these premises were let on an annual tendency at £45, a year plus rates, and the tenant would require for fittings and fixtures on giving up possession.


The following further letter from Mr Wilde on the matter was read:


Union Chambers

63 Temple Row


1st March 1920


Dear Sir,


re 171, High Street, Harborne.


Referring to my letter of the 26th ultimo. I called upon the Agent for the Owner of the above Premises on Saturday last, and he acquainted me with the intention to give the Tenant six months' notice at Ladyday next, in accordance with their Agreement. He further informed me he was not in a position to deal with the Premises for a month or so, but would then consider my application.


I have made a cursory inspection of the Fixtures, for which the Tenant asks £200. It is doubtful if they would realise more than £50, if removed.


As for the Rent Act stands at present, the Tenant has no protection after 1st July next, and in addition he has sub-let the Dwelling Accommodation, which makes his position even more problematical under the Act.


Taking all the circumstances into consideration, I regret I am forced to the conclusion that it is useless to treat with the Tenant, and that the matter must remain in abeyance for a time, with a view, if possible, to an arrangement with the Landlord at a later date.


Yours faithfully,

(signed) Frank Wilde


Bank Committee: May 3rd 1920


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


171 High Street, Harborne.


With reference to your Committee's Minute No 434, the Agent who has been negotiating in the matter has been informed that the premises have been sold.


Enquiries are being made as to the leasing of Nos 174 or 176 High Street, and, in the event of negotiations being satisfactory your Sub-Committee will report further in the matter later.


434 RESOLVED:- That the foregoing communication be referred to the Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee, with a view to negotiations being continued at a later date.


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


The Manager presented the following Report as to proposed opening of additional daily Branches:




The question of providing additional facilities at certain branches now open during evening hours only has been under consideration. The additional staff provides an opportunity for carrying out this policy a little earlier than would have been recommended in the ordinary development of the Bank. The branches which have shown a satisfactory development during the past twelve months as set out below:                                           

 No of open
 No of trans-
 actions during
the year.
 Amount due
during the
 Kings Heath

In the case of Bearwood the premises are let to the Bank on a yearly tenancy, and the same rent and rates would be payable whether used during the evenings only or as a daily branch. The success of this Branch is due, in the Manager's opinion, to the enthusiasm of the Clerk-in-charge, Mr C Danks. The books are kept in a first-rate manner, and the Branch stands out prominently as a well conducted evening branch. It is recommended to offer Mr Danks the appointment on the branch becoming a daily branch, on the terms applicable to Grade B.


In the case of Harborne, the branch is conducted in the Public Library, which is an unsatisfactory arrangement. Up to the present it has not been possible to obtain other premises. It is therefore proposed to continue as at present at Harborne until suitable premises are obtained, when the branch could then be made into a daily branch.


In the case of Kings Heath, the premises were purchased by the Bank, and as a temporary arrangement the business has been carried on in a very narrow shop which was originally a gateway entrance. Mr McMichael has been instructed to report upon the premises, and to advise the Committee how the same can be made into a suitable Bank. It is felt that the most appropriate time to open this branch as a daily branch will be when the structural alterations have been made.


In the case of Erdington, the premises are suitable for a daily branch. The same rent and rates are payable whether used as a daily or evening branch. It is recommended that this branch be opened daily as and from the 1st September next.


486 RESOLVED:- That the Manager's Report be approved and the General Committee recommended to authorise the opening of Erdington and Bearwood Branches as Daily Branches as and from 1st September next and Kings Heath Branch when the increased accommodation is available.


Bank Committee: July 18th 1921


Report of the Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee:


Opening of additional Daily Branches.

Your Sub-Committee have had before them a report of the Manager with regard to the opening of certain evening branches as daily branches. The additional staff available under the recent arrangements with the Water Department provides an opportunity of carrying out this arrangement at an earlier date than would otherwise occur in the ordinary development of the Bank.


The Evening Branches which have shown a satisfactory development during the past 12 months are as follows:

Bearwood, Harborne, King's Heath and Erdington.


With regard to Harborne, your Sub-Committee are of opinion that the opening of a daily branch should be deferred until more suitable premises in this district have been obtained.


In view of the prospective enlargement of the Branch premises at King's Heath, they are also of opinion that the opening as a daily branch should be deferred until the extended accommodation is available.


In the cases of Bearwood and Erdington, however, the existing premises are quite suitable for opening as daily branches, and such an arrangement would not involve any additional payment of rent or rates.


It is now recommended, therefore, that instructions should be given for the opening of the Erdington and Bearwood Branches as daily branches as and from the 1st September next, and that the King's Heath Branch be opened as a daily Branch when the increased accommodation is available.


871 RESOLVED:- That the Erdington and Bearwood Branches be opened as Daily Branches as from 1st September next; that the Kings Heath Branch be opened as a Daily Branch when the necessary increased accommodation is available; and that the Manager be instructed to arrange accordingly.


General Purposes Sub-Committee: February 12th 1923


The General Manager reported that property at 283 High Street Harborne had been offered to the Bank and also that Councillor Appleby was of opinion that property 355 High Street Harborne might be obtained. With Councillor Appleby the General Manager had visited both the sites, and it was considered that the latter site was the most suitable for the Bank. This property is in the middle of a block between Lordswood Road and Serpentine Road and comes within a proposed widening scheme of the Corporation who are already the owners of two properties in this area. Councillor Appleby was of opinion that as the whole of the property was only of a poor description, and the necessity for widening at this part of High Street was becoming urgent, it was desirable for joint action to be taken by the Public Works etc Committee and the Bank Committee in the matter.


259    RESOLVED:- That Councillors Appleby and Stephens with the General Manager be requested to confer with the Public Works etc Committee as to the desirability of joint action being taken for purchase of the portion of the block of property above referred to not already acquired by the Corporation and to consider in the event of such purchase being agreed the fixing of a suitable site for the erection of a Branch Bank.


General Purposes Sub-Committee: March 12th 1923


On Minute No 259 (Negotiations - 355 High Street, Harborne) the General Manager reported that after consultation with the Public Works Department, the Chairman of the General Committee and himself were of opinion that the Scheme suggested would not be practicable.


The question had been considered of the acquisition of No 283 High Street, Harborne, as an alternative. The City Surveyor expressed the opinion that the premises in question would not require very much alteration for adaptation as a temporary Branch Bank.


The General Manager submitted a report of Mr Frank Wilde dated 5th February 1923 relating to these premises:


Frank Wilde & Glover,

Daimler House,

33, Paradise Street,




Referring to your letter of the 31st ultimo, I have made an inspection of the shop and premises No 283 High Street, Harborne. The accommodation comprises:


On the GROUND FLOOR: Retail Sale Shop which by the removal of two short studded partitions would leave an open floor 24' wide by 26' deep with an iron column in the centre. Sitting room, Kitchen with h & c water on Sink and pantry.


On the FIRST FLOOR: Landing, Five Bedrooms, Linen closet and combined Bathroom and W.C.


On the SECOND FLOOR: Large Attic.


Outside in small garden is a Coal House.


This Freehold Property the building of which was completed early in 1914 is of very fair construction and stands on a plot of land having a Total Area of about 300 sq.yds. With a frontage of 34ft, part of such frontage being occupied by an 8' Gateway over which is built the upper storey of the adjoining Property. The Buildings are set back about 8 feet from the footpath.


I consider the position is a good one, likely to improve, and the buildings lend themselves admirably to your purposes.


I am of opinion that the Market Value of the Property is TWO THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY POUNDS (£2,250. 0. 0.)


I have had an interview with Mr Southam the Owner, and after some discussion he reduced the figure of £3,500 he was asking, to £3,000, but I informed him that my Client would not be likely to entertain the proposition at anything like this amount.


I understand from Mr Southam that he has offered his Property to the Birmingham Co-operative Society, who occupy a Shop adjoining, and are also the Owners of the Freehold on either side, but they have decided not to purchase it.


Awaiting your further instructions.




After discussion it was:

283     RESOLVED:- That the Chairman of the General Committee and the General Manager be authorised to negotiate for the acquisition of the property at a reasonable price and that Minute No 259 be discharged.



                                                                                                       Continued ....



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