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 up to November 1938 which include the
early years of the Bank as a branch network was being established.
 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.

Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee: October 6th 1919


27 The Manager stated that he had instructed Mr Wilde, Agent, to make enquiries with regard to certain property at Harborne, which was being advertised. He had also requested Mr Wilde to come to terms with the owner of the premises 249 and 251 High Street, Erdington.


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


33 On Minute No 27 the Manager reported that he had interviewed the Manager of the London City and Midland Bank with reference to premises at Harborne, and he was awaiting further information from him after he had completed negotiations with certain other people who were interested in the matter.


34 The Manager also reported that negotiations were in hand with regard to premises at the corner of Serpentine Road and High Street, Harborne, which would be far more suitable than the premises at use in Harborne.


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.


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


65 On Minute No 27, the Manager reported that no further information had been received from the London City and Midland Bank with reference to premises at Harborne.


General Purposes Sub-Committee: January 2nd 1920


90        RESOLVED:- That Minutes Nos 12 (Dunlop Rubber Co, premises at Aston Cross) 27 (Negotiations for Branch Bank premises at Harborne) and 78 (Training of Branch Bank Staffs) be discharged.


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:


Harborne. A room at the Library is used here on alternate days. The premises being in constant public use the risk here is not great.


Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee: February 27th 1920


The following letter from Mr Wilde was received:


26th February, 1920


Dear Sir,


re 171 High Street, Harborne.


I beg to report that I have this morning called at the Dudley Road shop of Mrs Monstevens, the owner of the above premises.


She is desirous of giving up the Harborne business and is asking 200 for the fixtures and fittings. She proposes to transfer the stock and goodwill to her Dudley Road Premises. The Tenancy is September annual, at 45 a year and rates. I have asked for the name of the Landlord with a view to entering into negotiations for the purchase or lease of the Property, but she has asked me to let the matter remain over until she has had an opportunity of discussing it with her husband.


The dwelling accommodation is let by Mrs Monstevens to a sub-tenant at 8/6d. per week clear, but there is some dispute over the rental, as I understand it was let to the same tenant in 1914 at 7/- a week clear.


The position is an excellent one, and it is quite possible in the event of our coming to terms with the Landlord and Tenant, we might possibly obtain possession of the dwelling accommodation, but this of course is problematical. When I have discovered if there is any prospect of obtaining security of tenure, I will make a valuation of the fixtures, and report to you further in the matter.


Perhaps you will let me know if you wish me to discontinue the negotiations.


Yours faithfully,

(signed) Frank Wilde.


145     RESOLVED:- That the Manager be authorised to instruct the Agent to continue negotiations in regard to premises No 171, High Street, Harborne.


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 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


155     RESOLVED:- That  the Manager be instructed to continue negotiations in the matter when the opportunity arises.


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


On Minute No 145, the Manager stated that the premises No 171 High Street, Harborne, had now been sold.


198    RESOLVED:- That Minute No 145 be discharged.


199     RESOLVED:- That the Manager be instructed to make enquiries as to the possibility of leasing premises No 174 or 176 High Street, Harborne, for Branch Bank premises.


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: June 4th 1920


On Minute No 199, the Manager reported that the premises Nos 174-6 High Street, Harborne were not available for Branch Bank purposes


224     RESOLVED:- That Minute No 199 be discharged.


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


The Manager submitted the following Report:


Harborne Premises.


As it has not been possible to secure suitable premises in Harborne for the purposes of the Bank, the Manager recommends that arrangements be made with the Public Library Committee for the Bank now held in the Library at High Street, Harborne, to be conducted on Monday, Friday and Saturday evenings instead of the present arrangements.


This will involve a slight addition to the charge in respect of gas; and the Manager asks for this matter to be left to the Chief Librarian and himself to settle.


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 are as set out below:-



No. of open


No. of transactions

during the year

Amount due

to Depositors


during the year











Kings Heath










(These figures relate to the position as ascertained at the 31st March last.)


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 an 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.




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