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Premises - Handsworth
 
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 July 1933 which include the
early years of the Bank as a branch network was being established.
 
 In the case of Handsworth, the branch was initially opened in a room in Handsworth Council offices. After four years, a site at the corner of Soho Road and Grove Lane was purchased and the Bank's first purpose built branch was constructed.
The branch was opened in these premises on May 17th 1924.
 
Premises
 
 
Handsworth
 

Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee: September 9th 1919

 

The Manager reported that he had now made arrangements with Mr Tart of the Estates Department for improvements with regard to the accommodation at Handsworth Council House.

 

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

 

80        RESOLVED:- That the City Treasurer and Manager be instructed to endeavour to arrange suitable terms for the renting of premises at Soho Road, Handsworth, 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:

 

Handsworth. The room used is a portion of the Council House in Soho Road, having a separate entrance close by the caretaker's apartments. The room gives a reasonable security for the cash, but as the counter is placed there is no protection or cover for the staff.

 

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]

 

Handsworth. Safe might be fixed under counter with an iron plate between the back of counter and back of safe. A lamp should be fixed outside and kept burning until daylight.

 

On Minute No 80, the Manager reported that he had not been able to arrange suitable terms for the premises in Soho Road, Handsworth.

 

Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee: January 20th 1920

 

Handsworth Premises:

 

The City Surveyor is desirous of obtaining part of the land at the corner of Grove Lane and Soho Road for the purpose of street widening; and as the owner of the land is favourable to the Bank purchasing the remainder, the City Surveyor has been asked to negotiate with the owner with a view to purchasing the whole of the plot, the Bank to take what he does not require for street widening.

 

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:

 

Handsworth. Larger signs and better lighting to be arranged.

 

Bank Committee: January 5th 1920: Report of Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee:

 

Rental of premises, Aston and Handsworth Council Houses.

 

The rental of these premises has now been agreed with the Public Works Department at 50 per annum in each case.

 

Bank Committee: February 2nd 1920: Report of the Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee:

 

Handsworth premises.

 

The City Surveyor is desirous of obtaining part of the land at the corner of Grove Lane and Soho Road for the purpose of street widening; and as the owner of the land is favourable to the Bank purchasing the remainder, the City Surveyor has been asked to negotiate with the owner with a view to purchasing the whole of the plot, the Bank to take what he does not require for street widening.

 

Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee: February 20th 1920

 

On Minute No 98, a rough plan was submitted showing details of a suggested building at the corner of Grove Lane and Soho Road, Handsworth.

 

On this matter, it was reported that the original owner of the land (Mr Clarke) was selling through a Mr Griffiths, and it was understood that there was an arrangement between them that Mr Griffiths should have offices over the Bank premises, with an entrance to same from Soho Road.

 

The Sub-Committee were of opinion that the Bank premises should be self-contained, and it was

 

135     RESOLVED:- That the Manager be instructed to obtain further information from the Building Surveyor in the matter.

 

Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee: March 26th 1920

 

The Manager presented the following Report:

 

Handsworth Premises.

 

The City Engineer has not yet arranged for the purchase of the land at the Corner of Grove Lane, but he hopes to be able to do so.

 

He has prepared a plan for the erection of a Bank with living accommodation, etc, which has been referred back so as to secure that the Manager should live above the Bank premises instead of using the top space for offices.

 

Bank Committee: May 3rd 1920

 

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

 

Grove Lane and Soho Road, Handsworth.

 

The City Surveyor attended the last Meeting of your Sub-Committee and explained the proposals with reference to this land. The area which it was proposed should be allocated for Bank purposes was 238 square yards, which would involve the Bank Committee in an expenditure of 631, as their share of the purchase money.

 

The matter was discussed at some length, and it was arranged that the City Surveyor should be prepare alternative plans of proposed bank premises showing in one case Bank premises only and in the other case premises with Manager's house attached. The Surveyor also promised to notify the Manager immediately in the event of the owner requiring the Corporation to purchase at short notice.

 

Bank Committee: May 14th 1920

 

The City Surveyor attended and explained the proposals with reference to the land at the corner of Grove Lane and Soho Road, Handsworth. The portion of land available for Bank purposes after utilising that required for street widening would be 238 square yards and the proportion to cost of the purchase money payable by the Bank would be 631.

 

The City Surveyor also submitted alternative plans of suggested buildings for Bank purposes. He stated that the cost of a suitable building on this site would be from 6000 to 8000, according to requirements.

 

After discussion, it was

 

489 RESOLVED:- That the Public Works Committee be informed that in the event of the proposed purchase of land at the corner of Grove Lane and Soho Road, Handsworth, being carried into effect this Committee agree to the proposal to allocate for Bank purposes 238 square yards of such land at the proportionate cost to the Bank of 631.

 

490 RESOLVED:- That the question of erecting Bank premises on the site at the corner of Grove Lane and Soho Road, Handsworth, above referred to be deferred for the present.

 

Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee: June 4th 1920

 

On Minute No 195, the following communication from the Public Works & Town Planning Committee was received:

 

14013. Resolved: That the terms of purchase of land situate at the corner of Grove Lane and Soho Road, Handsworth, as set forth in the foregoing Report, be approved, the proportion of the purchase money payable by this Committee, viz: 294, to be paid out of Revenue, and the Town Clerk instructed to prepare and attach the Corporate Seal to the necessary documents in the matter.

 

Extract from Report referred to:

 

Proposed Widening of Grove Lane, corner Soho Road.

 

Negotiations have taken place with Messrs A Clarke & Co the owners of the land at the corner of the above roads. They wish to reserve a piece of land 14 yards in depth from the Union Row frontage, and are willing to sell the remainder for 1,000, which is the amount they paid for the whole. They state that they have had an offer of 1,600 for the full area.

 

The Bank Committee have been informed of the result of the negotiations, have approved the scheme and have agreed to the proposal to allocate for Bank purposes, 238 square yards of land, at the proportionate cost to the Bank of 631.

 

The area of the land required for road widening is 99 square yards.

 

The proportion payable by the two Committees will therefore be as follows:

Public Works Committee for Road Widening     294

Bank Committee, for Bank premises                   706

 

It will be observed that the resolution of the Bank Committee states their proportion of the cost to be 631, which is inaccurate.

 

At the request of the Bank Committee the City Surveyor has prepared sketch plans for the erection of the Bank and Manager's house on the site.

 

Your Sub-Committee recommend that the offer of Messrs Clark & Co, be accepted and that the Town Clerk be instructed to prepare and seal the necessary documents in the matter, the proportion of the purchase money so far as the Public Works Department is concerned, to be paid out of Revenue.

 

222     RESOLVED:- That the General Committee be recommended to amend their Minute No 489 by substituting the sum of 706 for 631 as their share of the purchase money in connection with the acquisition of land at corner of Grove Lane & Soho Road, Handsworth: and that the Manager be instructed to interview the City Surveyor on the question of acquiring the land on behalf of the Bank.

 

The Manager submitted an Account amounting to 6. 4. 10 from the Public Works Department in respect of the preparation of plans of proposed Bank premises on the land above referred to.

 

223    RESOLVED:- That consideration of the matter be deferred until the whole of the charges incurred in this connection have been submitted.

 

223a  RESOLVED:- That the Manager be authorised to approach the City Surveyor with regard to the establishment of an advertising station on the above land.

 

Bank Committee: June 7th 1920

 

514a The following Report of the Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee was received:

 

Land, corner of Grove Lane and Soho Road, Handsworth.

 

With reference to your Committee's Minute No 489, a communication has now been received from the Public Works & Town Planning Committee approving the purchase of the piece of land above referred to. They state, however, that the proportion of the cost to be borne by the Bank Committee should be 706 and not 631 as indicated in the above Minute. Your Sub-Committee recommend that Minute No 489 be amended accordingly.

 

Consideration has been given to the question of the means by which the Bank's proportion of the purchase money is to be paid, and your Sub-Committee have instructed the Manager to confer with the City Surveyor on the question and report his recommendations to your Committee at their Meeting on Monday.

 

On the paragraph in the Report as to land, corner of Grove Lane and Soho Road, Handsworth, the Manager stated that he had interviewed the City Surveyor, and had put forward a suggestion (which he thought would be acceptable) that the Public Works and Town Planning Committee should purchase the whole of the land for the time being.

 

515 RESOLVED:- That this Committee agree to the share of the cost of the land at corner of Grove Lane and Soho Road, Handsworth, to be allocated to the Bank Committee being 706 instead of 631, the figure mentioned in Minute No 489, and request the Public Works and Town Planning Committee to purchase this land on their behalf until such time as the Bank is in a position to take over the same.

 

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

 

262 On Minute No 223a. the Manager stated that he was in communication with the Public Works Department as to a Notice with reference to the Bank site being exhibited on the land at corner of Grove Lane and Soho Road, Handsworth.

 

Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee: October 1st 1920

 

295     RESOLVED:- That Councillors Gelling & Ward with the Manager be authorised to accept suitable tenders from the required repairs to the Branch Bank premises at Duddeston and Handsworth.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                 Continued ....

 

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