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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 February 1934 which include the
early years of the Bank as a branch network was being established. In the case of Lozells, a lock-up shop at 270 Lozells Road was used as temporary premises until it was possible to acquire permanent premises.
 
Permanent premises at 116 Villa Road were opened on March 7th 1925.
 
Premises
 
 
Lozells
 

Bank Committee: August 8th 1919

 

292 RESOLVED:- That the action of the Acting Town Clerk in signing an Agreement relating to the tenancy of premises at 270 Lozells Road on the authority of the Chairman of the Consultative Sub-Committee, be confirmed.

 

Bank Committee: October 6th 1919: Report of the Acting Town Clerk:

 

I have to report that .... I have completed agreements for tenancy of premises for use as branch municipal banks as follows:

 

270 Lozells Road     3 years from the 29th September 1919    Annual Rent £45

 

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:

 

Lozells. The premises here are a lock-up shop. The rooms over the shop are void, and are not in the letting of the shop, nor can they be owing to the wording of a will. There are cellars underneath leading to an open yard. A temporary wooden barricade has been put up. A trap door leads from a small ante-room down to the cellars. The cellars might be approached from the outside through gratings. The counter is a makeshift, the old position being used. It is too low and too narrow; and as this Branch has shown a satisfactory return, a proper counter should be fixed the opposite way of the room. These premises are so unsatisfactory that I have felt it necessary to ask the City Engineer to report upon what steps should be taken to make them reasonably secure.

 

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]

 

Lozells. Special report on cellars to be furnished by the Building Surveyor, who accompanied us. Present counter not satisfactory; should be placed the reverse way. Stronger bars on trap door - preferably an iron trap door. Steps should be taken away, and a ladder used, which could be hoisted up when not required. Safe built in counter, as at Handsworth. The vacant rooms above are a serious matter. Could accommodation not be arranged for a constable to reside here? That is the best protection.

 

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

 

128    RESOLVED:- That the General Committee be recommended to accept the Tender of Mr L G Jones for alterations at Lozells Branch at the sum of £70. 10. 0.

 

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

 

Lozells. The tender of Mr L G Jones for alterations amounting to £70. 10. 0d. to be accepted and the work proceeded with at once. Cellar to be bricked up in three places, Strong iron bar to be fixed over the door.

 

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: October 1st 1920

 

The question of making certain alterations to Branch Bank premises at 270 Lozells Road was considered. In order to utilise the upstairs accommodation the Manager reported that it would probably be necessary to construct a spiral staircase from General Office to the floor above.

 

293     RESOLVED:- That the Chairman and Mr Councillor Appleby with the Manager be requested to view these premises and report their recommendations thereon; also that Mr Councillor Appleby be asked to make enquiries as to obtaining a longer lease of the premises referred to or as to acquiring same and shopping adjacent thereto.

 

Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee: November 19th 1920

 

339 On Minute No 293 (Branch 270 Lozells Road) the Manager reported that owing to the Chairman being unable to attend, Mr Councillor Ward and the Manager have interviewed Messrs Stone, Hooper & Pickard with reference to these premises. There is no possibility of purchasing one shop and the rooms above, and the cost of the necessary alterations to use the rooms above the Bank with access through the Bank would amount to over £100.

 

Messrs Stone Hooper & Pickard made a statement that the whole of the property in this neighbourhood was at present under consideration with a view to selling the same; and Mr Pickard was instructed to make further enquiries on behalf of the Bank with a view to negotiations being commenced for a portion of the property.

 

The Sub-Committee considered the desirability of purchasing a block of property, and disposing of the portion not required for Branch purposes, but consideration of the matter was adjourned until the presentation of Messrs Stone, Hooper & Pickard's report on the matter.

 

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:

 

Lozells.

These premises are very cold owing to their construction, but the alteration in the position of the counter has taken away the direct draught. The electric radiator is no use here, and it is recommended that gas heating be introduced.

 

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.

 

Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee: October 10th 1921

 

On Minutes Nos 293 & 339, the Manager reported that Messrs Stone, Hooper & Pickard now stated that they were unable to proceed further with regard to the purchase of the block of property of which 270 Lozells Road formed part.

 

505 RESOLVED:- That arrangements be made for the Sub-Committee to meet representatives of Messrs Stone, Hooper & Pickard with their builder at the above premises with the object of ascertaining what can be done to make the rooms above the Branch suitable for habitation and more secure for Bank purposes.

 

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

 

On Minutes Nos 339 and 505 (270 Lozells Road) the Manager reported as follows:

 

Lozells Branch.

 

The agreement of tenancy of this branch expires 29th September next, and it is desirable that negotiations should be pressed with Messrs Stone, Hooper & Pickard, which will admit of adequate and satisfactory accommodation being provided. The Manager asks that a small Sub-Committee should be appointed to deal with this matter, and that the General Committee be asked to authorise such Sub-Committee to make the best arrangements they can, whether for purchase or rental.

 

545 RESOLVED:- That the Chairman, Councillors Appleby, and Gelling, together with the Manager, be authorised to continue negotiations with Messrs Hooper & Pickard with regard to the Lozells premises and that they be empowered to make the best arrangements they are able in the matter.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: December 11th 1922

 

On Minute No 4 (Branch 270 Lozells Road) the General Manager reported that in a conversation he had had with Mr Pickard of Stone, Hooper and Pickard, it had been suggested that the Bank should take a lease for 7 years of the present premises and the adjoining lock-up shop, with a view to the Bank taking steps to secure possession of the adjoining shop which is now let to a milliner. It was pointed out that there would be considerable difficulty in getting possession of the shop and the proposal was not viewed with favour by the Sub-Committee.

 

199     RESOLVED:- That the General Manager be instructed to make enquiries as to whether there is any possibility of the Bank joining in a development scheme for an estate which has recently been sold in close proximity to the present Bank.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: February 12th 1923

 

On Minute No 199, the General Manager reported that he had made enquiries with reference to the development Scheme referred to in this Minute, adjacent to the Branch premises No 270 Lozells Road, but there was no prospect of any application from the Bank being entertained.

 

The General Manager reported that Mr Wilde was in negotiations with Messrs Stone, Hooper & Pickard, regarding the property at present occupied by the Bank, No 270 Lozells Road, in the hope of securing these and the adjoining premises. Mr Wilde had intimated that as the whole of the property from Barker Street to George Street was in mortgage and was affected by a widening scheme of the Corporation, it might be desirable to consider the purchasing on behalf of the Corporation of the whole block, as objections were being raised by Messrs Stone, Hooper and Pickard to selling a portion of the block only. The Sub-Committee were of opinion that the suggestion made by Mr Wilde was one which should have consideration.

 

246     RESOLVED:- That the Public Works etc, Committee be approached with a view to the question being considered of co-operation with the Bank Committee in effecting such a purchase.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: July 23rd 1923

 

On Minute No 246 (Lozells Branch) the General Manager again pointed out the necessity of obtaining more suitable premises, and he was directed to instruct Mr Wilde to make further enquiries with the object of acquiring premises as near the existing Branch as possible; also to approach the Public Works Departments on the matter.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: October 8th 1923

 

With reference to Minutes Nos 246 and 389 (Branch premises, 270 Lozells Road), the General Manager reported that Mr F Wilde had drawn attention to premises 116 Villa Road, Handsworth, which there was a possibility of purchasing for the purpose of a Branch.

 

397     RESOLVED:- That the General Manager be authorised to instruct Mr Wilde to report fully with regard to the premises, and that the Chairman and the Chairman of the General Committee with the General Manager, be authorised to negotiate with a view to the acquisition of the property, if the same is found to be suitable and can be acquired at a reasonable price.

 

Bank Committee: October 15th 1923

 

1513 The following report of the General Purposes Sub-Committee was received:

 

Lozells Branch.

 

In view of the urgency of obtaining improved accommodation for the Lozells Branch and the impracticability of purchasing the freehold of the existing premises, enquiries have been made regarding premises No 116 Villa Road, Handsworth. It now appears that there is a possibility of these premises being acquired, and instructions have been given for enquiries to be continued in the matter.

 

Should these be satisfactory, your Sub-Committee have authorised the Chairman of the General Committee and the General Manager to negotiate with a view to the acquisition of the property.

 

1514 RESOLVED: That the action of the General Purposes Sub-Committee in authorising negotiations to be entered into with a view to the acquisition of property No 116, Villa Road, Handsworth, be confirmed, and that the Chairman and General Manager be authorised to arrange subject to the City Councilís approval for the purchase of the property, if the same can be acquired at a reasonable price.

 

Bank Committee: November 19th 1923

 

On Minute No 1514 (property 116, Villa Road, Handsworth), the General Manager presented the following report:

 

116, Villa Road, Handsworth.

 

Acting upon the instructions contained in Minute No 1514, the Chairman and General Manager have agreed to purchase the above freehold property for the sum of £2,250, at which figure the property is valued. The Contract has not yet been signed, but is in course of preparation, and will be ready in a day or two.

 

The negotiations have been a little difficult, owing to the fact that certain rooms approached from the gateway had been let off as offices. It was felt desirable to secure these so as to give the Committee greater freedom in connection with alterations it may be necessary to make to adapt the premises to the purposes of the Bank, and efforts in this direction have been successful, with the result that entire vacant possession will be given on completion of the purchase. The boundaries, which it is necessary should be clearly defined as the property is somewhat involved, have been agreed.

 

The Committee are now asked to approve the action taken by the Chairman and General Manager, and to instruct the Town Clerk to effect completion, subject to the approval of the Council.

 

1561 RESOLVED:- That the action taken by the Chairman and General Manager referred to in the foregoing report be approved, and that the Town Clerk be instructed to complete the purchase of property No 116, Villa Road, Handsworth, at the sum of £2,250, subject to the approval of the City Council, and to prepare and affix the Corporate Seal to any necessary document in the matter.

 
 
                                                                                                         Continued ....

 

 

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