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Premises - Harborne
(1945 Plans)
In July 1945, the Bank's management was concerned about the limited accommodation at Harborne branch - there was only a small length of counter and working conditions were considered poor. The Second World War had intervened in plans to move to a new site and, immediately after the War, the urgent need to improve the branch's accommodation led to the General Manager instructing the Bank's Valuer (Frank Wilde) to ascertain whether it would be possible to bring the part of the tenant's accommodation that was on the ground floor into the branch. Frank Wilde reported that though the tenant was protected by the Rent (Restrictions) Act, he agreed to the Bank's proposal providing his accommodation on the first floor was reconstructed to his satisfaction..
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Accordingly, the City Surveyor was requested to draw up appropriate plans. These plans (reproduced below) show the alterations that the City Surveyor proposed. The Ground Floor plan marks the original position of the counter that ran parallel to the branch's frontage on High Street and divides the Banking Hall into two small, narrow spaces. Behind the counter, dotted lines indicate the positions of the Strong Room and the Staff Mess Room, more clearly shown in the second plan of the original layout, and the attached photograph taken in 1924 from the customers' side of the counter. The plan of the 1924 layout shows the amount of living accommodation (living room with bay window, and kitchen) to be incorporated into the branch. The 1945 plan shows that the spaces for both customers and staff are to be increased considerably by the position of the counter being switched to run from front to back. The length of the new counter was approximately 27-feet long.
The plans reproduced below show the City Surveyor's proposals for the First Floor compared with the 1924 layout. The Kitchen and Living Room are moved from the Ground Floor and the number of bedrooms is reduced from four to two. An internal staircase that linked the two floors between the Kitchen and Landing is to be replaced by an external version.
The Back and Side Elevation drawings show the position of the external staircase