Premises - Farcroft
The following Minutes have been extracted from the records
of the Bank's General Committee and its Sub-Committees.
The Minutes cover the period from December 1922 to April 1938, commencing with the purchase of 206 Rookery Road for use as temporary premises. These premises were later converted to a permanent branch that was officially opened on
October 15th 1927

General Purposes Sub-Committee: December 11th 1922


A letter from Mr Frank Wilde was submitted, drawing attention to freehold property at 206 Rookery Road, Handsworth. The Manager had inspected this site, and was of opinion that it was situated favourably for Branch Bank purposes. The price asked for the property was £1,800 plus fittings and stock, but the valuation of Mr Wilde for the property with possession but excluding goodwill was placed at £1,250.


219     RESOLVED:- That Councillors Appleby, Gelling and Stephens be appointed to view this site, and are authorised to give directions in the matter as they might seem advisable.


Bank Committee: December 18th 1922


The General Manager stated that, at the request of the General Purposes Sub-Committee, the Chairman, Councillors Gelling and Stephens and himself had inspected freehold property at 208 Rookery Road, Handsworth.


They were of opinion that the property was favourably situated for Branch Bank purposes, and Mr Wilde, the Bank's Valuer, had estimated the value of the property at £1,250 with possession, not including goodwill, and he had been authorised to continue negotiations with a view to the acquisition of the property for the sum of £1,500 inclusive.


1301 RESOLVED:- That the action taken in the matter be confirmed.


Bank Committee: January 1st 1923


The Committee were informed that, on the authority of the Chairman, and in accordance with Minute No 1301, it had been agreed to purchase the freehold property No 206 Rookery Road, Handsworth, with vacant possession, at the sum of £1,500.


1303 RESOLVED: That the Council be asked to approve the purchase of freehold property No 206 Rookery Road, Handsworth, for Branch Bank purposes, at the sum of £1,500; and that, subject to such approval, the Town Clerk be instructed to prepare and affix the Corporate Seal to any necessary document in the matter.


Report of the Bank Committee to the City Council: January 9th 1923




Your Committee have been in negotiation for permanent premises to serve the needs of the Sandwell district of Handsworth, and have been successful in securing property which they are of opinion will be satisfactory for the purpose of a Branch Bank.


The property (indicated by pink colouring on Plan “B” annexed to this report) is freehold, and is situate at 206, Rookery Road, Handsworth, which is in a thickly populated locality adjacent to the Oxhill Road Tram terminus. The accommodation consists of a shop and dwelling-house, and the building is in a good condition, being easily adaptable to the requirements of a permanent Branch Bank.


The Committee have agreed to purchase the property (with vacant possession) for the sum of £1,500, such amount to be provided from the funds of the Bank, and in accordance with No 10 of the Bank Rules, they now ask for the approval of the Council to their action.


General Purposes Sub-Committee: February 12th 1923


The Sub-Committee were informed that the tenant-owner of No 206 Rookery Road, Handsworth, who had agreed under the Contract for Sale to give vacant possession of the property, was now desirous of cancelling the Contract as he could not obtain other accommodation.


It was also stated that the Town Clerk had discovered a defect in the Title owing to the fact that one of the chimneys had been built upon land belonging to an adjoining owner.


The Sub-Committee were of opinion that if the difficulty regarding title could be overcome the purchase should be proceeded with and possession obtained, but in the absence of the Chairman of the General Committee, who had the matter under consideration, it was:


258     RESOLVED:- That a Special Meeting of this Sub-Committee be held on Monday, the 19th instant at 11-15am to further consider the matter and that the Town Clerk be instructed to report his observations on the question of title and as to the Bank's position in regard to obtaining possession should the purchase be proceeded with or alternatively whether compensation could be obtained for breach of contract.


Special Meeting of the General Purposes Sub-Committee: February 19th 1923


With reference to the proposed purchase of "The Hollies", Rookery Road, the Sub-Committee considered the position and discussed the question of completing the purchase in view of the desire of the tenant-owner to retain possession and also the difficulty in regard to title caused by a chimney of the building being erected on adjoining land owned by the Soho Co-Operative Society. The Sub-Committee were advised, however, that no difficulty was anticipated in overcoming the latter difficulty.


The Sub-Committee were of the opinion that the purchase of the property referred to should be proceeded with and possession obtained, but that the Town Clerk and General Manager be authorised if they considered such a course desirable, to allow the tenant an extension of time within which to give up possession.


265     RESOLVED:- That the General Committee be recommended accordingly.


Bank Committee: February 19th 1923


On Minute No 1303,the Town Clerk reported as follows:


February 17th 1923


The Hollies, Rookery Road.


I have to report that on investigating the title to the above property, it appeared that a small portion of the building was erected on the adjoining land of the Soho Co-operative Society. I have now seen the Society's Deeds, and I do not anticipate any substantial difficulty in overcoming the defect in title. I understand, however, that your Committee are considering the possibility of accepting Mrs Holland's offer to rescind the Contract, and I shall be glad to receive instructions.


On consideration of the foregoing report of the Town Clerk, the following report of the General Purposes Sub-Committee was presented:


February 19th, 1923.


The Hollies, Rookery Road.


In view of the desire of the tenant owner to retain possession of this property, and having regard to the difficulty with reference to title, caused by the chimney of the building being erected on adjoining land owned by the Soho Co-operative Society, your Sub-Committee have considered the question of the desirability of proceeding with this purchase.


They are advised that it is not anticipated that any difficulty will arise in overcoming the hitch in reference to the title, and after consideration of all the circumstances they are of opinion that the purchase should be proceeded with, and possession obtained, but that the Town Clerk and General Manager be authorised, if they consider such course desirable, to allow the tenant an extension of time within which to give up possession.


They now recommend your Committee to give instructions accordingly.


1346 RESOLVED:- That the purchase of property 206 Rookery Road, Handsworth be proceeded with, and that the Town Clerk and General Manager be authorised, if they consider such course desirable, to allow the tenant an extension of time within which to give up possession.


General Purposes Sub-Committee: March 12th 1923


With reference to the question of obtaining possession of the Rookery Road property, the General Manager stated that the circumstances had not changed. The tenant had taken no steps to give up possession, and there seemed little likelihood of getting possession of the dwellinghouse without application to the Court.


After discussion it was:


293    RESOLVED:- That the matter be deferred until the next meeting, the Town Clerk and General Manager in the meantime to consider and report their recommendations as to the best course to be adopted.


Bank Committee: March 19th 1923


On Minute Nos 1303 and 1346 (Purchase of premises, 206 Rookery Road, Handsworth) the Town Clerk submitted the following letter from the Vendor's Solicitors:


Athenaeum Chambers

71 Temple Row 



March 17th 1923


Dear Sir


Holland to Wilde.

Rookery Road Property.


In reply to your letter of the 6th instant, at the interview we had with Mr Bark. We distinctly stated that if the Corporation insisted upon the performance of the contract then our client would carry same out and we therefore approved the Conveyance, and have been expecting to receive the engrossment for signature.


At the interview we had Mr Bark was convinced that our client was in trouble owing to being unable to secure other accommodation and that he was not trying to get out of the sale for any other ulterior reason.


He is still in the same difficulty and we trust that the Corporation will allow our client an extension until the 1st May to give vacant possession.


Yours faithfully,

(sgd) Freeland and Passey


1367 RESOLVED:- That the application of the Vendor for permission to retain possession of the above premises until May next be acceded to.


General Purposes Sub-Committee: April 9th 1923


On Minute No 293 (Rookery Road, Handsworth, property) the General Manager stated that he now understood that the owner was giving up possession and he had provisionally arranged for Mr Heath, one of the Bank staff, to rent the dwelling accommodation.


315    RESOLVED:- That the action of the General Manager be confirmed.


Bank Committee: April 16th 1923


On Minutes Nos 1303 and 1346, the Committee were informed that the Town Clerk anticipated the completion of this purchase would take place during the week.


1386 RESOLVED:- That on possession of the premises being obtained, the General Manager be authorised to take the necessary steps for the opening of an Evening Branch.


General Purposes Sub-Committee: May 14th 1923


On Minute No 293 (Rookery Road property) the General Manager reported that possession of the property had been obtained.


338     RESOLVED:- That Minute No 293 be discharged.


The General Manager reported that Mr Wilde had advised that 20/- per week (inclusive) would be a fair rental for the dwelling accommodation at No 206, Rookery Road, and it was:


347     RESOLVED:- That the General Manager be authorised to arrange for the letting of the accommodation at this rental.


Bank Committee: May 28th 1923


On Minutes Nos 1303 and 1346, the following report of the Town Clerk was received:


April 24th 1923


“The Hollies”, Rookery Road.

Mrs Holland to the Corporation.


I have to report that the purchase of the above property has now been completed in accordance with your instructions, and vacant possession was given yesterday.


I have made the following payments:


Purchase money, less deposit

£1,350.  0. 0.

Less balance on Apportionment Account

        2.  5. 6.


£1,347. 14. 6.

Stamp duty

       £15. 0. 0.

Fee for production of deeds

        £1. 0. 0.



1422 RESOLVED: That the report be approved and Minutes Nos 1303 and 1346 be discharged.


General Purposes Sub-Committee: June 11th 1923


The General Manager reported that estimates had been obtained from The Whitfield Safe etc Co and Messrs Withers & Co Ltd for the provision of a safe at the Farcroft Branch (No 206 Rookery Road, Handsworth). The lowest estimate was that of Messrs Withers & Co Ltd, at the sum of £29. 8. 0.


365     RESOLVED:- That the estimate of Messrs Withers & Co Ltd, for the provision of the safe referred to be accepted.


General Purposes Sub-Committee: March 10th 1924


503 The General Manager stated that Councillors Macdonald and Hall had intimated that it might be desirable to open Farcroft Branch on Friday nights. The General Manager stated that as soon as possible after he had completed the annual balance, he would consider the matter and submit a report on the whole question of the evening opening of branches.


General Purposes Sub-Committee: October 11th 1926


The Sub-Committee were informed that the tenant of the dwelling accommodation of the Farcroft Branch premises (No 206, Rookery Road, Handsworth) would vacate the premises in about five weeks' time, and in view of the encouraging amount of business transacted at this evening branch, it was considered that the time was now favourable to provide permanent premises for use as a daily branch.


1,006 RESOLVED:- That the General Manager be instructed to confer with the City Surveyor and submit a plan showing proposals for the provision of permanent branch premises.
Continued ....