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Premises - Sherlock Street
 
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 October 1923 to January 1936.
 
In 1923 the Bank began to look for a suitable site for a branch in the densely populated area just south of the city centre. This search centred on the busy thoroughfares of the Highgate area: Bristol Street, Gooch Street, and Sherlock Street. Gooch Street was named after Sir Thomas Gooch (1720 - 1781) of Benacre Hall, Suffolk, who inherited substantial tracts of land in Birmingham (the Gooch Estate). He developed the land naming many of the streets after his family (such as Sherlock Street and Bishop Street) or places of significance to his family - Wrentham Street being named after the village where Benacre Hall was located. Eventually, the Bank found a site at 161 Sherlock Street, near the junction of Wrentham Street. However, the City Council had designated that both of these streets be subject to a street widening order that required both road widths to be increased to 80-feet. Although such road widening was unlikely to take place for many years, the City Surveyor produced a plan incorporating a single storey 'temporary' branch up to the Improvement Line; behind this Line, a two-storey flat was constructed over the rear section of the branch that included the strongroom etc. The branch was opened on January 12th 1929 and the nearby Horse Fair branch (in Bristol Street) on May 3rd 1930. Sherlock Street branch was closed on May 31st 1960 prior to demolishment under the Highgate Development Scheme, the accounts being transferred to Horse Fair.

General Purposes Sub-Committee: October 8th 1923

 

The following Report of the General Manager was submitted.

Gooch Street Premises.

My attention has been drawn to property situate at Nos 322 and 324 Gooch Street. The former consists of a shop with frontage of 10'4", and depth of 17'3", living room at rear and two bedrooms. No 324 has similar accommodation with the addition of a hairdresser's salon partly fixed on the yard of No 324. Taken all together, there is a frontage to Gooch Street of 22'0".

Possession of No 322 can be obtained at once, but to obtain possession of No 324 payment would have to be made to the hairdresser. The property is leasehold, with 35 years to run, and the Agent for the property, Mr G F Fisher, states that he could arrange for 14, 21, or even 28 years on terms to be decided upon.

Mr Wilde has, at my request, inspected the property which is leasehold. While the premises are in one of the best market positions, the nature of the buildings and the limited accommodation make it doubtful whether the premises could be adapted to our requirements. In any case it would not be desirable to consider the proposition unless the freehold could be acquired.

411    RESOLVED:- That the General Manager, in consultation with Mr Wilde be authorised to make further enquiries regarding suitable premises in Gooch Street.

 

Bank Committee: October 15th 1923

 

The following report of the General Manager was received:

 

Premises in Gooch Street.

 

There is a possibility of the Bank being able to purchase two shops and dwelling-houses situate at Nos 224 and 226 Gooch Street. This site is close to the spot where the Committee desired to obtain premises some two years ago, and is a busy thoroughfare not provided for as yet in the Bank's arrangements.

 

The Chairman and Councillor Stephens, with the General Manager, visited Gooch Street on Friday last, and are agreed that the premises can be made suitable for the purposes of the Bank, and that such a purchase is desirable. They have accordingly instructed Mr Wilde to commence negotiations with a view to purchase.

 

1543 RESOLVED:- That the question of the acquisition of premises Nos 224 and 226, Gooch Street be referred to Mr Alderman Lovsey and the General Manager, in conference with Mr Wilde, to negotiate with a view to the acquisition of the property reporting their observations thereon to the next meeting of the General Purposes Sub-Committee.

 

Bank Committee: November 19th 1923

 

On Minute No 1543 (Nos 224 & 226, Gooch Street), it was

1568 RESOLVED: That the question of the purchase of the above premises be referred to the General Purposes Sub-Committee for consideration and report.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: January 14th 1924

 

453 On Minute No 411 (premises in Gooch Street), the Sub-Committee considered the proposal to establish a bank in this thoroughfare in the light of the suggestion made at the last meeting of the City Council, that a branch should be set up in the vicinity of the Horse Fair.

The Sub-Committee were of opinion that the area between Broad Street and Moseley Road, could only be adequately served by the establishment of two branches, one of which should be located in Gooch Street. They felt that the correct situation of the other branch was problematical, but the General Manager was requested to make enquiries regarding suitable premises in Broad Street, it being considered that a favourable site would be between St Martin's Lane and Ryland Street.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: April 14th 1924

 

518 The attention of the Sub-Committee was called to premises in Coleshill Street and St Luke's Road, but they were of opinion that such premises were not suitable for Branch Bank premises.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: May 12th 1924

 

533 On Minute No 453 the General Manager stated that Mr Kunzle had been communicated with as to letting the Bank some shopping owned by him in Broad Street, but it had not been possible to arrange suitable terms, and the proposal had now fallen through.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: October 14th 1924

 

The General Manager presented the following Report with reference to various properties to which his attention had been drawn and his actions in regard thereto.

Premises in Gooch Street,

Minute to be continued.

 

Broad Street Area.

582 On Minute No 453 (Broad Street Premises) the General Manager reported that the premises situate at 172 Broad Street were for sale. The property was leasehold having 62 years unexpired and a ground rent of 50 per annum. The owner was asking the sum of 2,500 for the property and Messrs Harris & Son, Dyers and Cleaners, who had a 13 years' lease thereof, were asking the sum of 1,000 for their interest

 

It was considered that the terms referred to were too high and the General Manager was directed to continue enquiries with a view to suitable premises being secured on more favourable terms.

 

The General Manager presented the following Report with reference to his actions in regard thereto.

Property 58 Cambridge Street,

Offered to the Bank by Estates Department, but being unsuitable turned down.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: June 8th 1925

 

On Minute 411 (premises in Gooch Street) the General Manager reported that his attention had been called to Property Nos 296 & 298, Gooch Street, near the corner of Highgate Street.

 

744    RESOLVED:- That the General Manager be instructed to make further enquiries with reference to the property in question.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: July 13th 1925

 

763 On Minutes Nos 411 and 744 (premises in Gooch Street) the General Manager reported that Mr Wilde had been instructed on directions from Councillor Appleby to negotiate for the purchase of freehold property No 298 Gooch Street, at  a  figure not exceeding 1,500, as it was then understood that these premises were still in the market. Mr Wilde, however, had that day reported that the premises had been let. Further enquiries were, however, being made.

 

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: January 11th 1926

 

840 On Minutes Nos 744/763 the General Manager was directed to continue his efforts to secure suitable premises in Gooch Street and also in the Horse Fair.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: April 12th 1926

 

905 On Minute No 840 (premises for Gooch Street area) the General Manager reported that nothing further had transpired in connection with premises Nos 224-226 Gooch Street, but enquiries were now being made with regard to property at the corner of Hope Street and Gooch Street. The Minute was continued.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: May 10th 1926

 

930 On Minute No 744 (Premises in Gooch Street and Horse Fair) the General Manager reported that Mr Wilde had been instructed to report with regard to premises at the corner of Gooch Street and Hope Street.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: May 31st 1926

 

949 On Minutes Nos 744/763/905 (premises in Gooch Street and Horsefair) the General Manager reported that enquiries were proceeding.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: July 12th 1926

 

970 On Minute No 905 - the Sub-Committee were informed that Aldermen Lovsey and Stephens with the General Manager had visited the Gooch Street and Bristol Street areas and had come to the conclusion that it was desirable for Branches to be established in both districts. Enquiries were directed to be made with reference to property at the corner of Hope Street and Gooch Street, and further enquiries regarding 226-228 Gooch Street which the late Chairman had had in hand.

 

Bank Committee: November 15th 1926

 

The General Manager reported that his attention had been called to leasehold property 161 Sherlock Street. The property which had 22 years unexpired with a ground rent of 4. 10. 0. per annum forms part of the Gooch Estate, and it had been suggested that the premises might be suitable for bank requirements.

 

2522   RESOLVED:- That the matter be referred to the Chairman, the Chairman of the General Purposes Sub-Committee with the General Manager, to inspect the premises and report their observations thereon to the next meeting of the General Purposes Sub-Committee.

 

Bank Committee: December 20th 1926

 

The General Manager submitted the following report as to the negotiations which had taken place in regard to property No 161, Sherlock Street:

 

161 Sherlock Street

 

The Committee had before them on the 15th November last, particulars of premises offered for sale at the above address, and referred the matter to the Chairman of the Full Committee, the Chairman of the General Purposes Sub-Committee and the General Manager to inspect and report thereon.

 

Aldermen Bower and Lovsey, with the General Manager, have inspected the premises and while they do not consider the same to be capable of adaption for Bank purposes, they consider the site a good one and that a Bank at this point ought to do well.

 

The property comprises a retail shop and rooms above and behind, and has a frontage to Sherlock Street of 24 feet with a depth of 30 yards. It is leasehold with 22 years to run and subject to a ground rent of 4. 10. -d. per annum. Mr Frank Wilde values the property in its present condition at 800, and the leaseholder is asking 1,000 therefor.

 

There is an important street widening scheme at this point which would mean a set back of 30 feet, and having regard to this fact and the short lease, the City Surveyor was asked his opinion. He states it would be necessary to build a bank of a more or less temporary construction, and that it need only be a single storey building, so constructed that it could be afterwards removed. The City Surveyor further adds that it will probably be many years before the street is widened, and he thinks the method of dealing with the property as indicated would be justified.

 

The owners of the freehold are the Gooch Estate Trustees, and whilst the freehold is not for sale, enquiries have been made as to terms for a new building lease. The Agents have now stated their willingness to advise their clients to agree to an immediate surrender of the present lease, and to grant a new lease for 99 years, at a ground rent of 25 per annum, on condition that a temporary structure is erected on that portion of the land ultimately to be acquired for road widening, in order to avoid any gap in the existing buildings.

 

Mr Wilde intimates that the leaseholder is getting restive in consequence of the premises being void for so long a time, and that he cannot consent to delaying the matter any further.

 

2552   RESOLVED:- That the Chairman and General Manager be authorised to arrange for the purchase of the leasehold interest in property No 161, Sherlock Street on the lowest possible terms, the purchase price not to exceed 1,000, and that negotiations be authorised for the surrender of the existing lease and the creation of a new lease of 99 years, with provision for a temporary structure to be erected up to the present frontage line; also that, in the event of the purchase being effected, the approval of the City Council be obtained thereto, and the Town Clerk be instructed to enter into any necessary agreements, affixing the Corporate Seal thereto.

 

The General Manager reported that no further development had taken place in regard to negotiations in respect of this leasehold property, and that although Mr Wilde had been in touch with the agents of the Gooch Estate (the owners of the freehold) he had not as yet been able to obtain their definite proposals. Consideration of the matter was accordingly adjourned.

 

Report to the City Council: January 4th 1927

 

PEMISES IN SHERLOCK STREET.

 

Your Committee have been desirous of providing facilities for a Branch Bank in the densely populated district through which Sherlock Street runs, and have had proposals before them on several occasions which they have had to reject on account of price or unsuitability of site. They have now, however, secured the opportunity of acquiring the premises, No 161, Sherlock Street, comprising a retail shop and house with a large covered-in space at the rear, the whole property having a frontage of 24 feet to Sherlock Street and a depth of 90 feet. The property, which is leasehold, with an unexpired period of 22 years, and is subject to a ground rent of 4. 10s. per annum.

 

Your Committee are professionally advised that the value of the property is 800, and are pleased to report that they have been able to secure the same at that price, plus legal and agency charges.

 

In considering the question of purchase, the Committee have consulted the City Surveyor in regard to the future street widening laid down for this area, which provides  for a set-back from the present frontage line of 30 feet. The City Surveyor advises that the existing buildings should be replaced with a structure so arranged that the portion coming within the widening area could be easily removed. The Committee are in agreement with such a scheme, and accordingly propose to negotiate with the owners of the freehold for a new lease for 99 years to meet these circumstances.

 

Your Committee ask the Council to approve the purchase of the existing leasehold at the price named, and to authorise that an agreement is entered into for a new lease, and that the property be reconstructed on the lines above indicated. The whole cost will be defrayed out of the funds of the Bank.

 

It was moved by Alderman Sir Percival Bower, seconded by Mr Councillor Whitehouse, and

Resolved: 27,958. That the purchase of the leasehold property, No 161, Sherlock Street, at the price of 800 plus legal and agency charges, be approved, and that the Bank Committee be authorised to enter into a new lease and carry out the reconstruction scheme as indicated in the foregoing report.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: February 14th 1927

 

Mr Attenborough, representing the Gooch Estate, appeared before the Sub-Committee, and after considering the plan, expressed his approval thereof on behalf of the Gooch Estate.

 

1065  RESOLVED:- That the plan above referred to be approved and that the General Manager be directed to instruct Mr Wilde to negotiate with the Gooch Estate for a renewal of the lease of the property in question, or for the purchase of the freehold.

 

Continued ....
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