Premises - Bearwood
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 November 1919 to October 1936.
Bearwood branch opened for business at 177 Sandon  Road on November 3rd 1919, occupying premises formerly used by Lloyds Bank. Although the branch attracted good levels of business, further growth was hindered by the cramped premises. With no alternative sites available, the Bank reluctantly drew up plans to alter the short-leased building in 1927. These plans were abandoned when a site at the corner of Sandon Road and Willow Avenue became available. However, restrictive covenants slowed the Bank's scheme to construct a purpose built branch, which was not opened until September 7th 1929. By 1934, only Head Office and Small Heath had greater deposit balances; in 1937 Bearwood achieved second place. The growth of deposit balances at the branch was the result of the Bank paying an attractive rate of interest combined with the branch's proximity to the wealthy residents of Edgbaston. Bearwood became one of the Bank's most profitable branches.

Bank Committee: November 3rd 1919


The Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee presented the following report:


Branch Bank Premises.


Your Sub-Committee report that they have arranged to take over certain premises at 177 Sandon Road, Bearwood, until recently in use as a branch of Messrs Lloyds Bank Ltd. The house is the last house within the city boundary where it adjoins the Smethwick boundary, and as no objection is raised by the Smethwick Town Council, it is proposed to name it the Bearwood Branch. The rental at which it has been secured is 38 per annum and rates, and possession of the lower portion of the house is being obtained forthwith. The remaining accommodation is available for sub-letting.


Your Sub-Committee have further authorised their Chairman and the Manager to arrange the hours of opening this branch.


357 RESOLVED:- That the Report of the Finance and General Purposes Sub-Committee be approved.


Bank Committee: November 14th 1919


368 The Chairman reported that the Branch Bank at Bearwood had now been opened, and up to the present had met with much success.


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:


Bearwood. This Branch is open alternate days, and the Superintendent will reside there as soon as the Military Authorities can be got rid of. With them out of the way I believe there is reasonable protection. The staff have access to other parts of the premises in case of emergency.


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


The following Report of the Manager was received:




Private enquiries have been made with regard to the co-operation of Smethwick in connection with the Housing Department of the Bank. Difficulties are being experienced with regard to the Branch at Bearwood, the depositors contending that inasmuch as the Bank exists for the depositors in the Bank to take advantage of the House Purchase section as well as the Savings Bank section. Up to the present nothing official has been heard from the Smethwick Town Council upon the matter.


Bank Committee: July 23rd 1920


557 The Manager reported that the Bearwood premises had not yet been vacated by the tenant installed by the Military Authorities.


Bank Committee: August 30th 1920


On Minute No 557 (Tenancy of Bearwood premises):


575 RESOLVED:- That the matter be referred to the Town Clerk and Manager, with instructions to endeavour to obtain possession of the rooms occupied by the person originally installed there by the Military Authorities, and to report thereon to the Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee.


Bank Committee: October 4th 1920


616 On Minute No 575, the Manager reported receipt of a letter from Mr Taylor (occupant of the Bank premises at Bearwood) asking that alternative accommodation should be found for him. The matter was left in the hands of the Town Clerk and Manager in accordance with the above Minute.


Bank Committee: November 22nd 1920


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


Bearwood Tenancy


Your Sub-Committee report that these premises have now been vacated by Mr A W Taylor and the keys have been handed over by him.


Bank Committee: December 20th 1920


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


Bearwood Premises.


The living accommodation at the above address has now been let to Mr Jackson (a Member of the Bank staff) at 10/- per week, plus proportion of rates. Arrangements have been made with the landlord as to effecting certain repairs and decorations, (a portion of the cost of same to be borne by him) and also as to the removal of certain fittings left by the Military Authorities.


Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee: July 11th 1921


The Manager presented the following Report as to proposed opening of additional daily Branches:




The question of providing additional facilities at certain branches now open during evening hours only has been under consideration. The additional staff provides an opportunity for carrying out this policy a little earlier than would have been recommended in the ordinary development of the Bank. The branches which have shown a satisfactory development during the past twelve months are as set out below:-


No. of open


No. of transactions

during the year

Amount due

to Depositors


during the year











Kings Heath











(These figures relate to the position as ascertained at the 31st March last.)


In the case of Bearwood the premises are let to the Bank on a yearly tenancy, and the same rent and rates would be payable whether used during the evenings only or as a daily branch. The success of this Branch is due, in the Manager's opinion, to the enthusiasm of the Clerk-in-charge, Mr C Danks. The books are kept in a first-rate manner, and the Branch stands out prominently as a well conducted evening branch. It is recommended to offer Mr Danks the appointment on the branch becoming a daily branch, on the terms applicable to Grade B.


In the case of Harborne, the branch is conducted in the Public Library, which is an unsatisfactory arrangement. Up to the present it has not been possible to obtain other premises. It is therefore proposed to continue as at present at Harborne until suitable premises are obtained, when the branch could then be made into a daily branch.


In the case of Kings Heath, the premises were purchased by the Bank, and as a temporary arrangement the business has been carried on in a very narrow shop which was originally a gateway entrance. Mr McMichael has been instructed to report upon the premises, and to advise the Committee how the same can be made into a suitable Bank. It is felt that the most appropriate time to open this branch as a daily branch will be when the structural alterations have been made.


In the case of Erdington, the premises are suitable for a daily branch. The same rent and rates are payable whether used as a daily or an evening branch. It is recommended that this branch be opened daily as and from the 1st September next.


486 RESOLVED:- That the Manager's Report be approved and the General Committee recommended to authorise the opening of Erdington and Bearwood Branches as Daily Branches as and from 1st September next and Kings Heath Branch when the increased accommodation is available.


486 RESOLVED:- That the Manager's Report be approved and the General Committee recommended to authorise the opening of Erdington and Bearwood Branches as Daily Branches as and from 1st September next and Kings Heath Branch when the increased accommodation is available.

Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee: July 11th 1921


The Manager reported that the owner of the Bearwood premises had applied for the rent to be increased to 40 per annum. The premises were at present let to the Bank on a six months' agreement.


493 RESOLVED:- That the application be acceded to, providing an arrangement is arrived at whereby the Bank may, should they decide, enter into a lease of the premises for 5 years on agreed terms with option of renewal.


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


On Minute No 493 (Bearwood premises) the Manager reported as follows:


Bearwood Premises.


Messrs Vernon & Shakespeare, acting for the Landlady, write to say their client is unwilling to grant a lease for 5 years at 40 per annum, but will grant one for 5 years at 45 with an option to renew for a further 5 years at an increase of 5. If the lease is not taken, the rent will be increased in accordance with the Statute.


511 RESOLVED:- That the General Committee be recommended to enter into a lease of the above premises for 5 years at a rental of 45 per annum plus rates subject to a let off of living accommodation at 13/9d per week clear the landlady to be responsible for external repairs; also to instruct the Town Clerk to prepare and if necessary seal the requisite documents, and to take steps to determine the present tenancy.


Bank Committee: October 14th 1921


Report of the Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee:


Bearwood Premises.


Your Sub-Committee have arranged for a Lease of the above premises to be entered into for a period of 5 years at a rental of 45 per annum plus rates, the Landlady to be responsible for external repairs.

They accordingly recommend that the Town Clerk be instructed to terminate the present tenancy and to enter into a Lease on the terms above referred to, affixing the Corporate Seal to the document if necessary.


934  RESOLVED:- That the Town Clerk be instructed to determine the present tenancy Agreement of the Bearwood Branch premises and to enter into and, if necessary, attach the Corporate Seal to a lease of the same for a period of 5 years, at a rental of 45 per annum, plus rates, the lessor to be responsible for external repairs.


Bank Committee: December 19th 1921


On Minute No 934 (Leasing of Bearwood premises) the Town Clerk reported as follows:


December 9th 1921

Mrs Halford to the Corporation.

177, Sandon Road.

I have to report that a Lease of the above property has now been completed in accordance with your instructions.

I have paid 6. 1. 0., the Lessor's Solicitors charges.


981 RESOLVED:- That Minute No 934 be discharged.


Finance Sub-Committee: February 13th 1922


The Manager reported that the ceiling and exterior of the Bearwood premises required renovation.


24        RESOLVED:- That the Chairman and Manager be authorised to take such action in the matter as they may consider desirable.


Finance Sub-Committee: March 13th 1922


36       RESOLVED:- That the question of the repairs and decoration of the Bearwood Premises be referred to the Chairman and Manager to deal therewith as they may consider desirable.


Finance Sub-Committee: May 8th 1922


On Minute No 36 (Repairs at Bearwood Road premises) the Manager reported that he had arranged for the carrying out of the required outside repairs at these premises by Messrs Cooke & Tremlett at a cost of 10.


48        RESOLVED:- That the Manager's action in the matter be confirmed.


Finance Sub-Committee: July 14th 1924


The General Manager reported that repairs were necessary to the house portion of the Sandon Road premises, Bearwood.


273     RESOLVED: That the General Manager be directed to instruct Mr Frank Wilde to have the necessary repairs carried out.


Finance Sub-Committee: March 9th 1925


334 On discussion of the question of the overcrowding at Bearwood Branch, Mr Councillor Daniels stated that should any desirable premises within the City in the Bearwood locality come to his notice, he would notify the General Manager thereof.


Finance Sub-Committee: April 6th 1925


343 On Minute No 334 (Bearwood Branch) Mr Councillor Daniels stated that he was making enquiries in this neighbourhood, and hoped to be in a position to report at the next meeting of the Sub-Committee.


Continued ....