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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 from January 1922 to June 1936.

Bank Committee: January 16th 1922

 

The Manager stated that in connection with the development of certain sites by the Housing & Estates Committee he had been approached as to whether the Committee would desire any site to be reserved for branch Bank purposes.

 

1041 RESOLVED:- That the Manager be instructed to make enquiries with regard to sites at Yardley Wood Road and Pineapple Farm.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: June 8th 1925

 

On Minutes Nos 611 and 669 (sites for branches) the General Manager presented the following report:

 

PROSPECTIVE SITES FOR BANKS.

 

BILLESLEY DISTRICT. 1674 Houses (approx.) to be erected on the Billesley Common adjoining Yardley Wood Road and working away towards Titterford Mill.

 

201 Houses on opposite side of Yardley Wood Road and several other plots in adjoining areas of 226, 16, 22, 80 & 16 Houses.

 

Site: at present bus terminus on the Billesley Estate, or at Titterford Mill near School Road.

 

There is a proposed bus service continuing from present terminus to Titterford and linking up with Hall Green, and another from the same point down to Warstock.

 

Bank Committee: October 4th 1926

 

The General Manager presented the following report as to negotiations which had taken place with the Estates Department for securing the use of a suitable site at Billesley for the purpose of a branch Bank:

 

Land at Billesley.

 

The General Manager has applied to the Estates Department for land at Billesley for the use of a Branch Bank and two sites were offered fronting Yardley Wood Road.

 

Councillor Stephens inspected the site on one occasion and subsequently Councillor Cooper visited the site and as a result the application has been put through to  the Estates Department for a plot of land approximately 500 square yards with a frontage of 10 yards to Yardley Wood Road and a depth of 50 yards. This site is almost opposite Trittiford Road.

 

The General Manager has intimated that the Bank Committee would be willing to pay a rental of 9d. per square yard for such land and he recommends that the Committee should take advantage of this arrangement which will afford the Bank Committee an opportunity of opening a Branch in this area and proving whether it is a most suitable position. It is not recommended that the land should be purchased outright at the present stage.

 

2448  RESOLVED:- That, subject to the approval of the Estates Committee being obtained, the proposal to rent from the Estates Department a plot of approximately 500 square yards of land fronting Yardley Wood Road, at a rental of 9d per square yard per annum, be approved.

 

Report of the General Purposes Sub-Committee: October 18th 1926

 

Land at Billesley

 

The General Manager has been instructed to arrange for a temporary structure to be erected on the land in Yardley Wood Road, Billesley, which it has been agreed to rent from the Estates Committee.

 

Report to the City Council: November 15th 1926

 

The Bank Committee are desirous of acquiring for Bank purposes approximately 500 square yards of land having a frontage of 10 yards to the Yardley Wood Road, for which it offers a ground rent of 9d. per square yard per annum for an agreed period of years.

 

The land is part of an area acquired under the Housing Acts, and the proposal will require the approval of the Minister of Health. Subject to this being obtained your Committee recommend that the land be transferred to the Bank Committee on the terms offered.

 

It was moved by Mr Councillor Kenning, seconded by Mr Councillor Whitehouse, and

Resolved: 27,862. That, subject to the consent of the Minister of Health, the proposed transfer of a piece of land fronting Yardley Wood Road to the Bank Committee for a period of years, as a site for the Municipal Bank, upon the terms set out, be approved and confirmed.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: October 8th 1928

 

The General Manager submitted the following report with reference to land at the corner of Brigfield Road and Yardley Wood Road:

 

Land corner of Brigfield Road and Yardley Wood Road.

 

The Estates Department have submitted a proposal that land situated as above might be used for the erection of a Branch Bank and one or two shops. The land is near the omnibus terminus on Yardley Wood Road and about 400 yards beyond the Billesley Branch, which is conducted in a wood building placed on land belonging to the Estates Department and leased to the Bank.

 

The Committee will remember that opinion was divided on the Billesley Branch site, several members of the Committee holding the view that a site nearer to Yardley Wood would prove more popular.

 

There is no doubt that the Billesley Branch is on the wrong side of the road, and it is very evident that the foot traffic on the other side of the road is much greater.

 

Having regard to the lay-out of the Corporation houses and the development of the Holly Wood Village buildings, the Chairman and I are of opinion that we should be well advised to take advantage of the land now offered for the erection of a Bank and transfer the Billesley Branch thereto. The matter has been discussed with the Chairman and General Manager of the Estates Department, and we are all agreed that a building scheme be prepared to meet the needs of the two Departments.

 

It is intended that the Bank Committee should undertake the building of the premises, the cost of the Bank and house being borne by the Bank Committee, and the cost of the shops by the Estates Committee. Mr Harold Scott, Architect, has been requested to submit plans for the approval of both Committees, and these will be placed before the Bank Committee in due course.

 

The Chairman and I accordingly recommended that approval be given to the transfer of the necessary land for the purposes of the Bank and dwelling house, and that on the buildings being erected the lease of land to the Bank on Yardley Wood Road should be determined and the business of the Billesley Branch transferred to the new buildings; further, that the Chairman of the Bank Committee be authorised to act with the Chairman of the Estates Committee in accepting a tender for the necessary work, after the plans have been approved by the respective Committees.

 

1314   RESOLVED:- That the foregoing report of the General Manager be approved, and the General Committee recommended accordingly.

 

The report of the General Manager dealing with land surrounding the temporary buildings utilised by the Bank was submitted:

 

Land surrounding temporary buildings.

 

The enclosed lands surrounding wood buildings erected to serve the purpose of temporary Banks in several parts of the City, have for some time presented an untidy appearance owing to the presence of weeds, etc, and complaints have been made as to their condition.

 

No arrangements existed for keeping the grounds tidy and attending to the shrubs, and with a view to improving the appearance of the grounds, I approached the General Manager of the Estates Department on the matter.

 

Mr Wallace Smith had an inspection made of the particular grounds and gave an estimate of cost for forking out and removing weeds, cultivating and levelling the soil, trimming privet hedges, and keeping the gardens and hedges in a tidy condition for twelve months, as follows:

 

 

. s. d.

Billesley

15.15. -

Brookvale

15.15. -

Perry Common

15.15. -

Pype Hayes

15.15. -

Stechford

15.15. -

Bordesley Green

6. 10. -

Birchfield

6. 10. -

Sparkhill

6. 10. -

 

Mr Smith further stated that the grounds would receive attention once each month.

 

These prices were considered excessive, and Mr Wallace Smith agreed that they appeared unduly high, but explained that considerable labour would be involved in getting rid of the weeds and destroying same, but that after the grounds had been properly cleared it would not be so expensive to keep them tidy.

 

In view of the urgent need for something to be done, instructions were given to the Estates Department to proceed with the work, on the understanding that the question of cost would be settled between the General Manager of the Estates Department and myself when we could have before us particulars of the time spent on the work. At the end of twelve months, Mr Smith will be able to quote a more favourable price for attending to the grounds, which he thought would work out at approximately 7. 10. -d per year for the first five grounds mentioned above, and 1. 10. -d for the last three.

 

I ask for the approval of the Committee to the action taken in having the grounds attended to at once.

 

1315   RESOLVED:- That the General Manager be instructed to communicate with the Secretary of the Parks Department with a view to obtaining a price for attention to the gardens for a period of twelve months.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: October 15th 1928

 

A proposal submitted by the Estates Department that land situate at the corner of Brigfield Road and Yardley Wood Road might be used for the erection of a branch bank and one or two shops has been considered by your Committee. The Billesley Branch is conducted in a temporary wooded building on land leased from the Estates Department fronting to Yardley Wood Road, and about 400 yards from the Brigfield Road Site.

 

Your Sub-Committee are of the opinion that the Brigfield Road site is in a better situation for Bank purposes, especially in view of the development which is taking place in the vicinity.

 

As a result of a conference between the Chairmen of the Bank and Estates Committees and their principal Officers, it was agreed that, subject to the approval of the Committees concerned, a scheme should be prepared to meet the needs of the two Departments, the cost of the Bank and house to be borne by the Bank and the cost of the shops by the Estates Committee. Plans are being prepared and when ready will be submitted for the approval of both Committees.

 

It is, therefore, recommended that, subject to the approval of the Estates Committee and the sanction of the City Council, arrangements be made for the transfer to the Bank of sufficient land for the purposes of a Bank and dwellinghouse; that the Chairman be authorised to act in conjunction with the Chairman of the Estates Committee in accepting a tender for the work, after the plans have been prepared by the respective Committees; and that on buildings being erected, the lease of the land utilised for the Billesley Branch be terminated and the business of the Branch transferred to the new buildings.

 

Bank Committee: December 10th 1928

 

On Minute No 1315 (Upkeep of land adjoining temporary Branch buildings), the General Manager submitted an estimate from the Parks Department for the carrying out of the necessary work in maintaining the plots of land in question in good condition, for the sum of 50 for a period of twelve months.

 

The General Manager also reported that the Estates Department were prepared to carry out the work at the same figure.

 

The Sub-Committee were advised that duties of this description relating to Corporation Lands, appeared to be delegated to the Parks Committee under the Standing Orders, and it was therefore:

 

1328   RESOLVED:- That the General Committee be recommended to authorise arrangements to be made with the Parks Department to undertake the work on the terms above mentioned, the maintenance in question to apply to the grounds at the Billesley, Birchfield, Bordesley Green, Brookvale, Perry Common, Pype Hayes, Sparkhill and Stechford branches.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: January 14th 1929

 

On Minute No 1332 (Land corner of Brigfield Road and Yardley Wood Road) the General Manager submitted the following report:

 

Land at Yardley Wood Road

 

The General Manager of the Estates Department is anxious to settle the terms upon which the land for the purpose of a Bank should be transferred to the Bank Committee.

 

There are approximately 1493 square yards involved, the greater portion of which cannot be built upon owing to the Town Planning requirements. After taking this fact into account, Mr Wallace Smith suggests that the purchase price should be at the rate of 10/- per square yard, which figure he would be prepared to urge the Ministry of Health to agree to.

 

The Chairman of the Bank Committee is of opinion that this is a reasonable price to ask, and he recommends that the Bank Committee should agree to such terms.

 

With regard to the erection of the buildings on this land, Mr Wallace Smith states that the matter will have to be first considered by the Public Works Committee to whom is delegated the building of houses and shops on Corporation estates, so that for the time being no further steps will be taken with regard to obtaining tenders for the erection of a Bank, etc.

 

1345   RESOLVED:- That the General Committee be recommended to approve, subject to the requisite sanctions being obtained, the transfer to the Bank of approximately 1,490 square yards of land at the corner of Brigfield Road and Yardley Wood Road, at the price of 10/- per square yard.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: December 17th 1928

 

New Bank, corner of Brigfield Road and Yardley Wood Road.

 

Your Sub-Committee have examined the plan and elevation prepared by Mr Harold Scott, Architect, for the erection of Bank premises on land purchased by the Bank and situate at the corner of Brigfield Road and Yardley Wood Road.

 

The plan which has been prepared on lines similar to those adopted for other new Branch Bank premises will be available for inspection at the meeting on Monday. The estimated cost of the building is given as 3,850 and the difference in cost between this Bank and the one which it is proposed to erect at Erdington is accounted for by the larger frontage and because of the different levels of this particular site.

 

The erection of this Branch Bank is part of a joint scheme already sanctioned, between the Estates Department and the Bank and is subject to the Estates Department erecting shops or houses or both, to meet their requirements on adjoining land, which portion of the scheme is a matter for the Estates Committee to consider and determine.

 

Providing the two Committees approve the respective plans, tenders will be invited by advertisement and the Chairmen of the two Committees will, as already authorised, accept a tender for the work.

 

Continued ....
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Billesley was the site of one of the earliest council estates to be built in Birmingham after the First World War, part of the drive to rid the city of its slums. In 1919 the City Council bought Billesley Farm and its surrounding fields and by 1931 some 3,500 council houses had been built. In order to cater for the increasing population of the estate, an Evening Branch in a temporary wooden building was opened on April 30th 1927. This site proved unappealing, and when it was decided to construct a permanent branch this was located further south on Yardley Wood Road - a joint scheme of branch and shops in conjunction with the Public Works and Town Planning Committee was built at the corner of Brigfield Road