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Premises - Wheeler 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 July 1928 to June 1937.

Report to the Bank Committee: July 16th 1928

 

Property: Nos 5 and 7 Wheeler Street, Lozells

 

The question of making provision for a Bank towards the Great Hampton Street end of Wheeler Street, has been mentioned on several occasions.

 

The General Manager has been informed that two shops and houses Nos 5 and 7 Wheeler Street, are for sale, with vacant possession of the whole of No 5. No 7 is subject to a weekly tenancy at a rental of 19/6d, the landlord paying rates and water charges. The property is freehold, and for the two shops and dwelling houses a price of 1,600 has been asked.

 

Mr Wilde has raised the point as to whether the Committee would be interested in this property, in which case he would, if instructed, open negotiations with a view to the property being acquired.

 

The Chairman and General Manager passed these premises on Friday morning last without making any particular inspection and the conclusion they arrived at was that the Committee should be acquainted at once, so that the necessary authority could be given to Mr Wilde if that should be the Committee's wish. From a casual survey the structure appears to be in decent condition, but of course a more detailed report would be available after Mr Wilde has had an opportunity of going into the whole matter.

 

It is recommended that Mr Wilde be instructed to commence negotiations, and to furnish a full report on the whole matter, giving his opinion as to the price.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: October 15th 1928

 

Purchase of Property in Wheeler Street.

 

Your Sub-Committee report that, following on the authority given by your Committee at their last meeting, negotiations have been completed for the purchase of the freehold of the property Nos 5 and 7, Wheeler Street at the price of 1,350.

 

The City Council will be asked at their meeting on the 16th October to confirm the purchase, and, subject thereto, your Sub-Committee recommend that the Town Clerk be instructed to enter into any necessary documents, affixing the Corporate Seal thereto.

 

City Council: October 16th 1928

 

PURCHASE OF PREMISES, NOS 5 AND 7, WHEELER STREET, LOZELLS.

 

For some time the Bank Committee have been seeking premises in the Wheeler Street area to serve as a Branch of the Bank, and an opportunity has arisen of securing property, which, in the opinion of your Committee, can be suitably adapted for this purpose.

 

This property is situate in the midst of a thickly populated part of the City, and consists of two shops and dwelling-houses, Nos 5 and 7, Wheeler Street. The buildings have a frontage to Wheeler Street of 36ft. 9in.

 

Negotiations for the purchase have resulted in the property being placed on sale at the sum of 1,350 freehold, which price your Committee are professionally advised is reasonable, having regard to the position and condition of the premises.

 

Vacant possession of No 5, Wheeler Street can be given on completion of purchase, and No 7, Wheeler Street is subject to a weekly tenancy at a rental of 19s. 2d. inclusive, the rates being paid by the landlord.

 

Your Committee ask for the approval of the Council to the purchase, the cost of which will be defrayed out of the funds of the Bank.

 

It was moved by Mr Councillor Cooper, seconded by Mr Councillor Gelling, and

Resolved: 28,789. That the proposal to purchase, for the purpose of a Branch Bank, the freehold premises Nos 5 and 7, Wheeler Street, Lozells, for the sum of 1,350, be approved and confirmed, the purchase money to be defrayed out of the funds of the Bank.

 

Bank Committee: December 10th 1928

 

On Minute No 1320, the General Manager presented the following report with regard to the available use of land and buildings purchased for branch bank purposes

 

 
Land & Buildings
 

Report of the Town Clerk: January 8th 1929

 

I have to report that I have completed the purchase from Messrs Jesse Watkins and Edward Richard Wallace for the sum of 1,350 of the premises Nos 5 and 7 Wheeler Street in this City.

 

I have in addition to the purchase money paid the stamp duty on the Conveyance amounting to 13. 10. 0.

 

Bank Committee: April 8th 1929

 

On Minutes Nos 1193 and 1288, it was

 

1385   RESOLVED:- That the General Manager be requested to consider if any arrangements can be made to relieve the present congestion at the Summer Lane Branch and to make enquiries as to securing other premises or a site for a permanent bank.

 

It was also

1386   RESOLVED:- That the General Manager be instructed to ascertain the position with regard to the tenancy of the property acquired by the Bank in Wheeler Street, and the possibility of obtaining vacant possession of the premises.

 

Bank Committee: May 13th 1929

 

1401   On Minute No 1386 (property in Wheeler Street) the General Manager reported that he had let the vacant shop to the West Birmingham Divisional Labour Party for a period of two weeks at a rental of 3 per week.

 

Bank Committee: June 10th 1929

 

On Minute No 1386 (Property in Wheeler Street), the Sub-Committee considered the question of obtaining possession of No 7 Wheeler Street, occupied by Mrs Slade, widow, as a weekly tenant protected by the Rent Restrictions Act, and it was considered desirable, if possible, that assistance should be given to secure alternative accommodation suitable to the needs of Mrs Slade who has nine children living with her. It was therefore:

 

1416   RESOLVED:- That the General Committee be recommended to instruct Mr Wilde to endeavour to arrange for the purchase of suitable accommodation for the tenant of No 7 Wheeler Street, the purchase to be facilitated by means of an advance to Mrs Slade through the House Purchase Department in the usual way.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: June 17th 1929

 

3463   The following report of the General Purposes Sub-Committee was presented:

 

Property in Wheeler Street.

 

Your Sub-Committee have to report that vacant possession of the whole of the premises Nos 5 and 7 Wheeler Street cannot yet be obtained. No 5 Wheeler Street is vacant, but No 7 Wheeler Street is occupied by Mrs Slade (Widow) as a second-hand clothes shop and dwelling-house. Mrs Slade has nine children living with her, the eldest being 21 years of age and the youngest 10 years of age. She is a weekly tenant, protected by the Rent Restrictions Acts, and although willing to remove to other premises within a reasonable distance of her present address, it is necessary for her to have a shop and dwelling-house as she is partially dependent on the shop for a living.

 

Mr Frank Wilde has put forward the suggestion that the shop and premises No 77 Wheeler Street, which are on sale at 550, should be purchased and Mrs Slade transferred thereto, but your Sub-Committee do not consider such an expenditure justifiable. On the other hand, they realise that until alternative accommodation suitable to the needs of Mrs Slade and her family is provided, the reconstruction of the Wheeler Street premises cannot be undertaken.

 

It is therefore recommended that Mr Wilde be instructed to endeavour to purchase a suitable shop and house for Mrs Slade and that the purchase be facilitated by an advance through the House Purchase Department in the usual way.

 

3468   RESOLVED:- That the General Manager be instructed to direct Mr Frank Wilde to endeavour to arrange for the purchase of suitable accommodation for the tenant of No 7 Wheeler Street on the lines indicated in the foregoing report of the General Purposes Sub-Committee, an advance to Mrs Slade for that purpose to be arranged through the House Purchase Department in the usual way.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee : July 8th 1929

 

On Minutes Nod 1386 and 1416 (property in Wheeler Street) the Sub-Committee were informed that Mr Frank Wilde had not yet been able to find suitable accommodation for the tenant of No 7 Wheeler Street, and in view of the circumstances the Sub-Committee considered it might be necessary to acquire the property on her behalf. It was:

 

1425   RESOLVED:- That the General Manager be directed to instruct Mr Wilde, should he be unable to find satisfactory premises to rent, to make enquiries for the purchase of suitable property.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: July 15th 1929

 

3495   The following report of the General Purposes Sub-Committee was presented:

 

Property in Wheeler Street.

 

In accordance with the instructions given at the last meeting of your Committee Mr Frank Wilde, the Bank's Valuer, has made enquiries for suitable premises to accommodate the tenant of No 7 Wheeler Street, who is a widow with nine children, in order that the Bank may enter into possession of this property.

 

Mr Wilde has not succeeded in finding suitable accommodation to rent and your Sub-Committee therefore recommend that he be empowered to negotiate for the purchase of suitable premises on behalf of the widow, who desires to obtain a house and shop in order that she may carry on her business.

 

3497   RESOLVED:- That the General Manager be instructed to direct Mr Frank Wilde to arrange for the purchase of property suitable to the needs of the present tenant of No 7 Wheeler Street, of which premises the Bank desire to secure vacant possession.

 

Finance Sub-Committee: October 14th 1929

 

The Sub-Committee were informed that arrangements had now been made for the letting of the premises owned by the Bank in Wheeler Street to Mr A H Bayes, of 19, Hall Road, Handsworth, for two weeks ending November 2nd at the sum of 3 per week.

 

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

General Purposes Sub-Committee: November 20th 1929

 

Summer Lane Branch.

 

This branch was ripe for development in 1927 when, in fact, the Committee decided to secure permanent premises. It will be realised that to move the site of a branch which has enrolled 1,600 depositors with its limited days and hours of business, is somewhat risky, but if the move projected to Newtown Row can be accomplished at the same time as evening branch facilities are provided at Wheeler Street, then I think we can carry all the depositors to one branch or the other.

 

It would be advisable to carry through a small structural alteration to the vacant shop and house in Wheeler Street and to the shop and house in Newtown Row which will shortly be vacant, and open both branches together as evening branches.

 

Bank Committee: November 25th 1929

 

Subject to the approval of the Council to the purchase of property Nos 77 & 79, Newtown Row, to arrange for the opening of Evening Branches at No 77, Newtown Row and No 5, Wheeler Street.

 

3578  RESOLVED:- That the following Branches be named as below indicated:

 

Corner of Gravelly Lane and Station Road        Shortheath (sic)

Bristol Street             Horse Fair

Wheeler Street        Wheeler Street

Newtown Row          Newtown Row

 

Report to the City Council: December 3rd 1929

 

In relation to replacing the Summer Lane Branch, it will be recalled that in December, 1928, the Council approved of the purchase of Nos 5 and 7, Wheeler Street, for the purpose of the Bank. Up to the present it has not been possible to obtain vacant possession of No 7 Wheeler Street, and your Committee therefore propose to utilise the vacant premises at No 5 as an evening Bank until such time as vacant possession of the remainder of the property can be obtained. By opening evening branches at both Newtown Row and Wheeler Street your Committee are confident that the present depositorship of the Summer Lane Branch, which is situated between the two thoroughfares, can be successfully transferred to either one or the other of the proposed branches.

 

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: December 13th 1929

 

On Minutes Nos 1386/1416/1425 (property in Wheeler Street), the General Manager submitted a letter from Mr Wilde to the effect that Mrs Shand, the tenant of No 7 Wheeler Street, desired to acquire the dwellinghouse No 7 Waverhill Road, Handsworth, at a price of 410, and had stated that she would give vacant possession of No 7 Wheeler Street in consideration of a sum of 100 as compensation, and on the understanding that the Bank would advance 360 towards the purchase of the Waverhill Road property.

 

After consideration, it was:

 

1457   RESOLVED:- That Mr Wilde be informed that the Bank Committee are not willing to make the payment suggested as compensation nor to grant an advance in respect of the Waverhill Road property; further, that as steps have already been taken to open No 5 Wheeler Street as an evening branch such arrangements must stand for a year or two; and that Minutes Nos 1386/1416/1425 be discharged.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: January 13th 1930

 

1481  On Minute No 1457, the General Manager reported that arrangements had been made for the Wheeler Street evening Branch to be opened for business on Saturday next and that the Newtown Row evening Branch would be opened in about a fortnight's time when the Summer Lane Branch would be discontinued.

 

M862/3: General Purposes Sub-Committee: February 10th 1930

 

On Minutes Nos 1457 and 1481, the General Manager reported that evening Branches had now been opened at No 77 Newtown Row and No 5 Wheeler Street, and it was:

 

1495  RESOLVED:- That the Minutes be discharged.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: June 2nd 1930

 

The General Manager reported that the tenant of No 7, Wheeler Street had now expressed her willingness to give vacant possession of these premises in consideration of the payment to her of 100 as compensation.

 

1554   RESOLVED:- That the General Committee be recommended to authorise Mr Frank Wilde to obtain vacant possession of the property in consideration of a sum as compensation not exceeding 100.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: July 14th 1930

 

The General Manager reported that Mr Frank Wilde had obtained vacant possession of the premises No 7 Wheeler Street, on payment of compensation to the extent of 80.

 

1565   RESOLVED:- That Mr Stewart Evans, Architect, be requested to advise the Committee as to the desirability of altering the existing premises or the erection of a new building, and to submit his proposals in the matter.

Continued ....
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To cater for the densely populated area close to the northern area of the city centre, the Bank opened a branch in Summer Lane in 1925. The premises proved unsuitable and were eventually replaced by branches in the nearby thoroughfares of Newtown Row and Wheeler Street. Premises at 5 and 7 Wheeler Street were purchased in 1928, but the Bank was unable to immediately obtain vacant possession on Number 7. An Evening Branch was opened at No 5 until full possession was obtained and a reconstruction could be carried out. An experimental system was adopted to paint the walls and ceiling of the branch that proved unsuccessful. A full-time, permanent branch was opened on May 9th 1931