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Premises - Newtown Row
 
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 1929 to February 1939.
A branch was opened in 1925 at Summer Lane, a very poor district of the city. Despite being based on a depositorship from amongst the poorer section of the community , the branch did quite well as an Evening Branch. However, the premises used were very small and incapable of adapting. It was decided to serve the district with branches at Wheeler Street and Newtown Row. A permanent branch at Newtown Row  was opened  on January 13th 1939 but progress of the branch was hampered by having to be worked part-time during the Second World War, and the close proximity of other branches. After the War, the area was cleared of its poor quality housing and given over to factories. The branch was closed in 1971.

Bank Committee: October 21st 1929

 

The General Manager stated that his attention had been called to property Nos 85 and 87, Newtown Row, which was advertised for sale on the 22nd instant, but the Chairman and himself, on inspection, found that the property was in a very dilapidated condition, and they could not recommend any action being taken by the Bank in connection with the sale.

 

3552  RESOLVED:- That no action be taken in the matter.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: November 20th 1929

 

The Sub-Committee were informed that, as a result of Mr Frank Wilde's enquiries for premises in the Summer Lane and Newtown Row area, he had ascertained that the owner of the freehold retails shops and dwellinghouses, Nos 77 & 79, Newtown Row, had expressed a willingness to dispose thereof at the price of 1,700. As this opportunity arose during the vacation, Alderman Sir Percival Bower, after consulting Councillors Gelling, Poole, Cooper and Hume, authorised Mr Wilde to continue his negotiations and to purchase the property at a sum not exceeding 1,600. Mr Wilde was ultimately able to conclude the purchase at the price of 1,475, whereupon the Chairman gave instructions for the Town Clerk to enter into the necessary contract.

 

1454   RESOLVED:- That the above-mentioned action of the Chairman be confirmed, and that the General Committee be recommended to approve the purchase at the price named and to obtain the sanction of the City Council thereto.

 

The Committee then proceeded to consider the following report of the General Manager with regard to Evening Branches:

 

Report on Evening Branches: October 29th 1929

 

Summer Lane Branch.

 

Opened 25th April 1925.

 

Year ended

31st March

No of

depositors

Depositors'

balances

.  s.  d.

No of

transactions

dealt with

1926

616

5,307. 16.  2.

5,761

1927

988

10,664.  3.  7.

9,516

1928

1,378

17,362.  2. 11.

12,724

1929

1,674

23,298. 19.  7.

14,151

 

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.

 

On consideration of the foregoing report it was:

 

1457   RESOLVED:- That, subject to the approval of the General Committee, the General Manager be instructed to take the necessary steps to open Evening Branches at No 77, Newtown Row and No 5, Wheeler Street and, when possible, to arrange for the closing of the Summer Lane Branch, the depositors to be invited to transfer their accounts to one or the other of the new Branches.

 

Special Bank Committee: November 25th 1929

 

3572  The following report of the General Purposes Sub-Committee was submitted:

 

Premises, 77 and 79, Newtown Row.

 

In the course of Mr Frank Wilde's enquiries for premises in the Summer Lane and Newtown Row area, he ascertained that the owner of the freehold retail shops and dwelling houses Nos 77 and 79, Newtown Row, had expressed a willingness to dispose of the premises at the price of 1,700. Mr Wilde was of opinion that in negotiating he might be able to obtain more favourable terms, but in his opinion the Committee would be wise to reach a quick decision in the matter. Your Chairman (Alderman Sir Percival Bower), after consulting Councillors Gelling, Poole, Cooper and Hume, who were fortunately available, authorised Mr Wilde to continue his negotiations and to purchase the property up to a sum not exceeding 1,600. Ultimately, Mr Wilde was able to conclude the purchase at the price of 1,475, whereupon the Chairman gave instructions for the Town Clerk to enter into the necessary contract.

 

Vacant possession of the shop and sitting-room belonging to No 77, Newtown Row will be given on completion of purchase and of the remainder of these premises within three months. No 79, Newtown Row is let on lease to Pearks Stores at a rental of 37 per annum plus rates, the lease expiring in June 1937.

 

Your Committee ask that the action of the Chairman be confirmed, and that the Council be asked to approve the purchase at its next meeting.

 

Evening Branches.

 

Your Committee have given careful consideration to a report by the General Manager dealing with the progress and development of the evening branches, and recommend as follows:

 

That the recommendations contained in paragraph 2 of the foregoing report, relating to Evening Branches, be approved; and that the General Manager be instructed to take the necessary steps to carry out the following arrangements, reporting thereon to the General Purposes Sub-Committee where necessary:

 

(3) 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. 

 

3573   RESOLVED:- That the action of the Chairman in completing negotiations for the acquisition of freehold premises Nos 77 and 79 Newtown Row, be confirmed, and that the Council be asked to approve the purchase of the property for the sum of 1,475; also, the Town Clerk be instructed, subject thereto, to enter into any necessary agreement, affixing the Corporate Seal thereto.

 

3574   RESOLVED:- That the recommendations contained in paragraph 2 of the foregoing report, relating to Evening Branches, be approved; and that the General Manager be instructed to take the necessary steps to carry out the following arrangements, reporting thereon to the General Purposes Sub-Committee where necessary:

 

(3) 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

 

3575   RESOLVED:- That this Committee approve the proposal for the closing of the Summer Lane Branch, when arrangements can be made for the opening of Evening Branches at Newtown Row and Wheeler Street; and that the General Manager be instructed to direct Mr Frank Wilde to arrange for the surrender of the Lease of No 260, Summer Lane as from the date of the closing of the Branch, in consideration of the payment to the owner of a sum not exceeding 100, subject to a satisfactory indemnity being given to the Bank against any claim for the reinstatement of the shop front or for dilapidations; also, that the Town Clerk be authorised and instructed to enter into any necessary Agreement, affixing the Corporate Seal thereto if required.

 

3577  RESOLVED:- That the foregoing report of the General Purposes Sub-Committee be approved.

 

The Committee, having given consideration to the naming of new Branches, it was:

 

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

 

PURCHASE OF PREMISES: 77 AND 79, NEWTOWN ROW

 

For some time your Committee have been seriously concerned with the conditions under which business has been transacted at the Summer Lane Branch on Monday and Saturday evenings. The Branch is handicapped by the limited accommodation available in the room now used, which only measures 14ft. 6in. x 13ft.. At the end of March there were 1,674 depositors with balances to their credit of 23,298.

 

Your Committee do not consider it practicable to undertake structural alterations to the present premises, which are held on a short lease. The property is not sufficiently well built to admit of a satisfactory reconstruction, and the site which would be available for a new building, if the present premises were demolished, would not suffice for a daily Bank, after allowing for the area required for street widening.

 

Various alternatives have been considered, with the result that your Committee propose to purchase Nos 77 and 79, Newtown Row, indicated by pink colouring on Plan A attached to this report. These premises consist of two retail shops and dwelling-houses, No 77 being occupied by a baker, who would give vacant possession of the shop portion on completion of the contract,  and of the remainder within three months. No 79 is let on lease expiring in June, 1937, at a rental of 37 per annum, the tenant paying rates, etc. The whole of the property, which is freehold, can be purchased for 1,475, which price your Committee are advised is reasonable.

 

It is the intention of your Committee to use the ground floor premises of No 77, Newtown Row, for the purpose of an evening Bank, and to make provision for a daily Bank when possession can be obtained of No 79.

 

In further 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.

 

The approval of the Council is asked to the purchase of Nos 77 and 79, Newtown Row being effected at the price of 1,475, which sum will be provided out of Bank funds.

 

It was moved by Alderman Sir Percival Bower, seconded, and Resolved:

29,371. That the proposal to purchase the freehold property Nos 77 and 79, Newtown Row, at the price of 1,475, be approved and confirmed, the purchase money to be provided out of the funds of the Bank.

 

Report of the Town Clerk: December 6th 1929

 

Minute No 3573.

 

I have to report that in accordance with the above Minute I have completed the purchase from Mr Thomas Henry Mottrom, for the sum of 1,475, of Nos 77 and 79 Newtown Row.

 

No 79 is subject to a Lease expiring in 1937 at an annual rent of 37.  0.  0. Possession of a portion of the remaining premises is to be given at once and the remainder is to be vacated on the 30th January next.

 

I have, in addition to the purchase money, paid the stamp duty on the Conveyance, amounting to 15.  0.  0.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: January 13th 1930

 

The General Manager reported that the tenant of No 77, Newtown Row, had asked to be allowed to remain in possession of the property for the present and the Town Clerk had been requested to advise whether such a course would in any way prejudice the future position of the Bank in the matter of securing possession.

 

1484  RESOLVED:- That the matter be referred to the Town Clerk and General Manager to deal with.

 

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: February 17th 1930

 

Premises - 77 Newtown Row.

 

Your Sub-Committee are informed that Mr Mottram, the tenant of No 77 Newtown Row, who originally desired to continue his tenancy, has now decided to vacate the premises.

 

Consideration has been given to the question of dealing with the bake-house at the rear of the property either be letting or demolition. In view of the condition of the premises, your Sub-Committee have decided that it would be well to demolish the bake-house and they have given the General Manager instructions accordingly.

 

General Purposes Sub-Committee: March 10th 1930

 

On Minute No 1497 (Newtown Row premises), the General Manager reported that arrangements had been made to demolish the bake-house at the rear and for the tenant of the living accommodation at the Summer Lane premises to take over the dwellinghouse at an inclusive rental of 15/- a week and also the necessary alterations and decorating to be carried out.

 

1508   RESOLVED:- That the arrangements above indicated be approved and that the Chairman of this Sub-Committee and the General Manager be authorised to accept a suitable tender for the carrying out of the required alterations and decorations to the premises Nos 77-79 Newtown Row.

 

 

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