Premises - Halesowen
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 April to October 1939.
Following an invitation from Halesowen Borough Council for the Bank to open a branch in their municipality, extensive enquiries were made by the Bank in the late 1930s with a view to securing suitable accommodation for a branch in Halesowen. The initial focus was for a site in the Church Street/High Street area, and at a Bank Committee meeting on June 19th 1939, it was agreed that property at 20 High Street be purchased for 1,075. The site extended to 660 square yards, but it was noted that some land at the rear was required by Worcestershire County Council for road widening purposes. The Second World War threatened the construction of a permanent branch, but the architect (Mr E C Bewlay) recommended continuation as he believed that the necessary labour could be found. The branch was opened by the Mayor of Halesowen on December 17th 1940.

Bank Committee: April 17th 1939


The General Manager reported that arising out of a conversation he had had with Alderman J B Downing, OBE, JP, of the Halesowen Council, a communication had been received from the Town Clerk Halesowen intimating that, at the meeting of the Council on April 12th, he was instructed to ask if a branch office of the Birmingham Municipal Bank could be opened within the Borough of Halesowen.


6489   RESOLVED:- That the Town Clerk be instructed to intimate to the Town Clerk of Halesowen that the Corporation will be pleased to establish a branch of the Bank at Halesowen on the terms applying to branches already established outside the City, and that the General Manager be authorised to make enquiries for suitable accommodation.


Bank Committee: May 15th 1939


The General Manager informed the Committee of the present position in the negotiations for premises for the proposed Branch Bank at Halesowen, and it was:


6520   RESOLVED:- That the Chairman, Alderman Morland and Councillor Martineau, with the General Manager, be empowered to conduct negotiations for the purchase of suitable premises at Halesowen at a reasonable price, reporting their action in due course.


Bank Committee: June 19th 1939


6532   The following report of the Finance General Purposes Sub-Committee was presented:


Negotiations for Property at Halesowen.


Extensive enquiries have been made at Halesowen with a view to securing suitable accommodation for a Branch Bank and your Sub-Committee have authorised negotiations to take place with a view to acquiring premises in Church Street. It is hoped to report further on the matter at the meeting next Monday.


With reference to the paragraph in the foregoing report as to negotiations for property at Halesowen, the Chairman of the Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee reported that as a result of further negotiations, the lowest price at which the premises in High Street, owned by Alderman Downing, could be secured was 1,075. The property had an area of approximately 660 square yards with a frontage to Church Road of 33 feet. It is probable that a portion of the back land not required for Bank purposes could be disposed of to the Worcestershire County Council, who desire such land for road widening purposes.


6538  RESOLVED:- That the Town Clerk and the General Manager be empowered to take the necessary steps for the purchase of the freehold property No 20 High Street, Halesowen, at the sum of 1,075, subject to the approval of the City Council; and that the Town Clerk be instructed to prepare any necessary documents, affixing the Corporate Seal thereto.


Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee: July 17th 1939


Property at Halesowen.


With reference to the property No 20, High Street, Halesowen, the acquisition of which, subject to the approval of the City Council, was authorised by your Committee on the 19th June last, your Sub-Committee have now directed that negotiations be entered into with the Worcestershire County Council, who desire to acquire a portion of the rear land for street widening. It has been ascertained that after meeting the wishes of the County Council there will be sufficient land available for Branch purposes.


Your Sub-Committee have directed that Mr Bewlay, Architect, should prepare a scheme for the erection of a suitable one-storey Bank on the site, after demolition of the existing buildings.


They recommend that their action in these matters be confirmed.


Bank Committee: July 17th 1939


6575   RESOLVED:- That, with regard to the proposed purchase of property at Halesowen (which is subject to the consent of the City Council) the action taken in authorising negotiations to be entered into with the Worcestershire County Council for the sale to them of a portion of the rear land be confirmed; also that the direction given to Mr Bewlay, Architect, to prepare a scheme for the erection of a one-storey bank on the site after the demolition of the existing buildings be approved.


Report to the City Council: July 25th 1939




Following upon the agreement entered into with the Halesowen Borough Council for the establishment of a Branch Bank, your Committee have now been able to secure freehold premises situate at No 20, High Street, Halesowen, with land adjoining, which is indicated by pink colouring on plan "A" accompanying this report.


The price agreed for the premises and land, which have an approximate area of 600 square yards, is 1,075.


The Worcestershire County Council desire to purchase a portion of the land at the rear for street widening purposes, and it is probable that your Committee will be able to meet the needs of the County Council while retaining sufficient land on which to erect a suitable building to replace the existing premises, which would not admit of reconstruction.


There is a right of way over the property as indicated on the plan for adjoining owners to obtain access to the rear of their properties.


The approval of the Council is sought to the purchase being effected at the price mentioned, which would be defrayed out of Bank funds; to the erection of a suitable Branch Bank, and to the disposal of such rear land as may be surplus to Bank requirements at a price to be agreed.


It was moved by Mr Alderman Barrow, seconded, and Resolved:

34,793. That the proposal to acquire premises and land of an area of approximately 600 square yards, at No 20, High Street, Halesowen, for the sum of 1,075, and to erect a Branch Bank thereon, as set out in the foregoing report, be approved; and that the Bank Committee be authorised to dispose of such rear land as may be surplus to their requirements, to the Worcestershire County Council for street widening purposes, at a price to be agreed.



Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee: October 16th 1939


Purchase of property at Halesowen.


In the Report to Council it was pointed out that there was a right of way over this property for adjoining owners to obtain access to the rear of their properties.


It is now made clear that this right of way does not pass to the Bank, who, however, have the right of user. This was taken into account when preparing the plans for erecting new premises, which will not be interfered with. The Town Clerk has therefore been directed to proceed with the purchase of the property.


Proposed branches for Halesowen and Rubery.


In the case of Halesowen the General Manager has been authorised to confer with the Architect to ascertain whether the existing premises could be adapted temporarily for the purpose of a branch and if so to make arrangements for opening a daily branch.


With regard to Rubery, your Sub-Committee consider that no action need to be taken at the present time.