The following images were taken at an event held at the Broad Street Head Office to mark the retirement of the Bank's first General Manager: J P Hilton. Mr Hilton formally retired on March 24th 1946, and the event illustrated was held on April 30th 1946. In the first photograph, Mr Hilton is on the Lord Mayor's right-hand side. In the second photograph, Mr Hilton appears to be receiving the gold key, referred to below, from the Bank's Chairman Harrison Barrow.
Details of the evening's events, and a presentation made by the staff, are shown at Retirement of J P Hilton (Menu Card, etc)
Mr Hilton's retirement was also marked by the presentation from the Bank Committee of the
gold key and a bound copy of a Resolution passed in Appreciation of his Services.
At its meeting on February 18th 1946, the Bank Committee passed the following resolution:
RESOLVED:- That, in view of the impending retirement of Mr John Peter Hilton, CBE, FRCA, this Committee record their high appreciation of his eminent services to the City during the past 30 years.
Mr Hilton was the Manager of the original Corporation Savings Bank from its inception in 1916 until it was replaced in 1919 by the Birmingham Municipal Bank, upon the establishment of which Mr Hilton was appointed its first General Manager, a position that he has held with distinction ever since.
The success of this unique and renowned Institution is due in large measure to the whole-hearted devotion, resourceful enterprise and organising ability of Mr Hilton in its development on secure and lasting foundations. In the attainment of this object, he has manifested resolute courage in overcoming inevitable difficulties; he has evinces sagacious foresight and perseverance in extending the considerable tact and acumen in conducting negotiations with HM Government, Local Authorities and other Bodies; while he has done much to foster harmonious relations between the Bank and the Trustee Savings Bank, with mutual benefit. Much credit is due to him for his drive and enthusiasm in the National War Savings Campaign in Birmingham, whereby, through the medium of the Bank, over £44 million was raised for the prosecution of the War.
Under his able management, the Bank has become of inestimable value to the community, not only in encouraging local and national savings, but also in enabling depositors to purchase their houses, safeguard their valuables and to benefit by other services. The growth of the Bank has been phenomenal, there being at present 67 Branches and over 580 thousand open accounts, the amount standing to the credit of depositors exceeding £71 million; while during the lifetime of the Bank, over £8 million has been loaned for House Purchase in more than 20 thousand cases. Mr Hilton's qualities of leadership and sound judgement have been very material in so meeting the needs of the public and in inspiring the staff with zeal and diligence to this objective.
It is the cordial wish of this Committee that Mr Hilton may enjoy many years of good health and happiness in his retirement, with the conviction that he may recall with pride his outstanding part in a great achievement.
The appreciation was drawn up by the Committee's Chairman (Alderman Harrison Barrow) who, after the resolution was passed, was empowered by the Committee to give directions for the resolution to be suitably engrossed, illuminated and bound for presentation on a suitable occasion.
At the Committee meeting on March 18th 1946 the Chairman stated that with reference to the arrangement for the Dinner at the Bank Head Office to mark Mr Hilton's retirement the date had now been fixed for Tuesday, April 30th, which would be convenient to the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress; also that the necessary steps were being taken.
The Committee approved the proposed list of guests, but suggested that the Chairman and Mr Carver might consider whether it would reasonably be possible to include about six of the earliest depositors. They also approve the menu, and authorised Mr Carver in consultation with the Chairman, to arrange the toast list and any musical items deemed desirable; to have a suitable menu card printed and to make any other necessary arrangements. It was decided that invitations should not be sent to representatives of the Press.
Pursuing the Committee's decision to have the Resolution of Appreciation suitably engrossed, illuminated , and bound, it was discovered that another Committee had had similar work done by a Mr Erle F Newey of Messrs Morton & Newey, Illuminating Artists. It was agreed with Mr Newey that he should prepare an engrossed illuminated Resolution in Album form, Morocco leather bound, in which was to be incorporated a painting of the exterior of the Head Office, the Coat of Arms and the Bank Key Sign. The cost was £25.
In addition, Mr Hilton was presented with a Gold Key made by Elkington & Co Ltd at a cost of £31. 5. 0d. The key, complete with case, had a gold plate with an engraved inscription.
On retirement, Mr Hilton received a Local Government pension - the amount of which was subject to a review by Birmingham Corporation's Finance Committee.