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Broad Street Head Office -

the Foundation Stone ceremony

The ceremony to lay the Foundation Stone for the Bank's new Head Offices in Broad Street took place on Saturday, October 22nd 1932. The following photographs recorded the event, and show a group of distinguished visitors and journalists gathered to witness the ceremony.

The Foundation Stone was laid close to the building's loggia, and the assembled crowd are in the Broad Street frontage area of the building site. Already visible are sections of the building's steel frame and the lower part of one of the loggia's pillars.

The branch was to close for business almost exactly 66 years later: October 23rd 1998

Visitors gather for the ceremony
The Lord Mayor (John Bedford Burman) addresses the assembled crowd
Neville Chamberlain (immediately to the right of the steel upright) makes a speech
The next speaker is the Bank's Chairman, Alderman R R Gelling

Two images showing Neville Chamberlain being presented with a ceremonial trowel with which to perform the laying ceremony. For many years, this trowel was displayed in a cabinet in the building's Banking Hall, but is now in the custody of the Savings Banks Museum at Ruthwell, Scotland.

The trowel's inscription reads:

Presentation by the architect of

T Cecil Howitt, FRIBA to

The Right Honourable Neville Chamberlain, MP

Chancellor of the Exchequer

on the occasion of laying

the foundation stone of the new

Head Offices of the

Birmingham Municipal Bank

October 22nd 1932

Neville Chamberlain laying the Foundation Stone

(inscription reproduced below)

Neville Chamberlain (centre in top hat) is congratulated by the Bank's General Manager, J P Hilton

Inscription of the foundation stone:


The Lord Mayor again  addresses the assembly