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Savings Drive with Graham Hill's BRM
Graham Hill's involvement with a savings drive in 1962,
the year he won the first of his two Formula One World Championships

In November 1962, the Chairman of the National Savings Movement (Viscount Mackintosh of Halifax) issued a challenge to the city of Birmingham to enrol 4,000 new savers. The challenge was delivered to the Lord Mayor (Alderman E W Horton) by the British racing driver Graham Hill, in his famous BRM racing car. 

The 2-litre BRM was owned by the industrialist Sir Alfred Owen of the Owen Racing Organisation. Together with Sir Alfred, a distinguished party of trades union leaders and industrialists met in the Council House for a ceremony to present a charter on which the challenge was inscribed.

(left) Council House - Lord Mayor's suite:

Sir Alfred Owen (centre) with

Graham Hill (second right) 



Prior to the presentation, Graham Hill with a BRM on a lorry, toured the centre of Birmingham. He had an escort of police outriders, and was followed by the BRM mobile workshop and Dunlop's racing unit.


The BRM was then displayed outside the Bank's Head Office in Broad Street.


The savings event occurred after 8 of the 9 rounds of the 1962 Formula One World Championships had been staged, three of which had been won by Graham Hill, and three won by Jim Clark. Graham Hill clinched the Championship by winning the South African Grand Prix on December 29th. BRM took the Constructors' Championship.


Seven years later, Sir Alfred Owen (then Vice-Chairman of the National Savings Committee) contributed to a publication commemorating the Bank's Golden Jubilee:

On behalf of the National Savings Committee I send warm congratulations to the Birmingham Municipal Bank on the occasion of its 50th birthday.

National Savings and the Birmingham Municipal Bank are very close contemporaries. It was in late 1915 that the Montague Committee laid the foundations of National Savings. At the same time, Mr Neville Chamberlain, Lord Mayor of Birmingham, first put forward the idea of a Savings Bank to help the workpeople of Birmingham to save and in order to help the war effort.

Although the official birthday of the Birmingham Municipal Bank was not until August 1919, it is interesting to recall the wartime activities of the Birmingham Corporation Savings Bank, which started in 1916 under the authority of the War Loan Investment Act of that year.

In those early days, deposits were made by means of the purchase of savings coupons and these, of the swastika design, were widely used for National Savings in the early years. Similar coupons are still in use with the savings schemes in Birmingham schools.

A provision of the original scheme was that the bank should be wound up after the war. Instead we now have a shining example of a temporary expedient proving itself and so establishing its right to survival.

I am glad to recall that one of the chief advisers who helped with the establishment of the bank was Sir William Schooling, one of my predecessors as vice-chairman of the National Savings Committee.

The National Savings Committee has followed with interest and admiration the progress of the bank since the end of the second World War. When Mr Macmillan introduced the income tax concession on the first 15 of interest earned in the Post Office and Trustee Savings Banks Ordinary Department, a struggle ensued to make sure that this concession also applied to depositors in the Birmingham Municipal Bank.

Lord Mackintosh, chairman of the National Savings Committee, played a prominent part in the negotiations which led to the establishment of the Birmingham Municipal Bank No 2 Department, in which interest up to 15 was free of income tax.

More recently we have been delighted to see the introduction of an Investment Department for long-term saving and current account provisions so that depositors may use cheque books.

We are now looking forward to co-operating with the bank in the promotion of the new Save As You Earn scheme announced by the Chancellor in this year's Budget. Here is an opportunity for depositors to take advantage of the very generous interest terms which are available for those who decide to take part in this more permanent savings scheme.

It is my pleasure to record the thanks of the National Savings Committee for the full part which the Birmingham Municipal Bank has played in the development of the National Savings Movement.

I offer my good wishes for the bank's continued success in the future.