This bank was originally the Midland Bank and the present HSBC bank hold the original leather bound draft book dating from 1893.
(When the HSBC changed the branch name from ‘Warstone Lane’ to ‘The Jewellery Quarter Branch’ Marie Haddleton Editor of The Hockley Flyer was invited to officially ‘cut the ribbon’ and say a ‘few words’).
History of The Midland Bank:
Joseph Gibbins, who had already worked with Matthew Boulton in establishing the Assay Office, was called upon to provide copper for the National Mint.
As its name implies, ‘Midlands’ origins are in the West Midlands. It all began when Cornishman, Charles Geach from St Austell, was working as a clerk in the Birmingham branch of the Bank of England in 1830. His ambition was to start a bank of his own. Several businessmen backed him and he opened the first branch of the Birmingham and Midlands Bank in a rented shop at 30 Union Street on 22nd August 1836. It is interesting to note that the qualifications for a directorship included the demand that the Bank’s directors should live within six miles of Birmingham Town Hall.
After many amalgamations and absorption, the Bank became known as The London & Midland Bank in 1891.
There is a masonry carving over the front door which is believed to be linked to Henry Vyse’s coat of arms and depicts scenes of industry and many streets in The Jewellery Quarter bear the names of his children.
During the Second World War the staff used the strong room as an air raid shelter and for about 20 years the first floor was occupied by a manufacturing jeweller.