Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Down on Chorlton Green with the Penny Savings Bank

I like the way stories have a habit of coming around all over again.

And so it is with the Penny Savings Bank.  It was set up in 1887 and according to the bank “any sum may be deposited between One Penny and £50. When the account reached £1 it is transferred to the Manchester and Salford Savings Bank. “

Our branch met every Saturday between 6 and 7 in the old school on the green.

And in placing the Penny Savings Bank on the green “the Trustees and managers” were clear in their own minds that perhaps this area was more likely “to see a large increase in the number of depositors, and cottager’s domestic servants, and parents on behalf of their children.”

After all this was the old centre of Chorlton and still retained something of its rural character including those of meaner means.

All of which was in direct contrast to the new village or New Chorlton which was centred on what we now call the Four Banks but which many will still remember as “Kemps Corner.”

This area grew quickly in the years after 1880 and catered for the new middling people who were moving into Chorlton attracted by its pleasant surroundings but also by the quick rail connection into the heart of the city and later by the extension of the Corporation tram network.

So swift and complete was the development of the area that its old name of Martledge was lost and forgotten in a generation.

And it led to that division of Chorlton in to the “old village” and the new, a division which was still there in the minds of many who were born here.

My old friend Marjorie who had been born in the old village and lived on Provis Road remained a little aloof at that “other bit” which she maintained was all “fancy cakes and silk knickers.”

Now that might have been a tad unfair but from the 1880s that was where the money was in the form of the professional, managerial and clerical classes.

And in turn that was where the banks were leaving us at the other end down by the Green with a post office and a Penny Savings Bank which with the passage of time has now left us with neither.

So I am drawn to both Marjorie’s memories of attending the bank in the 1940s and also by Sandra’s advert she sent me of the Penny Savings Bank dated 1934.

Marjorie remembered depositing money there along with her sister and it was a story I had let slide to the back of my memory.

But Sandra’s ad brought it all back along with that division of the two parts of Chorlton.

Today of course that distinction has pretty much receded in to the past along with Kemp’s Corner and the old school on the green.

And it was yesterday’s story of the conversion of the school and a painting by Peter Topping that prompted Sandra to show me the advert and set off today’s memories

Picture; advert for the Penny Savings Bank, 1934, from the collection of Sandra Hapgood, a Post Office Savings Tin circa 1940, courtesy of David Harrop

Painting; The school on Chorlton Green, © 2012 Peter Topping
Web: www.paintingsfrompictures.co.uk

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