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Birmingham Municipal Bank
Depositors' Ledger
Aston Branch
 
 
Depositors' Department
 
 
Aston
Branch
 
One of the six branches that opened on a daily basis from the Bank's commencement on September 1st 1919, Aston was at first located in a room at the council house in Albert Road. This unsatisfactory location was soon replaced by a move to shop premises in the local High Street. Growth of business was rapid and the shop premises were soon converted to a create a permanent branch that was later extended.
 
On July 4th 1922, the branch opened its six-thousand-and-first account, creating a new bound ledger to record the transactions of the next 2,000 accounts. Account number 8,000 was opened on April 5th 1923. The ledger, which was printed in the format of five account columns per page, was used from July 1922 to December 1925.
 
This type of bound book ledger was used by the Bank in the first few years of its existence - other examples are illustrated for:
 
Aston Cross branch - Accounts numbered 1 to 2,000;
 
Springfield branch (then known as Sparkhill) - Accounts numbered 2,001 to 4,000.
 
The format of these BMB ledgers was a development of the system used by the Birmingham Corporation Savings Bank.
 
In 1924, the long and arduous task of transferring over 130,000 accounts from the ledger books of nearly thirty branches to a more flexible system of loose-leaf ledgers was commenced. This task seems to have been completed at Aston branch in late 1925.
 
Examples extracted from Aston's ledger are illustrated below.
(left) A/c No: 6001 - Charles Hedley Massey joined the Bank's staff in 1921. He retired as Assistant General Manager in 1970.
 
(above) A/c Nos: 6011 & 6983 - two accounts where the large number of transactions has resulted in their original pre-numbered columns having been filled. The accounts have been continued in spare columns. Although the account numbers are disparate the columns have been placed on the same page, illustrating how difficult it would have been to locate a current balance for an account moved from its original sequential position. Both depositors have been issued with a Home Safe.
 
(above) A/c No: 6042 - Joint Account; each joint account has a reference number (in this case 138) to enable the staff to locate the Joint Account Mandate that specifies whether withdrawals are to be made on one or both signatures.
(above left) A/c No: 6101 - the depositor having lost her passbook, the account heading notes that a Duplicate Book was issued on September 11th 1923.
 
(above centre) A/c No: 6138 - the depositor has completed a Nomination; usually a reference number to assist locating the relevant form is noted against the rubber stamp.
 
(above right) - the foot of two account columns; one completed column has had the balance carried forward to a new column at the end of the same page, the other's balance of 53 - 19 - 1d (and all account headings) has been transferred to a new loose-leaf ledger.
(above) A/c No: 6244 - an unusual type of account closure. The Bank's Management Committee have ordered that the account of Walter H Evans be closed. 
 
(right) A/c No: 6164 - Account opened August 16th 1922 and transferred to nearby Aston Cross branch on April 28th 1924. Following the release of the column, the space has been utilised for the continuation transactions of A/c No: 6137.
 
(far right) A/c No: 6166 - balance of 243 - 0 -2d brought forward to a continuation column.
 
 
In the years prior to those covered by this ledger, the value of interest earned was calculated to one decimal place. By 1922 this practice has ceased.
(above left) A/c No: 6147 - Joint Account. Depositors have been issued with a Home Safe, but have returned it to the branch on August 11th 1924.  A/c No: 6344 - rubber stamp "AUDIT A.B.N. & CO." indicating that a member of the Auditor's staff has agreed the ledger balance with the depositor's passbook.
 
(above centre left) A/c No: 6742 - "2nd book issued Nov 3/25" - the depositor's transactions have filled her original passbook, requiring the issue of a continuation book.
 
(above centre right) more examples of checks by the Auditors - in this case, twice in a few months.
 
(above right) A/c No: 6367 - a number of deposits with two dates against each indicating the deposits have been made at another branch a couple of days earlier.
(above left) A/c No: 6501 - Society Account (Aston Women's Unionist Club). The Club's mandate form is referenced as No. 93.
 
(above centre left) A/c No: 6620 - Depositor has obtained a House Purchase loan, and his savings account must remain open during the life of the mortgage.
 
(above centre right) A/c No: 6829 - an account previously closed has been re-opened ('renewed') and the original passbook used.
 
(above right) A/c No: 6705 - a joint account with the names of five depositors - probably the four minor children of Charles H Eccles.
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