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Former bank cashier tells of ‘ledger books two feet tall’ as Grimsby HSBC marks 125 years

Could you imagine bank staff tallying up every single customer's account in a ledger book?

Former bank cashier tells of ‘ledger books two feet tall’ as Grimsby HSBC marks 125 years

It happened!

1940s bank cashier Bill Harrison recalled the old days as staff and customers past and current, raised a glass to HSBC Grimsby's 125th birthday.

The branch is one of the oldest in the bank's network and celebrated the landmark with cake and balloons.

It was initially opened by the Lincoln and Lindsey Banking Company in 1892 and was seen by Midland Bank directors as 'one of the most important branches of the bank' before it acquired the Lincoln and Lindsey Banking Company in 1913.

During the First and Second World Wars, 24 Grimsby branch employees were enlisted to serve the armed forces, highlighting the dedicated employees that have supported the branch throughout its history.

Former chief cashier, 93-year-old Bill Harrison, said: "It was a lot different in the 1940s where we would tally up all of the customer accounts through ledger books two feet tall and six inches thick. Popping into the branch today I can notice the technology available for staff and customers. After 18 enjoyable years working at the Grimsby branch it is nice to see it is still open for business today."

Helen Bloor, HSBC UK Grimsby branch manager, said: "Celebrating 125 years of the branch being open has given us the opportunity to appreciate how our branch has adapted to rapidly changing consumer habits and technology over the years.

"During the early 1890s in branch services would normally cover business advice, small loans and cheque processing and the entire procedure would involve signatures being carefully reviewed through several ledger books before a withdrawal was completed, which could take quite a while to reconcile. Today, a lot of the banking that we all do is at the click of a button with mobile and internet banking and using ATMs for cash withdrawals. While we still offer a variety of services ranging from advising on and arranging mortgages to advising on savings and investments and insurance plans, we are still very proud to be providing a first class service for the people of Grimsby."

Grimsby branch timeline:

• 1892 - Grimsby branch opens by the Lincoln and Lindsey Banking Company at 55 Victoria Street on 22 March 1892

• 1896 - Lincoln and Lindsey Bank acquired lease of 57 Victoria Street, next door to existing branch

• 1899 - 55 and 57 Victoria Street were redeveloped to provide a new purpose build office buildings were demolished and rebuilt for a new purpose built office

• 1913 - Midland Bank acquires Lincoln and Lindsey Banking Company

• 1914 – 8 employees enlisted during the First World War

• 1939 – 16 employees enlisted during the Second World War

• 1950s - Vast majority of transactions continued to be processed onsite with banking records still being paper based

• 1970s - Accounts at branch were computerised due to new introduction of technologies


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