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'My Story' by Home Safe Number 1396

My story begins with my creation as a Home Safe by Wilkins & Wright, who gave me my own personal identification - “Number 1396”. This manufacturer in Kenyon Street, Birmingham, created me in 1922 and I was delivered (in my own individual cardboard box) to the Head Office of the Birmingham Municipal Bank in Edmund Street, Birmingham, on January 2nd 1923. There was such a demand for these innovative saving devices that I was almost immediately allocated to the Head Office branch - one of a hundred safes transferred there on January 6th 1923. I was not the first Home Safe to be made available to depositors at Head Office branch, the first batch of 50 produced by Wilkins & Wright was delivered on November 16th 1922, and allocated to Head Office branch on December 1st - Home Safe Number 1 being taken up by Ronald Watt (Account Number 12332), who had opened his account on November 6th 1920. 

At that time it was a requirement of the Bank that at least Six Shillings (6/-) was kept in an account whilst a Home Safe was held, this amount being forfeited if the safe was lost or damaged. It was also a requirement that a fee of One Shilling was paid by a depositor in order to obtain a safe. By the end of that month the Head Office branch had issued 327 safes. 

The depositor who was willing to pay 1/- for me was Miss Helena Mary Edge. She opened Account Number 19993 by depositing 10/- on January 24th 1923. My new home was in Foundry Road, Winson Green, where Helena lived with her parents: Henry and Mary. On March 7th I was opened at the Bank, and the 13/6d that Helena had used me to save her spare coins at her home was deposited to her account.  

After many years of helping people to save, Home Safes were dispensed with, and I became redundant - eventually finding a new home after being purchased at the Antiques Market at Church Stretton in Shropshire. Images from my life are shown below.


This is me - with my Serial Number stamped just above the safe's lock.
The entries in the 'Home Safes Received and Distributed' book show:
Page 1 - Safe Number 1 was received by the Bank from Wilkins & Wright on November 16th 1922 and allocated to Head Office ('HO') on December 1st 1922. The notation in red ink records that this Safe was transferred to Hall Green branch on September 22nd 1928;
Page 56 - Safe Number 1396 is recorded as being received on January 2nd 1923 and allocated to Head Office four days later.
This report (left) presented to the Bank's Management Committee shows that 327 Home Safes had been issued to Head Office depositors by January 31st 1923.
Ledger records (below) show Home Safe No 1396 issued to Account No 19993, and Home Safe No 1 issued to Account No 12332.
(Research for this 'Memory' by Nick Bright, the owner of Home Safe Number 1396.)
Helena Edge takes me to the Bank to deposit 13/6d.
Helena Edge signed an Agreement before taking me to Winson Green.
My temporary home in Church Stretton