Off with the Old - On with the New
Recollections made by Margaret Smith, regarding the Staff Association, at the date (November 20th 1979) when the Birmingham Municipal Trustee Savings Bank (BMTSB) merged with the TSB of the Midlands. The recollections were first published in the Christmas 1979 edition of CONTACT.
On Wednesday, 5th December  I attended the 'winding up' meeting of the BMTSB Staff Club, a proceeding which took only minutes,
It made me feel sad that something which had been so involved and far-reaching could disappear almost without trace by a show of hands from the few members who bothered to attend.
During those few minutes many events flashed through my mind; I was first elected onto the Staff Association Committee at the AGM of the year of the Association's Silver Jubilee. A special edition of "Contact" was printed with a silver cover, detailing the history of the Staff Association from its inception on 26th February 1947. Previous Staff Committees and Clubs had been in operation since 1929, but the Staff Association was formed to help arrange social functions, administer the Benevolent Fund, and discuss any matters of interest and concern to the staff with the General Manager.
In 1973 it was found that the Bank contained one or two 'budding artists' when the Editor of the time - Mrs Joan Burke - held a competition for the best sketch of a design for the cover of "Contact". Again in the artistic field we had proof of Howard Powell's talent for writing lyrics set to 'Golden Oldie' tunes and the great rendering of same at both Mr Guy's and Mr Hayward's retirement parties, by the 'Bank Notes'.
During those early years all activities were controlled by the state of the budget and strict reserve had to be made for special events such as the Children's Christmas Party and the Annual Dinner Dance.
The Staff Association also acted as 'go between' with NALGO and spent many hours in the Committee Luncheon Room in Head Office, thrashing out changes in conditions of service.
At the time of the Local Government re-organisation the Staff Association was split into two sections - the Representatives on the then NUBE Committee and the Staff and Welfare Club. The effects were enormous. With the increase in grant aid from the management, grants of £100 instead of £25 were available for sports sections and many additional sections were formed. Far greater subsidies were available for social functions, also, with a wider variety and more intense programme of social and sports events than ever possible before.
During the last two years there have been many new ventures, such as the 'getting to know you' Cheese and Wine party in Head Office to which both the TSB of the Midlands and Wales and Border Counties were invited. There was the Inter-Area sports competition and many more events which catered for all ages and tastes. During the last few months the Staff Club arranged the very successful Dieppe trip and the 'Farewell to BMTSB' at Romeo and Juliet's.
I feel that the sincere thanks of the staff are due to the many Committee Members who have worked so unstintingly for the benefit of the staff during all those years. Appreciation should also be extended to the non-committee members who have also co-operated in many ways.
I wish the new Committee every success for the future.