Members of Staff
September 1919

As the First World War came to an end, triggering the provisions of the Municipal Savings Banks (War Loan Investment) Act of 1916, that required that the Birmingham Corporation Savings Bank must cease business, the City Council sought to replace the temporary bank with the permanent Birmingham Municipal Bank. To this end, the Bank's Committee of Management had a number of problems to consider, including that of staffing, and a Special Sub-Committee reported on August 8th 1919 that:


Your Sub-Committee have appointed Mr F Ellison, Chief Clerk at the Coventry Savings Bank to the position of Assistant Manager at a salary after the rate of 350 per annum rising by 50 at the end of twelve months' service, the position to be reviewed after two years' working of the Bank. The appointment to be subject to one month's notice on either side and to the approval of the Salaries, Wages and Labour Committee.


Having regard to Mr Ellison's qualifications and experience your Sub-Committee consider it is not necessary to appoint at the present time an accountant clerk and that Mr Ellison can discharge such duties.


Your Sub-Committee have interviewed a number of candidates for positions in the new Bank and have made the following appointments, viz.,


           Chief Cashier at Head Office - F W Parsonage

            Branch Superintendents -

                       A J Smith

                       W I Wynn

                       E Cheatle

                       H H Crump

                       H Carver

                       H G Wright


The salary in each case to be 250 rising by 20 per year to 350.


The appointments to be the subject to one month's notice on either side.


Your Sub-Committee have also temporarily appointed Mr J Kesterton of 48 Merrivale Road, Smethwick, to assist with the propaganda of the Bank, in organizing savings amongst workpeople, and to otherwise assist in the general work of the Bank, at a salary after the rate of 250 per annum, subject to one month's notice on either side.


All appointments were effective from September 1st, the commencing date of the new Bank. However, the Manager (J P Hilton) found it necessary to obtain the services of Frank Ellison at an earlier date and Mr Ellison was compensated accordingly for his loss of wages at the Coventry Savings Bank.


The title 'Branch Superintendent' was the term used for an appointment made to take charge of a branch; the description 'Clerk-in-Charge' was used in later years (initially for Evening Branches), before 'Branch Manager' (the description used generally by this website) was introduced in October 1922. Mr Kesterton was given the title 'Propaganda and Organising Assistant'.


The next set of staff appointments were made by the Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee (actually just Councillor Appleby, as he was the only member present, presumably conferring with J P Hilton) on August 13th. These appointments appeared to relate to existing members of staff, ie those who were working for the Birmingham Corporation Savings Bank.


Subsequent appointments were made by the recruitment of staff, but some of these were part-time employees (probably from other Corporation departments) in order to staff the Evening Branches on three nights a week.


As a result of these appointments, the staff of the Birmingham Municipal Bank on its first day of business was:


Head Office

J P Hilton * (Manager)

Frank Ellison * (Assistant Manager)

Fred W Parsonage (Chief Cashier)

J Kesterton * (Propaganda and Organising Assistant, also in charge at Acocks Green branch on three evenings per week)

W T Robins * (also in charge at Balsall Heath branch on three evenings per week)

W F Heath * (also in charge at Rotton Park branch on three evenings per week)

Miss Dora E Blackwell *

Miss Elsie Bullock *

Miss Bloxham*

Leo E Smallwood * (Junior Clerk)

Miss Ellen Briscoe * (Junior Clerk)

A G Kirkpatrick (Stationery etc Clerk)


Aston (Daily Branch)

Edwin Cheatle * (Branch Superintendent)

Miss Nellie Tatton * (Assistant)

Lozells (Daily Branch)

A J Smith * (Branch Superintendent)

Miss E Jesson * (Assistant)

Small Heath (Daily Branch)

W I Wynn * (Branch Superintendent)

Miss D K Littlewood * (Assistant)

Sparkbrook (Daily Branch)

Harold Carver * (Branch Superintendent)

Mrs A Facey * (Assistant)

Handsworth (Daily Branch)

T J Ladbrook * (Branch Superintendent)

Mrs Mary Hinckley (Assistant)

A Norman Ling * (Junior Clerk)

Duddeston & Saltley (Open on alternate days)

Harry H Crump * (Branch Superintendent)

John W Raftery * (Junior Clerk)

Ladywood & Harborne (Open on alternate days)

Henry G Wright * (Branch Superintendent)

Miss L D Rudge * (Assistant)

Erdington (Evening Branch)

Walter Hodgetts (Clerk-in-Charge)

G F Lewis (Assistant)

Selly Oak (Evening Branch)

A H Longmore (Clerk-in-Charge)

E Davies (Assistant)

Northfield (Evening Branch)

R Judge (Clerk-in-Charge)

? (Assistant)

Balsall Heath (Evening Branch)

W T Robins (Clerk-in-Charge)

E Bryant (Assistant)

Miss Nora A Plant * (Junior Clerk) 

Kings Heath (Evening Branch)

Joseph E Chapman * (Clerk-in-Charge)

? Abbott (Assistant)

Rotton Park (Evening Branch)

W F Heath (Clerk-in-Charge)

Miss Marion Crawford * (Assistant)

Hay Mills (Evening Branch)

Percy G Teale * (Clerk-in-Charge)

? Edwards (Assistant)

Acocks Green (Evening Branch)

J Kesterton (Clerk-in-Charge)

Frank H Whitehouse * (Assistant)


Total number of staff listed above is 40, not including a second member of staff at Northfield branch - that position was probably filled by someone from Head Office. Those staff working at Evening Branches who were full-time employees would have worked at Head Office or Daily Branches during other hours. Later in September, an unspecified number of "special staff" were engaged to cope with work after ordinary hours - they were paid at the rate of 2/- per hour.


In relation to the transfer of accounts from the temporary bank to the permanent bank, a considerable amount of additional work was carried out by the staff during August and September, including whole days on Saturdays and Sundays. Bonus awards were paid at the rate of 10 to Branch Superintendents; 7. 10. 0d to the next grade of staff; and 5 each to the female staff. About 200 in total was paid to 28 staff..


(* Personnel on a photograph of staff taken on August 31st 1919)


Salaries of certain officers from September 1st 1919 were:

J P Hilton - 550pa

F Ellison - 350pa

F W Parsonage - 250pa

J Kesterton - 250pa

A J Smith - 250pa

W I Wynn - 250pa

H Carver - 250pa

E Cheatle - 250pa

H H Crump - 250pa

H G Wright - 250pa

F J Ladbrook - 250pa

W T Robins - 200pa

W F Heath - 200pa

A G Kirkpatrick - 180pa

Miss Blackwell - 150pa

Miss Bloxham - 130pa

Miss Bullock - 130pa

Mrs Mary Hinckley - 120pa

Mrs A Facey - 120pa

Miss L B Rudge - 120pa

Miss Nellie Tatton - 120pa

Miss E Jesson - 120pa

Miss D K Littlewood - 104pa

Miss Ellen Briscoe - scale laid down for Corporation Junior Staff plus full War bonus

Miss Plant - scale laid down for Corporation Junior Staff plus full War bns

Miss Marion Crawford - scale laid down for Corporation Junior Staff plus full War bonus

Evening Branches: Clerk-in-Charge 5/- per attendance; Assistant 2/6d per attendance

Numbers of Staff