My BMB Memories


by Derek Horner

Next Memory

My BMB memories take me back to 1962. I had left school at 17 years of age and I was invited to join the Bank having been interviewed by the City Council.


I then had an interview with the Bank’s Deputy General Manager, Mr Raftery – what a lovely man, he sensed how nervous I was. He read my school report, then handed me an adding machine list. I got the total wrong and he showed me where!! He then asked me how tall I was and said “we are starting a football team, would you like to play for us?” I could have hugged him on the spot!


I attended my training at the Broad Street Head Office along with Roger Garner, Bob Fernie, et al – Office Juniors in the making.


My first day “out in the field” was Monday, September 10th. I was assigned to Bordesley Green branch. My salary was paid monthly, net average £26 per month; £300 per annum, overtime in March was something later to look forward to at the Annual Balance.


In order to make a good impression I arrived at Bordesley Green at 8am – the branch opened at 10am. So, where do I enter? I climbed the rear stairs and knocked the first door that I found. A somewhat startled Mrs David Wilkinson kindly advised me to wait by the front door.


The staff that day was Norman Barnsley, the manager; and Doris Pooke, cashier, who helped me immensely. Also Les Webber, whose friendship remained steadfast until his passing. My first day mirrored what Bob Fernie wrote in Memory-016. Bob and his wife would one day “stop by” to see me when I lived in Maryland!!


Gradually I progressed to open bank accounts, Savings plus Number 2 Department, joint accounts, and MB1s for minors. Next was training to be a cashier and how I enjoyed going out on relief and meeting colleagues. I was an Inspector’s Assistant working with Ken Whittaker. I worked one time with Ken and uncovered a £600 error – a lot of money in those days, my first “pat on the back”.


Later, I was thrilled to work with Mike Bourke as we were to set up a marketing team to promote cheque accounts. Mike and I worked to introduce the Budget Account, a very popular service at the time.


Moving on, I worked with Keith Haslam, John Ordish, Roger Garner, and David Johnson in the Current Accounts Department.


From there I worked as Assistant Manager with Harry Wheelock at Acocks Green. Later, I was appointed Branch Manager at Chelmsley Wood, finishing my career in 1987 as Branch Manager, Sutton Coldfield, and off to the USA. I retired from Wells Fargo Bank in 2009.


Looking back, I treasure my BMB memories – staying in touch with so many colleagues. I have not established any such friendships here in the USA with past bank colleagues.