Bank branch celebrates 225 years

A GRAND old man of Colchester High Street is celebrating its 225th year.

The Barclays branch is one of the longest-established in the group, and has witnessed the transformation of banking from small-scale enterprises to international, hi-tech businesses.

The branch has occupied the same site throughout its history.

A conveyance dated 8 June 1897 describes it as, “land and buildings known as number 9 High Street….together with a right of way over the roadway at the rear….to Culver Street”.

In 1911, Barclays acquired neighbouring premises.

The original Banking House has been rebuilt and extended more than once, and the present facade dates from the late 1920s.

The first manager of the branch when it became part of Barclays in 1896 was Alfred Cobb, who served for 52 years.

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To mark the anniversary, town crier Robert Needham will be ringing out the news tomorrow, and staff will be on hand to offer a warm welcome and a choice of beverages throughout the day.

Customers will also be able to read the history of the branch on a specially prepared leaflet by Barclays Archives Department that goes back as far as 1787.

Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell will be visiting the branch at around 11am.

“This is an historic day for banking in Colchester,” he said.