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Statue in Trentham Gardens  commemorating the transfer of the clearing banks in the Second World War

Statue in Trentham Gardens  commemorating the
transfer of the clearing banks in the Second World War

The Bankers' Clearing House
was transferred to
Trentham Gardens for
the duration of the 1939/45 war
and in commemoration this statue
was presented on behalf of the
Committee of London Clearing
Bankers by Sir Eric Faulkner on
24th February 1976

The fifty pence coin has six visible sides.

The statue has seven sides - as a fifty pence coin - it sits on one side and  
the other six are visible. Each side is divided diagonally and the
banks' crests stand out against a bubble-type background surface.
The figure inside the coin is in a semi-foetal position with the knees tucked up near the chin.

Sculptor: Robert Berkoff
media: Fibre glass with a bronze patina


Reliability and continuity have been two of the guiding principles of protecting the integrity of the clearings and this was never more important than with the threat of war. 

Clearing operations were moved to Stoke-on-Trent under the War Emergency Clearing Scheme. Planning for the move began in 1938, in anticipation of war breaking out. In February 1939, prior to the outbreak of the Second World War a decision was taken by officials of the Bankers Clearing House, in the event of war, to move the Central Clearing House from London to Trentham, where it would occupy the ballroom and banqueting suite.

The move was made on 26th August 1939, the clearing function officially started at Trentham on Monday 28 August 1939 just days before the Second World War began and, as the staff and operations had moved over the weekend, there was continuity of clearing services as normal. Once the war was over, the clearings moved back to the City premises in 1946.

At Trentham, each item was photographed prior to despatch using Recordak microfilm apparatus (made by Eastman Kodak). This allowed duplicate prints of any missing items to be made and the drawer’s consent obtained to apply the debit. 

Space in the new site was divided up according to the number of clearing articles handled by each bank. The big five (Barclays Bank, Lloyds Bank, Midland Bank, National Provincial Bank and Westminster Bank) found themselves on the dance floor, one of the smaller members took the stage, another was based in an outbuilding and the Bank of England was above the kitchen.

In 1974 the Clearing Banks decided that the wartime activities of the Central Clearing Houses should be commemorated by means of a sculpture. on 24th February 1976 the completed sculpture was unveiled and presented to the Countess of Sutherland by Sir Eric Faulkner, MBE, Chairman of Lloyds Bank, on behalf of the Committee of London Clearing Banks.

This statue represents the rim
of a 50p coin with the crests of
the clearing banks of the time
shown on the visible sides
and enveloping Embryo Man.
It symbolises the all-embracing
concern of the clearing banks
for the financial well-being
of their customers

bottom left: the arms of the National Provincial Bank top right: the arms of the former Westminster Bank
bottom left: the arms of the National Provincial Bank
top right: the arms of the former Westminster Bank

On 01 January 1970, Westminster Bank merged with
National Provincial Bank Ltd. to form National Westminster Bank Ltd

bottom left: the logo of Lloyds Bank

The black horse device dates from 1677 when Humphrey Stokes adopted it as sign for his shop.
Stokes was a goldsmith and "keeper of the running cashes," an early term for banker.
When the bank took over the site in 1884, it retained the black horse as its symbol

bottom left: the logo of The Bank of England


top right: the arms of the former Midland Bank
a golden griffin surrounded by golden dots

top right - the logo of Martins Bank 
bottom left: the logo of Barclays Bank
In 1969 Martins Bank was taken over by Barclays



The restoration of this statue
was funded by
Bank of England
Barclays Bank plc
Lloyds Bank plc
Midland Bank plc
National Westminster Bank plc
The Royal Bank of Scotland plc
December 1995


Trentham — A Teenager’s Memories by Estelle Davies

I was 17 when the War started, working at the Stoke branch of Barclays Bank and living in Trent Vale (in the same street as the footballer Stanley Matthews as it happens, although I’m not a big football fan). I applied for war work, I’d have liked to have joined the Wrens, but they would not take me as I was in a reserved occupation. I had to carry on working at the bank and do firewatching instead.

After the air attacks on London it was decided to move the Bank of England out of the capital for safety, I think it was in 1940 (actually 1939).
The Bank was based in the ballroom at Trentham Gardens, former home of the Duke of Sutherland.

All the major clearing banks had staff based there, and I was transferred to the Barclays section. Each bank had its own section in the ballroom and the foreign section was on the stage. A lot of the staff were moved up from London and billeted in the local area. They didn’t really like it, being used to a big city, and kept to themselves pretty much as they knew each other. They called themselves the Outcasts, and used to organise dances and concerts for their own entertainment as there was not much else to do. They are mentioned in most of the books and articles written about Trentham during the war but it seems to be forgotten that not all the staff were Londoners, there were local people there as well. I didn’t mix with them much, we hadn’t a lot in common and I was busy at home keeping house for my father with my two sisters.

"Estelle Skinner (née Davies) WW2 People's War"

Central Clearing House Trentham - 1941
The staff, mainly female, worked long hours here in very difficult conditions.
The heating rarely worked, and many people worked
with their overcoats on in winter.
The Post Office also sorted mail in the foyer at the entrance to the ballroom.

photo: © Potteries Museum & Art Gallery




The clearing operation at Trentham during the Second World War
The clearing operation at Trentham during the Second World War

photo: Cheque and Credit Clearing Company



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