Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Yorkshire Penny Bank


Although some of Bradford's city centre is looking quite run-down, and well-meaning modernisers in the 70s destroyed some of the lovely old Victorian buildings, many gems survive - none more attractive than the Yorkshire Penny Bank building in North Parade.  Built in 1895, it is now a Grade 1 listed building, though it appears currently to be unused, having latterly functioned as a pub and restaurant.

The Yorkshire Penny Bank organisation still exists, although it is now called simply the Yorkshire Bank.  It was founded in 1859 by Edward Akroyd, a Halifax mill-owner philanthropist in a similar vein to Sir Titus Salt.  He too built housing for his workers around his mills and worked hard as a businessman and MP to improve the lot of ordinary working families.  The Yorkshire Penny Bank was also the first school bank.  I can remember taking my savings to school and giving them to my teacher, who wrote it all down in my own little bank book.

They say round here: "Where there's muck there's brass."  So perhaps it's not surprising that a Yorkshire bank did well.

11 comments:

  1. That brings back memories of when I used to take a penny a week to school to deposit through my little blue bank book.

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  2. We didn't begin to appreciate Victorian buildings till some of them were knocked down. I hope this splendid building soon finds an appropriate use.

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  3. What a beautyful architecture!

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  4. What a beautiful building. I hope it will live again. I remember school banking too. I see ads for it again in the banks.

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  5. Isn't that a spectacular building! Talking about the mills reminds me of the movie North and South. People who've not been in business for themselves have no idea of the work that is involved to make something successful. The first step is to value one's employees and do what's best for them. It's a huge responsibility to be responsible for another family's income. Success is success for both the employer and the employee. Wow, this got off on a tangent, huh! :-)

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  6. A spectacular building and a wonderful photograph. Akroyd and Salt could serve as good role models for our current financial/industrial leaders; take care of the workforce instead of hoarding billions. Were they part of the "Christian Socialist" movement?

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  7. That is one gorgeous building! So ornate and I love the clock tower.

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  8. Gorgeous building, jenny! I hope someone clever finds a way to put it to productive use.

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  9. Reminds me of the Flat Iron Building in New York. The Sheffield branch was my first ever bank...

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  10. Such gorgeous architecture! ~Lili

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