The team at the branch also used the day to talk about NatWest Leicester Granby Street both past and present, and handed out specially produced leaflets to mark the occasion.
The origins of NatWest's Leicester Granby Street branch stretch back as far as 1836, when it was opened as an office of the National Provincial Bank of England. The National Provincial Bank had been formed in 1833 with the aim of growing by opening branches outside London. By mid 1835 the bank had opened 20 branches and sub branches, and was on the look out for more.
As the Grand Union Canal had arrived in Leicester in the 1790s - and the railway in 1832 - the City was very prosperous during the nineteenth century and banking services were much-needed. With this in mind, the Bank made plans to open a branch in 1836.
The new National Provincial Bank of England Leicester branch officially opened in April 1836 at premises in Loseby Lane. An advertisement recording the opening of the branch announced that 'all applications for advances, deposits, discounts and other banking transactions will be met with the utmost liberality'. Thomas Scott Lorrain was appointed branch manager with a yearly salary of £300. Later the bank operated from premises at Gallowtree Gate.
In 1865 National Provincial Bank of England purchased a plot of land at the corner of Granby Street and Horsefair on the site of the Three Crowns coaching inn. Soon afterwards Messrs Millic & Smith, architects, were commissioned to design new premises for the branch on this site. The new building – which is still used by the bank today - opened for business on 2 February 1870. The ground floor incorporated a spacious banking hall, strong rooms and an interview room. The upper two stories were given over entirely to the manager's residence.
The National Provincial Bank grew rapidly and by 1900 had around 200 branches - including Leicester Granby Street -and became one of the newly named 'Big Five' high street banks. In 1918 the bank merged with the Union of London & Smith's Bank to form the National Provincial & Union Bank of England (known as National Provincial Bank from 1924).
In 1970, the bank merged with the Westminster Bank to form the National Westminster Bank.
Today, Leicester Granby Street remains as important as ever for NatWest and, they can now boast 175 years of proud banking heritage in the City.
Rita Jani, NatWest's Manager at Leicester Granby Street Branch, said:" We are really proud of our association with Leicester and these celebrations have given my staff an excellent opportunity to talk to our customers about NatWest both past and present. When Thomas Scott Lorrain opened his branch in 1836 he wanted it to be a very important part of the City, supporting both private and business customers, and this idea has continued to thrive over the last 175 years. We want to thank all of our customers and members of the local community for joining in with the fun today and for celebrating not only our past, but also our future."
Key historic dates for NatWest Leicester Granby Street Branch:
- 1833 - National Provincial Bank of England is formed
- April 1836 - National Provincial Bank of England's branch opens in Loseby Lane
- April 1836 - Thomas Scott Lorrain is appointed manager
- Feb 1870 - Bank moves to new Leicester Granby Street premises
- 1918 - Bank merges with the Union of London & Smith's Bank to form the National Provincial & Union Bank of England
- 1970 - Bank merged with the Westminster Bank to form the National Westminster Bank
- 2011 - NatWest celebrates 175 of banking business in Leicester Granby Street
NatWest Media Relations Manager