21 Station Street is a detached building that now holds Domino’s pizza. Their address is said to be 21 and 21A Station Street.
National Westminster Bank
21 Station Street has been Dominos since at least September 2020. However, in March 2019, the property looked empty and, in April 2018, it appears to have been recently sold. Prior to that, it was home to the National Westminster Bank. It seems to have housed the NatWest for a long period as one of the photos from the 1970s seems to show the bank in that location.
Recollections of Nat West
In a discussion on Kirkby Living Memory Facebook Group, various people recalled either working or banking at Nat West.
Working at Nat West
Kate Smith started working there in 1970. Gail Allen-Turner also worked there for quite a few years. She noted, “Always enjoyed working there, nice staff & nice customers. I remember when the Rotary Club used to hold the Xmas carnival at the beginning of December. The staff dressed up in fancy dress all day & stayed open late for the carnival. We served mince pies & sherry to the customers which went down very well! Good times.”
Keith Lenthall Wells also recalled working there in the sixties. He noted, “At quarterly balance weeks, we had to work out credit and debit interest on all accounts, using a book of tables, a manual calculator, and writing in all the figures on each account. All accounts balances were listed using manual calculator, interest listed the same way both debit and credit; these figures were then hand written into the ledgers. So, all balances listed interest listed and handwritten into ledgers, balances listed again and all figures had to balance to the penny (old money). Every quarter this was done, and we had 15 mins break for a coffee and snacks, which we took in ourselves! Balancing took a whole week, four times a year! -,We worked from morning till 10pm at night for a week!”
Gill Crisp worked there from 1974 to 1983. She notes, “I still remember the building in detail both before and after the alterations. Many happy memories of working there, great staff (some of whom became friends for life) and lovely customers!“
Liz Tate noted that she worked there for two sessions in the early 80s and 90s. She commented, “Lovely customers and staff. Many happy memories. I particularly remember us cooking jacket potatoes in the oven upstairs and the lovely smell creeping downstairs!“
Banking at Nat West
Richard Evans opened his first bank account there when he was 18. Wendy Ann Beachamwalker noted that her son’s first bank account was there when he was a baby when she lived in Kirkby from 1973 to 1992. Alan Rooksby noted banking there from 1966 until it closed. He commented that there were “great staff who made everyone feel welcome. The manager who sadly died in the sixties used to come to my office on New Street for his lunch and a chat .Great guy.“
Recalling Nat West Staff
Neil Lancashire noted that Ken Jones had been the Manager. Gail Allen-Turner confirmed this and noted that he had been “a lovely Manager & a wonderful character“. Jane Powell described him as “wonderful” and noted that John Holmes had been manager before him. Gill Crisp noted that Ken Jones was the manager and Neville Tomlinson the sub-manager for most of the time she worked there.
Alan Rooksby recalled staff members by their first names. He also noted that Ken Jones had been a very good manager and he had been very helpful to him “during my roofing days“. He also recalled the previous manager John Holmes. He thought he had come from the Preston area to his first position as manager of the Kirkby branch. He noted that he sometimes visited Alan’s office which was a “wooden hut” on New Street opposite the Festival Hall. That would have been in the very late sixties or early seventies before Alan move his office into the Lowmoor industrial estate. Alan noted that John died of cancer.
A Modern Building?
The building looks fairly modern but this may just be because it differs from the terraced row on both sides of it. The 1939 map is marked Bk which probably indicates that there was a bank there at that time.
The Difference Between 21 and 21a
I am grateful to Gill Crisp for explaining in a comment on Kirkby Living Memory Facebook Group, that the right half of the building was originally the bank and that this was 21a. This tallies with how it is shown on the 1939 map above.
Challans Gift Shop
Gill Crisp also explains that “the left hand side was Challans Gifts run by the same family that had a hardware shop a bit further up. Mr Machin in the hardware shop and his daughter Gillian, along with her partner Cyril in the gift shop. In the early 80s the lease ran out for next door, so the bank extended into the space that is now seen as one building.” Because of the link to the hardware shop, this gift shop is considered in more detail in the post on 27 Station Street.
Recollections of 21 Station Street
In her book(let), “I Also Remember“, Edith Searson refers to this building as the Westminster Bank. It was known by this name from 1923 to 1969. The 1941 Kelly’s Directory lists the Westminster Bank as being in Station Street but a list of shops from 1942 gives their address as 10-12 Station Street. Westminster Bank appears at this location on Jacques’ List of Station Street retailers circa 1920-1940.
Edith Searson describes the premises as “a lovely stone building with offices in the upstairs premises“.
Edith Searson also notes that a dental mechanic, Mr White, had his repairs room there “up the stairs and looking out onto the street”. She noted that he had been kept busy a number of years.
I have come across the Whites elsewhere on Station Street. In 1939, William White was a living at 14 Station Street. He was described as a dentist although, in the 1921 census, he was listed as an unregistered dental practitioner. His son, Kenneth, also lived there and he was described as a dental mechanic. Edith Searson may be referring to either William or Kenneth White. Perhaps William is more likely as her reference to Mr White, might imply that he was older than her.
In a discussion on Kirkby Living Memory Facebook Group, Garry Ward remembered that 21 Station Street used to house Hubert White’s dental lab and that he made dentures upstairs. I believe this is a reference to Kenneth White, whose middle name was Hubert. Garry was not sure as he vaguely remembered Hubert. His son, Mick, was good friends with Garry’s father. Garry recalled that Hubert and Mick lived on Gladstone Street. He also thought that Hubert’s brother or uncle started Whites plastic which became Robinson Whites and which is now Robinsons on Lowmoor Road.
I looked into this a bit and found that Kenneth Hubert White married Daisy Helen Drew in 1945. Interestingly, the marriage is registered as both Kenneth H White and Hubert K White. They had a son, Michael K White, in 1945. It appears that his middle name may have been Kenneth.
Gill Crisp recalled that, in the seventies, “Miss Hutchinson lived at the rear of the bank down the little alley at the right hand side.” While I have not confirmed this, I wonder if this was one of the Hutchinsons who had the stonemasons next-door at 23 Station Street, possibly Alice or Annie.
In 1941 and 1942, 21 Station Street housed H P Tyler Ltd, a boot and shoe dealers. Tylers Shoes appears on Jacques’ List of Station Street retailers circa 1920-1940.
Rorke and Jackson
In 1941 and 1942, 21 Station Street also housed Rorke and Jackson, a firm of solicitors who were based at 1 Station Street in 1928.
Residents of 21 Station Street
No-one was registered as living at number 21 in 1901, 1921 or 1939. In 1911, William Booth and Bertha Ann Harris-Barke were living there with their adopted son Lewis Lewis (b.1906). William was listed as a Music and Cycle Dealer/Retailer. They had a domestic servant, Eliza Ellen Watson. and two visitors, Isabella Watson and Constance Ethel Straw.
We have come across the Harris-Barkes at 19 Station Street. This seems to be further evidence that properties on Station Street were renumbered between 1911 and 1921.