Addiscombe is a suburb near Croydon, England. NatWest traces its heritage there back to 1914.
London County & Westminster Bank
NatWest’s Addiscombe branch was originally opened in October 1914 by London County & Westminster Bank. This bank had been founded as Surrey, Kent & Sussex Banking Co in 1836, with the purpose of establishing a network of branches in London and the south-east. Renamed London & County Bank, it amalgamated with London & Westminster Bank in 1909 to create what was then one of Britain’s largest banks, London County & Westminster Bank. The bank was continually on the look out for new locations in which to trade, and in February 1914 the rapid growth of the neighbourhood of Addiscombe came to the attention of the board. The directors moved quickly and on 1 October an agency was set up at 209-211 Lower Addiscombe Road.
The new branch was overseen by Mr B Hills, the manager of the bank’s nearby Croydon office, and run locally by the resident clerk, Harold Belchamber. As the First World War had started just months before it opened, Addiscombe branch was immediately required to deal with extra responsibilities, such as the sale of war loan subscriptions, and a raft of government controls. Nonetheless, it was an immediate success and in 1918 Harold Belchamber was appointed as the branch’s first manager in Addiscombe. Sadly, that same year Belchamber lost his son, Eric, who had worked for the bank at its Croydon branch.
In 1918 London County & Westminster Bank merged with Parr’s Bank, becoming London County Westminster & Parr’s Bank. This name was shortened to Westminster Bank in 1924.
The neighbourhood’s expansion, which had been halted by the First World War, began again in earnest during the inter-war period as Addiscombe’s proximity to Croydon and central London made it an attractive place of residence for City workers.
National Westminster Bank
NatWest Addiscombe remains at 209 Lower Addiscombe Road today.