Basford is a town in England. National Westminster Bank traces its heritage there back to 1883.
Samuel Smith & Co
NatWest's Basford branch originally opened as an agency of Samuel Smith & Co in 1883. This Nottingham family-owned bank had been established 225 years earlier, in 1658, and during the nineteenth century began to open branches in and around Nottingham, where it had eight offices by 1883.
Until the early nineteenth century Old Basford was a small village, but the opening of a station there by the Midland Railway in 1848 had prompted a rapid growth in the local population. This expansion was concentrated to the south in New Basford, where the first houses had been built in the 1820s. By the 1880s the parish of Basford had been absorbed into Nottingham, of which it became a suburb. This growth attracted the attention of the partners of Samuel Smith & Co, who opened their agency in 1883 as Basford’s first banking office.
The new business, which initially traded three days a week, was a success. When in 1898 it relocated from Eland Street to 630 Radford Road, the Basford office was upgraded to an independent branch with two members of staff.
During the early years of the twentieth century competition in the banking industry intensified and in 1902 Samuel Smith & Co amalgamated with five other Smith family banks and Union Bank of London to form Union of London & Smiths Bank. Over the next eight years the bank opened agencies in Radford, Sherwood Rise and Sherwood, all managed from the Basford branch.
National Provincial Bank
In 1918 Union of London & Smiths Bank itself merged with National Provincial Bank of England to form one of the ‘Big Five’ high street banks, later known as National Provincial Bank. In the following year its Basford branch moved to leased premises on the corner of Radford Road and Silverdale Road. The present purpose-built premises were constructed on the corner of Nottingham Road and Valley Road in the late 1920s to designs of the Nottingham architect Alfred Thraves, featuring green roof slates and mahogany interior fittings.
During the Second World War the bank faced staff shortages and controls on lending and foreign exchange, but during the 1950s the business of Basford branch flourished, with over 680 accounts on its books by 1960.