Burslem is a town in England. National Westminster Bank traces its heritage there back to 1834.
Manchester & Liverpool District Banking Company
NatWest's Burslem branch was originally opened as a sub-office of Manchester & Liverpool District Banking Company in 1834. Burslem at that time was undergoing a boom in its long-standing pottery industry, becoming known as the ‘Mother Town’ of the Potteries.
Manchester & Liverpool District Banking Company was alert to opportunities for expansion in growing towns like Burslem. The impetus for the establishment of its branch there was provided in April 1834 when the bank’s Hanley office became aware of a proposal by a rival bank to set up in the town. Not to be outdone, the bank established its own Burslem branch within a month, on 28 May 1834. The new venture traded from premises in Market Street, managed locally by Lawrence Adamson, the son of a Scottish minister.
The purchase in 1865 of the Burslem bankers Alcock & Co increased Manchester & Liverpool District Bank’s trade there to such an extent that from 1872 its office became an independently-managed branch, trading from the current purpose-built premises in Fountain Place. This coincided with the linking of the town to the North Staffordshire Railway via the Potteries Loop Line in 1873, which further stimulated the town’s prosperity. By the late 19th century the bank’s local business had grown sufficiently to support two new sub branches, opened in 1896 at Wolstanton and Alsager.
The bank continued to expand and by 1900 had 91 branches and sub-branches, mostly in the north west of England. It was still, however, a comparatively small bank, and during the inter-war years increasing competition made it harder for banks of its size to survive on their own. As a result, in 1935 District Bank merged with the Manchester-based County Bank.
National Westminster Bank
In 1962 District Bank was acquired by National Provincial Bank, which itself had been represented in Burslem since 1910, trading from premises in Swan Square. District Bank continued to trade under its own name until 1970, when National Provincial Bank merged with Westminster Bank to form National Westminster Bank. The new bank gradually consolidated its presence in places where it had multiple offices, and in 1976 the businesses of both its Burslem branches were combined at the former District Bank premises in Fountain Place, where NatWest's Burslem branch remains today.