Barclays Bank in Howardsgate
Now The Cork Public House
By Roger Filler
Both Midland (Now HSBC) and Barclays have claimed in the past to have been the first bank in WGC and it does seem that Midland beat Barclays by a few months, mainly, I suspect, as the WGC Company had a large overdraft with Midland at the time to pay for the Lord Desborough purchase in 1920.
They were little more than sheds though and the first purpose-built bank was Barclays in Howardsgate (Now The Cork P.H.), which opened its doors for the first time on 3 June 1929. It was designed by Louis De Soissons and Arthur Kenyon and built by Welwyn Builders. For many years its manager was Mr W Washington.
The building ceased being a bank after the Howard Centre opened in 1991, when the building became a pub, first Hawkins & Co, then The Cork & Cask and now The Cork.
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