Cumnock Chronicle October 25th 1968
Glasgow Savings Bank Opening
After performing the official opening ceremony. Provost Finn welcomed the bank to Cumnock, stating that this was only the third new bank in the town in 111 years, and it had been 40 years since the last addition to Cumnock’s banking facilities. It was, surely, a strong indication of the growing importance of the town.
The Trustees Savings Bank Association had a long and honourable record of encouraging thrift amongst the ordinary men and women of Britain, and the Scots had played a notable part in this record. Indeed it was a Scottish minister, the Rev. Henry Duncan, who was credited with founding the movement at Ruthwell in Dumfriesshire. His bank prospered, and soon other places adopted the idea and formed their own banks. There was one essential feature of this movement which deserved the fullest publicity; since the foundation on 1810 these Trustee Savings Banks had been, and continued to be, administered by trustees and managers who gave their time and work without receiving any payment whatsoever – a truly wonderful example of community service.
The Glasgow bank opened in 1836 and, by vigorous and careful management, it had grown over the years until now it was considered to be one of the foremost Savings Banks in the U.K. Today the Town Council applauded the bank’s decision to open a branch in Cumnock. In 1959 the council had signed an overspill agreement with the City of Glasgow. They had waited patiently, and he wondered if this was the first result of that agreement? To the industrial chiefs of Glasgow he said “ If you want further success, be wise and follow the example of your Savings Bank. Come to Cumnock”. Provost Finn concluded – “In conclusion may I express to you, Sir Thomas, and all the officials of your bank, my hope that this new venture will be crowned with every success – Let Glasgow flourish – In Cumnock”
In replying to the Provost and thanking him for his kind welcome, Sir Thomas Dunlop said the trustees had had Cumnock very much in mind for several years, and the late Mr. Robert Welsh, Town Clerk R. D. Hunter’s uncle, had made certain they did not forget Cumnock by mentioning its merits when he was chairman of the Ayr and Prestwick Advisory Committee. With the influx of new industries and the energetic efforts of the Town Council to improve the town’s prosperity, it was felt that the bank could pay its way in Cumnock. With some help from neighbouring towns and villages their funds, in time, could exceed £1 million.
The speaker referred to Catrine’s “Penny Bank” run under the auspices of Messrs J. Finlay and Company and to a similar bank which was started at Muirkirk by the office bearers of Kames Church. He contended that no modern town was complete without a trustee savings bank. Sir Thomas took the opportunity of introducing the Cumnock branch manager, Mr J. McVie, who formerly served with the bank at Prestwick, Troon and Irvine. He concluded by thanking the contractors and all who had been responsible for the alteration and preparation work at the new premises.
The trustees entertained the councillors and other guests to lunch, and after this delightful meal Sir Thomas DUNLOP praised the council for their energetic drive to put Cumnock on the industrial map – efforts which has already been crowned with a great deal of success. It was obviously an enterprising local authority which won a Saltire Award and Civic Trust Commendation for their new houses. He had a personal word of praise for Provost FINN, a councillor of 18 years whose family connection with Cumnock dated back about 150 years. He had played a big part in the successful progress of Cumnock and he was helping to build a self-reliant community. He hoped the bank would be able to assist in this task. Sir Thomas proposed the toast to “Cumnock” and reply was made by Provost T. Finn, who thanked the speaker for his fine tribute. It was pleasant to hear themselves praised with such eloquence. About 20 years ago they had been perturbed to note that former industries connected with the town had nearly all vanished, and only mining and agriculture remained. They set out to attract new industry but at first no one listened to them.
The struggle was long and arduous, but gradually they wore down the resistance and made those in authority aware of the need; made them realise that not only was there a need but that the right type of people were being attracted to Cumnock. Today they felt they had turned the corner; the town was beginning to boom and its future was assured. Around them at this function were the representatives of the industries that had come into the town and that had expanded in the town. They could tell much better than the Provost what conditions they had found. The town had a fairly happy community with good relationships between the people and the industrialists. The council did all in its power to help the incoming firms. Some problems could not be solved immediately but he believed the firms all realised this and appreciated what was being done on their behalf.
In welcoming the bank; the Provost said it was not the first savings bank in the town. In 1831- five years before the formation of the Glasgow Bank – Cumnock had a savings bank with over 200 depositors. What happened to it history does not tell. Presumably, he said, it merged with one of the other banks which were formed a few years later. But history did record that it was a most flourishing concern and that this was due to the work done by a Mr CAMPBELL. He felt sure that the fact that, today, the bank General Manager, Mr CampbellL, was with them was surely a happy augury for the success of this new branch.
In addition to Sir Thomas Dunlop and Provost Tom Finn, the guests at the opening ceremony in the bank at Townhead Street included – Police Judge J. K. H. McTurk, Bailie J. King, Bailie D. B. Lorimer, Treasurer T. Guthrie, R. B. Lorimer, Town Chamberlain, J. D. CampbellL, General Manager Savings Bank of Glasgow, J. Cameron and R. Y. Henderson, Trustees of the Savings Bank of Glasgow, A . M. N, Retired General Manager Savings Bank of Glasgow, Rev. Dr. J. D. M’Clymont, Cumnock Old Church, W. B .M McConville, Assistant General Manager of the Savings Bank of Glasgow. W. J. Putman, Development Officer Savings Bank of Glasgow, J. Y. McVie, Branch Manager, Savings Bank of Glasgow at Cumnock, Jas. R. Wilson, Agent Savings Bank of Glasgow (Sanquhar), I. M. Rodney, Master of Works Savings Bank of Glasgow, R. Forret, Burgh Surveyor, J. G. Taylor, E. F. Armitage and John Nicol of Finlay’s (Catrine), J. H. Kennedy, Bank of Scotland, W. W. Rodger, Royal Bank of Scotland, H. G. R. Kerr, National Commercial Bank of Scotland, A. G. MacArthur, Clydesdale Bank, R. Lauchlin, Rector Cumnock Academy. P. K. Drummond, Brakenridge and Graham, J. R. Shaw, National Savings Committee, E. F. McDermid, Registrar, Councillor W. McDonald, J. S. Watson, Cumnock Knitwear, R. Aird, Monsanto, C. Wilkinson, Gray’s Tufted, D. S. A. Gibb, N.C.B., J. R. Outram, Foster’s, R. M. McWhirter, Kyle Knitwear, F. Colman, Holybush Knitwear, T. Bradford, Postmaster, D. M. Ballantine, Editor Cumnock Chronicle, W. T. Paton., Main Contractor, Ayr, Mrs I. J. Connell, D. Connell and Co., Miss D. Turner of the Department of Employment and Productivity, Mrs M. D. Wilson, Dumfries Arms Hotel, Rev. A. Murphy, St. John’s Presbytery, Jas. T. Cree, Headmaster Greenmill Primary School, Geo. McEwan, Scottish Gas Board, W. A. Stewart, Painting Contractor for the new office, J. K. Thomson, Townhead Garage, and D. McGarva, Cowan and Panton Ltd