BANKING IN WEST CRAVEN 02

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Stanley
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BANKING IN WEST CRAVEN 02

Post by Stanley » 22 Jun 2018, 06:27

BANKING IN WEST CRAVEN 02


We are continuing looking at the growth of banks in Barlick. No account of financial and business matters in the town in the 19th century can be complete without taking note of the rise of William 'Billycock' Bracewell. He came into Barlick from Earby early in the century and set about building an empire. At the time there were two other established manufacturers, Bracewell Brothers at Coates (Billycock's cousins) and Mitchell at what became Clough Mill. I have evidence of William Bracewell using the Craven Bank in Skipton in the early part of the 19th century and John Slater borrowing the money to buy Clough Mill in the 1860s. He took advantage of his cousins and contributed to their failure but Clough Mill survived. He built Butts and Wellhouse mills and until his death in 1885 stifled any competition. When he died it turned out that his firm, Bracewell and Sons was over valued and in debt to the Craven Bank and consequently failed. This opened up the pent up capital in the town and by the late 1880s two new shed companies, the Long Ing Shed Company and the Calf Hall Shed Company were both customers and prospering. This was the start of an explosion of activity and the town grew rapidly.
Banks need deposits to provide the funds that they lent out to borrowers at interest. The main funders were wealthy land owners in Yorkshire who wanted an income from their capital and so lent it to the bank at interest. Theoretically this service was also available to small savers like workers but in practice it took a long time for the banks to gear their operations to handling small sums and they were not attractive. Remember that this was a new concept for the workers and it would take a long time for them to learn that the banks were trustworthy and a safe place for their savings. They found a different route to safeguarding their money and gaining a small profit.
The shed companies were a good investment and local people lent money to them rather than put it in the bank. Local people also bought shares in the initial start-up and whenever they came up for sale afterwards. There was a social cachet in being part owner of the mill where you worked and almost all the capital required was raised in the town. Another element was trust. Banking was a new concept for workers and putting money in the mill where they worked was seen as safe, they knew their bosses and how the mill was doing. Later the same applied to the Cooperative Society and that became another route for savers.
Over the years the banks built up levels of trust but lost that in 2008 and subsequently the closing of High Street branches meant that they became distant, the personal element had gone. We are no longer valued clients, we are cash cows. Is this progress? Do we need more betting shops?

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Even our post office is now a betting shop!
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
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"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

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