The Modern way of Life

It comes as no surprise to most, that there are some very old buildings in Consett’s town centre. The Grey Horse for example has a date of 1848 on it’s front door.

The Grey horse dates back to 1848

There are other buildings, that also have dates on the front of them, or where known to be some of the first buildings built in the town.

Take for example, this one:

Barclays was one of (if not the first) commercial bank to come to Consett.

When it was quickly realized that Consett as an industrial town was growing fast, that naturally attracted the banks.

Barclays, Lloyds and the Co-Operative society where the first 3 to have purpose built buildings, buildings which from old dated photos, we can trace back over 100 years!

Barclays for example, we have photos going back to the 1820’s, 1890’s and as close to home as the 1970’s and 1980’s when the skyline that Barclays was always part of, was still dominated by our Steel works.

Barclays has seen the steelworks come, and go. (Photo used with permission from Paul Matthews)

So what have old banks, got to do with the title of this post?

Well like most things, nothing lasts forever, it’s just been announced today (17th June 2022) that Barclays will close this branch in September 2022. A building that has been featured in so many of Consett’s historic photos for well over a century will finally cease to be there any longer.

I know, progress has to march on, and I doubt for one minute that the building will get demolished. It’s an old building, with Consett’s spirit firmly embedded into it, and it’s foundations.

The ONLY actual bank that will now be left in town, in it’s original building, will be LLoyds:

Lloyds as seen on Google Earth (August 2018)

How long that will remain with us, is anyone’s guess.

The Co-Op bank, ceased to be a bank many, many years ago

Co-Op bank building on Newmarket street (Google Earth August 2018)

We have a number of photographs from inside the Co-Op building, when it was in the process of being renovated, I may do a follow up post on that at some point in the future.

The premise however, is the same, bit by bit, our history get’s eroded, the “Digital Future” and a generation that is now used to everything being done online, means that we are likely to see more and more losses like this.

We might be allowed to take some photographs of the building before it closes, and we will attempt to contact the relevant people to see if we can make this happen.

As we prepare however, to say goodbye to another bit of Consett’s history, let us remember that like many of our older institution’s, Barclays has seen this town through some of it’s lowest points, and grimmest of times, and celebrated with this town as we came out of the other-side of those times, and continued to grow and flourish as a community.

To those who remained as faithful customers, and continued to use their branch in-person, I’m sure the staff of Barclays, Consett will say a big warm thank-you.

Our town may change, but it’s spirit will not. I hope that the building get’s new owners, who will look after and cherish it, and who continue to put it to good use, time will tell, as the progress of the modern way of life, marches on.

Published by

Peter "shawty" Shaw

I'm a typical geek what more can I say, I have a passion for writing software in all different forms and have done since i was about 7 years old. These days I write a few E-Books here and there and I run my own I.T Consultancy company called "Digital Solutions UK" I'm also group manager for Lidnug one of the biggest and most respected .NET orientated user groups on the internet, and have a prominent active presence in the UK .NET developer community. I'm also an avid local/industrial history fan, with a keen eye for digital mapping & modelling in a bid to help bring the past back to life.

3 thoughts on “The Modern way of Life”

  1. My first bank account was at Barclays Consett and that was around 1957. At that time the branch was on the corner of Taylor Street and Front Street, now a pizza shop.
    Barclays moved down the street to the grand building in your article after the previous owner moved on. I think it was Martins Bank. You may need to re-work your research.


  2. Thanks for that Stuart, yes we’ll look into that one. There is so much that we don’t know, and often can only depend on the details we are told by the community. It was certainly a Barclays for as long as I can remember it (1970).

    I never knew that the mentioned Pizza shop also used to be a bank however. Thanks for letting me know that.


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