Yorkshire Penny Bank


Although some of Bradford's city centre is looking quite run-down, and well-meaning modernisers in the 70s destroyed some of the lovely old Victorian buildings, many gems survive - none more attractive than the Yorkshire Penny Bank building in North Parade.  Built in 1895, it is now a Grade 1 listed building, though it appears currently to be unused, having latterly functioned as a pub and restaurant.

The Yorkshire Penny Bank organisation still exists, although it is now called simply the Yorkshire Bank.  It was founded in 1859 by Edward Akroyd, a Halifax mill-owner philanthropist in a similar vein to Sir Titus Salt.  He too built housing for his workers around his mills and worked hard as a businessman and MP to improve the lot of ordinary working families.  The Yorkshire Penny Bank was also the first school bank.  I can remember taking my savings to school and giving them to my teacher, who wrote it all down in my own little bank book.

They say round here: "Where there's muck there's brass."  So perhaps it's not surprising that a Yorkshire bank did well.