At 12noon on the 12 December Barclays Bank closed its doors in Market Weighton. As I watched the workmen ripping out the fitments, filling their skip and boarding up the holes where the cash machine and night safe once were, I felt sad.
Sad as I recollected the day over 30 years ago when I last worked there. Sad because although personal customers are still serviced by the TSB, Post Office and the new Yorkshire Building Society agency across the road, business customers are poorly catered for. And sad because I had been working on this article about a former deputy manager of that branch who gave his life in the Great War.
Major Harold Carey Matthews was killed in action, aged 36, in April 1915, He was the eldest son of F.W.W. Matthews, J.P of Low Hall, Sinnington, who had also been a Barclays Bank manager at Leyburn. Harold Matthews was born at Hawes in Wensleydale on 25 April 1879. He was educated in Aysgarth and fought in the Boer War. Like a lot of ex-military men he then found work at Barclays, although he kept his army interest by continuing in the volunteers.