THIS year is the 200th anniversary of Ulverston’s Trustee Savings Bank.

The bank’s distinctive base is on the corner of Market Street and Union Street and is shown on today’s pictures during restoration to the clock tower’s weather vane in November 1990.

It all started on Friday, May 3, 1816, at the Sun Hotel, Ulverston, when a decision was made to establish what was called the Ulverston Provident Bank.

This was in an era long before welfare support for unemployment, illness or old age, so working families needed somewhere safe to put their modest savings to plan as best they could for an uncertain future.

The promoters of the new Ulverston bank were Thomas Sunderland, T. Everard, John Sunderland, Joseph Brooks, Joseph Parker, John Parker, Elijah Salthouse, James Butchers, M. S. Burton and Thomas Kilner.

An article in the Barrow News of May 27 in 1966 noted: “It was their desire, as set out in the notice calling the meeting, to provide a repository into which “the industrious working people and servants of the town” could deposit their savings.”

The bank opened for one hour a day on May 21 in 1816 in an office in what is now Daltongate but was then called Duke Street.

By 1966 the bank had more than 7,000 accounts and funds of £1.75m.

The name Ulverston Savings Bank was adopted in 1835 and it was decided to build a new base.

Two sites were considered – Mr Park’s garden at the corner of Queen Street and Cavendish Street and the final choice of Mr James Dixon’s garden at the corner of Market Street and Union Street.

The foundation stone was laid in 1837 and the new building came into use on June 12 in 1838.

A clock tower was added in 1845.

In 1929 Ulverston merged with the Carlisle Savings Bank and in 1995 Lloyds Bank merged with the Trustee Savings Bank.