And today they came back for more.
Yesterday it was the Cashpoint, and today it was the Safe.
Both have now been removed from the town’s last bank!
But it was not an armed gang or an international crime ring. It was the HSBC finally clearing out, now that their lease has expired.The last remnants of the old HSBC Bank are being removed this week as the Town Hall premises are cleared out for handing back to the Town Council.
The ATM went first, leaving the town without any access to a 24-hour cashpoint. Literally, a hole in the wall was left. Residents will now have to rely on using machines in the Coop, Burnaby’s or Tesco, although a number of businesses such as the White Hart will be offering cashbacks.
This morning the large Chubb safe was removed; a lengthy process given its enormous weight and requiring specialist lifting gear. Witnesses alleged this was carried out by Associated Security Services!
The bank closed last year after some strong campaigning against its loss by local residents, but the company who claimed to be ‘the World’s Local Bank’ took little notice of local feeling. They left just the ATM until the lease on the premises ran out this month. The bank now has to restore the building including the hole left where the ATM was, as it is a historic Listed Building.Meanwhile there is an application for an external ATM at the Tesco store in Winchester Street, but until that is approved and installed Whitchurch is left without any 24-hour cash facility.
As reported at the Town Council meeting last night, the Council is already looking at alternative uses for the premises.
Click pictures to enlarge.