Banks at the Old Pond, Cheshunt
When I moved to Cheshunt in the 1980s there were 7 banks at The Old Pond, including the Post Office. Now there’s just one – the Post Office – which has limited banking facilities.
The Midland bank, later HSBC, was just north of the Old Pond. Just south of that was Halifax, which was formerly a building society. Next door you could find the Post Office, which had moved from much larger premises in Newnham Parade. At the junction with College Road there was TSB / Lloyds group. They were separate banks till about 2000 when they merged. Heading towards Waltham Cross brought you to Nationwide (also previously a building society). Crossing the road to the east side took you to National Westminster or Natwest (formed with the merger of National Provincial and Westminster banks). Finally you reached Barclays. Sited next to and above Tesco’s, there was an escalator to get you up to the banking hall, but you had to walk down steps to leave. There may have been a lift, but we didn’t really notice as we didn’t use it.
Now, in August 2022, only the Post Office exists, providing some banking services. Maybe it should be regarded as half a bank. The last of the main banks, Nationwide, closed in mid 2022. All except NatWest are empty and advertised for sale or rent, creating no income for the owners for some years. NatWest is a Costa coffee outlet.
There is a photo in the Jack Edwards collection at HALS dating from about 1900 showing the Imperial Bank, on the site of what was later the Halifax Building Society. I’d love to know something about that as nothing’s turned up so far. Google hasn’t heard of such a bank in older times.
But let’s put this into some sort of context. There are now no pubs – the King James closed in 2021, during but not as a result of the Covid pandemic. Previously there were four. They were the Rose and Crown, Old Pond, O’Shea’s (previously George and Force and Firkin) and King James.
On the plus side we have a doctor’s surgery, cottage hospital, library, leisure centre, two retirement facilities, three pharmacies, five estate agents and over 14 eating or takeaway establishments. With the other shops we have everything except a bank and a pub.
But you could argue there are numerous banking facilities. They’re called computers, tablets or smartphones. How things have changed in the last decade.