Thomas Wilkins – the very first depositor, 1861
The book is stamped “Newark No.1” and the account was held by Thomas Wilkins of Wilson Street, Newark.
Replying to a query made about the history of Newark branch in 1947, the Controller of the Post Office Savings Bank in London wrote:-
“The Post Office Savings Bank opened its doors on the 16th September 1861 when some 300 post offices were authorised to conduct Savings Bank business. On that day 435 accounts were opened with deposits amounting to £911, and success was so rapid that in a few weeks the business had to be extended to other offices.
Thus 254 further offices were authorised in October , and 338 (including Newark Post Office) in November.
As a Post Office official [Mr Thomas Wilkins] no doubt took the unique opportunity to become the depositor in the first account issued by the Newark Office.
Although new accounts numbering some thousands were issued in the period 16th September – 18th November 1861, there can be little doubt that the bank book ‘Newark No.1’ is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, still in existence…..”