(May 30, 2014) Ian Hugh Robertson said:My Father Hugh Robertson ran a record shop The Music Shop in Pavement York and was a friend of Miss Banks who owned and ran Banks and Son Music Ltd. Her grandson Nick Banks worked in the record department and left to set up his own Record Shops in York. It was a sad day when Banks moved to Lendal. There was another music and instrument shop in St Helens Square owned by a Mr Noyes. My Father started his shop career there which is just over the road from where Banks were.
(June 28, 2015) I worked at Banks Music Shop for about three years in the early 1970's. It was the craziest most eccentric and interesting place. Everyone there seemed to me to be a character from either Dickens or an Ealing Comedy. I was 'fired' about three times, but kept going back. Miss Banks...Senior Service Cigarette firmly gripped between her lips, was a chaotic old girl who ran the establishment in her own uniquely ram-shackle way. We sent sheet-music around the world...Musical instruments were sold, by the ever-exasperated ( with ME perhaps) Bernard. Ray Lovely...rushed gleefully off to private girls schools and sold them violins. Derek was the Brass-band man. Nicholas...ever holding a secret conversation with himself...was, nonetheless a fount of information on all things to do with sheet-music. Poor nervous, Claude, the Bob Cratchit of the accounts department...ever on the end of a complete nervous breakdown it seemed. Peggy with her arthritis legs constantly roasting inches from the two bars of an electric fire. There was a suspiciously right-wing Elgar fan upstairs doing some kind of endless admin, a mad bird-like spinster who one would encounter in song-cellars and on back-stairs, who lived for gossip and any kind of illicit excitement no doubt, in the very old-fashioned conservative and staid atmosphere of an establishment frequented by the great the good and the repressed. Lovely serene Gail was the young female face of sanity on the shop floor, together with the ever-dapper, fragrant and no-doubt secretly gay Ken, expertly directing searchers to the correct departments. Mr Dalby pontificated in the excellent record department...and would hear not a word spoken against his hero and inspiration, Herbert Von Karajan. (For years I thought the Dolby System was named after him!) We had an ever cheerful Arthur Askey type cleaner and odd-job man with the severe bow-legs of childhood rickets who was always in the steaming (from the eternally damp and subterranean atmosphere of the dingy kitchen, drinking the strongest tea in the world. Keith, the sensitive yet tweedy C.S Lewis-type poet and evening partaker of the odd drop of sherry, or gin, who took a bit of a shine to me and introduced me to the genius acting skills of Antony Hopkins and music of Aaron Copland..."that piece..why it's like listening to lemon-juice in sound!" I worked in EVERY department during my strange interlude there...learned so much about all kinds of music...bought my first guitar...an Angelica which I still play...and it ruined me for working in any other establishment afterwards. I was to spend a very dull year working as a clerk for British Transport Hotels on platform 13 of York Station...before the wonderful release provided by an offer of three years at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama...where, also surrounded with music, I trained to be an actor. Happy and strange days! Comment: Nigel Carrington
Name neil ogley Comment: Wow what a wonderful bit of reading I used to be in banks quite a lot as a teenager back in the sixties, I used to play in a group (well who didn't) ah happy days! ( August 25, 2016).
The very shop York born ace film composer John Barry (prendergast) brought his records from in his early teens onwards.
In the days when Banks music was on the corner of Blake Street and Stonegate, (the shop was painted dark blue) there were listening booths where you could listen to the record before you bought it. This was also in the days decades before decimalisation. I don't think the word existed and a single 45rpm record cost 6/3 (six shillings and threepence) 78rpm records were shellac and for a short time were vinyl, the same stuff as the 45's. Miss Banks had it written in to her will that the shop should be sold when she died. As far as I am aware, she didn't seem to be bothered about what happened to the company. Luckily, though, the shop they moved to closed down and that is where they are now.
As a child I used to be taken in to Banks by my aunt Madeline Jessop who was the organist at Goole Parish Church. Normally I recall the visit was to purchase sheet music. Despite the infrequency of our visits Miss Banks invariably seemed to sense our presence and made a point of appearing and greeting my aunt by name almost like an old friend. (Perhaps they were?)