Tributes paid to long-standing bank manager, Ian

Ian Batchelor pictured at Barclays bank in Wroxham in 1982

Ian Batchelor pictured at Barclays bank in Wroxham in 1982 - Credit: The Batchelor family

Family members of a former Barclays manager have shared their memories of a man who worked tirelessly to support small businesses and customers. 

Ian Batchelor was born in King's Lynn and attended King's Lynn Grammar School before joining the RAF for national service. 

Leaving the RAF in the 1950s Mr Batchelor began working for Barclays in Fakenham - a business where he would rise through the ranks and work for for the rest of his career. 

Mr Batchelor later moved to the King's Lynn branch of Barclays in 1959 before joining the Great Yarmouth team in 1966. 

Barclays Bank used to operate from this building on Hall Quay in Great Yarmouth.

Barclays Bank used to operate from this building on Hall Quay in Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Archant

His travels then brought him to Norwich in 1969 where he worked as an assistant manager. 

In 1981 he moved to the Wroxham branch as manager and also worked as area district manager as well as being an assistant director for the area as a whole. 

He will be remembered in Norwich and beyond as a champion of small businesses across the county. 

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His wife Joan Batchelor said: "He absolutely loved his job. Barclays was our life while he was working there. 

"He always championed local businesses. During the pandemic he was disappointed to see them all close because he knew how hard they worked. 

The Banking Hall at Barclay's Bank in July 1976

The Banking Hall at Barclay's Bank in July 1976 - Credit: Archant

"He was very good at his job - he was brilliant with figures. 

"And because of his work he was also on committees. Back then if you wanted to get on in businesses like Barclays you had to do good work outside of what you did in the office. 

"He was always on parish councils and housing associations as well as a water safety committee. He wanted to do it, he always went above and beyond for other people.

"He was a keen hockey player and used to play for the bank as well as for clubs in King's Lynn.

The Barclays Bank building in December 1984

The Barclays Bank building in December 1984 - Credit: Archant

"I don't really know what he was like in the office but the impression I got from other people was that he was tough but very fair."

His daughter, Karen Tyrell, added: "He was known to so many people at Barclays not only because of how many branches he worked in but also because he was in charge of massive recruitment drives. 

"To this day members of our family that work as solicitors still come across his signature on documents because he approved so many loans for businesses and mortgages for people."

Mr Batchelor retired in May 1996 and enjoyed 25 "long and happy years" with Mrs Batchelor, Karen said. 

Mrs Batchelor added: "It had always been his dream to get a train across Canada and go up through the Rockies.

Barclays banking hall

Barclays banking hall in Norwich in 1964 - a handful of years before Ian joined - Credit: Archant

"So that's what we did - it was an organised trip which took us right through the mountains. He absolutely loved it, we both had a fantastic time and met so many lovely people.

"We also used to enjoy trips around the country. We loved Scotland and spent a lot of time there and we liked to have day trips around Norfolk too, up to the coast and places like that. 

"Ian was also very do it yourself - he was always in the garden."

Mr Batchelor, who lived on the outskirts of Norwich, leaves behind Joan and two children, Karen and Andy, and three grandchildren. 

"We first met when I was 15 and he had just turned 18. His school used to do Scottish dancing and the girls at my school - King's Lynn and West Norfolk School for Girls - used to be invited to go," Mrs Batchelor said.

"He asked me to dance. I thought he was completely out of my league - he was a prefect and captain of the hockey team, plus I was doing my A-levels. 

"But we started dating then and got married in 1958.

"He was our absolute rock. We had our ups and downs as all families do but our eldest grandson said to me the other day: 'I can't think of a bad word to say about grandad'. 

"And that was him, that was Ian."

Mr Batchelor died at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on December 20, 2021.