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Banking for Victory: A country house at War - Upton is transformed into the Country House Bank
In 1939 the owners of Upton House – the Bearsteds – moved out and their family-owned bank moved in. Driven by the need to protect bank staff and assets from the London air raids, M. Samuel & Co., moved in lock, stock and barrel for the duration of the Second World War.
On March 27th 2015, Mary Berry opened Banking for Victory, a complete transformation of Upton House by untying a bow in parachute silk in the historic Long Gallery, which has been converted into a 1940s typing pool. Of the Upton House project, Mary said: "I am just enthralled by it all. I remember playing on typewriters like this after school. The one difference here is that visitors will be able to take part. You can imagine how children who have their computer in their back pocket will be thrilled to bits. It’s all about taking part if you want to.''
Join in the story and step back in time to see how the bank staff lived and worked in their new surroundings. There are office desks and typewriters in the Long Gallery, just as there were in the 1940s, alongside the world class paintings and porcelain collection. New rooms are open, the gardens are enhanced with wartime features and you can now explore for yourself what happened when ordinary people took over this extraordinary place.