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Lochmaben loses its ‘Aladdin’s Cave’

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By Fiona Reid
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Lochmaben loses its ‘Aladdin’s Cave’

AN ‘ALADDIN’S cave’ of forgotten treasures has been lost forever from Lochmaben.

LOST . . . stock picture of a vault

The town’s Royal Bank of Scotland was home to a walk-in vault containing long forgotten items belonging to locals past and present.

And the status of the vault in the now closed bank was raised at this month’s meeting of Lochmaben Community Council, where member May McKerrell described a visit to the vault as ‘dazzling’.

She had been inside to retrieve a possession on behalf of a local club and was stunned by the amount of riches it contained.

She said: “It really was amazing to see. It was dazzling.”

Her encounter raised the question – what has happened to the contents of the vault?

A spokesman from RBS explained that when the bank closed in 2014 all the possessions held within the vault were re-located. He said: “When a branch closes all items held in the branch safe custody are moved to a nearby branch and customers are contacted to let them know their items will be moved.

“The Lochmaben items are now stored at the nearby Lockerbie branch.”

Community councillors also questioned the future of items whose ownership was unclear, such as things belonging to the deceased or defunct clubs.

The spokesman explained that all items were transferred and letters were sent out to the last known owners.

He said: “I can confirm that they remain the property of the customer.”

Lochmaben’s only bank closed on September 8 2014 following a decrease in branch users.

From 2011 to 2014 the number of bank users dropped by 20 per cent, while online transactions increased by 200 per cent.

A number of measures were put into place to help the people of Lochmaben meet their banking needs including keeping the town’s sole ATM, a mobile branch stopping in the town and increased banking services offered at the local Post Office.

The High Street building has been vacant since the closure and RBS were this week unable to comment on the future of the site.

 

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