Bells Heritage



Feeding the people of Washington since 1883


The Bells Heritage

Butcher’s, Baker’s, and today combining both as a successful caterer’s.

T & I Bell is now Washington’s oldest retail business celebrating our 135th anniversary rising to the occasion since opening in 1883.

An array of original fittings and features – including tiles and butcher’s hooks – can still be viewed in our Sandwich Bar at Station Road, Columbia, to reveal its four-generation longevity.

The first recorded evidence of the Bell family business is in Slaters Commercial Directory of 1883 with the shop identified as belonging to ‘Isaac Walton Bell of Washington Staithes”. It was also registered in the Regional Trade Directory in 1890 as having outlets in Washington Village, Concord and Washington Station.

In 1893 it relocated to Station Road, being erected on the north side of the street to help minimise sunlight as refrigeration was not an option at this time.

Annie and Isaac’s children, Maurice, Tom and Editha, took the business past the First World War. On the death of Tom and Editha, Maurice Snr carried on with his children Maurice, Joan, Tom, Enid and Fred, holding the business through the Second World War and continuing with a government scheme of rationing.

In 1959 Tom and his wife Isabella formed a partnership naming the business T & I Bell. Which to this day Alyson Chapman great-granddaughter of founder Isaac and Annie Bell carries on the family tradition in her role as Catering Consultant and the well – renowned face of the company.

Please follow our links to find our present day services.


Catering to four generations

Our premises now incorporate a bakery, kitchen preparation area and Sandwich Bar. The company remains as passionate today as in 1883 about the people we serve and our local community.