Staff at luxury lifestyle store, Bell of Northampton, have been recognised for their long service at an event at The Picturedrome on Wellingborough Road in the town.
Six members of staff, who have delivered 99 years of service at Bell between them, were honoured at a special recognition event as part of the store’s 125-year anniversary celebrations, which have been taking place during the course of this year. The event also saw past employees and retirees invited to join in the celebrations.
Lee Ferris, managing director at Bell of Northampton, joined the business himself as a 16-year-old apprentice. He opened the event with a speech about the company’s history and the importance of its people before bringing the beneficiaries of long service awards up onto the stage.
Lee said: “When Bell was established in 1898, Queen Victoria was on the throne and Northampton Town Football Club had been founded the year before. It has survived two World Wars, multiple recessions and the recent Coronavirus pandemic. It has also seen some fantastic times such as England winning the World Cup in 1966 and huge advances in working practices as we entered the digital era.
“Bell is proud to have innovated and evolved over the years to become a successful multi-channel retailer, but the people are what makes this business special. Without them it would just be an empty building. I would like to thank Andy, Tammy, Andy, Lee, Mark and Lynne for their dedicated service.”
Andy Emery is a delivery driver for Bell. He has worked for the business for 25 years. He had nothing but praise for the company, saying: “Bell has been such a great employer and my manager, Zen is amazing. A couple of years ago my wife was ill and everyone was so supportive.”
Tammy Pell is marketing coordinator at Bell. She started at the business 21 years ago after studying interior design at college. She said: “I originally joined the business as an appointment setter in kitchens but when I showed them my portfolio, they took me on as a trainee kitchen designer. I really loved designing kitchens but when I went on to have my family, I realised that I wanted to work part-time but that would mean longer lead times for our customers if I worked less days. I saw an opportunity for holding events at Bell and pitched the idea to management. It turns out they had already had a similar idea, so we developed the part time role of marketing coordinator, and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since! It’s really nice to have the recognition for long service.”
Andy Hobbs was recognised for 17 years of service as a bathroom fitter and plumber for the store. He said: “Bell is a good company that really looks after you. I enjoy my job so much that I encouraged my son Louis to work here too. He has just started as an apprentice in bathrooms.”
Lee Hoult started working at Bell 14 years ago. He is a carpenter by trade and fits kitchens for the company. He said: “Bell is a wonderful company with traditional values and old-fashioned morals. Our kitchen installations are not just five-minute jobs, things are done properly and professionally. All of us get on which makes going to work much easier and more enjoyable. Seeing the company celebrate 125 years also shows me that I have job security.”
Mark Bristow has been working in the contracts department as a kitchen designer at Bell for the last 12 years. He said: “Bell is a fantastic employer. To have so many of the same people still working here shows they are doing something right.”
Lynne Haynes has worked in the Bell accounts department for the last 10 years. She said: “The company has moved with the times over the last 125 years but still has the same ethos of a family business and looks after its staff.”
For more information about Bell of Northampton, visit the website at www.abell.co.uk.