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Bell, Harold (1872–1951)

Harold Bell, n.d.

Harold Bell, n.d.

from Pastoral Review and Graziers' Record, 19 January 1951

Mr. Harold Bell, general manager and chairman of directors of Winchcombe, Carson Ltd., died in Sydney on 2nd January at the age of 79, and with his passing the Australian wool industry lost one of its most able and highly respected leaders. He had been connected with the trade for more than 60 years, all of which were spent in the service of the one firm, and at the time of his death he was recognised as a particularly sound administrator, having a wide knowledge of the many difficult problems associated with both wool growing and wool selling, especially in New South Wales and Queensland.

He was born in London, the son of Colonel Albert Bell, and after receiving his education at London's Blue Coat School gained some early commercial experience in that city. However, at the age of 18 he decided to seek his fortune in Australia, and on arrival at Sydney joined the newly established wool-selling firm of Winchcombe, Carson and Co., formed by Messrs. F. E. Winchcombe, Duncan Carson, C. L. Wallis, and E. J. Turton when the pioneer firms of Mort and Co. Pty. Ltd., Sydney, and R. Goldsbrough and Co. Ltd., Melbourne, amalgamated.

Mr. Bell soon showed ability and keenness in the wool handling side of the business and was transferred to Mr. Carson's wool valuing staff, where he remained for many years, becoming the firm's chief wool valuer. During this period he made many trips overseas to study world wool requirements, and visited leading mills in Yorkshire, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, U.S.A., and Japan. All this experience gave him a wide knowledge of the needs of Australia's wool customers, and on the death of the Hon. P. E. Winchcombe, M.L.C., in 1917, he was invited to become one of the managing directors of the firm. He assumed the position of general manager in 1929 and became chairman and sole managing director in 1931.

For many years Mr. Bell played a leading part in the affairs of various wool selling and wool buying associations, and from 1938 to 1943 was chairman of the Sydney branch of the National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia. He also gave service to the industry as a member of the State Wool Committee during the wool appraisement period, was the selling brokers' representative on the Australian Overseas Transport Association, and was a trustee of the Sydney Wool Selling Brokers' Association. In the wider pastoral field Mr. Bell was an active member of the New South Wales Sheepbreeders' Association, treasurer of the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales, and a director of the Royal Exchange of Sydney.

He also had his own pastoral interests in New South Wales, owning for twelve years Angullong Station, Orange, and subsequently becoming the chairman of directors of Canowindra Pastoral Co. Pty. Ltd., owners of Canomadine Station, in the Canowindra district. Mr. Bell is survived by his widow, a son (Mr. Lindsay Bell, principal of L. H. Bell Pty. Ltd., wool buyers, of Sydney), and two daughters—Mrs. Bruce Webb, of Copper Hill, Molong, N.S.W., and Mrs. Stuart Studdy, of North Sydney.

Original publication

Citation details

'Bell, Harold (1872–1951)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/bell-harold-97/text97, accessed 17 September 2019.

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