House of Bellingham
Jersey's first travel agent, still trading today in Bath Street as House of Bellingham, started life in 1847 as a shipbroker at 8 The Pier, part of the row of commercial properties stretching from the bottom of Mulcaster Street to the Merchants' Pier. The latter is now known as Commercial Buildings, and Mr E J Bellingham's business was one of a number with maritime associations which stood on what is now known as the Weighbridge.
It may be that Mr Bellingham had started his business earlier elsewhere, but it certainly prospered at The Pier, and diversified into insurance brokerage, Customs clearance and then passage booking.
The founder was succeeded by his son W G Bellingham in 1896, and by 1903 he had transferred operations to 14a Mulcaster Street, where the picture shows him still in business as a shipbroker, as well as handling 'foreign parcels', insurance, marine surveys and, as an agent for Union Castle and White Star Lines, among others, offering passages to Canada and the United States, the West Indies and South America to the west; and South Africa, India, China, Japan and Australia in the opposite direction.
Along with many other St Helier businesses, Mr Bellingham found an advertisement in the Jersey Times and British Press Almanac indispensable, and in 1905 he was also promoting his business as a receiving office, supervisor of exports and an agent for HM CUstoms and the Board of Trade.
The business prospered, particularly on the back of the growth in international travel, and moved in 1909 to larger premises further along the street at No 6. On Mr Bellingham's retirement ownership passed to Captain H Benest, and was soon renamed House of Bellingham.
During the German Occupation Capt Benest's travel-related operations had to cease, but the business managed to continue by providing furniture storage for evacuees and offering a horse-drawn bus service.
The business came to life again as the war ended and after periods at 1 Mulcaster Street and in Hill Street, reached its ultimate destination on the corner of Queen Street and Bath Street