Final ring of the bell for the Ushers

Walking away: Former graziers turned cafe owners Vicki and John Usher have put the iconic Bell Tower on the market just two years after taking over. Photo: Gareth Gardner
Walking away: Former graziers turned cafe owners Vicki and John Usher have put the iconic Bell Tower on the market just two years after taking over. Photo: Gareth Gardner

The final bell is set to toll on John and Vicki Usher’s time at the helm of the iconic Bell Tower, as the cafe goes up for sale for the second time in two years.

Two years ago the former Brewarrina graziers were looking for a change of lifestyle, and after spending some time in Walcha, and not appreciating the weather, took on a caffeine-change, buying the property from former operators Lou and Lucy Haslam.

“We came off the properties and wanted to try something different,” Mr Usher said.

“We went to Walcha, but weren’t keen on the cold, so sold that property and didn’t know what to do – then the Bell Tower came up for sale, and we thought why not, and bought another investment property and a property at Nemingha as well.”

While John took over operations of the dining and drinks, Vicki looked after the gift shop side, while daughter Rylee looked after the back office and books, although with Rylee moving away with her partner the Ushers have decided to also call it a day, instead heading back to farming, but hoping to snag a property closer to the coast this time.

“We can’t manage the books – we are not good with computers - so just thought it was a good time to get out,” Mr Usher said.

“We are going back into farming and what we know, not quite sure where yet, but we will sell this and our other places and make a decision then, maybe somewhere between Casino and Kyogle.” 

The Bell Tower will be auctioned in Sydney on November 21.