Hobkirk Sewing Machines celebrates 120 years in business 

Hobkirk Sewing Machines, a much-loved staple in Blackburn Town Centre, is celebrating 120 years of business this year.  

From humble beginnings, Hobkirks has became a household name across the North West – supplying both domestic and industrial customers with top-of-the-range sewing machines, accessories, haberdashery.  

The now 16-strong team is still headed by Managing Director, Mark Hobkirk, alongside his Co-Director, Marcus Gannon, and wife Kathy who is the Company Secretary. Mark is also celebrating his 30th year with the business, alongside the 120th anniversary. 

Hobkirks now occupies a length of Darwen Street in Blackburn – 10,000 sq ft of premises spanning 45 rooms – including a fabric room and also a sewing machine museum with over 200 antiquities and its very own customer parking. 

Few businesses reach this momentous milestone, and the family-owned sewing business is celebrating by looking back on years gone by. Here are some of the key highlights through the decades… 

  • 1903 – the first Hobkirk Sewing Machines’ store was opened by William Hobkirk on Salford in Blackburn 
  • 1960s – William welcomed his grandson to the business, and they opened their second store on Darwen St, Blackburn 
  • 1970-80s – business was blooming, further shops were opened in Preston, Blackpool, Accrington, Bury & Rochdale  
  • 1980s – Hobkirk branches out into industrial sewing, building their first industrial workshop & showroom in their Darwen St branch 
  • 1993 – Mark Hobkirk joined the business and added commercial embroidery machines and 2000 fabric designs to the Hobkirk portfolio  

Their amazing website showcases all aspects of this traditional family business so why not take a look at or pay them a visit on Darwen St.  

William Hobkirk opened his first store in 1903

Peter Hobkirk in the new sewing machine museum at Hobkirks in Blackburn

Mark Hobkirk, Managing Director