Herbert Parkinson’s set to ‘pop-up’ at Darwen Market

Published Wednesday 8 May 2024 at 11:34

Darwen’s Herbert Parkinson Ltd – the John Lewis soft furnishings manufacturer – is set to host its first pop-up in the town.

The firm was bought by the national retailer back in1953 as an ‘experiment’ with the sale remarkably being kept a ‘strict secret’ for more than a decade.

Today, 70 years on, Herbert Parkinson is still going strong as the last remaining John Lewis Manufacturing Partner in the whole of the UK.

In fact, from the busy Harvest Mill site – just behind the A666, close to Darwen Cricket Club – it supplies a full range of John Lewis soft furnishings – everything from curtains to Roman blinds, roller blinds, cushions, duvets, pillows and more.

At the Darwen Market pop-up, visitors will be able to meet with Partners (employees) from the site, learn more about the firm’s history – from its heritage through to the products they manufacture and supply today – and discuss current vacancies and job opportunities.

Visitors will also be treated to live product demonstrations and there’ll be the chance for schoolchildren to design their own fabrics.

Tracey Alcock, Herbet Parkinson’s General Manager, said: “Herbert Parkinson Ltd is proud to be a part of the very fabric of Darwen.

“Generations of Darreners – many from the same families – have all worked here and have contributed to its success over the decades.

“We are proud of our heritage and connections to the town and that was very much celebrated last year as part of our milestone of 70 years as a John Lewis Partner.

“We welcomed guests, including residents, into Harvest Mill so they could see first-hand how much hard work, skill and effort goes into every single item we produce.

“People found it fascinating and that’s where the idea for this new pop-up has come from as we want to continue to develop those links with our community.”

The Herbert Parkinson pop-up will take place on Wednesday, May 29th – during half-term in the Market Hall. It’ll run from 9am to 5pm.

Tracey added: “People very much regard the textile trade as a thing of the past, but Herbert Parkinson continues to go from strength-to-strength.

“At the pop-up, visitors will be able to find out more about us – they’ll be able to watch demonstrations and also talk to us about employment opportunities too.

“We’re in the midst of designing a textile themed competition too – encouraging people to go home and make something themselves using the skills we put to work each and every day.

“Indeed, at Herbert Parkinson, we like to combine the best of modern technology with traditional skills, investing significantly in training and apprenticeships.”

Councillor Quesir Mahmood, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Executive Member for Growth and Development, said: “Herbert Parkinson Ltd remains one of Darwen’s largest employers and is a real success story, continuing to support the community, including by being a Darwen Youth Zone patron.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming the Herbet Parkinson Partners to Darwen Market so people can find out more about the manufacturer’s fascinating history and about the opportunities that exist today.

“This new pop-up is part of a packed programme of events for May in the town, including the ever-popular Darwen Live, the much-anticipated adidas DECADE event, the return of the half-term activities and more.

“Be sure to take a look at www.darwentowncentre.co.uk to find out more about what’s on.”

You can also search ‘Herbert Parkinson’ on the John Lewis website to find out more, including about job opportunities at the Harvest Mill site.

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