Herbert Parkinson in recent years

Photo:John Smith, EFS Curtains Manager, and Managing Director, Patricia Shelley, after the refurb at Herbert Parkinson in 2006

John Smith, EFS Curtains Manager, and Managing Director, Patricia Shelley, after the refurb at Herbert Parkinson in 2006

Photo:The exterior of Herbert Parkinson in 2010

The exterior of Herbert Parkinson in 2010

By Jonathan Blatchford

Constantly adapting to meet requirements

Herbert Parkinson has benefitted throughout from the backing of the Partnership, both financially and through the provision of Partnership expertise. These reasons alone have allowed the factory to outlive many other textile mills in the Lancashire area. It has been the company’s ability to constantly and willingly adapt when required that has secured both its longevity and its continued use by the Partnership to this day.

Renovation

In January 2006 a £2.5 million makeover was completed at Herbert Parkinson. It allowed weekly production in some departments to be increased by half, thanks to brand new equipment and a new factory layout that ensured far better working conditions for Herbert Parkinson employees.

Complete restructuring takes place

Before the project, the building was in desperate need of repair; many of its structures had remained unchanged for decades. Weaving, the factory’s main function, was starting to prove unprofitable, thanks in part to the split-site arrangement that it had with the nearby Birtwistle factory. One of the main aims of the renovation was therefore the complete restructuring of the operation. It wasn’t easy however. In the Gazette of 14th January 2006, Managing Director Patricia Selley described the operation as:

'Like resurfacing a motorway with the traffic still running over it'

Producing premium pillows

Despite the difficulties the renovations were a resounding success, and have allowed the company to operate to its full potential ever since. Currently, the factory produces several special products, including the famed Winter Snow Goose pillows and matching duvet, that retail at around £150 and £1000 respectively. Other orders included the bedding for the £17,845 bed sold by John Lewis High Wycombe in 2009.

This page was added by Jonathan Blatchford on 17/10/2014.