Thread: Hobson & Sons
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Old 06-12-12, 07:36 PM
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fougasse1940 fougasse1940 is offline
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Hobsons began their uniform business close to Woolwich Barracks, South London, England. Clothing and Regimental Regalia were made for all members of the armed forces using traditional tailoring and handcraft techniques. Hobsons business grew to such an extent that by 1860 five shops were open in and around the Woolwich area. Their expertise and reputation for quality was rapidly established among customers, particularly the locally based Royal Artillery.
Lexington Street London W.1 was acquired for Hobsons around 1880. Gold and Silver wire embroidery was produced here along with the weaving of lace. In the basement, the Leather Accoutrements department produced specialist goods of all descriptions.
By the turn of the century the new Hobsons factory and offices in Tooley St ( between London Bridge and Tower Bridge ) were in operation. Several hundred employees worked at making all garments and accessories required for the Guards uniforms.
In the 1930's Hobsons purchased a disused church hall with a plot of surrounding land at Thundersley, Essex with the long term plan of drawing all parts of the business together into one place - this would take another 60 years !
The Thundersley site saw the beginning of the "new Hobsons era". A high volume of tropical uniforms were manufactured for the war effort and initiated expanding business with many new export markets.
Early in the 1950's Hobsons leather section moved to Lewisham and then in the 1960's to a factory near Greenwich. This business now produced leather goods for uniformed forces world-wide and accounted for 25% of the Hobsons turnover.
By the late 1950's Hobsons first purpose built factory at Thundersley had been erected, a small single story unit of 5000 sq.ft.. Here a local workforce who continued to use time honoured tailoring skills made clothing uniforms. During the late 1970's the Embroidery and Tailoring departments were moved temporarily to Hobsons new site in Greek St, London W.1. and later amalgamated into the Tooley Street head office. Embroidered badges and colours were crafted at both sites.
Further extensions in the 70's and 80's brought the Thundersley site to 30,000 sq.ft. Business now included uniforms and regimental regalia to over 80 countries, along with a design and development service for many military and civilian uniform requirements.
Between 1992 & 1997 the last of the Hobson businesses were finally drawn into the modern factory and office site at Thundersley.


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