Fashion designer, Patrick Grant, was greeted by fans of the BBC Great British Sewing Bee programme at the Blackburn Heritage Festival when he was in town to open a museum of sewing machines at Hobkirk.

The designer was joined by one of the programme finalists, Blackburn born, Deborah Simms to officially open the collection with a meet and greet and book signing at Hobkirk on Darwen Street and a short presentation about design in Blackburn Library.

At a bucks fizz reception, Patrick was presented with a classic antique hand machine manufactured in Guide Bridge, Audenshaw in Manchester, in around1870. Deborah who recently gave birth to her first daughter, was presented with a Little Betty, toy machine.  In both presentations, Patrick talked about his new found love of Blackburn and how he has recently taking over the ownership of the Cookson and Clegg factory in Blackburn.

The museum is Peter Hobkirk’s own collection of over 200 full size and toy sewing machines dating back to 1860.

The Museum of Sewing Machines is open to the public by appointment to individuals and small groups.