A Proud History
Established in 1935, N.H Thorpe & Co. has the “Needle’s Edge” when it comes to supplying and servicing sewing equipment throughout Newcastle and the Hunter Valley.
Norman Harold Thorpe started in the sewing machine industry by selling the Singer treadle machines door to door for Singer. It was in 1935 that Mr Thorpe opened the doors to one of the first sewing machine shops in Newcastle.
In 1938 Mr Bill Peterson came on board later to become a partner in the business.
In the beginning days, Mr Thorpe had his own brand of sewing machine “Hallmark”, manufactured here in Australia at the Smalls Arms Factory in Lithgow, west of the Blue Mountains. The “Hallmark” sewing machine was similar to that of the Singer machine.
It was in 1946 that Thorpe & Co was a part of a small group which started to import Husqvarna sewing machines directly from Husqvarna in Sweden.
Later Thorpe & Co imported Minerva from the Chec Republican.
Bernina entered somewhere in the 1950’s.
Maarten enjoing his work
Maarten and Christine with their daughter Lindsay
"Quality always comes first"
Over the last 80 years Thorpe & Co has seen many different brands of machine come through the doors but quality has always held ground.
Today, Thorpe & Co still stock Husqvarna now known as Husqvarna Viking along with Bernina. To round out the extensive range, Baby Lock came on board in 2002 and is a favourite with customers. Thorpe & Co also added Handi Quilter to its high quality range.
Maarten and Christine Plooy are the current proprietors of N.H Thorpe & Co. Like Norman Thorpe and Bill Peterson, Maarten and Christine have had a long history in the sewing machine industry.
Christine started working for Thorpe and Co after school in 1972 and in 1973 started fulltime work, this was the same year that Maarten started at Thorpe and Co as a trainee technician. Christine left around 12 months later and in 1977 Maarten and Christine married.
In 1988 Mr Thorpe was ready to sell after 53 years in business. Maarten and Christine bought the business and have been the sole owners for the last 30 years. Their daughter Lindsay has also joined the business and Maarten is passing on his invaluable knowledge to her – and yes, Lindsay rolls up her sleeves and also services customers beloved machines.
In 2020 Maarten celebrated 47 years!!! working at Thorpe & Co.