A family run firm, since 1895.
A family run firm
After more than 125 years H Monk & Sons is still in the family. Run by the fifth generation of Monks since Horatio Monk began the business in 1895. Husband and wife team Oliver and Kelly Monk now look after the business and run a store each. Oliver looks after the Northampton Road store and Kelly runs The Fabric Workshop on Goward Street.
Find a great deal
The stores enjoy the spirit of independence which means that you can find a great deal inside that you wont find in larger high street chains. The attention to detail, wealth of experience and dedication to service are all cornerstones of the H Monk & Sons shopping experience. And by buying stock well, often by working with large cooperative consortium’s of independent shopkeepers, H Monk & Sons can keep their prices competitive. Making sure that customers get a good deal as well as excellent service and advice.
WHEN Horatio Monk and his wife Anna Martha opened their shop in Nelson Street, Harborough, in 1895, one wonders whether they ever stopped to think how long their business would last.
Operating from the shop Mr Monk, a tallow chandler, used a wooden barrel on a cart to deliver domestic burning oil around the town and its surrounding villages.
In 1906 Mr Monk opened bigger premises in Goward Street, where he also sold hardware and furnishings. His burning oil round was extended to cover most villages within a ten mile radius of Harborough.
At about this time Mr Monk’s sons Horatio junior and William began to help their father with the firm. In 1912 Mr Monk took over a business in St Mary’s Road but in 1923 he was forced to move the business to its current home in Northampton Road because of a road widening scheme.
The firm continued to develop with a move into the removals business and Mr Monk’s two sons being taken into partnership. After Mr Monk’s death in.1932 they ran the business.
During the Second World War Monk’s demonstrated its continuing ability to respond to change when, in response to the tailing off of the burning oil business, the firm started supplying fuel for agricultural customers in the villages around Harborough, capitalising on the upsurge needed in wartime agricultural production.
As a direct result of this trade in 1951 Monk’s was appointed area oil distributors for Shellmex and BP. That side of the business flourished until the retirement of William Monk in 1963. From then on the company concentrated on furniture, furnishings, carpets and removals under the guiding hand of Miss Kitty Monk, granddaughter of the founder. In the late 1960’s the Goward Street shop was re-opened as a toy and nursery store, which later moved to the corner of Northampton Road and The Square, where it traded successfully until it was sold in 1988.
In 1989 after the retirement of key staff the removals business was closed, ending a service the firm had offered for 60 years.
Miss Monk herself retired in 1991 leaving the family firm in the hands of Brian Monk, great-grandson of the founder, and his co-director Roy Carter who have now long retired themselves.
Today Monk’s concentrates its core business of carpets, curtains, rugs and beds and prides itself on its reputation for good service to the local community built up over 125 years in business and is run by a fifth generation member of the Monk family, Oliver with his co-Director Jez West.