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Christchurch City Council Media Release 15 October 1999

Signs Of The Times

A timber sign is ready for Sharnbrook Park and Brent Nicholson and Steve Dolden admit they haven’t a clue where it will be erected.

They might be responsible for its production but, as they say, they don’t have to know what happens to it.

In fact, the Sharnbrook Park sign will be erected on a small reserve as part of the Regents Park development, off Cavendish Road, Papanui.

This is one of the latest parks and reserves created by the Parks Unit of the City Council. About 20 new ones are brought into use each year bringing the total of parks and reserves to nearly 660 around the city.

Brent Nicholson is the man who runs the Milton Street Signshop at the Council’s Milton Street’s plant and building services complex in Sydenham.

He has been in the job for nearly two years. Since he took over the business, which used to be run by the Parks Unit, production has tripled at the Signshop.

Much of his work is still provided by the Parks Unit (illustrated by the Sharnbrook Park sign) but most Council signs, large or small, now come from Brent’s workshop. All Council vehicle signs are also Brent’s work.

His smallest sign has been a 10cm by 10cm sign for junk-mail deposits, and the largest, displayed at the World Netball Championships, were two 10m by 6m-canvas signs.

He works in many materials, and he uses Steve Dolden, in the carpentry shop, for all timber signs.

"We will tackle any job. We are busy all the time. Service is what it’s all about around here. We are No.1 in signs and we give a service which is equivalent or better than the private sector at competitive rates," Brent says.

Some work outside the Council is carried out but it is not sought by advertisement. Brent has contracts with the Selwyn District Council and Orana Park.

Brent, a signwriter by profession, says computers have increased the speed of producing many types of signs. In the past it took three days to put signage on Council trucks but today it was "a matter of hours. Computers give us that faster turnaround. "


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