Marlborough Magazine August 18 - Page 17

SHOWCASE Will’s son, Fenwick George, trained as an electrician and was appointed manager of the company in 1957, a position he held until his death in 1966. He was succeeded by Arthur’s second son Noel Cresswell, who became a registered electrician in 1951. Current business owners, Dave Noad and John Mackey, both trained in the trade under Noel, who invited them to buy into the business 40 years ago. “Like grandad’s axe, the business has had four handles and three heads,” says John. “It looks a bit different than the original, but it’s still going strong and doing a good job.” Dave has worked at Cresswell Electrical for 47 years and John 44 years, and they wouldn’t change it for the world. “I enjoy the work and the challenge of wiring up a place,” says Dave. “Whether it be a home or a big commercial job, I still get a real buzz flicking the switch and seeing it light up.” When they first started as fresh-faced apprentices, Cresswell Electrical was one of the only electricians in town. Now there are dozens of local contractors in Marlborough and half of them gained their experience and qualification through apprenticeships with Cresswell Electrical. Apprenticeships continue to be an import ant part of running a successful business says Dave, with four apprentices currently learning the trade with the Cresswell team. Cresswell fleet in the 1960s Contrary to popular belief, electricians need to be ‘switched on’ with a strong grasp of maths and physics, plenty of common sense and a head for problem-solving, Dave says. In the modern age of smartphones, where the controls for home heating and lighting are literally at our fingertips, it is easy to forget the technical work that goes on behind the scenes and the technology behind the walls. But driving around the region and seeing the bright lights shining in shops and home windows still brings a warm glow to Dave and John, whose eyes light up with enthusiasm as they recall some of the jobs they’ve worked on over the years. Some of these include Waihopai Spy Base, Mt Robertson Radar Station, Blenheim Sewage Treatment Plant, various wineries including Marlborough’s first winery Montana Wines, Pak ‘n Save, just to name a few. Loading gear onto the D'urville Island barge in 1999 “It makes me feel proud,” says Dave. “Old, but proud.” One of the highlights of their career was hooking up the isolated farms in the Awatere Valley to power in the 1980s. Previously, stations such as Middlehurst, Upcot, Muller and Molesworth had powered their homes, shearing sheds and cottages with generators. Then there are the places they’ve worked in out-of-town including D’urville Island, Chatham Island, Jacksons Bay and Eua airport in Tonga. While every day is different and every job is different, there are some things at Cresswell Electrical that don’t change, John says. “We do things right and we always follow through - we’ll be sticking around for a few years yet, so it’s important to do right by our customers and the community.” On site at the Waihopai Spy Base in the 1990s www.cresswellelectrical.co.nz | 24-hour electrician hotline: 03 5787247 cresselectrical@xtra.co.nz | 3 Stuart Street, Blenheim 17