Rain stopping play would not normally give many people reasons to smile at Wimbledon. But one of the last remaining traditional signwriters in Warrington cannot wait for the covers to come out as millions of people from around the world will get a glimpse of his handiwork. Orford dad Carl Tickle has been hand painting the tennis championship’s six metre logo on each of the 16 rain covers needed for the world famous sporting event and says he is delighted after 10 years of trading as Cheshire Brush to achieve the ‘contract of his dreams’.
The 30 year-old, who is dad to Eloise, aged five, and Tristan, aged one and has been completing the work at Stuart Canvas in Woolston, said: "I have been trading for 10 years this June with a tough battle against the cheap vinyl companies and recession in 2009. "I’m hoping the Wimbledon contract will give signwriters a bit of recognition and sway other people’s minds that hand painting is better."
"A lot of companies have been going to digital printing but people like to see the brush strokes again now rather than a computer printing it out." "Each of the covers takes about 14 hours but they do look really effective." "It can be very costly if you spill any paint on the covers so you have got to be careful but I enjoy doing it and I’m really looking forward to seeing them in action."
When Carl first picked up a brush aged 14, there were five or six signwriters working in the town. Dwindling numbers has meant the skilled painter, who has previously provided painted signs for Haydock race course and the Grand National, has been considering teaching his skills to others to continue the tradition. The former St Helens College pupil said: "I was the last person doing it on my college course so when I finished they stopped the course altogether.
"That was about 10 years ago and people have been more interested in computers since but thanks to social media signwriting is starting to come back." "I’m hoping after Wimbledon it will spread and other clubs will want things hand painted again."
That cannot be easy using a brush! its not like you can stand back and look at it as you progress. well done to him for keeping at it as it must be much harder for a skilled traditional sign writer like him going up against us lot pushing vinyl or banging out huge format prints in no time.