Southern Business Machines up to 1997 had been based in Mandeville Street for over 13 years. This was at that stage a relatively low key commercial area. As the company developed from supplying large pieces of office copying equipment (and some of them were indeed large by today’s standards for what they were capable of) to a new range of desktop and distinctly portable home use machines it was time to look for a new site with better public exposure i.e. foot traffic.
So the hunt was on for these new premises. That place was Unit 4, 242 Ferry Road. Very different from our previous site. Quite a bit of internal shuffling had to be done to make us fit as we were now in two storeys but all was good as it was light and modern and we were all very happy. The rugby mad staff were very excited to have free parking next to Lancaster Park, now AMI Stadium.
Still we kept growing and as the years passed, 12 to be exact , the number of technicians increased and the Service Department’s workshop had become too cramped for efficient functioning. Unit 2 became available which had twice the space for conversion to a larger workshop area and a more spacious showroom, so we were on the move again.
Moving is not fun at the best of times but moving only two doors made the process about as painless as it would be possible to be. We have been here for nearly a year and I am sure we are all very glad that this site is all on the ground floor.
Our premises have got off very lightly here in the earthquake with nothing but a few cracks, some ceiling panels down and all our staff members are unharmed.