It has been a long journey to get to where we are with both magazines. Vince started the P&C magazine in the very early 90s which was one community magazine that covered Pontardawe, Clydach, Rhos, Alltwen, Ynysmeudwy, Rhydyfro & Trebanos.
The magazine was very well received and ran for decades but with changes from 2018. “I started designing the magazine before Dad retired” Leon says. “Although Pontardawe and Clydach share a lot of similarities and most advertisers wanted to be in both areas, they also had a lot of differences. Mainly that Pontardawe is in Neath Port Talbot and in a different county council to Clydach and so not all of the content was always relevant to the house that we were delivering to”.
“We managed to come up with an idea with the printers for us to essentially split half of the magazine. So, half of the inside would be identical in both magazines and the outer half would be different. This way, the cover is unique to each magazine and the specific content is too. Yet the articles that are relevant for both areas remain in both magazines.”
“It has made a big difference. It is more work, and it does cost slightly more money to print but we now have two targeted magazines that are genuine community ones. For example, each month we print articles from the Clydach Historical Society, Clwb Pel Droid Clydach and Clydach Community Council in the Clydach & Co, while the Ponty Mag gets information from the Pontardawe Town Council, local councillors, and Pontardawe Library.”
“We then have regular content from My Green Valley and the Swansea Canal Society which is relevant to both magazines. It really works”.
Since Vince retired, Leon and Matty have taken on the magazine, with Matty taking care of advertising and customers while Leon continues to design it. Although both deliver the magazine door to door. Talking about the many steps when delivering the magazine – Leon said –
“I think what I really enjoy about my job is the diversity in it and the delivering is one of those aspects. I spend a lot of time designing, writing, and putting the magazine together on the computer and so when I get out and deliver the magazines – I’m usually looking forward to it. Obviously, the weather can put you off, but I generally enjoy the 25 mile delivery days more than the ones stuck on the computer.”
“I’m very proud of both magazines. I’m proud of their history and I’m proud of what they are today and to put them through people’s letterboxes. The huge majority of people I see when delivering are really happy to have the magazine and that spurs you on to.”
On advertisers Matty says “There are advertisers in both magazines that have been in there for literally decades. My father built up a very good relationship with customers over the years and I like to think that I have managed to continue that. There is no other publication or any source that comes close to the coverage of Pontardawe or Clydach than these magazines and that’s been the case for a couple of generations. Readers look to the magazine for local events and information, but they also look to it for a plumber, electrician or whatever they need.”