Tributes to printing apprentice Brian who went on to buy the firm

The funeral has been held for Welshpool Printing Group chairman Brian Jones, who began working at WPG after leaving school at the age of 15 and went on to buy the company and turn it into a flourishing family firm.

Brian Jones, chairman of Welshpool Printing Group
Brian Jones, chairman of Welshpool Printing Group

Sons Paul and Ian, who are the joint managing directors, said: “As a family and a company, we will miss Brian’s contribution greatly. We will endeavour to keep the company a strong and successful business, using the same work ethic and business model that has been instilled into us for many years.”

They said that in keeping with their father's ethos and culture they would be looking at possible acquisitions, technology and kit, with the aim of continuing to diversify and expand.

Mr Jones, who died the day before his 73rd birthday, began an apprenticeship at Welshpool Printing Company on leaving school, working for Alun Jones and Tegwyn Evans, and learning the letterpress.

He worked most of his life for Welshpool Printing Group bar a four-year spell working at the Shropshire Star in Ketley starting in 1979. Returning to the Welshpool company in 1983, he served as production manager there for nine years.

However, in 1992 Alun and Tegwyn retired, meaning there was an opportunity to buy Welshpool Printing Company, which Brian seized along with business partner Graham Pierce and under the new management team the company continued to grow and flourish, acquiring other local printing companies along the way.

In 1998 Welshpool Printing Group, as it was then known – often shortened to WPG – moved from Welshpool’s canal yard in Severn Street to new premises, where it is still housed today, at Severn Farm Enterprise Park. The move enabled the company to grow and invest due to the increase of the footprint.

This year was Mr Jones' 30th year heading the business and the company's 62nd year in business, having been established in 1960.

It is now a completely family-owned firm, with Ian and Paul both joint managing directors serving under Brian as chairman until his passing.

During his time heading up WPG, Brian was a member of the Institute of Directors, served on the Mid Wales Tec and was a governor of Welshpool High School.

A memorial service has been held at St Michael and All Angels Church, Forden, the village where Mr Jones lived.

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