The Company was established in Oswestry in the mid 1800’s when a small printer published a railway timetable sold to 1,000 members of the public. Gradually news and advertisements were added.
Following a series of take-overs by small printing works, the new firm of Woodall, Minshall and Thomas was established. This was also the start of the Thomas family dynasty.
The Border Counties Advertizer was launched, followed by the Wrexham Leader. By 1932, the Y Cymro and Montgomeryshire Express were also part of the group. Rowland Thomas became the dynamic force behind the company and it was his skill and enthusiasm that took the company through the difficult times of the war and other financial problems.
It was Rowland’s son Eric, who, after returning from the war qualified as a barrister then joined the company. By 1949 he was at the helm with Rowland Thomas remaining chairman.
Rowland died in 1959 aged 70 leaving the company in Eric’s hands. With director, Tom Roberts, Eric started to expand, in particular along the North Wales coast into Rhyl, Denbigh, Bangor and Colwyn Bay, borrowing money from the bank and another newspaper publisher to complete the deals.
In 1973 the company made a huge financial investment with the launch of the Evening Leader, with editions going into Wrexham, followed by Flintshire and finally Chester.
Eric’s daughter Nonna took over the helm in 1988, the company moved its headquarters to Mold, making it more central to its readers and advertisers. The staff transferred during May 1988, with the introduction of a completely new computer system and a 7 half unit, full colour, new Goss press.
In April 1998 the company continued its growth and acquired the very popular, three edition Chester Standard, a free weekly with a distribution of 90,000; adding further value to the company’s portfolio.
In April 2008 HRH Prince Charles officially opened a new, state of the art Print Centre for the company, located in Deeside. This was a significant investment by the company and illustrated its commitment to printing and publishing in Wales. The company now being the only newspaper printer in the whole of North Wales.
In 2010 the group added the Whitchurch Herald to the portfolio and in early 2011 the company acquired the Hereford and Shrewsbury Admags. Thus further extending the geographical coverage and readership of the group into Shropshire and Herefordshire.
In 2013 a reorganisation of the company changed the board of directors and a new shareholding structure was implemented split between two families.
Production and Business Development Director Anthony Moss and Operations Director Huw Jones continue to work in the business while also sitting as board members and shareholders. Nonna Woodward left the Board at this juncture to pursue other interests.
The company’s headquarters remain in Mold, and across all its sites, the company now employs almost 300 people.