BARRY’S BITS this month firstly wishes all of our readers A Very Happy New Year, with this column starting 2020 with something a little different from my usual news stories.

Lou and Ged asked if this month, we could enlighten the readers with how and why did this Gran Alacant Advertiser Magazine first come to fruition.

Here is the story…
Way back in January 2005 Sandra and myself launched our magazine.
Both of us had spent all of our lives in the print industry and when lithographic printing went digital, I was taught how to cope with it, when I was in the UK.

So, was so surprised when I took the first edition to the local printers, that he was using all of the same kind of software that I was used too, so here I was, carrying on my print career here in Spain.

Our first edition was basically just an 8-page magazine printed in black ink on a blue paper.

(Barry & Sandra pictured with 1st edition)

The idea was to ask readers for a ¨buy and sell any household items. The front page asked for your sofas, fridges, TVs, cars, houses, almost anything.

Adverts would cost 3 or 5 Euro depending on the value of the goods for sale.

Our main advertiser was Frank at Eurocars, taking 3 of the 8 pages, most of which with pictures of his cars that were for sale. A bar/café was for sale and bus trips arranged by Martin and Annette. The page also had an advert for property sales by us, a new villa for sale, and Funeral Plans by John and Denise.

We had these few advertisers on board to help with the print costs.

Also, at the time Gran Alacant was growing at a very fast pace and the urbanisation was always full of rumours, have you heard this, have you heard that. So we decided to ask readers for their questions, and we would meet up with the town hall to get answers to questions, so instead of rumours, we could find all of the answers. This is when we first met up with our councillor at the town hall, Loreto Cascales. She was such a help to the magazine and us.

The demand for advertising in the next issue was so immense that it ended up a full colour magazine; full of the advertisers we were inundated with.

So much so that we had to redesign the magazine and could not get it all ready for February, so the next issue came out in the March as a February/March edition. The advertising of household items went out of the window.

Before the magazine Sandra and myself were looking after 15 holiday rental houses, a business that we had built up from when we first arrived here in Spain, 17 years ago. We had to make the decision to drop the houses as the magazine was booming. Month after month getting bigger and bigger and we could not cope with both businesses. More and more advertisers were coming on board pushing up the number of pages month on month.

The magazine grew and grew.

We were doing everything ourselves, just the two of us, composing adverts, taking photos, finding news, getting each edition printed and then delivering the magazines. We were never late in the issues always being delivered on the first of the month.

Several other magazines have been started over the years, with ours the only one to survive all of this time, watching the rest fall by the wayside.

Then in late 2015 we sold the magazine on to Lou and Ged. Lou sat with me for only a short time to pick it all up and of course we were always there for her to turn to for any help. She did ask me to continue to write some of the news each month, which I still do.

Lou & Ged kept the magazine the success it has always been.

Gran Alacant Advetiser is now in its 15th year. We would like to thank our readers as well as all businesses who continue to support the magazine year after year as without them this magazine would not be possible.

Happy New Year 2020 to you all,

Lou & Ged