A little history...
Back in the mid-noughties I was a middle-aged businessman trying to manage commercial stuff in the nuclear engineering industry, going to interesting places across Eastern Europe - and Hartlepool* Then one day I fell off the corporate ladder and into community publishing, swapping suits and my security pass for slippers and a copy of the Bristol A-Z.
Ten years on and, whilst hardly a threat to the international print barons, I've steadily grown from producing 5,000 to 21,000 monthly copies of these little community publications - The Bristol Nine Magazine and The Bristol Six Magazine. Catchy titles, I know, which perfectly sum up what they are and who gets them.
Both are free, full-colour, A5 glossy magazines that contain a mixture of interesting adverts and readable stuff, both with a decidedly local slant. Their purpose is two fold - a professional and very affordable means for businesses to promote their services and products to the people of this part of north west Bristol, and an engaging and informal little read for those people who receive the magazine through their letterbox free each month. The businesses that feature are almost entirely based in and around the local area, and most of them are small concerns who find the cost of advertising in them attractive compared to bigger publications whose focus is less on community and more on lifestyle. And the read itself? - well, fire up a back issue and judge for yourself! I write some of the stuff myself, including compiling the popular prize wordsearch, general knowledge quiz and occasional puzzle walks, and supplement this with carefully selected articles of interest, again written by local people.
Finally, the magazines contain a large free listings section, to help those people who run clubs, put on shows and concerts, and organise charity events, to spread the word about the great things they are up to here in the community.
* Hartlepool is actually a really nice place - inhabited by lovely, friendly people.
University of Bristol Botanic Gardens,