Colin W. C. Pugh 1932 – 2018
The sad passing of Colin Pugh on 8th April gives us the opportunity to reflect on the importance of the Garden Centre in our village. Colin’s father, Sydney Pugh started Wenallt Nurseries in Rhwbina in the late 1940s; Colin joined the business after leaving agricultural college in the early 1950s. He decided to expand the business, which had been a wholesale fruit and vegetable garden gate business, to a shop. In the 1960s he sold the shop and moved the business to Morganstown for a fresh start.
The new one acre site operated a market garden and pottery. By the 1970s it had further grown adding bedding plants, hanging baskets and garden fertilizers. It was at a time when householders were taking more interest in their gardens and were looking for a source for decorative garden plants.
The business became known as the Ty Nant Nurseries and was a very popular meeting point for local people. Colin’s wife, Winnie, gave up her nursing job to join him in the business to administer and help with the buying. It was at this time that Colin started to import shrubs and plants from Holland.
In the 1980s his two sons, Graham and Ian, joined the business bringing in new ideas and setting up links with local schools and the community. The centre began its expansion with the purchase of additional land to create a patio business and show site. The car park was expanded helping to increase the number of visitors and sales. By 1995 a number of concessionary operators were encouraged to set up businesses and today there are a number suppliers of clothing, aquatics, pet services, farm shop, window blinds, café, and a heating company alongside an enlarged garden centre.
Today the centre is a hive of activity with a unique shopping experience supporting the enlarged community, as well as local and national charities. Pugh’s has been a major supporter of the Radyr and Morganstown Festival from its inception in 1988. Many of these qualities were first established by Colin with his ability to communicate and understand the needs of his customers. We look forward to working with the present and next generation of the family, wishing them every success in their business, which so many of our community value.