Punch & Die
Punch & Die was the official Aero Zipp Fasteners Limited magazine. The first issue was published in July 1945.
Treforest Trading Estate, near Pontypridd, was set up as part of the Special Areas Act of 1934. The Act was created to help parts of Britain with high unemployment, and it offered support to businesses to set up in these areas. When the Nazis began seizing Jewish businesses in Germany in the years after 1933, many Jewish refugees fled here to establish their businesses with help from this scheme.
By May 1940, 55 businesses started by Jewish refugees were running at Treforest. They provided jobs for around 1,800 local people. One of these factories was Aero Zipp Fasteners set up by refugee industrialist Joachim Koppel, a Jewish businessman who spent many years of his life in Berlin until he had to flee. Aero Zipp produced metal zip fasteners. They had their factory at Treforest and their offices in London. During World War 2, like several other Jewish businesses, they contributed to the war effort by making military equipment.
The magazines include a history of the Aero Zipp Factory, articles about the factory’s origins and the Aero Zipp Social Club, cultural activities and entertainment, Trade Unionism, comments and suggestions from the employees, news from departments, notices of deaths, etc.
In June 1950, the magazine’s cover design and name were changed; the magazine was renamed ‘The Aerozipper’ as it aimed to reach readers inside and outside the company.
The magazines were donated to JHASW/CHIDC in 2022 by Dennis Backer, whose father, Joachim (Joe) Backer, worked for Aero Zipp and was at one time part of the team that produced Punch & Die; he was one of the magazine’s first editors in 1945 and a frequent contributor under his own name and a variety of aliases. He kept the copies of the magazine as his keepsakes and eventually passed them to his son Dennis.
As you can see, we are still missing some issues, so if there is anyone out there who has them, we would be delighted to hear from you.
The magazines have been deposited at Glamorgan Archives.
Many thanks to Gary Cartwright, JHASW/CHIDC volunteer, who compiled the index.