City mourns the loss of long-serving Swansea businessman Leonard Powe
HE opened his first shop in 1958 — the same year a futuristic children's toy called Lego first hit our shelves.
And he went on to be one of Swansea's longest serving businessmen, until his sad passing this week.
Leonard Charles Powe will be remembered fondly by thousands of people who passed through the doors of Leonard Charles Superstore in Oxford Street, as he always had a happy word for his customers.
Mr Powe, who was 87 when he passed away following a sudden illness, established his business with the help of his childhood sweetheart-turned-wife Margaret, who he married in 1947.
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The couple had two children — Julie and Alun.
His daughter Julie said: "He had been in business more than 60 years and worked every day of his life.
"His father, John Powe, ran Powe's Confectionery in Care Street before the war. He used to mix sweets into penny piece bags.
"He started off when he was 21, and he married my mother. They were in school together and he used to say that his father paid my mum to make sure that he went to school. She had a baby shop called Margaret's in Singleton Street.
"In 1958 he opened a wholesale warehouse in Singleton Street which he built himself, called Leonard Charles and Son.
"In 1977 they moved to the present location in Oxford Street."
On her father's extraordinary work ethic, she said: "He was there every day. He had no hobbies, he lived for his work which was his life. He just loved it. He was determined that he wasn't retiring.
"He always had a word to say to the customers and made them feel welcome."
His daughter explained that her dad had suffered a setback with the loss of his best friend.
She said: "He started going downhill when his best friend, Bill Court, who he was in school with and who used to work here, passed away two years ago.
For once the store will be closed on Sunday, although Mr Powe would not be happy, according to his daughter.
She said: "He would be mortified to find out that we are closing on Monday for his funeral.
"I had to get married on a Sunday because he wouldn't close the shop on a Saturday.
"His business was his life and he lived to buy and sell, and it wasn't really about the money."
Shop assistant Jan Jones said: "I have worked here 20 years and he never missed a day. He was very hands-on and even used to pop in on Sundays to check things.
"He was good to us and a good boss to work for. The staff who worked here felt like a family, once you came here you didn't leave."
Mrs Powe is currently a resident in Campion Gardens nursing home on Clyne Common.
Mr Powe's funeral will take place on Monday at 11.30am in Morriston Crematorium.