There are a couple of people who without @ The Coalface would not exist. Brad ‘Sol’ Solman and his amazing wife Katrina are two of those people.
The reason for this little story is to just say thanks! You see Sol and Katrina have sold the pub! The Clubhouse, AKA ‘the Coalface pub’ has long been our home away from home and where all our most important work gets done.
When we restarted the magazine three years or so ago, Brad and Katrina gave us a heap of moral support and advice and backed us financially with advertising from the very start. Solly had bought the Clubhouse about six months before, fulfilling a lifelong dream of owning his own pub after a long career in mining. The thing about Solly and Katrina though is that they have always, in my experience, loved seeing others fulfill their dreams as well. They did everything they could to help us fulfill ours.
Planning the new version of @ The Coalface over beers at the Clubhouse, Sol was keen to reprise his role as our resident ‘Pie Guru’ – or ‘The Pie Minister’ as many of you know him. Typical ratbag story’s and adventures of a pie loving ‘politician’ in the vein of ‘Sir Les Patterson’. It has become a popular little corner of stupidity amongst our pages.
While the pub adventure might be over, Solly will continue on as @ The Coalface’s ‘Pieminister’.
At the time of our catch-up, Sol told us that the adventure had so far lasted 3 years 4 months 16 days and 20 hours. And he should know, the two of them have quite literally worked their arses off, taking only Christmas day off in all that time.
“One of the big reasons we went for it was because people said we couldn’t do it. So, I thought I’d prove them wrong…Once again!” Sol told us in typically humble style.
“The highlights have been the characters in the pub. I won’t name any names, but let’s just say each and every regular has given us a laugh and much more over our time.” He went on, “After this we are just going to put our feet up and do absolutely nothing for the first couple of weeks while we catch our breath and recharge and get through the winter.
“It was an adventure and absolutely worth doing. Bloody hard work though and I’d recommend anyone to do it. Give it a go. Chase your dreams. Don’t let anyone talk you out of it!’ he said.
A legendary drinker in his younger days, he didn’t drink much while running the pub, but he says he’ll be a regular back at the bar drinking at the Clubby.
“On the weekends we will spending a lot of time with the grandkids playing rugby league with boys, some might play soccer, and whatever the granddaughter thinks is a good idea, we will do. I want to spend time with the folks as well. They’ve all missed out on a lot,” Sol told us.
“I couldn’t have done it without the missus. I might even give her a day off now – maybe Tuesdays! Our kids were a great help as well. It really has been a family business and Katrina’s sister Bronwyn was a huge help along the way as well,” reflected Sol.
We wish you guys all the best, @ The Coalface couldn’t have done it without you as well. See you for a beer soon mate.