William Nash has worked at the Black Mountain Roadhouse in NSW for an amazing 35 years.
Aged 58, that is most of his working life and during that time he has met thousands of truck drivers, many of whom are warm friends.
“We would get between 100 and 200 truckies on average a day stop off here. We are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week with full service,” Nash said.
I visited there on January 5 with my wife Jenny during a story gathering trip through NSW and southern Queensland.
Every time I have interviewed and snapped pics of drivers at random for Big Rigs, one of the questions I ask is about their favourite roadhouse.
In the past years, scores of truckies have nominated Black Mountain which is located 25km from Armidale – so I decided to stop in there unannounced.
My wife ordered the big Black Mountain breakfast which she rated as delicious and great value for money at $19.
I opted for a beef pie which I found out was homemade by Nash and it was tasty.
When I told Nash I was a Big Rigs writer he took a few minutes to tell his story.
“I came from a farm background and when the family sold it 35 years ago I was offered a job here at the Black Mountain Roadhouse and took it. However I thought I may only last three months and I am still here and love it,” he said.William Nash with fellow worker Kym Nielsen.
Nash said the main food truckies ordered if they were dining in was steak, veggies and salad, and the big breakfast.
“Some use the showers and toilets and if they are busy will grab a cup of coffee and a cold drink and be on their way,” he said.
One of the truckies he became great friends with lets him stay at his house when Nash visits Brisbane.
The other worker there when I visited was Kym Nielsen who, like Nash, was run off her feet.
She was cooking the food orders, whilst Nash was on the counter and delivering meals to tables.
The roadhouse is privately owned by a Sydney man and has been there since 1954.
Since then the fuel has been supplied by BP, Liberty, Shell, Mobil and Golden Fleece.
Nash said he is sure the roadhouse is one of only three between Cairns and Melbourne which provides full service all day, every day.
William Nash is the longest serving employee of a roadhouse I have interviewed. If you know of anybody who has served longer, we want to know about him or her.