Muckadilla fire August 8 2019.
Muckadilla fire August 8 2019.

One year on since iconic pub lost to tragic blaze

IT HAS been one year since the tiny town of Muckadilla lost its historic watering hole to a devastating inferno.

It only took two days for long time patrons Christy and Marty Coomber to decide to buy the ruins and commit to rebuilding the iconic southwest pub.

The pair live on a property 20km away and vividly remember August 8 like it was just yesterday.

"Marty was on his way to our back to fix a trough and he had to go past the pub to get there and on the way, he saw the house next door on fire," Mrs Coombe said.

"He rang me from the pub but by the time I had got down there, 20 minutes had passed, and it was all over, red rover."

Known by locals as "Mucka" dates back to 1885, the new build will be the fourth to stand in its place, with its three predecessors falling victim to fires.

Marty and Christy Coomber are bring the booze back to Muckadilla after signing a contact to rebuild the only pub in town. Photographer: Liam Kidston.
Marty and Christy Coomber are bring the booze back to Muckadilla after signing a contact to rebuild the only pub in town. Photographer: Liam Kidston.

The couple bought the pub from John and Sue McIntosh in January and spent the past seven months redesigning a new pub.

"Our look for the new pub is an old-style country pub with a nice wide veranda where you can look into the pool and watch the trucks go past," she said.

"I hope the truckies will stop in and have a feed and drink with us.

"I hope all the surrounding families come in and residents from Roma and Mitchell also socialise with us after all this horrible COVID stuff is over.

"We just hope it's a nice central, country meeting point for everyone where you can have a relaxed, nice meal and everyone can get together, especially for the farmers during a time like this where they would be wanting to have that meeting point and talk about their crops, sheep and everything."

The rebuild has been delayed a few months, due to COVID-19 but also because Muckadilla doesn't have a sewerage system.

"Huge thanks to locals Dave and Rita Carney, Des Sutton, Warren Jones who have all been tremendous and have pitched in for the work to begin Monday," she said.

The couple had initially hoped the pub would reopen in November however it has been delayed to January but works set to commence on Monday.

"Just because of COVID, it's all taking a little longer than anticipated but we aren't in a huge rush anyway in this current climate," she said.

"Unfortunately, we will miss out on harvest contractors and the Christmas rush but that's just the way it is."

It's the first time the couple will own a pub and they plan to move into a house just behind it and become "Muckadillions".

"We're just farmers but thanks to help from our family, I'll run the pub full-time and Marty will share the pub and farm," she said.

"We will be moving into a little place behind the behind the pub and we will be Muckadillions and make the population sore to a massive 11 people.

"We have two sons and nieces and nephews who can all help out and there's a lot of locals who are interested in working there too.

"We are all really excited for this brand new adventure, it feels like forever."

They plan to have a small coffee shop, at least six cabins, free camping and looking to have availability for vans in the future.

"It will be great to create a sense of normality again," she said.

"With losing the pub, then COVID-19 the social life out here has kinda gone out the window.

"Big shout out to RA and KJ Pollock builders who have been very patient with us, Des Burey from Outback Electrical, Frank Saunders and the boys from Amazon Plumbing and Matt Thomas from MMMK Designs who has done a fantastic job of putting not very well described ideas to paper," she said.