Q&A: Tim Solway, managing director, Solways Quality Printing

By Jo Francis, Monday 09 October 2017

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Natty dresser Tim loves his family (wife Gilly and children Rachel and Hugo), his friends, Mallorca, motor boats, skiing on water and snow, guitar, cricket, tennis, karaoke and the Worshipful Company of Upholders. He also has a long-lasting love of craft print processes and quality papers.


What is your nickname? 

Captain Bossy. Totally unfair – you are fired! 

Why did you get into printing? 

In 1983 print was all powerful… there was no internet. Was there a choice?

What would be your dream job? 

Owner of Sunseeker Motor Yachts

Who would play you in a movie about your life? 

Tom Hanks, what is there not to like about Tom? 

What was your dream bit of kit? 

Heidelberg platen GTP 13x18in. The most profitable piece of machinery in the factory

Who or what do you hate the most? 

Punctuality – the lack of it

Who do you admire most in the industry? 

Megan Simpkins the printer’s ambassador for GF Smith. She has such knowledge, such passion for paper, a gentle, kind and generous person. She lights up our lives whenever she visits the Solways’ offices

What is your favourite album? 

David Bisbal at the Albert Hall

Cat or dog? 

Dog, a Kooikerhondje called Reggie (pictured)

What is your greatest luxury in life? 

Boating. I love the metal sail, you can keep your canvas

What is the strangest job you’ve had? 

Printing an adult X-rated accessory catalogue

Who would you like to be stuck on a desert island with? 

Winston Churchill. He’d have some leadership tips for me

What is your greatest ambition? 

To be elected the Master of the Worshipful Company of Upholders. If I am elected, my installation will be on Tuesday 17 April at Stationers Hall – get in contact and join me! 

Which celebrity would you like to get out of here? 

Marilyn Monroe. I would save her! (Hoping my wife Gilly does not read this, as she is a brunette)

What’s your worst fashion disaster? 

Daily. Why would you wish to know more?

Which superpower would you like to have? 

Can I have my hearing back?

Who would be your favourite party guests? 

Anyone with a karaoke machine or a musical instrument 

Where would you go if you could time-travel? 

London 1666, just before the Great Fire. I would find and keep safe the Upholders archival records that were destroyed

What is the worst kind of print? 

Any print that does not make a profit

What was the best business deal that you’ve pulled off? 

From 1987-2001 we were contracted to supply 25 million sheets of paper per year for one client

What advice would you give to your teenage self? 

Anything is possible 

How would you like to be remembered? 

As a mensch

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