Four years ago North Otago’s Irene Sparks set out to make her mark in the record books and after visiting more than 250 South Island op shops, this Saturday, she will try not to tie but to break the Guinness World Record for grabatology.
Amassing up to 23,000 neck ties since July 2013, her “obsession” should be enough to unseat Dr Derryl Ogden, of the United States, who counted his 16,055 ties, on June 15, 2005, Mrs Sparks said yesterday.
Dr Ogden started his collection in 1934 and in four years Mrs Sparks spent more than $10,000 on her collection but with about 80% of her collection coming from op shops, she spent about $9700 in charity shops along the way.
She had not visited every South Island op shop, but because op shops were typically closed on the weekend, she would take Thursdays and Fridays off work “and go as far as I could”.
She crossed the Cook Strait on one occasion to visit her sister and op shops in Palmerston North, Levin, and Whanganui and returned with 1000 ties.
Now 20 volunteers were coming to help to be witnesses, counters, and to provide the video and photographic evidence that Guinness World Records required.
When the record had been surpassed she hoped to exhibit the ties. She had several wall hangings, or other art pieces already on display.
She would not sew the ties in her collection together, but interweave them into “big daisies, big kaleidoscopes, big pictures”. Otago Daily Times