Tie record likely secured
A self-confessed ‘‘passionate nutter’’ looks to have smashed the Guinness World Record for the biggest collection of neckties.
Tie collector, or grabatologist to use the correct technical term, Irene Sparks looks to have set the record with her collection of 21,321 ties.
A team of counters and expert witnesses spent hours on Saturday checking to see exactly how many ties were in her collection.
Although the record was yet to be officially declared by Guinness, Sparks said she had been given unofficial confirmation that she had beaten the record of 16,055,held by American collector Derryl Ogden.
‘‘I am extremely chuffed and very proud of myself. I am happy with the four years of hard work that has been joyful. It’s been the hardest, longest project I have ever worked on, but it’s also been fun, rewarding and all of those feelings mixed into one.
‘‘I’m very proud of the way everything went with the planning, the way the counters worked and the witnesses worked.’’
The final confirmation of the record would be provided once Sparks had sent the official evidence for Guiness to check.
She said despite keeping a running tally of the number of ties she had as she bought them, because some were double-ups, she didn’t know until the end of the day what the final total would be.
However, she was clear about two distinct goals she wanted to achieve – to beat the record by 5000, and finish with more than 20,000 ties.
‘‘At the end I had two big sacks, and I thought, ‘that’s probably about 2000 I have taken out’. In the end [the total] was 21,321 which is a lovely sounding number.’’
Sparks said in order for her record, once confirmed, to be beaten, ‘‘you would need another passionate nutter’’.
‘‘The hardest thing was they are individual different ties, and more than the collecting of that number, it’s ensuring there are no doubleups. That took me three to four months of solid work daily to ensure that.’’
Although Sparks hadn’t give much consideration to what she would do with her probable worldbeating collection, she was sure she needed to carry on with what she had started. ‘‘I wouldn’t just quit them, because I feel like I am custodian of people’s memories . . . I feel as if I need to do something special with them.’’
She was considering doing something with the ties involving her expert witness, John Crompton, who was also the managing director of Auckland firm Parisian Knitwear. ‘‘It’s coming up on their 100th birthday so I’m hoping we can do something together; 100 years of New Zealand fashion and knitwear.’’
"It's ensuring there are no double-ups.'' Passionate tie collector Irene Sparks
Oamaru ‘‘grabatologist’’ Irene Sparks’ attempt to break the world record for a tie collection came to fruition on Saturday as they were officially counted.