Is this Britain’s most boring man or a parking legend? Father-of-two completes six-year mission to park in ALL 211 bays at his local Sainsbury’s – using a map and spreadsheet to track his progress – and Lidl is up next
- Married father-of-two Gareth Wild began his project as a way of making the weekly shop more interesting
- He’s now left his car in every single space in car park at the Sainsbury’s store in Bromley, South East London
- Production director made diagrams of supermarket car park and gave advice for fellow parking enthusiasts
A bored shopper has completed a six-year quest to park in all 211 bays of his local supermarket car park – using a map and spreadsheet to track his progress.
Married father-of-two Gareth Wild began his project as a way of making the weekly shop more interesting – and has now left his car in every single space in the car park at the Sainsbury’s store in Bromley, South East London.
The production director took to Twitter to reveal the completion of his unusual mission – including diagrams of the supermarket car park and advice for fellow parking enthusiasts in the area who want to emulate his feat.
On his Twitter thread, which has been liked more than 50,000 times and retweeted 10,000 times, Mr Wild explained his method and shared his spreadsheet to his thousands of perplexed and delighted followers.
Mr Wild said disabled and motorbike spaces could not be counted because he is not a blue badge holder and does not own a motorbike. But he does have children, so included the parent and baby spaces in his total.
Married father-of-two Gareth Wild began his car parking project as a way of making the weekly shop more interesting
He assigned different zones to the car park in South East London so it was easier to know which ones he still had to tick off
Mr Wild said: ‘I do the weekly shop in our family and I’ve been going to the same Sainsbury’s for the last 16 years.
‘And it was only six years ago when I said to myself, ‘wow I could probably park in every single one of these spaces given enough time’, and time is on your side when you’re doing the weekly shop.
‘It’s a long time to do anything, let alone something as trivial as this. I’ve been through three different cars in that time. I find enjoyment in the little banal things in life.’
Not wanting to keep his hard work to himself, Mr Wild posted a handy diagram of the best – and worst – parking spaces available in the Sainsbury’s car park. They included 11 ‘god-tier’ bays and 29 to avoid.
He said: ‘I also assigned different zones – the more I say it the more stupid it sounds – to each of the areas so each time I went it was easier for me to know which ones I still had to tick off, rather than a scatter gun approach. I wanted to go into it fairly clued up, because when you’re doing something this daft it’s important to be thorough.’
Throughout the six-year mission, Mr Wild discovered some spots that were almost impossible to get, requiring a few extra late evening trips.
Mr Wild posted a handy diagram of the best and worst parking spaces available – including 11 ‘god-tier’ bays and 29 to avoid
The orange boxes on the map are trolley bays and the black space is an irregular shaped patch which is too small for a car
He said: ‘Without getting too technical, when I say B7 and B8 you’ll know exactly what I mean. They were really difficult to get. I don’t know what it is because they’re not even great spots but people seem to love them.
‘So I went down one evening for snacks quite late and I managed to snag B8. Ooh, that was quite a moment in my life.’ When asked if a snack run was an excuse to tick off the space, Mr Wild laughed and replied: ‘I’ll never tell.’
Reasons to not use certain spaces include their proximity to trolley bays and their walking distance away from the store.
To keep himself from obsessively driving down to the car park daily and finishing the project in record time, Mr Wild stuck to weekly shopping trips and the odd top-up shop to complete his mammoth task.
Sometimes that meant hanging around waiting for an as-yet unticked bay, much to his children’s frustration.
He said: ‘My kids are quite young, they’re two and four, and they have no patience whatsoever, so if I’m sitting idly by waiting to try and get in a spot they’re screaming at me.
‘Sometimes you’ve got to park where you’ve got to park, and give up on your quest.’
Mr Wild has now left his car in every single space in the car park at the Sainsbury’s store in Bromley, South East London
Mr Wild stuck to weekly shopping trips to the car park in Bromley and the odd top-up shop to complete his mammoth task
Although many would balk at the sizable task Mr Wild set himself, the replies on Twitter suggest many other people have taken on similar projects.
Keith Schofield replied: ‘Huge respect sir! I’m a car parking space nerd like you. I visit maybe 500 different companies/hotels/supermarkets per year, from Aberdeen to Cornwall, and repeat the same 500 year on year. I will only park in the same space at each place each year, and can remember them all.’
And Paul Gailey tweeted: ‘I did it with potholes last year in my town for e scooter usage. 70+ so far photo-mapped with @what3words and classified by severity for safety. Dull but worthy.’
Now Mr Wild has conquered the Bromley superstore car park, he revealed what the next big scheme could be.
He said: ‘We’ve actually got a Lidl that’s opened up just down the end of my road so considering that – I’m an equal opportunities car parker.
‘Bromley’s got some amazing car parks. The Glades is really top tier, but you’re talking over 1,000 spaces there…I’ll be there forever.’
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