Gareth Wild’s six-year quest to park in 211 bays at Bromley’s Sainsbury’s car park
“The best view comes after the most difficult climb” – an inspirational quote that probably doesn’t apply to the Bromley man who spent over half a decade trying to park in every bay of a Sainsbury car park.
Yes, you read that right.
Gareth Wild, a father of two and production manager, took to Twitter to reveal the completion of his unusual project – including diagrams of the Walters Yard superstore parking lot and tips for fellow enthusiasts parking area.
Speaking to KentOnline, Gareth explained what drove him up to the challenge: “I shop weekly in our family and have been going to the same Sainsbury for 16 years.
“And just six years ago, I was like, ‘wow, I could probably park in each of these spaces with enough time,’ and time is on your side when you shop the week.
“It takes a long time to do anything, let alone something as trivial as that. I drove through three different cars at that time.
“I find pleasure in the mundane little things in life.”
On his Twitter feed, which has been bookmarked more than 50,000 times, he explained to his perplexed and delighted subscribers that disabled spaces and motorcycles could not be counted because he was neither a blue badge holder nor an owner. of a motorcycle.
But it does have kids, so including parent and baby spaces, there were 211 spaces to conquer.
The parking enthusiast said: “I also assigned different zones – the more I say it, the sillier it sounds – to each of the zones, so every time I went it was easier for me to know which ones I still had to check, rather than a scatter gun approach.
“I wanted to get into it pretty clearly, because when you’re doing something so stupid, it’s important to be thorough.”
Throughout the six years of work, Gareth discovered places that were nearly impossible to snag, necessitating a few extra trips in the late evening.
“When you do something so stupid, it is important to be thorough …”
He said: “Without getting too technical, when I say B7 and B8 you will know exactly what I mean. They were really hard to come by. I don’t know what it is because they aren’t even good spots, but people seem to like them.
“So I went down one night for some snacks quite late and I managed to grab B8… ooh that was a time of my life.”
When our reporter asked if the afternoon tea was an excuse to check off the coveted space, Gareth laughed before responding, “I’ll never say it.”
Not wanting his hard work to go unused, Gareth posted a handy diagram of the best – and worst – parking spaces available in the Sainsbury car park.
According to his map (pictured below), there are only 11 divine level berries, but up to 29 to avoid.
Reasons for not using certain spaces include their proximity to trolleybus parking areas and their walking distance away from the store.
To keep himself from obsessively driving to the parking lot every day and completing the project in record time, Gareth was content to run weekly errands and run extra errands to complete his mammoth task.
Sometimes that meant hanging around waiting for a berry not yet unhooked, much to the frustration of her children.
He said, “My kids are pretty young, they’re two and four, and they don’t have any patience, so if I just sit there and wait to try to put me in a place, they yell at me.
“Sometimes you have to park where you have to park and give up your quest.”
While many balk at the daunting task Gareth has set for himself, a glance at the responses on Twitter suggests that many other people have taken on similar projects.
Keith Schofield replied: “Huge respect sir! I’m a parking nerd like you. I visit maybe 500 different businesses / hotels / supermarkets a year from Aberdeen to Cornwall and repeat the same 500 from year after year. park in the same space at each place every year, can be remembered all. “
And Paul Gailey tweeted, “I did this with potholes last year in my town for electric scooter use.
Now that Gareth has taken over the Bromley hypermarket parking lot, we asked him what the next big project could be.
He said: “We actually have a Lidl that opened right at the end of my road, so taking into account that – I’m an equal opportunity parking lot.
“Bromley has amazing parking lots. The Glades are really top notch, but you’re talking about 1,000 spots over there… I’ll be there forever.”
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