A MAN who claims to have one of the biggest collections of beer mats in the world says his wife hates it.
Tim Stannard, 79, from Edgbaston, Birmingham, has amassed in his loft a huge collection of more than half a million beer mats since he started when he was just 17.
Not only that, Tim also has a collection of over 16,000 decks of playing cards, between four and five hundred artillery shells and around 30,000 pump clips which are used in pubs to display the different beers on sale.
His wife Doreen, who he has been married to for more than 50 years, is far from happy about the situation though.
Tim, a retired solicitor, told the Birmingham Mail: “She wants me to ‘get rid of the b****y things.’”
Even in a previous article for the paper back in 1986 she is quoted as being a “long-suffering wife” and said at the time: “I just let him get on with it.”
Read More on Collecting
Tim first got interested in collecting beer mats during a holiday when he was sat in a Belgian pub having a pint with his dad and they got chatting about the artistic designs.
As they were leaving, they asked the bartender for a couple as souvenirs.
By the time the holiday had ended he’d picked up more than 400 beer mats.
Most read in The Sun
Over the years, his collection has ballooned and some 25 years after he first started he was crowned by the Guinness Book of Records as the owner of the world’s largest collection of British beer mats, with more than 35,500.
His entire collection consisted of over 500,000 beer mats from all over the world, of which 105,000 were unique.
In his collection is the world’s largest beer mat, two feet squared and the world’s smallest, one inch squared.
The two beer mats were created to celebrate 25 years of the British Beer Mat Collector’s Society, founded in 1960 by Chris Walsh.
Tim joined the society in 1961 and is now its chairman.
He was narrowly defeated to the title of largest collection in the world by Austrian Leo Pisker who had over 110,000 unique beer mats.
Tim said: “I’ve always done a lot of things; beer mats are not my whole life by a long way.
“The nice thing about it is that there’s always one of my friends somewhere in the world looking at a beer mat and saying, ‘oh I bet Tim hasn’t got that one.’
“I don’t say ‘for heaven’s sake bring me back a beer mat’ but a lot of them do.
“I have a German one that has a record on the back. It plays a song at 45rpm.
“I have one that has a tiny little spring on the back, when you lift your beer up the mat goes flying in the air.
“Consistently collecting them, it’s too much like hard work these days, I’ve gone up the hill and over the other side.”
Tim has also featured on five TV shows to talk about his collection, including one with Vanessa Feltz in a competition for “husbands with boring hobbies”.
Tim said: “I thought it was a show about interesting hobbies and that’s what I told my wife.”
Also appearing on the show were three other men who showed off their collection of road cones, different types of brown paper and pictures of brick walls.
The man who collected brown paper, who had 63 different types, went on to win.
While Tim’s mum, Betty, was a housewife who helped out in her parent’s pub and hotel, his dad was also a trained solicitor and captain in the Royal Artillery division of the British Army during the second world war.
“My father was a bit of a hoarder,” Tim said. “He used to go on a bit in the old days about the war.
“He never used to talk about how horrendous it was, but he used to tell stories, all of which I’ve forgotten.”
Read More on The Sun
Speaking about his collection, Tim said: “I wouldn’t call it an obsession.
““You can’t help it, you are what you are. The world is divided by collectors and non-collectors.”