Man spends £17,000 in quest to visit every Wetherspoons
Three years ago, David Bingham embarked on his odyssey to visit all 861 of the UK’s JD Wetherspoon pubs. Last week, he reached the final watering hole of his journey.
The retired forklift driver from Burton explained his obsession to The Sun: “I’m a trainspotter, so I enjoy doing things. It took over my life and became a compulsion.”
Indeed, like a pub-loving Michael Portillo (though he used the Wetherspoon directory his partner had given him, rather than Bradshaw’s guide), Bingham largely relied on public transport as he travelled the length and breadth of the country in pursuit of pints.
Though the progress was steady (if still impressive) throughout his three year adventure, he concluded with a four day blitz through 46 sites in Scotland. Having reached the end of the line at The Robert the Bruce in Dumfries, he reportedly celebrated his achievement with a pint of San Miguel and a bottle of Heineken.
Like Alexander, who saw the breadth of his domain and wept for there were no more worlds to conquer, Bingham confessed to being “emotional”: “This felt like a real achievement, and it made the beer taste even better when I finally reached the final pub.”
But it’s the journey, not the destination, that matters, and Bingham came to appreciate the establishments from an architectural perspective: “I love Wetherspoons because of the incredible buildings they are in – many of them are old fire stations, post offices and other beautiful sites. Spoons saves these buildings.”
Bingham’s list of his top five Wetherspoons features repurposed buildings quite strongly: The Counting House (Glasgow), The Caley Picture House (Edinburgh), The Winter Gardens (Harrogate), The Corn Exchange (Bury St. Edmunds) and The Royal Victoria Pavillion (Ramsgate).
db reached out to Wetherspoon to ask whether Bingham will receive any kind of reward or discount for his loyalty and was told: “We are planning on sending him a £50 voucher for food and drink at Wetherspoon”.
861 different pubs in three years is certainly impressive, but Welshman Gareth Murphy might have him trumped with his Guinness World Record crawl of a whopping 56 boozers in just 24 hours.