48-year-old Mark Leigh, from Surrey, UK, is a self-confessed boring man who enjoys nothing more than to spend his days photographing lost gloves.
It all started around three years ago, when Mark found a lone glove on a stairwell at his workplace and thought it was strange. The very next day, he spotted another one in the street, and from then on, he just sort of had an eye for spotting them everywhere he went. “Once you’re aware of something, you see them everywhere,” he says. He soon started photographing his finds, and today he is proud owner of a collection of over 300 photos of lost gloves, the largest in Britain.
The married father of two works in works in marketing and is also a published author, but he spends most of his free time hunting for lost gloves to photograph. His extensive collection features the usual knitted gloves lost at the train station or near schools, but also unique and outright bizarre pieces, like a glove graveyard he discovered on one of his many hunts off the beaten path.
“One of the weirdest things I’ve seen was at New Romney beach in Kent,” Leigh recalls. There was a grassy area by the sand with a long fence, and on every post there was a glove – it was amazing. There must’ve been about 30. It was like a glove graveyard, the photo has pride of place in my collection. I don’t know who put them there or why they were there, but it was like a shrine to lost gloves.”
Although his wife and kids find Mark’s hobby odd, they are also proud of his achievements and find his glove photo collection endearing.
“My children find it quite odd, but when I have a story in the paper or online, they’re inwardly proud but outwardly sneering,” the collector says. “If I’m out with my wife, I have to stop and take a picture, but she endures it. She’s probably just grateful it’s not an expensive hobby, the only cost is of time and ridicule.”
Mark Leigh’s unusual yet undeniably dull hobby has earned him a place in the Dull Men’s Club – an online group of ordinary men who take great pride in their seemingly uninteresting hobbies. He was introduced to the club by a friend with a passion for box hedging. They even have their own photo calendar, and this year Leigh was featured as Mr. November.
“My friend introduced me to the club, and I thought my hobby was far more dull than his,” Mark said. “You have to prove yourself dull to get in the calendar, so I got in touch with the organizer and now I’m Mr November.”