Teacher Robert Nicholls did not tie himself up in knots thinking of ways to raise funds for a trip to Africa.
Instead he decided to loosen his grip on his astonishing collection of almost 300 ties, and auction them off to raise cash.
Mr Nicholls, head of modern languages at Brooke Weston Academy in Corby, is leaving the school in August to go on a two-year placement to Africa with his wife Linda.
The couple will work as volunteers with the Voluntary Service Overseas organisation in South Sudan. Mr Nicholls, known for his collection of neckwear, has to raise £3,000 as a contribution to the group’s work and has decided to auction off his ties to raise funds.
He said: “I say to the students that they never see the same tie twice in a school year. I have enough to wear a different tie every school day.
“Over the years I have tried to get more outlandish ones and some of them are now really strange. It is ridiculous but it amuses me and it’s amazing how many students enjoy trying to catch me out wearing the same tie twice.”
The ties, some of which come from places as far away as Mexico, Vietnam, Texas and China, are being displayed in the school’s modern languages corridor, and staff and students are invited to make bids for them.
His favourite tie was a present from pupils four years ago, which was embroidered with the words ‘8S Rocks’! As members of 8S progressed through the school, the tie was modified each year and it now reads ‘11S Rocks’!
Mr Nicholls said: “I won’t get rid of that one unless the tutor group decides it wants to bid for it. There are one or two others that I will keep for sentimental reasons.”
In South Sudan Mr Nicholls will be responsible for visiting 46 schools in one district and Mrs Nicholls will work to promote the education of girls.