Storrington man finds fame as pavement picture goes viral

A Storrington man has unexpectedly found fame after his photo of a pavement went viral.

IT professional and web developer Alan Stainer of South Downs Tech snapped a picture of the gaping holes left after a large number of York Stone slabs were taken from the Storrington Library car park by thieves.

The former County Times columnist said: “I took the photo when my wife Gina asked me to go and have a look because she’d heard about the missing slabs, but there was some confusion about how many, how bad it was and whether it was just kids.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

“When I got there I remember saying to myself ‘oh, they’ve taken the whole path!’.”

IT professional and web developer Alan Stainer of South Downs Tech, and former WSCT columnist. Pictured with wife Gina, who is content editor at the County Times

This newspaper broke the story of the theft, using a picture taken by Alan. And shortly after publishing swathes of news outlets got in touch with him wanting to know more.

Alan said: “I took the picture which was used in the WSCT online, and next thing I knew, I was getting contacted by all sorts of other people who wanted to use it too.

“I got called by a press agency, LADbible, then the BBC who interviewed me and put a piece on their national news website.

“After that ITV Meridian rang, and then BBC Radio Sussex called asking if I’d appear on their show. I gave them an interview on the phone this morning.”

He added that it feels ‘a bit surreal’. Alan said: “My friends in other parts of the country had heard about the story and wondered if I knew about it - not realising it was my photo!

“Friends and family saw my name quoted by the BBC and heard me on the radio, and rang up to congratulate me!

“My dad texted ‘well done boyo’!

“It’s really strange that something like this has gone viral, and our village is being read about all over the country.

“The whole thing is weird and keeps making me laugh!”