Photographs from the Museum

There are actually four cottages in the block you see – one at each end and L-shaped back to backs in the middle. Victorians knew how to cram them in. Water came via the pump you can see in the middle of the photo. The toilets are behind me and the wash house is in the end of the left hand building. No indoor facilities then, unless you count guzundas.

These are the toilets – there were approximately 100 people on site so the provision is hardly generous. They also appear to be unisex. Not sure if women worked there, but if they did it’s hardly the Victorian approach I’d have expected.

The effluent falls down the privy and emerges through the arches in the side of the pit. With 100 people using it, you’d think they’d need something a bit deeper.

The cottages are very well fitted out, though I’m not sure they have the smell right. I’m sure that with candles, crowds, open cesspits and and a lack of washing facilities the smell must have been well to the forefront of your life in those days. They have smell sprays at Jorvik to give you more of an idea. I didn’t think they were terribly convincing twenty years ago, but they may have improved.

Sorry about the low tone of this post, but like any man, there’s a small boy lurking just under the surface, and small boys are fascinated by toilets.


15 thoughts on “Photographs from the Museum

      1. Clare Pooley

        It does look quiet now but, as you say, it must have been so crowded and busy and those toilets…..! I have put it on my ‘would like to visit’ list.

  1. tootlepedal

    An interesting tour. The working environment was cramped in those days but we were an imperial nation then, a set up that it seems some would like to return to.

  2. Andrew Petcher

    They used to have authentic smells at the ‘Robin Hood Experience’ but that as gone now. They do have smells at the Grimsby ‘Fishing Heritage Centre’ which is well worth a visit and I believe they have scones!

      1. Andrew Petcher

        Not many people visit Grimsby which is a shame because the Fishing Heritage Centre is worth £4 of anyone’s money. The old fish docks are sadly neglected but well worth a visit.

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