Tag Archives: toilet

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.


A Bad Start. A Really Bad Start…

Things started badly this morning. As I followed my normal matutinal routine I turned to flush the toilet and my glasses fell off.

I will allow you a moment for thought here.

If I had planned the whole thing my glasses would have either missed completely or hit the seat and bounced off to safety. As it was unplanned, and I was hurrying, they didn’t miss. At another time, and if they had hit a different target, I might have been proud of my effort. Today, pride was not the first feeling I experienced.

I couldn’t leave them there, in case the flushing took them somewhere where it might cause an expensive blockage, and it was unlikely I was going to persuade anyone else to help me out. There was only one solution.

Fortunately I used to work on a farm, so this wasn’t the worst place I’d ever had to put my hand. (In case you were wondering, it IS the worst place I’ve ever lost my glasses).

It’s all fixed now and I am wearing my glasses once again. All that remains of the episode is a vaguely disturbing memory and the faint smell of TCP that lingers round my glasses.

And yes, before you ask. We do have rubber gloves in the house, I just didn’t think of it at the time.

After that, unsurprisingly, things improved.




A day of strange events

It’s been a funny old day.

It started normally, and as I parked to collect a prescription, although I did notice a police car parked by the side of the road. That’s slightly unusual.

I collected the prescription and drew cash from the nearby cash machine, which gave me four £5 notes with my cash. They don’t usually dispense fives, but these are the new plastic ones and I imagine they are trying to get them into circulation quickly.

Then I crossed the road to the jeweller’s to see them about some earrings for Julia, to find them giving statements to the police after fighting off an attempted hold up.

After buying the earrings I drove past a public toilet that appears to have been converted to a coffee shop (though it was closed). The link shows the sale was over a year ago, but I’m sure it was still up for sale last month. Maybe it was a matter of convenience, though there was reportedly no chain. I hope the new buyer is flushed with success.

Then, at the narrow entrance to the supermarket car park I had to take avoiding action as a determined elderly lady insisted on driving the wrong way and using it as an exit.

In the shop I discovered I had won the lottery last week. After buying a ticket for tonight I had sixty pence left. I’m still deciding whether to blow it on partying or invest it for my old age.

Finally arriving at work, I did some paperwork and assembled the wormery for next week (which will be described later) the day became more normal.