Monday, 20 March 2017

Tiles and toilets

As a boater, of course I need no excuse to introduce the subject of toilets. It is a subject quite dear to my heart, I must confess, and one that frequently haunts my dreams in quite surreal ways (and that is all I am saying on that subject).

A philosopher friend of mine once, he claimed, sought words of wisdom from a venerable and respected sage, and after this guru had thought for a few minutes, this is what he brought forth: 'You never regret going to the toilet.'

Now, I can, hypothetically, conceive of circumstances in which that might not hold true - for example, if there is an axe murderer hiding behind the cubicle door - but as a rule of thumb it has served me well. So I like toilets for their practical value; but I am also very keen on their social history and aesthetics. For example, some old pubs have fabulous Victorian toilets - at least that is what men will tell you. But the ladies' will be sadly disappointing, often a 1960s adjunct - because when the originals were built, ladies didn't go in pubs.

So, when I go off on my travels, I am going to see whether I can find any interesting loos to report on. Not quite in Lucinda Lambton's league, but the third and fourth division of conveniences.

And I struck quite lucky in Saltaire. Firstly, I visited the toilets in Salts Mill. And when I say firstly, I do mean as soon as I got there. Having been there before, I knew this was a safe bet. The sanitaryware itself was very modern, as befits a recently renovated and repurposed building, but the tiles - or in this case, I think, glazed bricks - were rather good.

The basins were very new, but I rather liked them.
It was at the Victoria Hall that I struck sanitaryware gold though. Not original Victorian, but lovely thirties-ish tiles,
basins,
and even toilets.
Look at that fabulous cistern. I think it was porcelain, although it might have been enamel. And that pedastal. And what en excellent flush you would get with the help of all that gravity. I do wonder, in these days of saving water and using it more effectively, why the high level cistern hasn't made a comeback.

1 comment:

  1. We have a modern (well 12 year old now!) high flush toilet at home.

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