... feminist, atheist, autistic academic and historic narrowboater ...
Likes snooker, beer, tea, rivets and solitude, and is strangely fascinated by the cinema organ.
And there might be something about railways.

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,
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.