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Bricks and mortar - public toilets in Lewes

Britain has a rather shabby reputation in the toilet department. Public Toilets are an integral part of any community. To some they are a matter of civic pride. The more developed a society became, the more sanitized it became. It was a sunny day that found me scouring the walls for distraction whilst patiently waiting to use a public convenience. My gaze fell upon an Award Certificate from the British Toilet Association.

“The British Toilet Association?” I asked myself in mock horror. Sure enough, the BTA is a self-appointed campaigning body which pursues standards of excellence in ‘away from home’ toilet provision. They have been running the prestigious Loo of the Year Award for the past twenty years. Every loo is inspected and graded. The only loo in Sussex to covet such an Award is that of the Lido in Worthing which won in 1988. This year’s competition heralds a record number of entries, with results to be announced in November.

With all things toilet on my mind, I set out with Arcadian vision to see how Lewes fared in the provision of public conveniences. The fantastic Lewes Guitar Festival took me to the Grange Gardens, where my young son was attacked and lanced by the sharp edges of the low flint wall that demarcates the toilet precinct. It is the use of flint that visually separates this public convenience from others in town.

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Bog standard: Western Road is our favourite