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
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.