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Bricks and mortar - public toilets in Lewes (continued)

A stone’s throw from one of my favourite pubs, I came across Pinwell Lane’s public conveniences. This A-line building with central turret appears older than its thirties style flat-fronted entrance portico. I particularly enjoyed the two white horizontal curvi-linear trajectories which demarcate the male and female entrances, and the curve to the vertical wall that separates the boys from the girls. This is the only public convenience in Lewes which doesn’t have a disabled loo. The Market Lane and Greyfriar’s public conveniences revealed nothing exceptional in toilet standards, nor architectural relief. I found the usual un-seated metal loos, stainless steel push-button wash facilities, sanitary towel disposal unit, and grubby baby changing area with standard cute, green bunny tiles reminiscent of Mother Goose. Disabled facilities all offer 24 hour access, but keys have to be obtained from the Tourist Information Office, the District Council or park warden. I haven’t tested this system for accessibility at midnight for example.

Finally, I made it to Western Road, a true 1930’s masterpiece in public convenience architecture, with its flat roof, glass block windows, and well defined horizontality. As I climbed down the stairs of the women’s toilet wing, nothing could have prepared me for the brilliance of the sun-lit roofscape. This is my favourite public loo in Lewes, not for its location but for its glass ceiling which does much to detract from the usual bog standard formula of metal loos, metal wash facilities, and bunny encrusted baby change unit. Viva Western Road. The Wikipedia identifies the toilet as a place of refuge we sometimes take books into. It is in the Western Road public convenience that you’ll find me at the crack of dawn, writing my journal on toilet paper, with the light streaming in from up above. WC


Toilet humour: will not appear in this caption