Saturday, March 10, 2007

Loo of the Year

Whilst doing some ironing today I watched a television programme that I recorded a few weeks back, probably by mistake.

Still, it was Quite Interesting and good to iron to, not requiring total concentration.

It was about a chap from Winchester who has spent the last twenty years investigating the public toilets of Britain, trying to keep up standards of cleanliness and prevent them being closed.

It was a strange, peculiarly British programme, managing to cover both British eccentricity and the Class Issue at one blast.

One hotel-owner had a model of his sister, which made farting noises and which he kept in the gents’ loo in his hotel – who could fail to find this hilarious? He certainly thought it was. Then there was the Duchess of Northumberland who had installed a very well-designed public toilet in the tree house at Alnwick Garden (oh yes, Lady Northumberland or whatever we commoners must call you, very nice toilet and the fountains in the garden looked spectacular on telly – what a shame they weren’t working when we visited the Alnwick Garden in 2005).

It all culminated in the Loo of the Year awards at some fancy place (look, I was doing the ironing, don’t expect factual accuracy) where Jenny the past-her-youth toilet cleaner from Blackpool, all cigarette-voice and bleached hair, met the Duchess of Northumberland, youthful, pretty, all I’m-just-like-everyone-else and posh vowels.

“So, when are you coming back to Blackpool then?” asked Jenny
“I’ve – er – never been to Blackpool,” confessed the Duchess. Jenny looked amazed and then invited her to visit her home. There’s one visit that will never happen, I can tell you now.

All very praiseworthy, this quest for better public toilets: but the committee who decided who should get the awards all looked like dead ringers for members of the Hurrah for Hitler society, or similar, which was a bit worrying. One of them actually said, “There was this toilet cleaner – one of our coloured friends - -anyway, she was very good - - “

I’d like to say you don’t hear that sort of thing very often any more, but perhaps I don’t move in the right circles. Or the wrong circles, depending upon your point of view.


Post a Comment

<< Home