Wednesday, 30 April 2014

A Wild Loos Chase

it really goes to show that I take this blog seriously when I go out I'd my way on holiday to visit a famous toilet. It's therefore an even bigger shame when it seems to no longer exist.
"Don't Miss a Sec" was an art installation near to one of the Tate art galleries in London. It was a toilet surrounded by one way mirrors in the middle of a busy street. One way mirrors meaning you can see everyone walking past it while doing your business but nobody can see in.
Unless everywhere on the internet was saying it was somewhere it wasn't, I believe it is no longer there. I spent a good few hours walking round the outside of both Tate Britain and Tate Modern yesterday to no avail.

I guess I'll go back to reviewing train station toilets then...

Shout outs to Chris for putting up with my toilet seeking adventures in London.

Friday, 18 April 2014

The Dog & Partridge, Bolton

The relenting march of time's eternal boots have not been kind to these toilets. 

There is nothing to dry your hands after you've washed them, not even a towel. The urinals are mismatched, and one has a large crack in it. The door doesn't seem to shut properly.

However, there is one good thing to note about these crappers. They take a firm stance on dangerous mind-altering substances.

I'm not entirely convinced that this isn't somewhat tongue in cheek, but I certainly came away from my experience feeling a better person for it. And who can honestly say that a toilet has done that to them of late? 3 out of 5 flushes from me.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Cottons Hotel, Knutsford

I had the pleasure recently of being involved in an event at the very smart Cottons Hotel in Knutsford. The ladies loo was very clean and modern, with good facilities.The sink area was super shiny sparky nice, and the posh handwash and cream were a rather splendid touch.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

The Nags Head, Crewe

So, pub toilets, a beacon for high standards in essential facilities? Of course not! Many a time I've seen the link between licensed premises and dingy, damaged, poorly maintained toilets. So let's not get our hopes up for The Nags Head, situated at the heart of Crewe.

Firstly, inside the cubicle, what do you notice?

That's right, not even the first hint of toilet paper. I can't even see the remains of a dispenser. This suggests that the room may never have housed a loo role, or at least not since it was last painted (yes, this is the gents, and yes, the walls appear to be pink).

It's not too dirty, this was early on in the evening. Lets see the main room...

Soap, check, working sink, check, urinals (obviously not in use during my visit), check.

There's a distinct lack of graffiti here, unless you count the adverts for upcoming events jotted down on the wall, for gents to peruse at their leisure while... actually, nothing in particular leads visitors to face that wall.

That hand drier is merely for decoration.

Either the folks of Crewe are not for scrawling, or management is quite efficient at removing any unauthorised daubings, I guess we'll never know. If it is the management thing, they're definitely misdirecting their efforts to graffiti removal instead of essential facilities.

Basically, there's not a great deal I can say that's good about this place, it's not doing it's job, there's nothing to attract me to it (besides the obvious biological requirement) it's basically featureless, lacking in both interest and functionality.

There is one thing, tho. To say in it's favour...

That, right there, is a lock! It's clearly been removed and replaced on numerous occasions. Now, I don't know who it is that kicks locks through in pub toilets, but wherever I go there's a lock deficit in pub gents. Someone appears to remove them on a regular basis and more often than not there's no hint of a repair or replace taking place.

So well done on the lock, Nags Head, but it could really use toilet paper and hand drying facilities.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The Real China, Southport

Let's start at the beginning, The Real China is not, by any means, the real China. It's a slightly bizzarely named Chinese buffet in Southport, Lancashire. It's on a block along with a cinema, bowling alley, and a few other restaurants.

In the past I've seen several oriental eating establishments that take their colourful, slightly overblown, stereotypically Chinese decorative approach as far as their lavatorial facilities. On the whole, they're usually a good bet in the search for an interesting, beautiful, pleasant toiletry experience.

The Real China, on the other hand. doesn't. Their lavatories betray the nature of the business, a pop-up establishment ready to be deployed in any given space. The toilets just feel like they came with the premises and could just so easily belong to the cinema, the motel across the car park or the Mexican franchise next door.

I can't say anything much about them, then, it's soulless, clean and serves it's purpose.

Even the graffiti is rather unremarkable, such as this slightly cryptic graffito.

Me. Plain as day, just... me

I had to look this one up, the originator would appear to be a fan of TNA wrestling, specifically Mark LoMonaco and evidently feels everyone who uses these facilities should know it. However the identity of this particular graffitist is lost to the ages, perhaps it was "me". So we'll just have to live with that mystery for ever more.

There's one thing to be said about these graffiti, they're not daubed in feeble, temporary, easy-to-erase ink. They're created using the traditional artists craft of paints, or the more synonymous spray-paint. No, these graffiti are scratched into the fabric of the door, removing the top layer of soul-less functional grey, to reveal a dark underbelly of soul-less functional grey. These must have taken some work, and so I feel I must reluctantly applaud the effort that was placed into them. With the ever-present temptation of another course from the all-you-can-eat buffet, under constant threat of detection (I can't imagine this was a quiet process), they toiled, possibly in multiple sessions to leave for the ages one simple message.

"Me" likes Bully Ray

Sunday, 6 April 2014

A note regarding railway station toilets that charge

It just occurred to me that trains will often arrive at their final destination well before they're due to depart as another service. You will often be able to board the train in advance too. Right now, I'm at Manchester Piccadilly station. I needed the toilet, but rather than spend 30p, I just got onto a Virgin Train that is due to depart in half an hour. The toilets on Virgin Trains flush into a tank, so you're allowed to flush in stations (not all trains are like this, so pay attention to signs that say "do not flush in stations" unless you want your business left the track in the station.

so there you have it. Just a quick tip to save you some cash.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Inspire Centre, Levenshulme

Unfortunately, I have to begin this review with a health & safety announcement. 

Take a look at this picture and see if you can work out what's wrong. Clue: I'm pointing at it.

The clear plastic front of the toilet roll dispenser leapt off when I merely touched it and ended up on the floor. 

Despite my obvious alarm, I replaced it like a conscious cubicle patron. Which is when I noticed this:

I've never in my 27 years on this planet come across such a concept, but would be interested to know if anyone out there has themselves...

Even though I searched high & low, I could find no further documentation explaining this peculiar phenomenon. I must therefore assume it's the work of either someone attempting to create a toilet-based social network, or a deranged yet well-meaning toilet attendant who merely wants to spread the good word.

Answers on a postcard, please... In the mean time, I award this a paltry 1 out of 5 flushes, due to the danger I felt I was put in.