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Report - Bromley-by-Bow Underground Public Convenience, Bow, London - June 2015

Discussion in 'Other Sites' started by slayaaaa, Jun 4, 2015.

  1. slayaaaa

    slayaaaa 28DL Regular User
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    Intro

    In between 2 busy carriage ways in East London under the statue of We Gladstone lies a Victorian underground Public convenience. Nothing epic but it's pretty interesting with some original features, Marble flooring and amazing Victorian tiled brick. Small but worth a report!

    History

    There are records which suggest there was a public lavatory in London in the C15, but the majority of historic WCs date from the last quarter of the C19 when advances in sanitary science and engineering coincided with the formation of municipal governments capable of funding civic improvements. These WCs date from 1899. They were designed to fit around the statue of WE Gladstone, erected on the site in 1881, and the iron railings bear his initals in the central round section of ironwork. The urinals were manufactured by George Jennings (1810-1882), who invented the wash-out design of toilet. Establishing a company at Palace Wharf, Lambeth in 1838, Jennings was the first to apply new sanitary designs to public conveniences. He introduced his ideas at the Great Exhibition at Hyde Park in 1851 and over 800,000 visitors paid to use this facility, from where the euphemism 'spend a penny' is derived. By the close of the C19, Jennings' format for basement public WCs had been introduced by reforming municipal authorities in cities and towns across the country. Although fittings in many of the listed WCs may have been manufactured by Jennings, none is recorded as having any in the list descriptions and many are likely to have been replaced in the C20.

    "Underground gentlemen's public convenience, constructed by the Board of Works and opened in 1899. Curved entrance steps designed to fit around the statue of WE Gladstone. The decorative interior finish includes russet marble urinals. The public convenience has been disused for many years and the decorative iron gates have been damaged. The interior is also subject to vandalism. Tower Hamlets Council is aiming to work with strategic partners to find a way forward."

    The Toilets have been opened on some occasions for visitors but that seems to have stopped as of recent.
    It was granted grade II listed status in 2008

    My visit


    I sort of stumbled passed this a day or two ago by accident and it intrigued me. At the time I thought it was too busy to bother with, so stopped at the church and moved on. But throughout that day I realized that no one would probably care, Turns out I was right.

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    Such a shame, these are nicer in this state than most toilets at the Rail stations...
    I crawled in and down the steps, managed to scrap a few things together and even found a nice little sign that would've obviously been lit up.
    Managed to get into the later built Ladies' toilet as well, although I sort of wished I hadn't bothered now as it's quite remarkably less impressive!

    Gents

    An external showing the original Victorian gates behind the statue

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    Brick, curves and stairs

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    Sun light leaks through

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    Spent ages trying to fix the orientation of this until I realized the stair rails aren't actually level

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    Shame the urinals aren't more intact, the wooden decor has been removed and preserved in a cupboard

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    Brick and signs

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    Ladies

    There's no room to move or set up a shot in here, so much less pics

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    Not epic at all, was interesting to see. :)
     
    Brighteyes, Yorrick, Punk and 6 others like this.

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  2. Lancashire lad

    Lancashire lad chief taster for costa coffee
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    I like it well done finding that
     
  3. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    Dweeb will be happy!
     
  4. Bolts

    Bolts 28DL Regular User
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    I'm surprised that I enjoyed looking at a toilet so much.
     
    Distra likes this.
  5. Lenston

    Lenston Bajo Tierra
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    Pretty cool that mate
     
  6. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Proper nice find that is, thanks for sharing.
     
  7. Distra

    Distra 28DL Full Member
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    I can only second bolts statement. Nice stuff
     
    Bolts likes this.
  8. The Wombat

    The Wombat Mr Wombat
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    That's a bit different!
    Nice work there
     
  9. Punk

    Punk Obi Punk Kenobi
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    Really cool find :thumb
     
  10. norfolkexplorer

    norfolkexplorer av u seen my marbels
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    Noice work that :)
     
  11. slayaaaa

    slayaaaa 28DL Regular User
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    Haha, never thought a toilet would be so popular! I'm glad I posted it. Cheers for the kind comments. :)
     
  12. The Shepshed Diamondback

    The Shepshed Diamondback Slithering down a drain near you
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    A really nice report, I love the look of this place.
     
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