How much do you know about the bewildering history of London’s toilets? Did you know that before London had a proper functioning sewer system, everyone’s waste went into the Thames, the same Thames that people actually drank from? Butt really, what a stinker!
I recently had the privilege of going on the Original London Loo Tour; A tour all about the history and intricate toilet system in London, quite conveniently starting off in WaterLOO (ha!). I met the host, known as Loo Lady, who was particularly easy to spot with a plunger held up high, and we set off to our first stop. I won’t give too much away about where we went first, but let’s just say it could be the most patriotic toilet in the whole of the UK!
The Jubiloo really is a thing!
We got to learn a range of funky facts about toilets, as well as a bunch of reasons as to why toilets are placed where they are. There’s a whole load of politics behind the world of toilets in London too, as well as a very clear gender imbalance…
We wandered through some lovely parts of London and saw toilets that you’d never even realise were toilets; there sure are a lot of hidden loos dotted around London. Not only did I learn where the most expensive place in London is to spend your penny, but I also discovered a few places where you can actually go for free, and if you’re a frequent Londoner, then you’ll know just how valuable this information is.
Although the London Loo Tour is, like it says, a tour of London’s intricate toilet system. It is so much more than that. It’s an important message to today’s society; it demonstrates how far we have come and just how far we have yet to come. Since going on the London Loo Tour, I can’t help but walk around with a vision of what lies beneath London’s busy pavements – so much more than just a hectic underground system, there’s an intricate sewer system in place, built by a man who deserves a lot more credit than he’s got!
So for that reason, I’m dedicating this post to Joseph Bazalgette, because without him, London would be, quite simply, crap.
Joseph Bazalgette, you the man.