The Outside Toilet

The Outside Toilet

With it being Thursday today (as in #throwbackThursday) I thought we’d have a trip down memory lane to the outside toilet. That’s after a bit of chatter and some sad news.

So, first the weather. Did it rain yesterday or what? It’s been coming down in bucketfuls and at 2pm I could hardly see to type it is so dark. It’s not too cold though and the wind has dropped. Having said that, we’re in for some severe winds and rain at the weekend, probably Friday I believe. The Gazette are saying that there could be damage on the sea fronts, plus high waves and gale force winds, oh what joy! One thing is for certain, it will do what it wants and that’s all we can say. I’ll be getting the drawbridge pulled up and the heating on and settle for some quiet time indoors, apart from the din of the storm that is! It feels like Winter is well and truly here, although I think January and February are worse on the whole, what about you?

Goodbye to our funny little blonde friend

On Monday, we said goodbye to our lovely friend Val, who died a short while ago. She was a funny, blunt, loving and generous person and I am proud to have called her my little pal, which was always my name for her. May she sleep with the angels, as she had a heart of gold. She will be so missed by so many people, Val, Pam and I were called the ‘three little blondies’ by Jane, a term she always used when taking our photos as we were just that, short, blonde and laughing.

All friends together - and the outside toilet!
All friends together – (l-r) Keith, Brenda, Val, Chrissie, Jane, Pam

One thing is for sure, she will never be forgotten by us and she has left a massive hole to fill in so many lives, mine for sure.

I bet all my money she’ll be telling all the angels off if they put a toe out of line, backed up by her unique grin when she says something that’s not quite appropriate. That’s what we all loved about her, she was straight John Bull was our Val, with this gorgeous smile which would melt the hardest of hearts. We’ll miss you Val, but never forget you.

And now… The Outside Toilet

Now onto a bit of the past. Jane was showing me this picture of an outside toilet that she’d seen.

Do you remember the outside toilet?
Do you remember the outside toilet?

Now I suppose you would have to be of a certain age to know all about them. I bet a lot of us oldies will remember, unless you were well off of course, in which case you had an indoor toilet.

Although my parents moved into a newly built house, the toilet door was still on the outside even though the toilet was part of the house if you know what I mean. There was no light inside, so heaven help you if you got the runs or anything as you couldn’t see to clean up!! At least ours was a part of the house, not so the people who lived in terrace houses who had to go to a brick built toilet down the bottom of the yard. In some cases it was a good way away from the house.

A place to call our own

Before we were married, we were trying to find a house to start our married lives, which wasn’t an easy task as we didn’t earn a fortune. We went to look at one house, a terrace property with the kitchen having stone floors and a toilet so far away from the house that you needed binoculars to see it. I took one look and went, never to come back!

We then looked at a newly built house on an estate but decided it was just a bit too much to take on the mortgage. We were very aware in those days that you had to have a certain amount of income before they would consider lending you any money. We ourselves decided that an extra £200 on the (whole) mortgage (not monthly!) was just too much, so wisely bought another semi that we could afford. They also had indoor toilets in the new house, something to think about.

And a toilet to call our own!

The one we bought, although a fairly new semi, still had the toilet outside but built in as part of the house and again, there was no light in it. There’s no wonder I don’t like spiders as the toilets were usually full of them!

Derek put a light in there after threats of a divorce (like two weeks after we married) and with little electrical experience he wired it in, which made it more ‘comfy’ to go in and use. When it was cold it was horrible and as soon as we could afford to, we had an indoor toilet installed and oh, the luxury.

Remember the jerry?

When we were children there was no indoor toilet at all, so we all had a ‘jerry’ under the bed for if we wanted to wee as an alternative to having to go downstairs and into the dark cold night.

The jerry, or Chamber Pot. Used at night by people with an outside toilet

To give them their proper name they were ‘Chamber pots’. They were what you might call a bit pongy by the morning, although they were never used for a number two if you know what I mean.

Most people had who had an outside toilet had a jerry and nobody ever thought a thing about it. It was a necessary bodily function so you got on with what you were used to. I can just imagine today’s generations doing that, they would run a mile if they had to balance on a potty and wee.

I could go on all day about things like that in the ‘good old days’ although I have to say that there’s nothing like an indoor toilet. Don’t get me wrong, we had a bathroom, so there were no tin baths in front of the fire for us. But why a new house was built with a toilet outdoor toilet and yet a bathroom I’ve no idea. Maybe it was because most people had an outside toilet, thank goodness they don’t now!

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