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British Government Declares This Public Urinal a Historical Landmark

(Photo: BBC)

This majestic structure in Clifton, UK is a monument to a bygone era of British culture. Once upon a time, it was common for British cities to feature public urinals like this one. It's a simple structure of steel walls with ceramic urinals inside. A gentleman could step inside to relieve himself.

English Heritage, a government agency that preserves sites of historical importance, has added the urinal to its list of significant structures. BBC News quotes a spokesman for English Heritage:

He said the urinal was a "relatively rare surviving example of a once common type of building" and represented the "civic aspirations of the authorities in the Bristol suburbs in the late Victorian period".

"In times of austerity, facilities and structures such as this set of urinals are under increasing threat, and where there are found to be deserving of protection English Heritage will recommend to the Secretary of State that they be added to the National Heritage List for England," he said.

-via Dave Barry

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Interesting tale, but I don't see the relevance. Nobody is talking about blowing millions here. Just that the structure is now protected and cannot be torn down without an extremely good reason. £50 on paint would not be a bad investment though if the place is as tatty as it appears in the photo.
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May I relate the tale of the five custom commodes of Seattle? In a period not all that long ago it was decreed that five large self cleaning public toilets were to be distributed in the downtown core. They were fancy, and private enough even for the ladies. The outside walls were to be utilized for advertising "so that they could pay for themselves". I believe it was also a 25 cent piece to get ten minutes of privacy to answer the call of nature. These marvels were to then close upon your departure and self clean.

Well, it was determined that outdoor advertising was not allowed by the City sign ordinance.

Well, the 25 cent admission fee did not preclude TWO people from getting ten minutes privacy, and the women involved did not behave in a ladylike manner.

The drug use was legendary. After just a few years and five MILLION dollars blown, they were auctioned off for $10,000 to an operator of a race track and he has them set up there without the extra curricular activities.

The extra fees incurred to utility customers for the failed experiment were not sunsetted off their bills after the toilets were sold.

Now, let me tell you about Seattle's Big Dig "Bertha", the Washington Public Power Supply System (Whoops!), the 520 Bridge Pontoon cost over runs (complete with Indian Burial Grounds stopping their construction), the Ferry System fiascos, ...I've got millions, no BILLION$ of them!

Too much government, too little competence.
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