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Places Where You Can No Longer "Spend a Penny"

In a previous era in Britain, if you said that you needed to "spend a penny," that meant that you needed to use a toilet. That's because public toilets used to cost a penny per visit.

Many of the old public toilets of London are closed now. But the physical infrastructure may still be there, such as the ladies' toilet pictured above. Agnese Sanvito, a photographer, visited many of these disused establishments around London. Spitalfields Life talked to her about the project:

“They’re part of the fabric of the city, but because they’re not in use no-one pays attention to them, they are forgotten spaces,” confirmed Agnese affectionately, delighting in these structures that are the catalyst for her elegant photographic mediations upon the culture of the metropolis. “At the moment, I have just photographed those in the area that are near to me. It’s a work-in-progress, I don’t know where it’s going.” said Agnese, thinking out loud, “Now my friends call sometimes and say, ‘I’ve found another one.’”

You can see more photos from the project at Spitalfields Life.


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