The Gents’ Toilet at Broadstairs Railway Station

There is much to celebrate about the Gents’ Toilet at Broadstairs Railway Station.  Clearly signposted; naturally lighted; capaciously roomy.  If I were an estate agent, I could make numerous claims as to its desirability.  But its most marketable quality is space.  In fact, there is just so much space.  Three urinals adrift in an ocean of freedom.

Now, attentive followers of my writings will know that one thing I appreciate is a measure of privy privacy, so it should be safe to assume that in the Gents’ Toilet at Broadstairs Railway Station I have found my urinary nirvana?  Not so.  Returning to my estate agent analogy, I would defy any estate agent to be able to spin a description of the Gents’ Toilet at Broadstairs Railway Station as an ‘efficient use of the available space’.

In an area the size of an aircraft hangar, why place the three urinals all together in such a compact row?  It is almost as though the designer/plumber is advocating mid-micturition conversation.  No.  And, once again, no.  Faced with a blank canvas of Pollock-proportions, why, oh why, concentrate all the interest in such a limited region?

Me?  I would have done things differently.  There would have been one urinal on the east wall.  One, and one alone.  One urinal on the north wall; one urinal on the south wall.  West wall?  Wash basin.  It is not difficult to organise the space such that the key features are arranged at the furthermost proximity, one from each other.  It is not the golden ratio of aesthetics; I am quite sure that it is a plumber’s nightmare; but it better appreciates the British sensibility.

Rearrange the urinals in the Gents’ Toilet at Broadstairs Railway Station to my specification, and I will do a happy waltz in the cavernous ballroom expanse, which exists between them.

© Simon Turner-Tree


Simon Turner-Tree is a man with privacy issues.

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