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Winners and Loo-sers

PUBLISHED: 11:52 20 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:39 03 July 2010

HOW DO THEY RATE?: The North Drive toilets

HOW DO THEY RATE?: The North Drive toilets

Dominic Bareham

BEING caught short while walking along Great Yarmouth's Golden Mile is never a pleasant experience, but the situation can be made a whole lot worse if the toilet smells, you have to paddle through water and the toilet roll holder is empty.

BEING caught short while walking along Great Yarmouth's Golden Mile is never a pleasant experience, but the situation can be made a whole lot worse if the toilet smells, you have to paddle through water and the toilet roll holder is empty.

So with the town's holiday season starting in earnest, Mercury reporters Dominic Bareham and Laura Bagshaw revisited public loos surveyed in a report three years ago to see if the passing of time and water had improved the facilities on offer, or if tourists could expect a foul experience.

In June 2005, two reporters became toilet inspectors for the day when they visited eight of the council-run conveniences and found the town's toilets were generally in a good state.

Back then, top marks in the ladies category went to the toilets next to the Jetty, while the loos at Market Gates won the gents section for an excellent standard of cleanliness and handwashing facilities. But bottom of the pan was the toilets at Beaconsfield Road, which were described as “looking grubby and grimy and, worse, infested with flies.”

As in 2005, the toilets were assessed using a rating system according to specific criteria, which included general cleanliness, levels of graffiti, handwashing and drying facilities, provision of toilet roll and baby changing facilities.

But this time, the loos at The Conge were chosen as the toilet seat of power in the men's division for being clean and well maintained by the wardens who were on duty during the Mercury's visit; while the top of the ladies' loos was those at The Jetty, which had good baby changing and washing facilities.

The men's toilet at The Jetty also set a high standard with good cleanliness, plenty of toilet roll and excellent washing facilities, but missed out on top spot for having a toilet seat that was coming off its hinges and a small amount of graffiti.

In Caister Road, the men's toilets standard was also good, but it lacked soap facilities and graffiti had not been cleaned off.

Sadly, there always has to be a “loo-ser” and although the toilets in North Drive near the bowling green pavilion were not awful, both the men's and ladies' sides came bottom, with male visitors being greeted by the sight of water on the floor and graffiti on the toilet doors. Washing facilities were also not up to scratch as there was no hand dryer or towels, while women would have to try and find their way through the dark and cobweb-covered utility and make do without hot water, as the taps were not working.

The visits were made last Friday afternoon.

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