My Family Roots and Shoots

Toilet Twinning

I would like to promote this organisation, working to provide toilet facilities, clean water and health education, to the poorest and most deprived communities around the world.

Toilet Twinning

As a family and social historian, I find it fascinating, and often horrifying to consider how my ancestors and their neighbours had to live in the past.

Luckily I was born at a time when health and education was well established in the developed world. However, many around the world still do not have basic facilities.

The results caused by the lack of these facilities falls mainly on the women, as they are charged with water collection, and the results of disease (particularly in their children), spread by dirty water. Many of my female ancestors faced the same issues.

Although the most basic of necessities, provision of toilet facilities is not something mentioned too often. Taken for granted in developed societies, as I’m sure we all enjoy our own home comforts!

I would like to tell the family story of THIS toilet, which has been twinned with a latrine in Afghanistan!

In 1952, this toilet as part of a bathroom suite was installed in my Grandparents house in Sheffield. A back bedroom was split and one half converted to the first indoor bathroom the family had known. Whilst the family had previously been lucky to have an outdoor toilet to themselves, it still meant a trip across the yard in all weather’s, and a bucket under the bed at night. Previous generations living in poverty had to make do with filthy shared facilities in their ‘back to back’ housing.

Prior to installation, Dad waiting in line! Outdoor wc in the yard.

At that time the toilet had standard black seat and cover, with high level pull flush cistern.

In the 1980’s my grandparents updated their bathroom suite, removing this wc and storing it in the cellar.

In 1992, my husband and I, built a house in Norfolk, trying to keep a traditional style, I remembered the old fashioned wc in my Grandparents cellar. I asked if I could have it to install in our new house along with the wash basin.

Although they couldn’t understand why I would want to do this, they agreed, and here it is, still going strong.

A well appreciated toilet. Firstly as a ‘modern’ indoor installation, and then as an ‘old fashioned’ traditional installation!

Please read more about Toilet Twinning, and consider supporting this worthy organisation.