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Photo project is aiming to record lavatories' stories

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: August 13, 2014

  • POTTY PROJECT: Karen Butfield at Veryan.

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A PAIR of photographers who've found themselves needing to spend a penny while out and about with their cameras have come up with a potty project to record Cornwall's toilet triumphs and tribulations.

Karen Butfield, from Tregony, and Lucy Davey, from Par, enjoy going out to capture the beautiful Cornish landscape, but after finding themselves caught short several times without a useable WC in sight, the idea of recording some rather less picturesque subjects started to form.

"Both being ladies over 30 and both having had children, we find we need a toilet when we're out," said Lucy. "But it's not always easy to find one that's both open and in a decent state, so we thought we would document them. It's a bit of a social project."

The pair have already spent one full day out toilet-hunting, or 'bogging' as they've dubbed it.

The Roseland peninsula was their first destination and mother-of-three Lucy, 39, said the toilets they discovered were lovely.

"We're not being judgemental," she said. "We want to document the state of them, whether good or bad.

"I'm concentrating on the outside because I'm interested in the architecture, and Karen has bravely volunteered to do the inside."

Their exploits have already attracted the attention of both local people and tourists. "They're all very interested in what we're doing," said Lucy. "Cornwall relies on tourism, and talking to the tourists, they say what they want is the beach, somewhere to grab a cuppa and a toilet. In a time when lots of toilets are being closed down we thought it would be good to record them."

The interest they've encountered while hunting down the county's conveniences has been such that they are now thinking of making it into a six-month project and then showing their work at the end of it.

"It was going to be a personal project and we thought we might make a photo book of it, but we've had so much interest we might have a display somewhere," Lucy said.

Lucy and Karen, who are members of St Austell Camera Club, are keen to hear people's views about the project as well as their recommendations for both terrible toilets and lovely loos that they can snap.

E-mail cornishtoilets@gmail.com

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  • Sambut  |  August 13 2014, 8:58PM

    Dantwo - Penzance is on our list of places to visit :)

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  • Dantwo  |  August 13 2014, 8:34PM

    They must come to Penzance! Here we have an unusual range of third world toilets that pose a health risk to users. The first thing, though, will be to find the one or two still open. Good luck.

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  • rickoon  |  August 13 2014, 2:16PM

    "INSIDE: Pendower Beach."…..All part of our heritage, now look at the plumbing, it has to be Cornish where else? LOL. You couldn't make it up.

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