The Salon will be held online via the Zoom platform. Details of how to join will be emailed you before the event.
Public conveniences are a mark of a modern civilised society. They have to be one of the greatest contributions by the metropolitan authorities to the city’s sanitation, sanity - and smell. In the Victorian era they were often also wonderful miniature examples of urban civic architecture.
London’s leading Victorianist LEE JACKSON explores their curious history in the 19th century, drawing on the research in his ground breaking work Dirty Old London: The Victorian Fight against Filth'.
In addition to telling his toilet tales, Lee will reveal his own remarkable discovery of Fleet Street's urine deflectors, the reason Victorian toilets were built underground, and why Victorian women lobbied for lavatories.
After a brief loo break, researcher SIMON FOWLER will undertake a survey of London’s pubic WCs during the swinging sixties. The decade saw the last era of classic public lavatories in their Edwardian splendour. City swingers and hippies alike could rest assured that there was a comfortable and clean place to pee and poo at all hours of night and day.
But these London public conveniences proved also provided a convenient and clandestine - location for all sort of other ’private’ activities. Simon will guide us through a watery world that has all but been flushed away.
LEE JACKSON is the creator of www.victorianlondon.org, an encyclopaedia of primary sources, including journalism, diaries, newspaper cuttings, photographs, cartoons and more. He is author of 'Dirty Old London' (Yale, 2014), 'Palaces of Pleasure' (Yale, 2019) and is currently working on PhD 'Dickensland'
SIMON FOWLER is a professional researcher and historian specialising in the Twentieth Century. At present he is thinking about writing a history of the public lavatory.