Greg Ferro - Work to Live

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London Toilets

If you move around London, they have these pay toilets around the place. I’m not too sure of their history, but for ten pence you pop inside and have a few moments to yourself. Once you are done, they clean themselves and are ready for use by the next person.

They may not be the best looking architecture in the world but they certainly are practical. As you can see, a void slot on the side to pop some money into, and the usual common sense warnings.

On this particular toilet, there is plaque.

The plaque honours Mr Iris Samuel who officially opened the toilet.


Which begs the question - is this an honour or something less ? If the highlight of my public life was the opening of a toilet, such as this one, would my life have meaning ? Would I truly have lived and achieved something of value ? For service to community I got to open this pay toilet - is that a reward ?

I’m going to keep looking at these toilets and see if any of the others have opening plaques. Who else was honoured ?


She may have been awarded an MBE in 1990 honours list.

The national archives has listed here

Portsoken Ward COL/CC/13/01/027 Dec. 1984

Former reference: P.D.141.17

1 paper

Contents: Election address of three of the candidates, viz. Roger Brighton, Alfred Dunitz and Mrs Iris Samuel