This is the sign for the men’s toilets in the Stockport Air Raid Shelters. Opened in 1939, at the start of World War Two, they were the largest purpose-built civilian air raid shelters in the country, providing cover for 6,500 people. Nearly a mile long, they were cut into red sandstone cliffs and boasted facilities including electric light, sick bays, bunk beds and, yes, toilets – 16-seater toilets.
You can see the shelters – and their toilets – at 61 Chestergate Street, Stockport. Nicknamed the Chestergate Hotel, it became a familiar haunt for families during the Blitz. It’s open to visitors, and recently refurbished. Hot and moist, you can see the toilets, their cheek-by-cheek seats, flimsy modesty curtains and open flushing system. Thankfully the council stopped short of providing authentic smells, offering instead a rather fab audio tour.
Go on – go and see them and spend a penny. More info here: http://www.stockport.gov.uk/services/leisureculture/visitstockport/museumsandgalleries/airraidshelters/