Inflation in North Somerset

Inflation in North Somerset

The phrase “to spend a penny”, meaning to use a public lavatory, has its origins in the use of coin-operated locks on public toilets in the UK. When these were first introduced, the fee for use was normally one penny (1d); and it stayed at that level for decades, well into the second half of the twentieth century.

However, the cost of being caught short and having to use a public lavatory has undergone a massive inflationary rise if a report in today’s Bristol Post is to be believed.

picture of 10 shilling note

Pictured above is an old English bank note with a face value of 10 shillings; that’s equivalent to 240 pence.

The Bristol Post report states that people could be charged up to 50p (that’s ten shillings in old money. Ed.) to spend a penny in a new block of town centre toilets in Portishead, which could cost up to £40,000 to build.

The Post quotes Portishead Town Council Clerk Jo Duffy as follows on the likely cost of spending a penny:

There would be a charge levied for using the toilets, which could be up to 50 pence per visit. However the town council is keen to keep the charge at a lower level of around 20 pence if possible.

Even 20 pence for a pee is extortionate, in my opinion.

This blog has covered the peculiarities of life in North Somerset before now (posts passim) and at least one person leaving a comment on the Post report feels relieved he’s not a resident:

Every day I wake up and thank the Lord that I don’t live in North Somerset.

Author: Steve Woods

Generic carbon-based humanoid life form.