A small northern town, on the outskirts of Manchester, this small smokey place was quite unassuming. It’s people went about their daily lives in the normal busy body way. The town had about 50 shops, and the High Street was always quite busy and not like it is today. The small town even boasted a tiny Woolworths store, something that would just not happen these days, but mid 70’s it was commonplace.
On the back of the High Street was a very small and very dated public ‘swimming baths’, and next to this old building was a set of similarly aged public toilets.
The location was super. The swimming baths car park was often used by people letting their wives nip to the shops, whilst the male would sit in the car, reading a paper or such like until their wife’s return. Anyone wanting to use the toilets could just park up in the swimming park car park, and even watch from the safety of their cars for any activity, before going in themselves.
The cottages were very ‘old fashioned’, very dirty, and always smelt of that industrial bleach the council workmen used to throw about the place, almost like clockwork at 9.00 am every day. There was often a queue of men hanging around the outside of the place, waiting for the cleaners to do their daily chores, before making almost a dash for the troughs once the small decrepit building had been vacated by any officialdom.
The whole floor space of the building was only about 30ft x 30ft. The floor itself was solid stone; often very cold, and it seems always covered in that smelly detergent. It had two cubicles, both with the locks broken and large peep (but not glory) holes where the locking mechanisms used to be. The cubicles were set apart, the space in-between occupied by a ‘cleaning utensils’ store room. This store room had a really robust metal door, and accompanying heavy duty padlock; no one even bothered to try to gain access.
Opposite the cubicles was the slightly raised trough. It was only big enough for three people to stand at, and you had a small step to negotiate, before actually stepping up onto the raised platform.