'One brick at a time' village takes fresh approach in campaign for new loo
Copyright: Archant 2019
Nature draws many people to the north Norfolk coast, but it’s not always clear what to do when nature calls.
So a campaign has been launched to pay for a public loo in Cley next the Sea, and it’s being done one brick at a time.
Dr Victoria Holliday, a parish councillor who is spearheading the project, said: “We used to have a loo on the beach, but it got swept away about 20 years ago. People have talked about having a public loo forever here, and whenever visitors come to the village they ask where the loos are.
“There are no public toilets between Blakeney and Weybourne so if you’re visiting or walking along the coastal path you’ve got quite a long way to go.
“It’s also quite a strung-out village with a high bias towards the elderly. They value their independence so it would be nice for them as well.”
The village is hoping to buck a national trend of public toilets being closed by cash-strapped councils.
Cley Parish Council estimates the facility will need 4,500 bricks, and they hope to raise the money by having people sponsor each individual brick for £5.
This would raise £25,000, which, combined with £15,000 awarded to the project through North Norfolk District Council’s ‘big society’ fund, would be enough to pay for the loo to be built next to the village playing field.
Dr Holliday said: “We were thinking about having a ‘toilet loo roll of honour’ listing the major donors.
“We’re calling it the Cley Curloo, because curlews are popular around here and we get a lot of birders.
“We’ll have to maintain and manage it ourselves, so it will be a real community project.”
Dr Holliday, a retired GP, said it would not be a ‘Changing Places’ loo but it would be wheelchair accessible.
Bricks can be ‘bought’ at Cley’s Picnic Fayre deli, and sponsors have the chance to win a food and drink hamper from the shop.
Dr Holliday said the planned loo had already formed a partnership with a public toilet in Kabale district in Uganda through a ‘toilet twinning’ scheme, which aims to improve sanitisation standards around the world.