Rothesay’s famous Victorian toilets, the winners of many awards over the years, have been chosen for another accolade - a prize from the ‘Judge Cludge’ group.
The ‘cludge judges’, taking a fun approach to the serious task of improving Britain’s public toilets, are Dougie Smith and Pat Rafferty, described by Dougie as “business travellers who also enjoy the social scene”, and who are not afraid to pass comment on the conveniences they encounter on their rounds.
“We had experienced many toilet facilities that fell short of minimum legal requirements,” Dougie continued.
“Judge Cludge is a play on Judge Dredd - Pat loves a comic book hero.
“It is a bit of fun, but we have had a degree of success when we have broached the subject with proprietors, some have been hostile.
“I have always enjoyed a challenge and this project of improving toilet facilities across the UK is a major but fun challenge.”
The pair plan to visit Rothesay in June or July to present the Victorian toilets with their latest award.
“My grandparents had a holiday flat in Rothesay,” Dougie added, “and even as a child I found the pier toilets impressive.
“I know that the toilets have had many awards but we could put Rothesay back on the map with our presentation.”
Only a few steps from the ferry terminal, Rothesay’s famous loos are widely regarded as the most impressive surviving late Victorian public convenience in Scotland, if not Britain.
Commissioned by Rothesay Harbour Trust in 1899 during Rothesay’s hey-day as a holiday resort, the gents’ lavatory walls are entirely clad in decorative ceramic tiles, ornately patterned in rows, while the floors are designed with ceramic mosaic, with the crest of the Royal Burgh of Rothesay at the entance.
Restored in the 1990s at a cost of £300,000, the toilets - now also featuring modern ladies’ conveniences, mother and child facilities, disabled toilets with father and child facilities, and ladies’ and gents’ showers - are run on behalf of Argyll and Bute Council by Bute Victoriana Ltd, a community business with charitable status formed under the auspices of Bute Enterprises Ltd.
* You can find out more about the Judge Cludge group’s activities on Facebook - just click on the link to the right of this article.