Pun writers had a field day this week as it was announced that
an Oxford public lavatory might be converted into student living
quarters. Prospective developers Mr and Mrs Cubby plan to transform the
former toilet block in Cripley Road into an affordable
one-bedroom student flat. The Council closed the city centre
convenience in 2000 partly because of its frequent use as a
rendez-vous for casual sex. Speaking to Cherwell, Cluttons estate agent Robert Harrison
claimed that either students or young professionals commuting to
London would be interested, despite admitting it was “quite
possibly” previously used for cottaging. “I would
certainly live there if it was a trendy, upmarket one-bedroom
flat,” he claimed. Oxford’s most famous toilet is a dream come true for
tabloid punners. The four-hundred square foot property, which
could sell for £135,000, has been variously described as a
building with “a wee bit of history” and a “flat
at your convenience.” The recent boom in property prices has sent the cost of
housing in Oxford soaring. An average Oxford house now costs
£250,000. This has boosted demand for lower-cost housing,
particularly for students. Students differed on whether they would be happy living in an
former toilet. Second-year Politics, Philosophy and Economics
student Robert Bassett mused, “It isn’t designed for
living in, it’s designed for having a crap in.” Univ historian Alex Beecroft was less hostile to the idea.
“I spend a lot of my time in a toilet anyway, so living in
one wouldn’t be much of a change.”ARCHIVE: 2nd week TT 2004