Dunkirk spirit as St Ives shops and pubs open loos to public!
SHOPS and pubs in St Ives opened their toilets to the public on Saturday after visitors and shoppers keen to spend a penny found the town’s public toilets closed for business.
Businesses in the town found themselves opening up their conveniences to queues of visitors after the contractor tasked with unlocking St Ives’ eight popular toilets didn’t show.
Mayor Colin Nicholls said traders in the town showed the Dunkirk spirit on Saturday morning with many putting notices in their windows saying “Please use our loos.”
Visitor Graham Broadhurst, from Henley-on-Thames, said it was "chaotic".
He said: "The queue for the toilet I was waiting to use in a pub was a mile long. It really was chaotic and people were saying they couldn't get hold of any of the councillors."
But Councillor Nicholls said that after hearing about the problem at noon the toilets were open again by 2pm and that the town’s traders had been a credit to St Ives.
He said: “It was disappointing. There were circumstances beyond our control involving the contractor who should have opened the toilets.
“Although it was inconvenient for a time St Ives has full confidence in being able to run the toilets which we’ve done throughout the summer.
“What was really encouraging was that traders in the town actually put signs in their windows saying “use my toilet” and people did.
“We found out there was a problem at 12 and took the necessary action and we had them open by 2pm.”
Although a "very uncomfortable experience", Mr Broadhurst said it would not put him off visiting the town in the future.
He said: "St Ives's is great... but this was a bad advert for it."
St Ives Town Council took over running the town’s toilets after Cornwall Council said they could no longer afford to maintain them from their own budget.
Mr Nicholls said: “This was disappointing but it showed that the council is on the ball and we are looking forward to the winter. We have just done a deal to have one of the town’s toilets kept open during the winter by one local business and we are looking for help from others.”