Southampton City Council Press Releases
Southamptonís SeaCity Museum enters the national Loo of the Year Award 2012
Southampton’s brand new SeaCity Museum is entering its unique toilets into this year’s prestigious Loo of the Year Award 2012.
Visitor figures to SeaCity Museum have exceeded all expectations yesterday on its first full open day (Wednesday), but it’s not just the high- tech interactive exhibitions that have had the public talking.
SeaCity Museum is in the former Law Courts block of Southampton’s iconic Civic Centre building. The unique museum toilets were once the cells, which were part of the old police station that only a year ago were still in regular use. As part of the requirements of English Heritage the cells had be maintained and incorporated into the new museum.
The cells have been conscientiously conserved and transformed into modern state of the art toilets for visitors to SeaCity Museum to enjoy.
Esta Mion Jones, Business Development Officer for Arts and Heritage at Southampton City Council said: “These fantastic toilets will forever remain as a reminder of the history of the building, its former life and its transition to this internationally recognised museum.
“I’ve never seen anything quite like them and I think we stand every chance of winning the coveted award. I hope this is the first of many awards the museum will win!”
The unconventional toilets have raised a few smiles and eyebrows. Jennifer Stocker from Southampton came along with her three-year-old son Samuel and mother in-law Patricia:
“At first I wasn’t sure what to expect. Then I realised that this was where the old police station used to be, it’s definitely the first time I’ve been in a cell!”
“I think it’s brilliant that the toilets will be entered into a national award, they capture part of our history and they’re innovative and unique. I think it’s brilliant!
The national annual Loo of the Year Awards competition was launched back in 1987 and has helped focus the spotlight on `away from home` toilets throughout the UK. The Awards have a simple objective, to encourage the highest possible standards in all types of `away from home` or public toilets.
Nominations for the award close July 31 2012. For further information about the award visit http://www.loo.co.uk/index.php4 Ends
Press release issued by Ruth Harrington. Contact email@example.com or call 023 8083 3910.
SeaCity Museum is in the former Law Courts block of Southampton’s iconic Civic Centre building. Work on the new municipal centre began in 1929, under the direction of the Civic Centre Committee, headed by prominent local politician Sidney Kimber. London architect, E. Berry Webber, designed the building as four interconnecting blocks, faced with white Portland stone. The Duke of York (later King George VI) laid the foundation stone of the first section, the Municipal Block, in 1930.
This Law Court block was the second to be built. It consisted of three courtrooms all grouped around an imposing barrel-vaulted entrance. The new courtrooms were held to be some of the finest in the country. They had walnut panelled walls, mahogany doors and finely decorated ceilings, with walnut furniture upholstered in blue hide. The building also housed offices, the police station, prisoners’ cells and exercise yard, stables and a garage. It was opened by the Lord Chancellor, Viscount Sankey, on 3 November 1933, just before noon, when the clock and bells on the new Clock Tower above chimed and played for the first time.
The Clock Tower is 156 feet high and contains an internal staircase of 215 steps. To assess its impact, a balloon was first launched to this height, and viewed from several points around the town. At set times through the day the chimes ring out the hymn “O God, Our Help in Ages Past”, by the local composer Isaac Watts.
The remaining two blocks were completed by 1939 and included the art gallery and central library.
By the 1970s the courts could no longer support the increased workload and staff numbers. They were replaced by the new Combined Crown Court Centre on London Road, completed in 2000.