Village rallies to ensure public convenience

Local business's up in arms over the planned closure of the public toilets in Bradfield
Local business's up in arms over the planned closure of the public toilets in Bradfield

When thousands of Tour de France spectators descend on Bradfield in a couple of weeks, they will be able to use the public toilets at the foot of the hill.

But the toilets are desperately needed throughout the year for the many visitors to one of the most beautiful corners of Sheffield, say local businesses and residents. When they feared the toilets may be closing for good at the end of the summer, they decided not to take it sitting down.

The community is rallying around to raise the £6,000 to ensure the doors stay open all year round.

The campaign involves a few pence from purchases of beer from Bradfield Brewery and ice cream from the Our Cow Molly dairy going to the fund.

Contributions will also be sought through a Just Giving online account.

“We are taking it on, and I think we can do it,” said John Wyke, landlord of the Old Horns at High Bradfield.

The toilets closed for a while when the city council washed its hands financially of the toilets at Low Bradfield.

They reopened after Bradfield Parish Council stepped in, and it says it has money in its budget to keep them open until March.

Chairman Matt Dixon said it was a “fantastic idea” for local businesses to raise the funds.

“We are paying for the reopening and maintenance until the long term arrangements can be sorted,” he said.

If the community raised the £6,000, that would allow the parish council to spend the money in other ways.

John said it would be “crazy” if the toilets closed.

“We have an awful lot of visitors over the summer and it can be just as busy on winter weekends when people go walking. Bradfield is a beautiful place and the Tour de France will advertise the fact. Everybody is working hard to sell it all year round.”

He feared the council was not giving its full support.

When the toilets were closed last summer, the results were seen at The Plough in Low Bradfield, which is run by John’s brother, Ben Green.

“The number of people who came knocking on the door was phenomenal,” said John. “We can’t let it happen again.”

Also supporting the initiative are the Postcard and School Rooms cafes, the Nag’s Head pub and the local tennis club, along with local residents.

Beer and ice cream will carry stickers indicating that some of the purchase money is going to the fund, which has yet to be named. Ideas include Going for a P, Spending a Penny and Bradfield Bog.