A big flush of Mannings Heath villagers went to the opening of their local pub’s gents toilets on Friday evening (September 9).
Camera clicks and cheers followed the overdue ribbon-cutting (not made of tissue) of the Inn’s new outhouse.
The ‘dark, damp and stinky’ loos had been a thorn in the pub owner’s side since she and her husband, Kevin Harlow, took the Dun Horse Inn over around 18 months ago.
Claire Harlow, 37, said: “I’m really pleased, it’s nice to see the support of all the locals, friend, family and staff, and we thank everyone for coming.”
The landlady added: “The urinals weren’t working, it was a trough. And there was a partitioning wall between them and the sink and we had a feeling people were missing the sink.”
The toilets have been thoroughly done up and now house a plant pot.
Claire’s younger brother, Martin Roberts, 33, and his flat-mate, Konrad Bojko, 28, a builder and decorator, were ‘major parts’ of the refurbishment, said the landlady.
Martin, of Crawley, said: “I done it to put a smile on my sister’s face. It means a lot to her.”
He added: “She works tirelessly day and night and she does not take a penny out of this business she just wants a nice pub where people come in and have a great drink and food.”
Konrad, originally from Poland, said he could sleep in the toilets now.
He said: “It was dark, damp, stinky, but now it’s fantastic, I’m more than pleased.
“I could put a mattress down and sleep in there.”
Claire suffered multiple setbacks renovating the gents, and near the job’s completion, she discovered a heavily blocked drainage system in need of cleaning.
She said: “I did all the draining and plumbing. I had my hand down the drain - I got that nasty job. It was very disheartening.”
A number of the pub-goers on Friday shared their reaction to the opening.
One said: “I’ve never been to the opening to a new toilet before and I thought the whole thing was put on very well by the horse, they should do one every fortnight!”
And another pub-goer who brought along his dog, Captain Morgan, said: “The captain likes the new toilets.”
The businesswoman sent out 600 posters in the village asking the community for feedback on the pub.
After receiving mostly comments on the state of the gents she set the renovation as a priority.
Claire concluded: “I’d definitely like to thank my brother and Konrad, they were two major parts and I couldn’t have done it without them.
“And I’d like to thank all the locals for their patience while the work was carried out and everybody else who was involved.”