The Outdoor Loo, Privy Or Netty
I developed an intimate knowledge of outdoor loo’s, in case you want to know, when I was 12 years of age. Poverty saw my mother send me out to work on a milk-round. I was earning, paid a few shillings and our home milk delivery was free. Okay, it was just weekends and school holidays. Charlie Roberts was the milkman and we called at his run-down farm, where the milk was stored. The farms’s outdoor loo, privy or netty, was a new experience. However, I don’t know whether there was a toilet in the farmhouse or not. If so, as a ragamuffin, I was not invited to use it. In other words, I seemed to have exclusive use of the outdoor loo.
It was a low building, a brick shithouse as it were, midway between the farmhouse and the farmyard. The rough wood door has a six inch gap along the top and bottom. Consequently, you didn’t need a lock as a pair of shoes and ankles gave occupancy away. Amazingly, it had a wide wood seat with two bum sculpted holes, side by side. In addition, down below these holes was a massive pit, perhaps ten foot deep. Within lay a beautifully sculpted mound of poo. As you deposited on this, it quietly sunk into the mound. At the rear of the mound was a big hole to the outside. A gale blew through this and caressed your backside. The swarm of flies was not a concern.
Something for the weekend?
Charlie was getting on and appeared totally crocked to me. However, I was an innocent, still singing soprano at school. Consequently, it was some years later before I realised his libido had been comparable to Ernie’s. He was Benny Hill’s fastest milkman in the West, in case you don’t know. When Charlie took me home to collect crates of milk, his Irish wife cooked us some lunch. This included griddle cakes (good!) and brains on toast (creamy!) I didn’t mention to her that Charlie had special customers; they enjoyed chocolates and a delivery in something other than a milk bottle.
The outdoor loo, privy or netty
Nonetheless, I am surprised at my awareness in those days. For certain, I realised that somebody had to manually shift the poo from around the back of the outdoor loo. Each wheelbarrow of poop had to be pushed just a few metres and tipped on the garden. To me, it seemed quite natural to use the poop and it was why the soil was jet black and fertile. However, I kept my mouth shut. When it came to the privvy and Charlie’s special customers, it was mum’s the word.