The Public Convenience problem in Ryde
Isle of Wight Observer, Saturday, 17th July 1880
To the Editor of the Isle of Wight Observer
Dear Sir, I notice that a writer in a contemporary objects very much to a slight removal of the urinal at the back of the Market. I do not agree with him and think it will be a great public convenience. I do not believe there is another town in the kingdom so badly off for public conveniences as Ryde. Instead of being placed in positions where everyone may find them, they are placed in the most out of the way and inaccessible corners. I have frequently been stopped and asked for information on the subject by strangers who have, in consequence of the absence of public conveniences of this kind, committed a nuisance on private property. The subject is a difficult one, I admit, but it is as deserving of attention as any other. A public convenience is much needed in St Thomas’ square, as anyone who walks near the Crown Hotel can testify. I am &c, ALPHA.
Whilst we do not have a photograph of the convenience in question, the following image, from the Frank Mellanby collection, seems to show that some notice was taken to make such things more obvious to visitors. A urinal slap-bang in the middle of Ryde Esplanade!