04 April 2007

The Westoe Netty

Some national treasures are grand in scale, some national treasures are small but perfectly formed. The Westoe Netty on the other hand was a urinal that once resided near a railway embankment on Tyneside. It was immortalised in a 1972 painting by artist Bob Olley (click the link to see the picture itself - Well it has amused me!).

Originally built in 1890 the Local authority decided to demolish the the urinal 10 years ago, but Mr Olley and friends salvaged it. It was then stored in a council depot at South Shields. After a failed plan to re-erect the netty in the town centre, Beamish Industrial Museum in County Durham stepped in. There will be a strict ban on using it.

The Geordie expression netty (toilet) is said to derived from Roman slang on Hadrian's Wall (no idea whether this is true).


elasticwaistbandlady said...

Remind me to never bring my firends, Nettie and Lou, over to Europe with me lest someone pee all over them.

jams o donnell said...

UNless that is what they like of course, ewbl!

Anonymous said...

Nah, it's almost impossible for it to derive from slang used on the wall (most folks on the wall were not even "Roman" but auxilary soldiers). It is like most Geordie words, probably derived from English, in this case the Old English "nied" (need) or "neodi" (needy) due to the fact it's where someone needs to go when they have to answer the call of later.