Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Armitage Shanks Family Part 3 Square Squatting - Lei Yue Mun Ling Nan Sun Cheun Public Toilet

Today,you will look at the 3rd part of the Armitage Shanks Family Series.This time round,you will be looking at toilets from Hong Kong and Malaysia.The square squatting Armitage Shanks.This post is actually a 2-in-1 post.I am also featuring one public toilet I visited during my recent trip to Hong Kong.

It so happened that this public toilet has the square squatting Armitage Shanks.I will introduce the square squatting Armitage Shanks,then move on to the featured public toilet.

The square squatting Armitage Shanks has been around since the mid 1990s.It is a very common sight in Malaysia.Especially on the North South Expressway.Almost every rest area you stop over has this type of toilet.But they are mostly flushed by valve.

For the cisterns flushes,you can find them at the shopping malls.It is quite easy to find them as they are very common.

In Hong Kong,it is a little bit tougher to find them,as the toilets are renovated quite often.In the mid 1990s,they were quite common.Most of the public toilets of that era have this type of toilet.They are either flushed by stepping on a pedal,or handles on the wall,or exposed cisterns.

Nowdays,due to extensive renovation,this type of toilets are getting lesser.However,there is a new batch of them.One has the latest Armitage Shanks logo while the other uses the brand Johnson Suisse.

I will feature the Johnson Suisse ones in another post,as my current post is strictly on Armitage Shanks.However,I have included a photo of the new batch of square squatting Armitage Shanks.If you feel impatient,you can scroll down right now to the last photo of the post to look at it.

Now,I will move on to the featured public toilet.Introducing...Ling Nam Sun Cheun Public Toilet of Lei Yue Mun.As you can see from the photo below,this toilet is newly renovated.

But looking at the toilet bowl itself,you might have second thoughts.Are you thinking about the same thing as me?

Yes,you are right.This toilet underwent a facelift.The exterior and tiles were renovated,but the bowl remains the same.

As I have mentioned earlier,this toilet belongs to the mid 1990s era.Looking at the exterior and the tiles,the bowl and its surroundings are not congruent.The exterior and the tiles belong to the new millenium.

I didn't not expect to see this bowl before I went into the toilet.I expected to see a new Twyfords,or some metallic bowl.In fact,there are about 4 of such bowls and 1 sitting bowl in this toilet.The toilet is relatively clean.

Coming up next is the video of this toilet...

You would probably agree that the flushing sound is quite screwed up.I had to step on the pedal twice to get it flushing.I suspect that there is no cistern because I didn't have to exert a lot of force when I stepped on it the first time.

However,the second time,I had to step and put my foot there.If I let go of my foot,the flushing stops immediately.I suspect that instead of a cistern,the toilet is flushed by a valve.

Let me explain why I came to this conclusion...

1.Basing on experience,when there's a cistern,you have to exert more force on the pedal.

2.After exerting the force on the pedal,you can let go and the toilet will flush by itself all the way until the cistern empties itself.It will not stop flushing the moment you let go of the pedal.

3.The flushing sound doesn't sound like a cistern flush.

Anyway,I hope to be able to video a toilet of this type and model with a cistern.If I go to Hong Kong again,I'll probably go over to Ah Kung Ngam Road Public Toilet where it has this type of toilet with a cistern.

Coming up next is the new batch of square squatting Armitage Shanks on photo.It looks exactly the same as its predecessor,except the brand logo.

The new batch's brand logo is facing outwards instead of upwards.Armitage Shanks seem to be going back in time,instead of following the trend of brand logos facing upwards.

I apologise that there is no video for this one as I took this photo about a year ago and back then I didn't have my video camera.

This photo was taken at Shing Ho Road Public Toilet & Bathhouse,Sha Tin,New Terrotories,Hong Kong.It is a newly renovated toilet.

In the next part,you will be looking at the smallest Armitage Shanks squatting toilets.My main computer is down at the moment.I am using my laptop to do this post.The photos are in the main computer.I will only be able to do the next post after my computer resumes operation.Till then,stay tuned!

The Armitage Shanks Family Part 2 Long Squatting

Before I welcome you to part 2 of the Armitage Shanks Family Series,Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you.

Actually didn't really planned to do an entry today,but I have a lot of new Hong Kong Public Toilets that I want to introduce in later entries.I have to finish this series before I start on the Hong Kong Public Toilets.

Anyway,in this entry,I will talk about the Long Squatting Armitage Shanks.This type of Armitage Shanks are only avaliable in Singapore.As you can see,the long shape is very typical of Singapore squatting toilets.

SP,Potex,JP,Saniton,Johore Pipe Co,Twyfords,Royal Doulton,Diamond Brand...and these brands with toilets found in Singapore all have this design.

There are 2 batches of Long Armitage Shanks.The older batch was manufactured in the mid 1970s.If you are lucky enough to find a building built between 1974 to say around 1980 and the toilet is not renovated,you might find something like this.

The brand logo of the older batch only consists of words.Armitage Shanks Viterous China on 3 lines.As you can see in the photo below.

The photo below was taken at Beauty World Plaza.This photo was taken 4 years ago.Fortunately,when I went back again sometime this year,the toilet was still around.I made use of the chance to shoot a video of it.

Let me comment on this video.Sad to say,something cocked up with the cistern.That's why it doesn't have the classical Armitage Shanks flushing sound.But I have no choice,this is the only toilet I can find in Singapore with a long squatting Armitage Shanks with a high cistern.

If you are interested,there is another place with this type of toilet,but it is a low cistern with a button on the cistern.I can tell you,the flushing sound sucks.

This other toilet is at Peace Center,Level 8 Offices Toilet.But the flushing sound sucks.If you really want to explore,go to the one at Beauty World Plaza.

Now,let's move on to the newer batch.The newer batch is manufactured between 1984 to 1986.Basing on personal experience,I find the newer batch more powerful.

So how do you tell the difference between the 2?

It's quite simple actually.The brand logo tells it all.The newer batch has an 'A' for the brand logo.There is no Viterous China and the whole thing is only 2 rows of words.

Look at the photo below and compare it with the previous photo,you will understand what I mean.

Although this is the newer batch,it is still quite difficult to track down.Nowdays,these toilets seem to have became extinct.But hey,don't worry.I have captured it on video for you.

A little background of this toilet before the video...This toilet was built in 1985.It is located at the coffee shop below my house.Initially,the flushing system was valve flushing.Recently,the owner decided to change it to a high cistern.Which I believe is good news.

Before planning to shoot this toilet,I wanted to shoot those at the Corporation Road Market.But sad to say,the whole market was demolished when I went there.But I'm grateful that I managed to get this one on video.

So here you are...enjoy the video.

In this video,you can hear the classic Armitage Shanks flushing sound.In my opinion,this video is much much better than the previous one.

In the next part,I will present to you the Armitage Shanks of Malaysia and Hong Kong.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Armitage Shanks Family Part 1 Pear-Shaped Squatting

I am doing a series on the Armitage Shanks family of toilets.Armitage Shanks seems to be very popular all over the world.Whichever country you go to,around the world,most of the time,you will see Armitage Shanks toilets.

Armitage Shanks is very significant to me,because it was the very first toilet I started looking into,at the age of 3.The photo that you see below is the exact model that I am refering to.

This model has been around since the mid to late 1970s.If you visit any building built in that era,you might still be able to find this toilet.

There are actually a few batches of this toilet.What you see in the photo above and below are the very first batch.This batch was manufactured between 1974 to 1983.As you can see,the brand logo is the earlier Armitage Shanks brand logo,with only the words.

Although the different batches may look the same,expect for the brand logo,they flushing sound is slightly different.

The later batches have a "sharper" flushing sound while this batch has a "smoother" flushing sound.

I will include 2 videos of the first batch here.Listen to them and compare with them with the later batch.

The video you just saw isn't exactly the "smooth" flushing sound because the cistern has been replaced.The next video will demonstrate the "smooth" flushing sound.

Can you tell the difference here?Next,I will be introducing the newer batch.The photo you see below is the 1985 batch.It is the newer batch.Look at the brand logo...this time,you can see the triangle-shaped logo.

In the old batch,there is no logo,only the words.The photo above was taken at the Kuala Lumpur old railway station.

The other 2 toilets were taken in Singapore,while this one was taken in Malaysia.I can't seem to find this batch,model and flushing system in Singapore.Those in Singapore are either flushed by valve or sensor.

It really affects the flushing sound.I compare cistern with cistern.It wouldn't be fair to compare a cistern flush with a sensor flush.

The pear-shaped squatting Armitage Shanks is extremely common in Singapore.During the early 1980s to the mid 1990s,visit any shopping mall or commercial building,you are highly likely to see this toilet.

However,as we moved towards the late 1990s,these toilets start to get replaced by other brands.

I have seen this type of squatting toilets in Malaysia and Hong Kong,though they are not so commonly found.It does remind me of Singapore when I see them in foreign countries.

Last but not least,I am going to include the video of the toilet in the photo above.I'm sorry to say that the video is very dark as the toilet was not well-lit.You can see the photo clearly because I used flash on my camera.

The aim in this video is not to see the toilet,but to hear the flushing sound.Enjoy.

Marco's 10 Quotes On Toilets

After around 24 years of experience in toilets,I have came up with some quotes and tips regarding toilets.Hopefully you can benefit from them when you are looking for old and rare toilets.

1."You Can't Judge A Toilet By Its Exterior."

This is a time-tested principle.There were many times,I thought a toilet was renovated from its exterior.But when I went in,I was surprised to find old toilet bowls in there.I'm sure if you are a toilet fan like you,you have encountered similar cases.

2."If you can't find what you want in a public toilet,try a private toilet."

We are living in the 21st century.Most of those old toilets are either renovated or demolished.Especially public toilets.Public toilets have the highest tendency to be renovated,because of wear and tear.

What do I mean by private toilets?Private toilets are toilets that are privately owned.Examples are home toilets,toilets from shops and toilets from individual offices.

If you can't find what you want in a public toilet,tendency is the toilet is already renovated.Try going to a shop and buy something.Then ask if you can use their toilet.

You might have to get out of your comfort zone to do that.

3."The Higher You Go,The Higher Your Chances Of Finding An Old,Original Toilet."

This applies to commercial buildings,offices and shopping malls.The reason for this is simple.The ground floor toilets are used the most often.They have the highest tendency to wear and tear,resulting in renovation or replacements.

The higher you go,the less people use the toilets.As a result,less wear and tear.Therefore it is likely that the toilet is old and original.

However,this may not be the case always.Some buildings renovate all their toilets at once.No matter which floor,it is all renovated.But if it is in the process of renovating,then they usually start with the lower floors first.

4."If You Can't Find The Old,Original Toilet In The Mall Itself,Try The Car Park Toilets."

There were many times this theory worked for me.The car park toilets are usually not used.Even if they are used,they are seldom used by the public.Usually only by the car park attendant.

Since only a few people use it,the management will usually not renovate it.

5."If The Exterior Of The Building Is Old And Run Down,You Have A 50% Chance Of Finding An Old Toilet In There."

This is not to be confused with the first quote.Basing on my experience,if the exterior of the building is old and run down,it means that the management is not very keen in upgrading and renovating.

If that's the case,the toilets are usually the old,original ones.

6."Leave No Toilet Unexplored."

I'm sure you heard of "leave no stone unturned".This quote is very true.When you comb the whole area,leave no toilet unexplored.You will never know what you will find.

There were many times I was so tired after exploring the toilets,I wanted to stop for the day.But it is usually that time when I start to find those rare toilets.No matter how tired you are,persist all the way,until you finish exploring every single toilet in the area.

When it comes to buildings,explore every floor.Yes,I mean it.Every floor.The most unreliable toilet is the ground floor toilet.That one has the highest tendency to be renovated and replaced.

Sometimes the highest floor may be renovated because it happends to be a restaurant or some "high activity" place.The original toilets may be on the middle floors.You never know.So my advice is to leave no toilets unexplored.

7."The Best Rare Toilets Are Usually Found In Places Where Few People Go."

You may already know where I am referring to.This is definitely not for the faint-hearted.You really really must be daring enough.But hey,if you are a toilet fan like me,you will brave everything in order to find your rare toilet.

Am I right?

Alright,I have went off tangent.The place where I found the best old,rare toilets are the cemeteries,crematoriums and columbariums.These places are usually quite deserted and they usually house those old and rare toilets.

Question is...Are you daring enough to venture into them?

I have ventured into them a few times,at different places.And I have encountered some "things" from the other world.I admit that I was scared then.But my mission of finding the toilets are more important.

I had to proceed despite the fear.I encountered those "things" twice in Hong Kong and once in Singapore.But those trips were worth it.I found what I wanted.

8."Industrial Buildings Have A High Chance Of Having Old,Unrenovated Toilets."

Another observation I made throughout the years.Industrial buildings and warehouses are not for people to view,unlike the shopping malls and offices.So it is ok not to renovate.

If you observe carefully,most industrial buildings and warehouses don't renovate their toilets.

9."The Lift Buttons,Floor Tiles,Fonts On The Signboards Of A Building Tells The Era Of The Toilet."

After many years of experience,I have come to a stage where I can easily guess what brand of toilets a building has.(Assuming it is in Singapore).

80% of the time,I am right.The flooring,door handles,lift buttons,fonts on the signboards are all hints to what era the toilet belongs to.

If you are looking for an old toilet,you won't go into a building with all the new designs.You are going to get disappointed.

However,it is not guaranteed that if you see old flooring,old door handles,old fonts on signboards,you will find old toilets in that building.It increases your chances,but it is not 100%.

10."If You Can't Find The Toilet,Smell It Out."

I was in Hong Kong last year.I was searching for a public toilet that was on the map.However,when I went there,I was unable to see the toilet.

There seemed to be no toilets there.I knew the toilet was there somehow,because the Food & Environment Department listed it on its website.

Due to the lack of time,I panicked.After a while,I had an idea.I started to smell the toilet out.

Later on,I discovered that I was standing above the toilet all the while.The toilet was below where I was standing.I was actually standing on a hilly road.

So if you can't find it,smell it out.

That's my 10 toilet quotes.Hope you find them useful.I wish you the best of luck in finding your dream toilets.:)

Friday, November 2, 2007

Rare Squatting Toilet,Roca,Shau Kei Wan,Hong Kong Island

I don't usually take photos of new toilets.If you know me,I only favour old toilets.

I had to take this photo because it is really rare to find a squatting Roca.If you are a toilet enthusiast like me,you will know what I mean.Rocas are usually sitting toilets.

So here you are,a squatting Roca.

This toilet was taken at Tung Hei Road Public Toilet,Shau Kei Wan,Hong Kong Island.When I first saw the exterior,I wasn't impressed.It looked very new.I expected some Kimwares,Johnson Suisses or Armitage Shanks...

So the moral of the story is...:Don't judge a toilet by it's exterior.

Explore every single toilet,make sure you see everything before judging it.If not,you might regret your decision.

This toilet is flushed by stepping on a pedal on the wall.I believe the cistern is hidden,because I tried a consecutive flush and it failed.

I will try to shoot this on video this coming trip.Stay tuned.

The Lost Toilets...Squatting SP 1st Batch & Squatting JP

The 2 long lost toilets...finally captured on video.

Introducing...Singapore's Squatting JP and Squatting 1st Generation SP.These 2 toilets are actually side by side.They are taken from a coffee shop at Blk 212,Toa Payoh Lorong 8.

It's really great that they have not renovated the place.If not,these 2 toilets would really be lost.
First,let me talk about JP.The squatting JP you see here is actually not the original toilet.This toilet has been replaced.There are 2 things that show this.

One,look at the color of the mosaic,they are not consistent.Two,JP belongs to the mid 1980s era.This toilet belongs to the 1970s.

JP is only found in Singapore.I have not seen it in Malaysia or any other asian country.Surprisingly,JP does not have any sitting toilets,only squatting ones.

The first time I came across JP was also the same time I came across a Black Shires Cistern.That was back in 1984,at Funan Center.

I can never forget my first flush,that springy effect from the handle,the powerful flush.Sadly,Funan Center renovated its toilets twice,once after the refurbishment and the second time was recently.

The other place that also had JPs was Tekka Market,along Serangoon Road.That was the cheapest toilet in Singapore back then.Only 5 cents per entry while other toilets charged 10 cents.

Even during its era,JP was also quite rare.You can only find it in a handful of places.It is really a blessing to be able to shoot a video of this toilet at this era.

Next,it is the first generation squatting SP.Look at the brand logo,it is different from the Beauty World Center SPs.This is the very first batch of SPs.The logo looks a bit like Johore Pipe Company though.

This toilet belongs to the early to mid 1970s.They are a rare sight nowdays.From what I know,this is the only 1st generation squatting SP around.

The flushing sound is quite smooth,just like the next batch,with the new brand logo.The third batch is louder,not as smooth.But the third batch goes very well with the Black Shires Cistern.They are a match made in heaven.

I first came across this type of toilet in the late 1980s.That was at Shaw Plaza at Balestier Road.There was also a cinema there.However,the old Shaw Plaza was demolished and rebuilt.

The other place I saw this type of toilet was at a tailor's shop at Blk 7,Telok Blangah Crescent.That toilet had a Green Sky Cistern.The Green cistern was very common in the 1960s and 1970s.You can't find them now.

This is the 3rd Squatting 1st Generation SP that I came across.The photo is a little disguisting,but I had no choice,this is the clearest photo I have on hand.

Now,it's time for the videos.Coming up first,it's the squatting JP.There is something wrong with this toilet as the sound is a bit out.It doesn't sound like the olden days.

But this is the only JP I can find.If I can find another one,I will shoot it on video and you can compare their flushing sounds.Meanwhile,enjoy this first.

Next,you will look at the squatting SP 1st Batch.I have taken 2 videos because of the light factor.The first video is a little dark and difficult to see.Here it is...

Now for TAKE 2!This is brighter because I took it in Night Mode.The sad thing is this video is not as smooth as the last.But enjoy the flushing sound!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sitting Twyfords Rampart,One Of Its Kind.

Throughout my whole life,this is the one and only Twyfords Rampart that I ever come across.

It is a pity that they changed the flushing system to the push-button system,with the cistern.

But there wasn't any other choice.I had to take it or leave it.I decided to make do with the flushing system.Though it may not sound fantastic,it is still acceptable to me.

This photo was taken 3 years ago,at St Joseph's Church,143, Victoria Street.If you love old toilets like me,this is the place to visit.Both Twyfords were shot at this place.

It was only yesterday that I had a chance to shoot the video.I only bought my Nokia N80 in January this year.

Before the video,I'll touch a bit on the push-button cistern flushing system.Recently,the trend is to use the push-button cistern flushing system.Reason being that it saves more water.

As a toilet fan,I am not in favour of the push-button cistern flushing system because it spoils the flushing sound.If it is a push-button without the cistern,it's still ok.

Push-buttons without the cisterns are relatively powerful.Usually manufactured by TOTO or Rigel.These push-buttons sounds better than those with the cisterns.

Those with cisterns have limited water,as a result,the pressure is not high enough and the flush doesn't last.

The only type of cistern flushing system that I feel is the best is the high level cisterns with handles.Those are the best.Flushing sound is good.You can hear the beginning,the climax and the end of the flush.

Compare the flushing sound of this toilet and the one in the previous post.You will know what I mean.

Enjoy the video.

1920s Squatting Twyfords,St Joseph's Church,Victoria Street

After learning my lesson,as you have read from my previous post,I decided to seize all opportunities FAST.

What you see below is an 80 plus year old toilet.Although the toilet may look new with the tiles,the toilet bowl is still original.

Twyfords originated from Britain.This toilet has been around since British rule.In fact,most of the older toilets in Singapore are actually from Britain.

Brands like Royal Doulton,Twyfords,Shanks,Straits,Armitage Shanks and Victory.
Currently,there are actually 2 of such toilets in Singapore.This is one of them.The other one is at Ellington Building,Selegie Road.

Ellington Building was built in 1924.Go to the Indian Eating House at the right corner of the building and you would be able to find the toilet.

I planned to shoot that one because it looks more authentic.The floor tiles are the original old ones.However,that toilet has broken down for a long time and the owners did not fix it.

I had to abandon plan and shoot this instead.But this one sounds great too.

View the video and you'll understand what I mean...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Goodbye Victory...You Will Be Missed And Always Remembered.

Saturday,13th October 2007,7:30 p.m.

I was on my way to shoot the last squatting Victory that I knew in Singapore.But to my shock and surprise,it was gone.

The coffee shop at Block 87,Whampoa Drive was renovated.Completely renovated.

The squatting Victory that you see below is gone...gone forever.In it's place is a squatting Saniton.

This toilet is believed to be at least 35 to 40 years old.It shares the same unique flushing sound as it's Hong Kong counterpart.

It is a real pity that I am unable to shoot a video of this toilet flushing.But I guess life's like that,when you fail to take action fast enough,the opportunity won't wait for you.

In certain cases,the opportunity will come back.In other cases,it will be gone forever.

Though I feel sad,I'm still happy that at least I have this photo as a memory.There are other toilets which I don't even have photos of,and they are gone forever.

Back in the 1980s,it was quite easy to find this type of toilets.For memory's sake,I will list their locations out...

1.Tai Chung Emporium,Blk 40B Commonwealth Avenue.

2.Crown Restaurant,Blk 40B Commonwealth Avenue.

3.Henderson Crescent Flats.

4.Alexandra Road Market and Food Center,Across Henderson Crescent.

5.Lee Nam Kee Chicken Rice,Blk 94 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh.

6.NTUC Supermarket,Blk 192 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh.

7.Loy Sum Juan Restaurant,Blk 31 Outram Park.

8.Coffee Shop,Blk 87 Whampoa Drive.

These are the 8 locations that I know.There may be more.However,all these places are either demolished or renovated.

If you happend to know where I can find a squatting Victory like this one,please let me know.I will be very grateful to you.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Squatting Royal Doultons Of Singapore

It has been awhile since I last updated this blog.2 Reasons.Firstly,I was really busy with work.Secondly,I didn't find any toilets worthy of shooting.

You might be disappointed because there is no video for this post.

A new friend I made recently inspired me to do this post.I didn't know that around the world,there existed someone who was like me.Who liked the same type of toilets.

In this post,you will learn about the Royal Doultons of Singapore.Royal Doulton is a British brand.I'm not sure when this brand originated.But the first 2 toilets you see below (with the elaborate logo) belong to the 1950s era.

The one you see below is taken from the Chinese Drama Center along Middle Road.I might be able to shoot a video of this as the building is still accessible.

However,the design is quite common.The SPs,Mask Brands and Potexes look like this.Flushing sound wise it is nothing impressive.But it's really rare to find nowdays.

The photo that you see below is a real discovery.It is the very first time I saw this type of toilet.I didn't know that Royal Doulton has this kind of design.It looks a little like the first batch of Victorys in Hong Kong.

This photo was taken at the old Nanyang Fine Arts Academy,Middle Road.I'm sorry that the video will not be avaliable as this building has been closed.If they reopen it,I definitely shoot a video of this toilet.

The photo below shows the brand logo.It wasn't obvious in the photo above.I had to squat down to take this photo.

All those Royal Doultons above belong to the 1950s era.The old generation of Royal Doultons.How many different models of Royal Doulton are there?I wish I knew the answer.If you know it,please tell me or share any photos.I'll be grateful.

Next,you'll look at the last batch of Royal Doultons in Singapore.This photo was taken at Centerpoint Shopping Center,Level 5A Car Park toilet.

The whole building was renovated in the mid 1990s.This is the original toilet of the building,which was built in 1983.

When I was younger,as a kid,I used to like this toilet very much.Because it was the one and only in Singapore.You can't find this anywhere else in Singapore.

In fact,that was the first time and only time I saw this model of Royal Doultons.The flushing sound is nice.

I hope that this toilet is still around.I will try my best to shoot a video of this.

This toilet resembles the latest batch of Twyfords in Hong Kong.I wonder if Twyfords took over Royal Doulton?Or are they trying to bring back the old design?

However,the flushing sound of the Twyfords can't compare with this one.

Anyway,I hope you enjoyed this post.I will try to get more videos as soon as possible.

Monday, September 3, 2007

The Best Birthday Present I Have Received Part 2

This is part 2 of my best birthday present this year.

What you see here is the left cubicle of the toilet at Block 15,Dempsey Road.

Although it is the same brand as the right cubicle,it is not the same batch.The flushing sound is also different.

Look at the water hole.For this one,the bottom is not a smooth curve.It is slightly pointed.Unlike the one you saw in part 1,which is a smooth curve.

This is the mid 1980s batch of SPs.The flushing sound is louder.There is more pressure.The sound is not smooth like the early 1980s batch.

This type of toilet can be found at Beauty World Center Basement 1 toilet.

I am a fan of SP toilets.No matter which model.I grew up with these toilets,it's sad that they are going to become extinct soon.

The only good thing is that at least I have them on videos and photos.Enjoy the video...

The Best Birthday Present I Have Received!Part 1

As a lover of toilets,it's natural that toilets are very important to me.A week ago,I thought this toilet was a goner.I thought I would never be able to see it again or to shoot videos of it ever.

On Sunday 26th August 2007,I paid a visit to this toilet,hoping to be able to shoot it.To my shock,it was blocked up and locked.I thought it was going to be renovated.It was really sad.

Today,since it's my birthday and feeling lucky,I decided to venture again.Hopefully this toilet will still be around.

Thank God,it's still around and it's opened when I went to see it.

This is the best birthday present I have received.I want to share them with you.There are 2 parts to this as there are 2 cubicles in this toilet.This is the right cubicle.

Both cubicles are SPs.This is the early 1980s batch.

As you can see,the bottom of the water hole is a smooth curve.When you view the video,you will hear that the flushing sound is very smooth.This type of SP can be found in any HDB flats or shophouses built from 1980 to 1982.

Before I move on to part 2,let me introduce this toilet...

This toilet is located at Block 15,Dempsey Road.I don't know how long will it be around.If you like SP toilets,do pay this toilet a visit before they renovate it.

Enjoy the video...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Malaysia's Johore Pipe Company

After looking at Singapore's Johore Pipe Company toilets,it's now time to look at Malaysia's Johore Pipe Company toilets.

From what I know,Malaysia has 2 types of squatting Johore Pipe Company toilets.One of them is shown in the photos below and the other type can also be found in Singapore.

The photos above and below show Malaysia's unique Johore Pipe Company.Go to any part of Malaysia,you should be able to find this type of squatting Johore Pipe Company toilet.So far,I have never found this toilet anywhere except Malaysia.

This toilet represents Malaysia,when you see one,you know that you are in Malaysia.But to be able to find one that works,it's a tough job.Most of them that are found are usually not working.

The toilet above is taken at Kek Lok Si in Penang.I believe this toilet will be demolished soon.When I was there,I saw a new toilet being constructed outside this one.Sad to say,back then I did not have my Nokia N80 handphone.If not,I would have shot a video of this toilet.

Now it looks like I got to make a trip down to Segamat Train Station to shoot it.There's a flushable one at Segamat Train Station.If not,I got search elsewhere to find it.

I tried searching Kuala Lumpur during my recent trip,but couldn't find any there.Anyway,with my determination,I believe I will be able to shoot a video of this type of toilet soon.So stay tuned.

The toilet below is the sitting version of Johore Pipe Company.This type can also be found in Singapore,though it's difficult nowdays.This toilet is at least 30 plus years old.

It can be found it quite a lot of places about 15 years ago.Now they are starting to get extinct.

The bottom is a closer view of the toilet.This toilet is located at a cafe in Jalan Sultan,Segamat,Johore.

Suprisingly they changed the squatting toilet but kept this one.I thought it would be good to snap a photo of it,since it is going extinct soon.

I am also looking for this toilet to shoot on video.All these photos were taken last year,when I didn't have my Nokia N80 yet.But do stay tuned,I'm looking out for them.Once I get them on video,I will upload them here.

Something For You To Laugh About...

After all the serious posts,here's something for you to laugh about.I had a good laugh too.

Singapore's Johore Pipe Company

Johore Pipe Company is Malaysia's national brand for toilets.It is very common to find Johore Pipe Company toilets around 10-15 years ago.But due to renovations and upgradings,it's not as common as before.

Malaysia has its own versions of Johore Pipe Company toilets.I will do a post on Malaysia's versions of Johore Pipe Company toilets.In this post,I will only show the Singapore versions.

Currently,to date,there are 5 types of squatting and 2 types of sitting Johore Pipe Company toilets in Singapore.

Out of the 6 types,2 of them are shown here.I am still trying to look for the other 4.But it won't be too difficult to find 3 of them as they are relatively new.The 2 types that you see here are among the oldest batch.

The oldest Johore Pipe Company toilet dates back to 1965.If you are lucky,you might be able to find them at the Old Airport Road housing estates.

The 2 types that you see here are from the late 1970s to mid 1980s.The picture you see below is the 1980s batch.The shape of the water hole is slightly from the late 1970s batch.You can compare them below.

The photo below was taken at a coffee shop at Balestier Road.It's quite difficult to find this type of Johore Pipe Company toilet these days.It was taken 3 years ago.

The photo below shows the late 1970s batch.If I am not wrong,this batch started in 1975 or 1977.This photo was taken at the Serangoon Bus Interchange.The toilet still exists today.But only the first cubicle is Johore Pipe Company.2nd cubicle is Potex and the 3rd cubicle is Sitting Armitage Shanks.

Johore Pipe Company is still one of my favourite brands up to this day.Although I used to like it more for a different reason.It is not the flushing sound,but the good luck it brings me.

Believe me or not.Whenever I encounter this toilet,that day was always lucky.Especially the 1980s batch.This toilet became my lucky charm after that.But that was the past.I used to welcome the sight of this toilet during my younger days.

If you look closely at the photo(1980s batch),it resembles a smiling face.Especially the bottom of the water hole.It looks like a double-chin person smiling.Probably I associated that with good luck during my younger days.

I managed to shoot a video of the late 1970s batch recently.This video was shot at 126 Eating House at Sims Avenue,Geylang.It is one of the few Johore Pipe Company toilets left today.I would try to shoot the other 3 types and post them here in the future.

If you are lucky enough,I might be able to find the 1965 batch.I will try to find it.Meanwhile,enjoy the video.

Friday, August 3, 2007

My Favourite Toilet In Singapore

You are probably wondering why are there 2 posts today...Well,2 reasons.Firstly,I am dying to write this post.Secondly,a friend requested that I write this post a few days ago.

What you see here is my favourite toilet in Singapore.Sad to say,this type of toilet is becoming extinct soon.

This toilet is located at Basement 1,Beauty World Center.It is one of the few squatting SPs that are around in Singapore.

SP is a local brand.It started off in the early 1970s.The brand logo was changed in the late 1970s.After the logo change,there were 4 different batches.The first batch was in the late 1970s.Second batch came in 1980 and lasted till 1981.Third batch lasted from 1982 to 1983.The last batch was between 1983 to 1984.

From 1985 onwards,Potex took over SP.The first batch of Potex looks exactly like the last batch of SP.

Later when viewing the video,you will hear the flushing sounds of each of these 3 toilets.The photo above is the cubicle on the extreme right.This is the 3rd batch of SP.The shape of the water is irregular.

This photo above shows the last(fourth) batch of SP,it is in the 2nd cubicle from the right.It looks exactly like a Potex.The difference is the flushing sound and the brand logo.

If you want to hear how a Potex sounds like,read the post on The Almost Perfect Toilet.

The photo above is the 4th cubicle from the right.You are probably wondering why I skipped the 3rd cubicle...

Reason:It's a CLAYTAN.Not SP.

Why do I condemn CLAYTANs?Well,I feel that original is always the best.I don't like toilets that are replaced.They feel so out of place.Toilets should be congruent with their eras.A late 1990s toilet bowl in a 1980s toilet is so out of place.

Anyway,the flushing sound of CLAYTAN sucks big time.

Back to my main topic.This 4th cubicle is also a 3rd batch SP.As usual,the water shape is irregular as compared to the 2nd cubicle.

One thing about Potex,the water shape is always regular.

Now,about the video...the flushing order is from left to right.The first flushing sound comes from the 4th cubicle,then the 2nd and finally the first cubicle on on the right.

The lighting is quite bad.If you need to see how the toilet look like,please scroll up.

The video was shot recently,but the photos were taken 3 years ago,in 2004.Thank God,the toilet is still the same.

I hope you enjoy the video as much as I did.

Nan Pu Tuo Temple's Sensored Flush

This is quite an interesting toilet.That's why I find it worth featuring here.It's the very first sensor-flush toilet I came across in China.

This toilet is located at Nan Pu Tuo Temple.I guess that's the reason for a temple design.It is not located in the temple itself.You have to walk about 300 metres from the temple to reach it.But there's a big sign to guide you from the car park.

What you see above is the interior of the toilet.For the very first time,I see toilet door made of reflective metal.It's very rare to see a toilet with this kind of design.

The wordings on the door are "Care for public cleanliness".Which I feel is needed,especially in China.But despite the wordings,there's still a stench in the toilet.

This is the toilet itself.It looks very similar to Japan's TOTO.I believe there are also other brands with this design,just that I have yet to come across them.Taiwan and Japan have a lot of toilets which look like this.I have not been to Taiwan or Japan.But once I get a chance to visit those 2 countries,I will do a post on the different brands with this design.

The metal thing you see on the left wall is the sensor.I had a tough time shooting the video for this toilet.For it to flush,you have to stand in front of the sensor for at least 15 seconds,then move away.

After you view the video,you will understand why I had a tough time.The brand of this toilet is HCG.It is considered a new generation toilet.

So far,there are 2 models of HCG in Xiamen.This is the older model.But this looks nicer than the newer model.It sounds better too.

I will do a post on the newer model in future.Enjoy the video.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

China's American Standard

American Standard's squatting toilets have been very popular in Hong Kong.They can also be found in Malaysia and Thailand.

However,China has it's own style of American Standard toilets too.They are totally different from those in Hong Kong,Malaysia and Thailand.

The American Standard toilet that you will look at today is from SM Mall,Hu Li District,Xiamen.SM Mall is a relatively new shopping mall in Xiamen.The 2 places that I saw with American Standard toilets are SM Mall and the Carrefour along Xia He Road.

It seems that the malls with large department stores from overseas all use American Standard toilets in China.

This toilet is flushed by pushing down the handle on the pipe.It doesn't sound as powerful as the Hong Kong American Standards.

The shape is a little different from the Hong Kong version.The front part(i.e. the lower part,away from the water) of the toilet protrudes slightly upwards.

The other difference noted is that the brand logo is not located at the top,but facing the front.As shown in the photo above.I will do another post,showing the differences of the toilets.

Meanwhile,enjoy the video clip.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Xiamen's Public Toilet A037,Hou He Lane.

Doesn't this photo look familiar?Yes,it was included in one of the previous posts.If you ask me,I think this toilet doesn't really qualify my standards.But the reason why it is posted here is because of the sound difference.

Let me explain...Now,look at the photo below.Did you see that the design looks like Shidanna and the other new generation toilets?In fact,Fandanna also has a model that looks like this.

But I took a video shot of this toilet because of the flushing sound.The toilet may look like a Shidanna or Fandanna.But it sounds different from those 2.

I stumbled upon this toilet by chance.While I was combing the whole Xia He Road,I saw a WC sign and decided to venture into the small lane.

To my surprise,it's another toilet.I have found Public Toilets A032,A035 and A038.I was very happy to find A037.

This is not a new generation toilet.As you can see,it's dimly lit.But there are worse cases.I personally prefer these to the new generation ones.These older toilets are more uniquely designed.

All the new generation toilets look the same,sound the same.Besides,the new generation toilets have no flushing power.

Before I forget,this toilet's brand is Yuanlin.It's flushed by pushing the button on the pipe.Take a look at the video.Next week,you will be looking at a modern toilet...China's American Standard.Stay tuned.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Xiamen's Public Toilet A025,Off Si Ming Bei Road

Two visits.I made two visits to this toilet.Why?Because I was late on my first visit.That was when I learnt that Xiamen's Public Toilets close at 10:30 p.m.

This toilet is situated in a small narrow alley,off Si Ming Bei Road.It's quite easy to spot because it's visible from the main road.

The toilet attendant is a friendly guy.He was curious why I took photographs of the toilet.I told him that I was from Singapore and I'm a researcher of toilets.I managed to get plenty of toilet information from him.

Let me share some with you...

He told me that this toilet was renovated a few years ago.Before the renovation,there were no toilet bowls.Only the drainage system.

After the renovation,there was an increase in the number of cubicles.The setback is that the toilet is still dimly lit.

Then I came to realise that the toilet attendants of Xiamen have no fixed salary.The government don't pay them anything.They are expected to make money when visitors do "big business" and buy toilet paper from them.

The public toilet system of Xiamen is as follows...If you are peeing only,you don't have to pay.If you do "big business",you can pay 30 cents RMB for a few pieces of toilet roll.If you pay $1 RMB,you get a packet of facial tissue.

The blue board on the photo above shows this.It's not really visible.

These toilet attendants can only rely on selling toilet paper or packets of tissue for the daily income.Which is really tough.Most people go in and pee only.

I complimented this attendant on the cleanliness of his toilet.There was no stench when I visited it.

Now you'll learn about the brand name and the flushing system of this toilet.

The brand is "XINGWU" and it's flushed by the tap system.The design looks interesting to me.So far in Xiamen,I've only came across 2 toilets with "XINWU".One is this one.The other one is Public Toilet A024.

However,Public Toilet A024 is flushed by pushing the button on the pipe.I didn't bother shooting that one because the toilet was dimly lit.

Comparing their flushing sound,this toilet sounds better than Public Toilet A024.

Conclusion:The flushing system plays an important role in the flushing sound.2 identical toilets can sound different due to the flushing system.

Now,it's video time again...Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Tea Leaves VS Toilets.How Are They Related?

You must be wondering...how are tea leaves related to toilets?Relax.By the time you finish reading every single word on this post,you will be enlightened.

The place you see here is Tian Fu Tea Group's Headquarters at Zhan Pu,Fu Jian,China.It's actually a rest area for motorists travelling along the highway that connects Xiamen and Zhan Pu.

The founder of Tian Fu Tea Group,Mr Li Rui He came from very humble beginnings.He was born and raised in Taiwan.He started off riding his bicycle around Tai Nan selling tea leaves.Every thing went on very well until sometime in 1989...

Mr Li's friends asked him to joint venture and set up a stock brokerage.Things looked fine until 1990,suddenly the stock market crashed.He was turned from a rich man to a pauper.What made me admire this man is that he refused to run away from his debtors.

He faced every one of them and paid back every single cent he owned.Some of his friends urged him to run away and hide in the States.But Mr Li refused.He vowed to pay back everything he owed and sold his big house.

By doing that,he gained the respect of his peers and debtors.His reputation was very good.

In 1991,he decided to make a comeback.He went to China and found it a land of opportunities.Zhan Pu was his homeland.He planned to set up business there.

2 years later,Mr Li discovered a plot of land which is big enough for his dream.

The dream was to set up a Tea Facility,with Factories,a Tea Museum,a Tea University as well as a tourist hot spot.To cut a long story short,he was made the "Tea King of the World".

What you see in the photos above are just a tiny bit of the whole Tea Facility.

Now let's come to the toilet part.The reason why Mr Li wanted to build a rest area for vehicles travelling along the highway was...

Many years ago,while he was travelling along a highway in Taiwan,he had difficulty trying to find a toilet to relieve himself.

Besides providing convienence to road commuters,this rest area also became a tourist hot spot.You can stop your vehicle and go to the tea house.They will provide you with hot tea for free.

There are many snacks,tea leaves and tea sets on sale.Many tourists end up with huge shopping bags of snacks and tea leaves.

The founder,Mr Li knew that the toilets in China suffered a bad reputation.It's well-known that you don't have to ask for directions to the toilet in China.You just need to smell them out.You can smell them from a distance away.

He wanted to change this perception.The staff of Tian Fu were made to clean the toilets regularly.But before that,the founder himself would clean the toilet to set an example.He would also check the toilets regularly and clean them if no staff was around.

This explains why the toilets are so clean.Now I'll come to the interesting part...There was one night,the founder invited his friends and peers to a dinner.But he told them that the dinner will be held in the toilet.

Some of them were shocked to hear that.Who will ever have dinner in a toilet?Many of them didn't turn up.Those who turned up were pleasantly surprised that there was no stench in the toilet.

Mr Li did this to prove that there are still clean toilets in China.

I was pretty surprised to read about Mr Li holding a dinner in the toilet.I would love to be his guest.Especially since this is one of my favourite toilets.Hahaha one day I will also hold a dinner in a toilet.It's going to be fun!

OK,I'm going to talk about the technical part of this toilet.This toilet was built in 1993.The toilets of that period all have the hood in front.Like what you saw from the previous 2 posts.All their shapes look alike,but their brands are different.

The brand of this toilet is "Khong Yuan".It's also flushed by the push-button on the pipe.I like the design of this toilet,but not the flushing sound.

It doesn't sound as good as Public Toilet A013(see previous post).

I did a video on this one.Initially planned to flush every single cubicle,like the Jubilee Street Public Toilet,Hong Kong.But sadly,the 3rd cubicle was occupied and there were people coming into the toilet.

What you see on the following video is only on the 2 open cubicles you see on the 3rd photo above.Enjoy the video.More will be coming soon.

One last thing before you see the video...I'm sad to say that the squatting Globe Brand that I promised to shoot in one of the previous posts has been changed.I'm trying to search for a replacement.

Hopefully I can find one that's fully functioning.One lesson learnt...toilets don't wait for you.Shoot and video while you can.Don't wait till it's renovated or changed then you start to regret.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Xiamen's Public Toilet A013,Off Zhong Shan Road Walking Street

Welcome to another toilet blog post.In this post,you'll be looking at Public Toilet A013.This toilet is situated in a small alley off Zhong Shan Road Walking Street.

Zhong Shan Road is divided into 2 parts.The first part is for vehicles.The second part is ONLY for pedestrians.That's why it called "Bu Xing Jie" or walking street(direct translation).

Look at the photo below and you'll know what I mean.

Public Toilet A013 is situated at the beginning of the walking street.(The end of the street is facing the sea).At the beginning of the street,you'll see the sign in the photo below.Walk along the small alley and you'll see the toilet on your right.

I would say that this is probably my second favourite toilet in Xiamen.The design is interesting and I like the flushing sound.Although it's flushed by pushing the button on the pipe,the sound is good.

I included 2 photos to show the design.As you can see from above,there's a little cap at the front part of the toilet.This design is copied from Japan's TOTO.

Many years ago,I believe it was in 1991,I came across the squatting TOTO in Genting Highlands,Malaysia.The design looks similar.But I can't recall what was the flushing sound like.It was too long ago.
Another thing I realised is that there are many brands of toilets with this design in China.What you saw in the "Xiang Jiang Shopping Mall" post is of a different brand.This toilet is manufactured by "Xin Wa".
So far I've discovered that "Xin Wa" has 2 models.One is this and the other is at Public Toilet A016.I will post it in sometime in the future.
Back to this design of toilets...I've done some research and found out that this design of toilets belong to the early 1990s.Many manufacturers seem to be using the same design,with their indiviual logos.
Now it's time for the video...enjoy.