Lighthouse Estate Agents and Lettings
At the end of the building housing 49-51 Station Street s a low building that houses Lighthouse Estate Agents and Lettings. They have been there since at least April 2017. Before that, in May 2016, the building was empty but it looked as if it had been recently refurbished. Prior to this, it was a toilet block. On Kirkby-in-Ashfield People Facebook Group, Jane Wilson commented “when I drive past Lighthouse Estate Agents, I always wonder which toilet cubicle each member of staff would be sat in!!”
55 Station Street
Oddly, Lighthouse’s address is given as 55 Station Street while the Nag’s Head which follows is number 53. Several contributors on Facebook pointed out that the earlier toilet block did not have a number. So, when the block was converted to a shop, the number 55 was allocated rather than 51A/B or 53A or renumbering the Nag’s Head.
Memories of the Toilet Block
A number of contributors on Facebook Groups recalled the toilets and that they were referred to as “the Nag lavs“. In general, people regretted that they had been changed into a shop. David Meredith, in a post on Kirkby Living Memory Facebook Group, explained that the only toilets now available are at Morrisons. He concluded that these toilets had been “well situated if necessary“.
Christine Evans noted on Kirkby Living Memory Facebook Group that “they used to have an attendant in each one who had a little room to sit in with a Calor gas fire. I remember cutting my finger quite badly in 1977/78 and went to the lady attendant who patched me up in the back room”. Delm Gilbee, in a comment on Kirkby-in-Ashfield People Facebook Group remembered that “it cost a penny to use them“. Angela Barnard noted that her father cleaned the toilets there in the mid- to late 1980s.
The most humorous memory was posted by Lynne Orrell on Kirkby Living Memory Facebook Group. She noted, “Me and my 2 children couldn’t get out of the toilets once, kept knocking on the door till this old man let us out, will never forget his face.” All she had to offer her children were some crisps in her bag. She thought they might have had to wait until her husband got home from work and then hope that he would come looking for them! This was in the days before mobile phones.
A Photograph of the Toilet Block
When Was This Toilet Block Built?
There is an intriguing photograph on the My Trail website which appears to show the toilet block under construction. It was taken from an upper floor of the Regent and is dated as 1986.
An Earlier Toilet Block?
In comments on Kirkby Living Memory Facebook Group, Frank Ball noted that the toilets were taken down and they had been set further back from the road. However, Samantha Youd commented, “I swear that building is the toilets! The two windows either side were where the toilets were“. It certainly looks from photographs as if the current shop was based on the most recent toilet block. However, there are early photos which show a building which could well be an earlier toilet block as described by Frank. Jill Taylor, in a post on Kirkby-in-Ashfield People Facebook Group commented that she recalled this toilet block, saying “that little building you can see to the left of the pub on the other side of the wall was the toilet block. Ladies was on the left and gents on the right. Today’s estate agents building is a lot wider than the original building and has a different roofline. I thought the toilet block was still there at least til I was 15 or so, which would be 1970. I don’t remember after that.”
There is also what appears to be an earlier photo looking down Station Street with the Nag’s Head on the right which shows a walled-off area but no building.