From the street Vauxhall bus station looks like an up-cycled 60’s winnebago, used in a home made sci fi porn by your dodgy mate Barry after he soldered on some bits of metal he found behind his shed.
Wikipedia informs me that taking photos of this station “may pose a security risk”. So if I get arrested in the next few days, it’s definitely not due of the discovery of multiple body parts concealed under my floorboards, and definitely because someone thinks I’m a terrorist.
This big-ass stationopolis incorporates buses, Underground and over-land lines making it a busy site both day and night. I guess, that’s a decent reason for have a somewhat grotty loo.
I desperately wanted to get a photo of the dodgy guy “just chillin’ ” outside the toilets, but as ever, I am adverse to getting stabbed. For reference, and in case any police are reading this post (because I may now be on some kind of warning terror list due to my audacious photography of both the bus station and MI6 headquarters which is visible in the right background of the above image. It’s that beige and green glass monolith that looks like the baddies lair in an 80’s Superman movie) he was standing under the green traffic light. Right around the time I took this picture, I watched as he met with another gentleman whom he followed into the toilets. I don’t think it was a gay man thing, more of a drug dealer thing.
These toilets are free, which in London seems to be shorthand for ‘always fucking disgusting’.
The bathrooms had a real bad mass produced 90’s feel. From the red mosaic tiles to the minimalistic industrial sinks. Easy to clean and hard to break are the over-riding aesthetics.
No real mirrors as you can see, just the polished metal version you get in prison cells (as far as I am currently aware). These always make your reflection look like something out of a carnival Hall of Mirrors, which may lead to reduced self esteem and quality of make up reapplication, subsequently causing regrettable one night stands with men far below your batting average.
At least my door locked.
But it locked me inside with all this bad noise.
The whole place was quite unpleasant, but nowhere near as nasty as I was hoping. I’m still hunting for London’s worst toilet, and every slightly tidy, some-what hygienic specimen I come across leaves me confusingly disappointed.
Cleanliness : 3.5/10 Not the worst I’ve seen but it was yuck enough for me to want out as soon as I got in.
Interior : 4/10 No privacy, four stalls, three sinks, always a queue. I believe there was a bathroom attendant behind the one way glass at the far end but honestly who knows. It could easily be manned by a mannequin head propped up on the end of a mop.
Exterior : 6/10 It’s in a nice central location at the entrance to the Vauxhall tube station. It’s by my little local Sainsbury’s where we’d go for a bottle of milk , bleach or garbage bags etc. But not for big shops such as phosphorus, alarm clocks or big bottles of Coke (terrorists like Coke too right?).
Safety : 5/10 It is London and this is a free bus station toilet but I would still feel a bit uneasy if I were the only person around. Luckily that is very unlikely as many homeless people live there and they would be sure to watch your back during your drug deal if need be.
Snugglitude : 2/10 Having a loo near my tube station and my local shop gets some credit but the bathroom itself gets no snugglitude because it’s a bit dodgy, poorly designed, dirty and worst of all, boring.
Total : 20.5/50
Lucky for bipedal pee-ers there’s a urinal across the road, so men can pee in the fresh air while we ladies have to be choked by the stink of those who came before us. Damn the patriarchy.