Academies, Academy status, ACCESSIBILITY

An Invention of Thomas Crapper Comes to Kings Free


T’was a once in a lifetime experience; a thing wondrously invented and for many weeks to come we did wonder, nay, marvel at the lavatorium which the Reverend Robert Bruce had erected in the midst of our rugby playing fields. “What the deuce is it doing there?!” muttered Reggie La Grande, stepson of the Viceroy of Umbongo Bongo, “Damned if I know” replied Turpin Sleath, the Latin Master, “It’s going to be ruddy hard trying to organise a scrum around that thing! What the devil was the Reverend Bruce thinking?!” that he should have so publicly aired his views augured ill, for him. Still there was much touching and caressing of the lavatorium; with its ebony wood cabinet and gleaming bronze toilet seat. The toilet bowl beneath the seat we were told, had been hand-painted by at least a dozen craftsmen, who had festooned the hollow, ceramic interior of the toilet with roses on intertwined stems, held aloft by winged cherubs with little feathery white wings and plump, rosy red, cheeks. “How much did E’ pay for that?!” shrieked Monsieur De La Faux Chien

“Six hundred pounds” murmured Master Turple-Sleath tapping the dregs of his pipe into the lavatorium, “the window panes of the main school hall barely remain in their rotted frames, the kitchens serve up nought but pickled bloaters on toast, and I cannot recall the last time the school room fireplaces had fuel in them” Monsieur De La Faux Chien refrained from commenting, after all, at King’s Free even the air had ears and he wished to keep his job. “Why do I teach here Faux Chien? The pupils are apt to turn up to class without quills, quills with which their aristocratic families can well afford to furnish them, and yet, which the Right Reverend Indolent! Would have me supply out of the limited stipend he pays me,what am I doing here Faux Chien?”

T’was only a week later, (the day after Master De La Faux Chien had been forced to tender his resignation by the Headmaster), that I could be espied taking a stroll through the grounds of Kings Free with the most reverend,reverend, ” Smarsbee walk with me sir! Walk with me!” exclaimed Reverend Robert Bruce, hands clasped tightly behind the back of his elegant jet black frock coat, “Tell me, what do you think of her eh? What do you think of her?”

“Of who sir?” I politely replied, “Of the crapper! Sir!” he exclaimed, “What think you of the crapper!”

I coughed politely into my hand,”Of what sir?”

“Damn it Smarsbee you’re one of our brightest scholars! The Crapper child!” he gestured violently towards the water closet, now relocated by order of the Headmaster in the middle of the gym,” This work of unbridled genius! Designed and built by Master Verkritable, a close friend of the original inventor, Dr Thomas Crapper, what a work of genius eh? A work of genius my lad!”

I pomdered his words as I slowly scratched my head,”But it’s too tall to leap over, though Master Foster does make us try” the Headmaster frowned, and I giggled inwardly, this was sure to mean that like Master Turple-Sleath, Master Foster’s days at the school would soon be cut short. Opening the door to the privy the Headmaster ushered me inside, I gasped for new brass fittings had been added,”Sir” I asked wonderingly, “Is that an elastic-valve closet? Such as Lord Grid-Iron is rumoured to have had in his home?” Reverend Robert Bruce bristled with pride, “The very same Smarsbee! In fact it is not at all dissimilar to the lavatorium constructed for the boys at Eton, albeit our fittings and fixtures are moulded from brass and not gold!”


On Sunday morning, prior to Matins, George and I decided to engage in a minor perambulation through the English Hall of Master Brooks. There it now stood, the privy, in all it’s ostentatious glory, “I say!” exclaimed George, “It’s moved again!”

“‘Wots he fussing over where it’s placed? It’s only a jake after all” a weedling voice complained, this complaint was accompanied by much occasional and occasionally frantic hammering “T’is a ruddy marvel this Jake!” the caretaker muttered sarcastically,” A spanking brand new one too! And where it hasn’t been deconstructed and reconstructed in these halls over the last week I ruddy don’t know!And I wouldn’t dare ask!”

Victorian Toilet Paper Holders

T’was tuck shop day and as George and I wended our way down the hill from our lodgings we could not help but to espie the lavatorium which had now been placed beside the math’s block. ” I say George this is going too far!” I opined having observed the many woodland creatures that had fallen comatose around the perimeter of the lavatorium, George espied the privy too and shook his head, “ten masters have objected and been made to pack their bags, the servants are up in arms over having to clean that thing, and yet that privy is all the Headmaster can think about!”