The removal of this old toilet and it's cistern marks the beginning of the work to convert an ugly area of the house into a modern, useful space.
I live on the first floor of a converted Victorian terraced house in South London. It's unusual because as well as the main stairs in the entrance hall, it has another staircase leading down to the shared garden. This one is narrow and protrudes from the house. Next to this is the original outside loo, which I've been using for storage since I moved here.
This summer, I was working on the garden and hating the fact that I had to live with such an eyesore when the garden was so nice. The door to the stairs was only temporary and the other one, being as old as the house, (at least 1904) was rotting away. Also there was a leak in a pipe somewhere which I couldn't find but was making the walls damp. It all needed to be fixed but it still wouldn't be attractive or suitable for modern living.
I wished it could all go away, but slowly I got the idea of converting and extending what is effectively a brick lean-to out to the existing (modest) patio, thereby creating a little garden room with glass doors to look out on to the flowerbeds. It solves the problem of having to replace the doors anyway and would create some useful living space.
So I got a (nice lady) plumber round to disconnect the pipes and remove the toilet and cistern. Before that, I had to pile up everything I usually stored in there in the garden and cover it with a tarpaulin. Figuring out where I'm going to keep all this stuff is taxing my imagination for the moment.
The plumber removed the toilet by just smashing it to pieces with a large hammer (I could have done that), and pulling the cistern off the wall (that too). Anyhow, given my bad back and the insalubrious nature of the job at hand, I was happy to pay someone else to do it.
I wondered if the Victorian cast-iron cistern could be restored or converted to, say, a plant container, but it was far too rusted to face doing anything with.
After less than an hour, the job was done. There was even some lead pipe which I took to a scrap metal merchant and got some money for (£8.10 for 9Kg).
The next job is to hack away all the dry and powdery plaster, repoint the brickwork and knock through to the staircase. Meantime I'm looking for a builder to do the rest of the job. But for now, this is what the room at the head of this entry looks like.