THE race is on for the chance to have your say on what should be scrawled across the walls of one of Oxford’s busiest toilets.

Oxford City Council is asking residents to get involved in helping smarten up some of the city centre’s toilets.

The Market Street toilets, which are Oxford’s busiest, will keep the same layout but will be given completely new fittings.

The city council plans to decorate the walls with famous quotes or comments and is asking the people of Oxford to put ideas forward.

The council is spending nearly £450,000 on bringing all its public toilets up to scratch over the next three years.

John Tanner, executive board member Cleaner, Greener Oxford, said: “The very popular Market Street loos need a revamp because they are beginning to look a bit down at heel.

“Shoppers and tourists alike deserve public toilets that are not only spotlessly clean but are also a pleasure to visit.”

The authority has been working with the Oxford Mail to find out what people want from the city’s facilities, and our features editor Jeremy Smith, pictured, has been appointed the city’s toilet ‘tsar’. Mr Smith said: “There is no end to the wonderful things which have been said about Oxford, so please let us know which classic quotes you would like to see decorate these facilities.”

The city council will be replacing the existing stainless steel fittings in all of its toilets with a hygienic composite material and fitting ergonomic and vandal-resistant dryers as well as providing better quality soap.

Better lighting will be installed, as well as hooks for bags and coats, and easy-to-use locks.

Following a public consultation, toilets in the city centre will be given a completely new look, with fresh flowers, books and copies of the Oxford Mail’s review pages on the walls.

Work on the Florence Park toilets began in early September and is now being finished.

Temporary toilets will be placed outside the Market Street facilities while the work is being carried out.

Once the Market Street toilets are completed the city council will move on to the Gloucester Green loos early in the new year.

The city council owns and operates 24 public toilets across the city, as well as running a community toilet scheme where nine businesses in the city centre make their facilities available to the public.

To submit a quotation for the loos, email the council at


‘For this relief much thanks’  – Hamlet
(John Tanner’s suggestion)

‘The clever men at Oxford, know all there is to be knowed, but none of them know half as much, as intelligent Mr Toad!’
Wind in the Willows
(Jeremy Smith’s suggestion)

‘I wonder anybody does anything at Oxford but dream and remember, the place is so beautiful’           – WB Yeats

‘And that sweet city with her dreaming spires, she needs not June for beauty’s heightening’   – Matthew Arnold