The first set of public toilets were built in Rishton on the corner of Harwood Road and High Street on the Westerly side of the Road were the car show rooms are now. There was also a bus shelter attached as well.
The shelter here became known as Rishton Parliament, as there wasn't a wrong in the world that couldn't be righted in the shelter. Elderly Gentlemen of the town would gather here for a camp and sit down.
This was in 1924, and no garage was there at the time, but during 1925 the front wall and ground adjacent to the sanitary conveniences were let to Messrs. Bentley and Holden for £15 12s and 0d per annum.
Soon to follow was the collector of the coins, these were Messrs. W. H. Cottam and Mr. A. Ayres, both Rishton Councillors at the time, who were appointed collectors of the coins on the 11th June 1925.
On the 9th July 1925, Mrs. J. Diggles was appointed caretaker of the sanitary conveniences and shelter at a wage of 15/- per week. (£39 per annum), the first person to be appointed to this position.
In July 1935 the council resolved that the Clerk be instructed to arrange for a Notice to be fixed in the Waiting Room at Harwood Road Corner requesting persons using the Waiting Room to use moderate language and refrain from spitting, etc.
The duties of Caretaker to the Library, Ambulance Driver, and caretaker of the Harwood Road waiting rooms was to be co-ordinated on the 28th May 1936. The Caretaker of the Library, Cleaner of the Harwood Road Conveniences, and Ambulance Driver was to be paid £3 per week, with an allowance of 2 nights per week and 1 week-end per month from the 18th June 1936. Mr. P. Bailey was employed as caretaker.
It was resolved by the Rishton Urban District Council on the 13th August 1936, that a cupboard for the storage of cleaning utensils should be fixed at Harwood Road Conveniences.
On the 12th January 1939, A letter was read from the Accrington District Gas and Water Company regarding the service of water to public conveniences on George Street and Station Road. The surveyor was instructed to submit an estimate of the costs to repair the conveniences at Station Road pending receipt, no alterations were to be made to the water service.
In November 1939, the Council Sanitary Inspector and Surveyor were instructed to take the necessary action to rectify the deliberate damage done to the forms in the Harwood road waiting rooms.
On the 14th December 1939, the Council clerk gave a report to the council committee, on the Harwood road bus Shelter, which was attached to the side of the toilets. No rent had been paid since June 1931. Councillor Booth, the Clerk, and the Surveyor were to interview the Managing Director of the Ribble Motor Services Ltd., with a view to obtaining the arrears of rent and reaching an agreement for future use.
Arrangements were made for the display of Railway Time-tables concerning local services in the Harwood Road Waiting-room and on a site below the Canal Bridge on the 13th April 1944.
Attention was drawn to damage to prepayment locks in the gentlemen's conveniences on the 8th November 1951, to which the attention of the Police had been drawn. In an effort to prevent similar damage, the height of the lock was raised.
Public Conveniences on George Street came into question on the 22nd May 1952, when the Council officials were requested to enquire as to the ownership of those premises, and, pending the result of their enquiries, the Sanitary Inspector was instructed to have them attended to daily. On the 10th of July, the Clerk submitted correspondence between the Brewery Co. and himself regarding the maintenance of these conveniences, and it was Resolved, That the Chairman of the Council and the Chairman of the Buildings and Highways Committee, with the Clerk, seek an interview with the Estates Manager of the Brewery Co. to discuss the future of these premises.
These public conveniences were eventually demolished and new toilets were built on Cliff Street, adjacent to the Library. These too have since been demolished.
First published on Friday 14 August 1998 in the Lancashire Evening Telegraph, Toilets in Rishton are becoming an increasing problem.
MOTHERS and children are having to go into public houses to spend a penny because there are no public toilets in Rishton, says a concerned local councillor. But the borough council has no cash for any new public loos in any of the outer townships across Hyndburn.
The environmental services committee last night agreed to push for funding for automatic toilets to be included in next year's capital programme. But a plea from councillor Russell Davies for Rishton to go to the front of the queue, if cash becomes available, fell on deaf ears.
Councillors agreed that the order of the proposed rolling programme should remain Clayton-le-Moors, followed by Rishton and then Church.
Councillor Davies wanted to know why Rishton came below Clayton-le-Moors when there were toilets in the library in Clayton. He said: "It horrifies me Rishton always has a lowly place. What do you want the people of Rishton to do, run around with crossed legs? It's not fair mothers and children should have to go into public houses. Rishton is a small but very busy town centre and it should have this basic facility."
Committee chairman, councillor Len Dickinson, said every township had lost public toilets mainly due to vandalism of the traditional type of conveniences.
The only ones left were in Accrington town centre, and those in Oswaldtwistle which were costing " an arm and a leg" to keep open.
Councillor Dickinson, who represents Church which is at the bottom of the list, added: "Something has to be first, something in the middle and something last. In my opinion everyone is entitled to public conveniences, but we have to provide the money to do that."
But during September 2002, according to the Accrington Observer dated Friday 27th, Rishton had still not received any public toilets! This is 4 years later and the residents of Rishton once again require public conveniences in the town.
On the 18th September 2002, An area council meeting was told that toilets were not seen as one of the highest priorities for urgent action in the town. Mr. Watson explained that the Council was short of money because it’s finances were regulated by the amount it received in grant from the Government and the amount it raised in Council Tax. The Council had statutory services to provide from this money and the rest was prioritised for spending and the provision of toilets in Rishton was not seen as a priority item. Residents were asked to indicate if they considered that there was a priority for toilets in Rishton by a show of hands. Mr. Watson agreed that this issue should be brought back to future meetings for further debate.
One worried resident from Hermitage Street voiced his concern that although toilets were needed he was worried that within a week they would be vandalised unless they were located near the C. C. T. V. camera in the middle of the town. The Area Council forwarded residents concerns, that there should be the provision of public toilets in Rishton to the Council for further deliberation.