South East Wales

Cardiff's Victorian loo glimpse from phones

Hayes toilet
Image caption The Hayes toilets were the first public loos in Cardiff, opening in 1898

For over a century, the Victorian urinals underneath one of Cardiff's busiest shopping streets have been for male eyes only.

But now women can take a peek at the men's toilets at The Hayes - all from the comfort of their phones or tablets.

By scanning QR barcodes at the top of the toilets' steps with their smartphones, people can learn more about their history and see pictures.

Vintage fittings include Thomas Crapper cisterns.

Image caption The urinals were given a facelift a few years ago as part of a restoration

The underground toilets - the first public conveniences in Cardiff - were officially opened by the Lord Mayor in a ceremony in August 1898.

But they were shut by Cardiff Council in 2013, just a few years after they underwent a £148,000 restoration, as part of cost-cutting measures.

After protests, they reopened earlier this year for use by customers of the nearby snack bar, Hayes Island Snack Bar.

The snack bar itself also displays HistoryPoints QR codes, enabling customers and passers-by to read about the building's connection to Cardiff's once-extensive tram system.

Image caption They closed under council cost-cutting measures but have been reopened under new ownership

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