Blocked toilets close Eton, boarding school for Britain’s elite sons

LONDON – The first prime minister of Britain, Robert Walpole, went to Eton College. So did Boris Johnson and David Cameron and more than a dozen others.

Prince William and Prince Harry went there. So did poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, novelists Henry Fielding and George Orwell, actors Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie, and economist John Maynard Keynes.

And they all used the toilet.

But the current group of boys at the elite boarding school will not be doing so in the immediate future.

On Jan 9, Eton students did not return to school as scheduled after winter break. Flooding of the Thames had overloaded sewers and caused toilets to back up.

“Following extensive flooding in the region, the Thames Water sewers which serve the town of Eton flooded,” the school said in a statement to The New York Times on Jan 10.

“Therefore boys could not return for the scheduled start of term on Jan 9, and the College has moved to remote teaching. We are in regular contact with Thames Water as they seek to resolve the situation, and we look forward to welcoming boys back as soon as possible.”

The statement discreetly avoided using the word “toilet”.

“The sewers in the centre of Eton won’t cope with the arrival of nearly 1,350 boys,” it said in a slightly more frank letter to parents reported by Bloomberg and other news media outlets. It costs £50,000 (S$84,770) per year for boys aged 13 to 18 to attend the school just outside London.

There has been significant flooding in England in January after heavy rainfall. The Thames in some places reached water levels not seen in a decade.

The utility company Thames Water had warned earlier in the week that the weeks of rainfall and high groundwater levels had “put huge pressure on our sewers and pumping stations”.

“Water is entering our network above and below ground, and flows from flooded rivers are adding to the problem in some areas,” it added.

In a statement about the Eton closure on Jan 10 to The Press Association, the company said: “We are sorry to staff and students who have been impacted. Our teams will be carrying out a cleanup in the coming days once the river levels recede.”

Of course, the bathroom situation at Eton is not the United Kingdom’s most pressing issue. But the incongruity of such a grand institution being laid low by a mundane problem could not help but attract some smiles here and there.

EMEA Tribune is not involved in this news article, it is taken from our partners and or from the News Agencies. Copyright and Credit go to the News Agencies, email [email protected] Follow our WhatsApp verified Channel210520-twitter-verified-cs-70cdee.jpg (1500×750)

Support Independent Journalism with a donation (Paypal, BTC, USDT, ETH)