Published: 10:24, 27 January 2010
by Peter Barnett
Students at a seat of learning are flushed with success - they have recreated a Victorian toilet suite in memory of plumber Thomas Crapper who is said to have created the flush toilet.
The girls from Clarendon House Grammar School in Ramsgate created their art and design project in time for Wednesday, January 27 – the centenary of Crapper's death.
The idea followed the publication of a historical novel about Thomas Crapper by the school's history master Dr Robert Hume, which is illustrated by the school's former head of art Cheryl Ives.
'Thomas Crapper: Lavatory Legend' is featured in January's edition of the BBC History Magazine.
Dr Hume said: "Thomas Crapper's life was an amazing journey. Although he came from a poor background, he managed to become one of the most successful businessmen in the whole of the British Empire. It was due to his initiative and vision that the flushing toilet became so widely used and accepted.
"A brilliant and imaginative figure, Crapper became so famous that even the royal family employed him to install toilets in their palaces. A legend indeed in his own lifetime."
Dr Hume became interested in the Crapper story while studying public health and sanitation with his students in GCSE History. His grandparents are also buried in the same cemetery as Crapper - Elmers End in London.
Dr Hume added: "Cheryl has drawn 12 illustrations, getting her friends and members of her own family to pose. One picture shows prim Victorian ladies fainting at the sight of white toilet pans on display in Thomas Crapper's showroom; another shows a rather unfortunate lavatory, nicknamed a 'bottom slapper'."