Journalists brace themselves to be the ‘butt’ of town’s jokes

TWO respected Stratford-upon-Avon companies, in business for more than 300 years between them, have formed a unique partnership that will probably make local journalists the ‘butt’ of a few jokes!

Thomas Crapper, which has manufactured high-end bathroom fittings since 1861, has created a new toilet pan design which they decided to name after the Stratford Herald, which was first published just a year before in 1860.

The Herald pan is believed to be the first toilet ever to be named after a local newspaper and Thomas Crapper has high hopes that the model may be a big seller, rather than a ‘flash in the pan.’

The Herald toilet is no ‘bog standard’ convenience. Embossed with the Herald name, the throne could be the perfect place to sit down and enjoy the local paper.

Those ‘privy’ to the history of Thomas Crapper will be aware of what an honour it is to have the toilet world’s most famous name associated with their business.

One of the biggest winners from the new toilet will be Stratford Hospital as Thomas Crapper has promised to donate £10 from every Herald pan sold to the Stratford Cancer and Eye Hospital appeal – the Herald’s nominated charity.

For those trying to get a ‘handle’ on why Thomas Crapper has chosen to use the Herald name, managing director Paul Dwyer was keen to explain the ‘chain of events’ that led them to make their decision.

Paul said: “We are a local business and the idea of teaming up with the Herald and supporting a great local cause like the hospital is something we are very pleased about. We believe in putting something back into the community in which we work so to be able to raise money for something like this is fantastic.

He added, tongue in cheek: “I strongly suspect this is the first time a toilet has been named in honour of a newspaper, although I’m not sure about the association of toilets and journalism!”

The Herald will be putting its new pan, worth £395, to good use straight away — by inviting people to ‘spend a penny’ in the form of donations for the hospital. Visitors to the Herald’s Rother Street offices will have the chance to throw some coins into the pan for the next few weeks. And, at the same time, they are inviting readers to have their photo taken on the Herald lavatory and make a donation to the hospital appeal in exchange for publishing two paragraphs about their business or in memory of a loved one lost to cancer. This will hopefully culminate in a photo special further down the line.

Founded in 1860 the Herald has been owned by four generations of the same family since it was purchased by George Boyden in 1880.

Since then the Herald has moved with the times, but has always retained its broadsheet format and today is one of the country’s few remaining independent weekly newspapers.

The Herald’s new association with Thomas Crapper has been welcomed by current owner Richard Boyden, who took control of the company in 1991.

Richard said: “I’m not worried at all about having the Herald associated with a toilet and I think it’s wonderful that we now have a connection with such an iconic brand.

“Stratford needs a hospital and it’s right that, as the local paper and an important part of the community, we are supporting such a great cause.”

Richard added: “Stratford is unique and so is the Herald. The Herald is a constant in an ever-changing world.”

Herald editor, Amanda Chalmers, said: “The opportunity to get involved with this partnership was too good to resist.

“We are only too aware of the jokes and puns we are opening ourselves up for but we can promise you, we will be laughing along too.

“How many other newspapers can boast this claim to fame? As far as we can tell this is a first and we are extremely proud of that. Thank you to Thomas Crapper for this uniquely special honour — we all feel justifiably ‘flushed with success!’”