Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Saturday, August 21, 1999 Published at 16:14 GMT 17:14 UK


A month on the toilet

The journey is aimed at raising 10,000 for hospices nationwide

A motorised toilet has begun an epic journey on a charity drive covering the length of Britain - at just 4mph.

The electric motor-powered chemical loo will travel 874 miles from Land's End to John O'Groats, at the tip of Scotland.

Driver Hank Harp, perched in his driving position on the toilet seat, set off from Cornwall with his en-route refreshment stored safely in the bowl.

[ image: Refreshments are stored in the toilet bowl]
Refreshments are stored in the toilet bowl
The trek is the brainchild of Steve Gilks, from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, who made the same trip in a motorised shopping trolley in 1989.

Mr Gilks, who runs Cash for Trash which converts household rubbish into cash for charity, hopes to raise 10,000 for hospices.

The motorised toilet was built by British Aerospace trainees Andrew Threlfall and Lyndon Poskitt at Brough, East Yorkshire, as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Gold award scheme. It is powered by a 24-volt motor, and tows a wheelie-bin to collect rubbish for recycling.

[ image: The vehicle will have to keep out of the fast lane...]
The vehicle will have to keep out of the fast lane...
Tank Regiment Sergeant Harp, from Crewkerne, Somerset, took the driver's job after the original driver was unable to make the trip.

Mr Gilks, who suffers from asthma, angina and bone marrow problems, will be presenting equipment to hospices and GPs along the route to help patients with breathing problems.

The length-of-Britain trip has attracted many modes of transport in the past, including people on horseback, roller skates, a unicycle, tractor and mechanical digger. They have raised millions of pounds for charity.

The toilet is scheduled to reach John O'Groats on 20 September.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |

UK Contents

Northern Ireland
In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online