Couple clean up at loo awards!

Carole and Matthew Short, winners of a Loo of the Year award.
Carole and Matthew Short, winners of a Loo of the Year award.

A North-east couple have won a prestigious award.

Matthew and Carole Short have won a Loo of the Year Award 2012. Together, they run High Seas Hobbit, a camping business on the outskirts of Rosehearty.

Matthew transformed a disused whisky barrel from a Scottish distillery into a toilet, which subsequently caught the attention of the competition’s judges with its unique concept and quirky appearance. The toilet was entered into the ‘Home Throne’ category of the Loo of the Year contest, along with other domestic toilets.

The ‘Home Throne’ category was introduced this year to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the awards. The judges looked at a range of criteria such as décor and maintenance, fixtures and fittings, cleanliness and quirkiness.

The main Awards were introduced in 1987 to recognise the very best ‘away from home’ toilets. Businesses, local authorities and other organisations enter their toilets each year in an effort to receive recognition for the standard of their toilet provision.

This ‘one-off’ toilet is situated on Matthew and Carole’s family-run farm near Rosehearty, where they offer a glamorous camping - or glamping - facility. Their Hobbit, which has a double bed and two single beds, is fully insulated which keeps guests cosy and dry all year round and allows visitors to experience the wild coastal beauty and an abundance of fresh air, without having to forego their home comforts. Visitors to the Hobbit are able to make use of the award-winning toilet.

Commenting, Matthew said: “We didn’t know much about the awards beforehand, but we are really pleased to have won an award.”

Carole added: “Matthew didn’t build the toilet to enter into the competition so this is a bonus.”

Matthew and Carole attended the Loo of the Year Awards presentation at the St Johns Hotel in Solihull, Birmingham, on Friday December 7. Dr Hilary Jones, who works alongside the event sponsors, Lepicol, to provide education on the importance of bowel health, presented Matthew with the award.