Spending a penny is doing business for Bill
The two different signs on the door of Prescott’s Garage in Hikuai turned out to be prophetic — “Coromandel Mustdo’s” and “Toilet this way”.
On a turnoff on the Coromandel Surf Highway, garage owner Bill Prescott sells up to 100 pies a day and has a stream of drivers filling up on the well-priced gas, but it’s the toilet that is the real attraction.
“It gets so much use all the time. It’s basically the first set of toilets after Bombay. We have had to lock it up at night because of damage, and people clamber through the window to get in because you can see their footprints on the cistern. If you go around the back you can see where some of them didn’t make it,” he says.
They may not be particularly flash, but the popularity of these privately-owned and maintained dunnies have prompted Bill to ask for help.
He wrote to the Thamescoromandel District Council’s local community board to see if the Council could stump up with some of the costs toward cleaning them out more often.
“There’s 15,000lt of water going through a month and we’ve got to look after them and maintain them, but the septic tanks are working to capacity.”
Bill calls Bob’s Takeaways in Whitianga for that job.
“We have two massive septic tanks that we get cleaned out every couple of months but I’m trying to get some help from the council with a couple of cleans during the really busy times of the year.
“We get the tour buses coming in and now the new cycle trail from Pauanui is coming past here, and they’ve put these toilets on as the toilets that’ll be used for the trail.” Bill probably didn’t help his own cause when he put up a sign outside his toilets that read: “Last Dunny for 300 miles”. When that was stolen, people still kept coming.
“It’s a great place to stop for gas and the pies are good. I’m just waiting to hear back from the Council about the septic tank cleaning.”
Bill Prescott sells up to a hundred pies a day and has a stream of drivers filling up on the well-priced gas, but it’s the toilet that is the real attraction.