By Suffolk Gazette Staff
Plucky pensioner Gladys Phillips didn’t panic when she was locked in a public toilet for four days – she settled down to knit a scarf and munched on a packet of mint imperials.
Gladys, 82, was out shopping in Felixstowe when, feeling the need to answer a call of nature, she visited a newly installed public loo off Hamilton Road.
But she was unaware the hi-tech convenience had not yet been officially opened to the public, and after forcing her way inside the door locked tight behind her.
It was not until FOUR days later when workmen came to finish off the painting that Gladys was found sitting on the loo finishing off the last few stitches of her pink scarf.
“I was not really concerned at first when I couldn’t get out,” Gladys said. “In fact I was just relieved I’d managed to go to the loo!
“I kept banging on the door and walls, and shouting for help, but obviously no one could hear me. I realised I had to tough it out, and so I sat on the loo and began knitting.
“Luckily I had just been to the shops and picked up a new ball of pink wool, so I began making a scarf, which one of my lucky grandchildren will now get for Christmas.
“I had also popped into the sweet shop after collecting my pension, so I had a full bag of mint imperials to eat which kept my spirits up no end.
“The loo was very clean and cosy. I was able to sleep on my big overcoat and was lovely and warm, and if I got cold I just sat under the hand dryer for a while.
“It was a great relief when the nice builder turned up and opened the door. He got quite a shock, I can tell you.”
Widow Gladys lives on her own and does not have a telephone, so her daughter, who now live near Bury St Edmunds, had no idea she was missing from home.
“They have now been on at me to get a phone installed at home – and one of these mobile phone things for when I’m out shopping. I suppose I shall have to catch up with the times.”
A Felixstowe town councillor insider said: “We’re glad Gladys is none the worse for her ordeal. The fact that she was quite happy in the loo for four days does, however, show how modern and hi-tech it is.”
The convenience is now open to the general public, but Gladys has promised not to stop for a cup of tea on future shopping trips, just in case she gets caught short again.