Time to Post


It’s taken a mildly traumatic event to get me back on the blog, which I thought readers might want to hear about. Fortunately it’s all done and dusted and sorted now, so nothing to really worry about.

Today Hannah wanted to pop out to the new M&Co shop in Cowes to do a bit of clothes shopping for the Choir Christmas meal tomorrow, so we all trooped out into the snow. Once she finished that she suggested stopping off in The Anchor for a drink, and then we decided to have dinner there. As we finished off our food Ella said she wanted the loo, so Hannah took her. A few minutes later Hannah returned and quietly said to me ‘Come and see this’. I expected to find something amusing had happened, but not sure what. In the Ladies toilet, one of the two cubicle doors was shut, and Ella was locked inside. Yikes. She wasn’t too upset, and for a couple of minutes we tried to explain to her how to unlock the bolt on the door, which was one of the traditional kind. Looking at the other cubicle, it was also of traditional stout build, which was worrying. These were proper cubicles too, fully closed off, so there was no going over the top or under the door.

Ella started to get upset, so I went out to ask the staff for some help because basically the only option was to knock the door down, which wouldn’t have been good without some ‘official’ involvement. Two lads came to help, and possibly this sort of event wasn’t a first in the pub. We told Ella to move to the back of the cubicle and sit on the loo, which she said she had done (we had no way of telling). She was doing a fair amount of sobbing, but certainly was far from being out of control. I had the first go at trying to kick the door, and it turned out to be quite tough. One of the lads apparently had prior experience of kicking down doors and also had a number of goes, but nothing was budging, except the door frame and the surrounding wall. Ella really didn’t like the noise so we were not very persistent.

One of the lads had the idea of a battering ram and they went off and returned with an empty gas cannister. This certainly gave the door a right good thumping but still it held firm. Ella didn’t like the noise of that at all, so it didn’t last long. At this point we decided to call in the professionals, and the staff called the fire brigade. One of Ella’s current loves in Fireman Sam, and I hoped the thought of being rescued by some firemen might help calm her down, but it didn’t really. We had decided to stop trying the door until the firemen arrived, and Hannah had a sing with Ella, which was actually quite upsetting in some respects with her little voice coming from behind the door.

So the firemen turned up, about four of them piling into the small toilet. They had a couple of meaty crowbars. The initial exploratory jemmying of the door wasn’t too successful, so two of them got involved and eventually the bolt popped and the door sprung open. Ella was obviously out like a shot to have hugs with Mummy, and it was quite emotional. Ella was sufficiently upset that she didn’t take particular notice of any of the Fireman Sams. She got some free ice cream and a round of applause from the patrons in the back room who’d heard all the banging and knew our little girl was stuck. Interestingly several people either said they’d got stuck in loos or had a sibling who had.

So in the end, we got her out. I never doubted we would, it was just a matter of time, but quite upsetting for all involved, and hopefully Ella won’t play with door bolts again before she works out how to unlock them.

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