This was once pointed out to me by a bunch of foreign students who were on an 'orientation' training weekend that I was teaching at. They couldn't understand why we had separate cold and hot water taps. Surely, they argued, you don't want either your water scalding hot or freezing – you want it somewhere in the middle.
They had mixer taps everywhere on the continent, apparently, which seemed to make perfect sense. Perhaps it's a hangover from our colonial past, or some weird puritan approach to water taken by whoever was in charge of the water board back in the 1950s. Or perhaps we never actually thought about mixing hot and cold together.
Of course, I've have actually seen mixer taps in Britain. They aren't exactly new – but it's surprising how much we still rely on the old way of doing things.
Above is a picture of the sink in our local library.
It was refurbished about three years ago, which just shows how modern and forward thinking our councils really are...