It was while I was messing about on Pinterest looking at the aforementioned neon signs that I came across Gods Own Junkyard. I’d been wanting to visit forever, and finally, a few weeks ago I finally got to go. Not that there was anyone stopping me, but this place is at the end of a tube line, all the way in Walthamstow and I’m lazy. Soz.
The man behind God’s Own Junkyard, Chris Bracey started his career as a graphic designer before joining his Dad’s neon business in the 1970s. He spotted an opportunity in providing neon signs for Soho’s growing sex industry. By the time he died in 2014, he had amassed one of the biggest collections of neon artworks and light sculptures in the world. Now his sons have taken over the “neon baton” and the collection is all housed in an industrial estate in Walthamstow.
I really don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere as colourful as this. It can almost be a little overwhelming, in every single corner of the unit there are more and more neon signs and colourful lights hidden away. There’s always something to point out.
There’s also a coffee shop on the premises called The Rolling Scones (I bloody love a pun) and you can sit and eat cake in the midst of all the neon. You can also hire the space as an event place, or hire the neon signs – any avid readers of Rock My Wedding may have already seen their bits out in action.
You can find God’s Own Junkyard on the Ravenswood Industrial Estate in Walthamstow. Don’t let the fact that it’s not in central London put you off like it did me, it really isn’t that far to go – the Victoria Line really zips along. When you reach Walthamstow Central, it’s a fifteen-minute walk through “The Village”, a conservation area which would almost be worth a visit in its own right. God’s Own Junkyard is open on Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 9 pm and on Sunday from 11 am until 6 pm. It’s free to visit, but consider donating to Chris Bracey’s Just Giving page instead, as just a small thanks.
After we’d finished, we headed out into the estate. It’s an industrial estate usually, but on the weekend it gains some stalls. We grabbed some jerk chicken from the street stall outside, surrounded by people who were taking the chance to also visit the Wildcard Brewery for a pint, or Mother’s Ruin for a gin. I would have loved to have tried either, but I was on Dry January. Maybe next time?