The plan was to head to Walthamstow and visit God's Own Junykard but the universe had other ideas. We were short on time, the Victoria line decided it was part suspended and then the heavens opened and deposited a weeks worth of rain in one morning. However, undeterred I decided there would be no postponing. No rescheduling to another day. We would get there no matter what, even if it involved a bus, a train, a tube and then another bus. The boyfriend came along and only showed signs of cracking on the final bus and when the bottom half of his body disappeared in to a murky, plague ridden puddle. All this for the love of discovering something different. The result? It was all entirely and utterly worth it.
Turning off a residential street in to a small industrial park, the rain eased off and the sun shone. Our perseverance had paid off and a large ornate cow signalled we’d made it. As we wandered inside, my expectations were surpassed, the entire place is an overwhelming feast for the eyes. I felt like a greedy child, desperate to look in all directions at once, momentarily paralysed and unsure which direction to initially head in. The junkyard is larger than I expected and every single ounce of space is taken up by something amazing. From religious iconography, to signs, to art, to advertising; the neon dazzles, titillates, provokes and entertains. I could’ve stayed all afternoon and still not had enough.
The place was pleasingly busy and incredibly relaxed. A feeling of sheer enjoyment exuding from everyone as they wandered around admiring the work. No starchy atmosphere, just a chilled and open space where people respected everything on display. Tucked in the corner is the Rolling Scones Cafe, giving people a chance to take a rest and grab some refreshments. Seats also spill out the back door in to a small courtyard area. My one desire? The coffee could have been better, but when the view is this good who gives a damn.
The junkyard is the creation of Chris Bracey, a neon artist whose work has been celebrated world wide. Tragically, Chris passed away from prostate cancer but the junkyard lives on as a wonderful and inspiring legacy. Amazingly it is free to visit, so spend some cash whilst you're there; it's important to support such amazing ventures. Plus, you'll have a truly unique experience so what more could you ask for?
Get yourself to God's Own Junkyard
Unit 12, Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Shernall Street, E17 9HQ
Open: Friday 11am - 9pm / Saturday 11am - 9pm / Sunday 11am - 6pm