Whilst spending a lazy evening in, scrolling through my Instagram feed, I happened to stumble across God’s Own Junkyard, and with its dazzling bright lights, it was impossible for me to not research further into this magical place.
God’s Own Junkyard is a warehouse full of neon signs made by ‘Neon Man’ Chris Bracey. It is located in Walthamstow which is in North East London, the local tube station being Walthamstow Central on the Victoria Line a short walk away. Bracey started off as a graphic designer in the 70s but then joined his father’s business in neon signage. At the time, the West End’s sex industry was taking off; bringing in lots of money, Bracey used this to his advantage and began making signs for the sex establishments in Soho. For many this may have seemed a job which he resigned himself to however, as he told the BBC, he saw it as an ‘artistic endeavour’. His job saw the heights of working on four Batman films amongst others, and became known as an artist in his own right. Unfortunately, Chris Bracey died in 2014 due to prostate cancer and a Just Giving page has been created in his memory, aiming to help other men like him, and can be found here.
The Junkyard is a magical place to visit, as you can hopefully tell from the photos I took there, with the warehouse being purely illuminated by the neon it gives a unique atmosphere to the place. It also has a cafe, allowing you to enjoy your surroundings whilst chatting to a friend and although I didn’t try what they had to offer, it certainly seemed popular.
All in all, God’s Own Junkyard is a must see if you’re in London, even if it’s just a short browse, and with free entry there’s no excuses. I’ve linked the junkyard’s website here and if you do decide to go don’t forget your camera!