These days, it is nigh on impossible to proclaim that a place in London is ‘…totally unique’, but in the case of God’s Own Junkyard, we think it is a fair description. Whether it is best described as a museum, showroom or arts expo is debatable so the most suitable description we can muster is an explosion of neon noir, like a bar out of Bladerunner or a steamy Soho gin joint, packed to the rafters with all manner of bright lights signs, vintage signs and general retro goodness.
An explosion on the eyes as soon as you enter (in a bizarrely beautiful and brilliant way), there is something to see in every nook and cranny of this weird and wonderful Walthamstow warehouse (which is also free admission – bonus)! From religious statues holding guns to iconic and illustrative iconography this must be seen in person – our photos or the magazine spreads it often features in simply don’t do it justice.
One of Europe’s oldest sign makers, God’s Own Junkyard was the creation of Chris Bracey who started out making signs for Soho’s strip joints, before expanding his neon portfolio to fashion props and studio lights for Hollywood films (for instance, they produced all of the neon signs for Stanley Kubrick’s last movie ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, recreating a neon soaked New York right here in the UK on the Pinewood Studios backlot). Hollywood has also come knocking on their door for light props and neon signs in such superhero fare as Superman, Batman and Judge Dredd.
We’ve visited God’s Own Junkyard many times over the years and we’ve definitely seen it get a lot more popular and busy recently, possibly down to the Instagram effect. This is the one downside of visiting here as you’ll often find a steady stream of IG wannabies staking out certain sofas or areas for their own selfish selfie needs – Grrrr. We also like the recent expansion of their Rolling Scones cafe/bar and outdoor seating area – surely one the coolest and most iconic places to snack or sip in the whole of London?
God’s Own Junkyard is open to the public at the weekends and one of the best free attractions in London (although donations are requested / sales of objects appreciated), and only phone photography is allowed.
After visiting God’s Own Junkyard, you can walk a few steps across to the other side of the industrial estate to enjoy drinks at neighbouring breweries Three Pillars or Wild Card Brewery, or go for something a little stronger at the next door Gin Palace – who thought there would be so much to savour on an unassuming industrial estate in Walthamstow?
God’s Own Junkyard Address and Opening Hours
ADDRESS: Unit 12, Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Shernhall Street E17 9HQ
OPENING HOURS: Friday: 11am-9pm; Saturday: 11am-9pm; Sunday: 11am-6pm.
Other Walthamstow blog posts
- Guide to Walthamstow Wetlands, north east London
- Ultimate guide to Walthamstow, London
- Walthamstow Village in London – a local’s guide
- Walthamstow Beer Mile ultimate guide with map
Other London blog posts
- Top things to do in East London
- Top things to do in Shoreditch, east London
- A guide to Victoria Park Village and park
- Borough Market guide – London’s most famous food market
- Maltby Street Market in London
- Things to do in Hackney Wick, East London
- The ultimate guide to the Bermondsey Beer Mile
- The best brewery taprooms in London
- Ultimate guide to Tottenham, London