Forget Las Vegas. If you love neon take a trip to Walthamstow. No, seriously. Gods Own Junkyard is bursting at the seams with the most amazing neon creations this side of the Nevada Desert.
Chris Bracey is the man who can put your name up in lights having been creating these hand crafted masterpieces for 37-years. You don’t have to take my word for it, he’s worked on films such as World War Z, Batman, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Casino Royale and Eyes Wide Shut to name but a few.
When he isn’t gracing Hollywood with his presence, E17 born Chris is salvaging unwanted neon and shop signs and repairing and resurrecting them – now that’s what I call upcycling!
Outside in the yard (which is only five minutes from my house and where, in it’s former life as a car sales company, I sold them my beloved mini!) it’s stacked full of the most random selection of props you can imagine. In amongst the old signs and neon are Virgin Marys, sharks, crocodiles, old fun fair rides and, most impressively, a Jesus statue in a shed holding neon guns. Obviously.
I foolishly chose the hottest day of the year to go and have a look around and with the lights on inside I was nearly melting after five minutes. That didn’t stop me wanting to buy pretty much everything in there, even if it meant I’d have to walk around my house in a bikini to withstand the heat, a sight that no one wants to see.
I’d be in good company though considering collectors of Chris work include Damien Hirst, Kate Moss, Elton John, Lady Gaga, Tim Burton and Vivienne Westwood. Not to mention local legendary artist Grayson Perry regularly pops in for a cuppa!
You can currently visit Gods Own Junkyard on Vallentin Road every Friday and Saturday between 10.30am and 4pm. However, you need to go quickly as the site is currently under threat. The council want the land to build flats on, which means God’s Own Junkyard may have to find a new home. You can follow the campaign on Twitter to save the site at #godsavethejunkyard