I think a great London goal would be to visit the end of every tube line, to explore the communities at the outskirts of London (and beyond!) On a chilly Sunday I jumped on the Victoria line to head all the way north to Walthamstow, an area that could perhaps be described as slowly gentrifying, but still retains a very villagey feel. Our destination was the bright lights of God’s Own Junkyard!
Chris Bracey has been creating neon works of art for nearly 40 years, for movies, music videos, and lucky private collectors. To walk into his gallery / workshop, God’s Own Junkyard, is to step into another world, filled with blinking lights, gogo girl signs, and the most incredible large-scale artworks!
I felt like my head needed to be able to swivel 360° to take it all in at once! Before, if you’d asked me if I was a neon-sign kind of person, I would have just looked at you funny. But whether it was the artistry of the designs or the sheer force of all that glowing light, I became a total convert during our visit and began fantasising about taking one home.
This Sex, Drugs & Bacon Rolls light was a top contender for my purchase!
But I think the Dire Straits-inspired “Money For Nothing and Chicks For Free” would have come home with me if money was no object!
After we’d explored and each chosen our wishlist, we availed ourselves of the aptly named Rolling Scones cafe and sat in the sunshine for a while before moving on. It was one of those London March days where it’s freezing but you can juuuuust about feel spring in the air!
Our second stop in the Walthamstow exploration was the William Morris Gallery. Resident in the area for many years, you might know him from his gorgeous print designs, which I was vaguely familiar with before. What I didn’t realise was that he was a radical socialist who campaigned for many years and dreamed of a world in which his luxurious curtains and wallpapers would be available to all.
Sadly photos aren’t allowed inside, but take it from me – the Gallery is well worth a visit! It takes you through all of William’s life, much of it spent in this very house, with a huge number of exhibits from his long design career.
See – very close to spring!
While I do love to travel out of London and across to the continent whenever I can, it’s so good to remember that there’s such unusual places to visit right on my doorstep. Now… on to the rest of the end-of-the-tube stops!