Photos by: Suzy Prince, Duncan Holmes, Swiss Dave.
God’s Own Junkyard is the very embodiment of a hidden gem. Tucked away in an utterly unassuming industrial estate in deepest Walthamstow, North London, you’ll find an absolute treasure trove of neon lights and vintage signage, initially obsessively collected by the late owner Chris Bracey and now operating as a family business.
Bracey started out by making neon signage for some of Soho’s more infamous establishments, before Hollywood fixed its beady eye on him and he branched out into prop making for directors such as Stanley Kubrick and Tim Burton. Along the way he picked up many other signs and associated kitsch ephemera. A visit to God’s Own Junkyard is EXACTLY what I imagined Las Vegas was going to look like, in my fevered dreams, seen through a colourful vintage filter and before the somewhat more tawdry reality of an actual visit to today’s Sin city.
It’s small, but perfectly formed and there really is stuff to look at from floor to ceiling – at points, literally just piled on the floor – it all adds to the charm. It’s the most immediately instagrammable place imaginable. Better still, many of the signs are for sale although as is the right of the discerning curator, they don’t come cheap. And quite frankly, why should they? This stuff is history. God’s Own Junkyard www.godsownjunkyard.co.uk is situated at Unit 12, Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Shernhall St, Walthamstow, London E17 9HQ and is only open Friday-Sunday so don’t get caught out!