Post Date: Friday 20th September 2013
Author: Matt Gedge
Those of you who haven’t watched the news or read the papers recently may not be aware that we are on the verge of losing a wonderful shrine to creativity in Walthamstow, East London.
Just beside Wood Street station on the overground line you’ll find a mecca to neon art called God’s Own Junkyard, a thriving business which has stood here for 60 years and is shortly due to pass on to its fourth generation.
Chris and Linda Bracey have been at this site for nearly 40 years, but their time is now up as the area full of small businesses is set to be swept aside to make way for residential flats.
In a time when we should be encouraging the spirit of the entrepreneur in London it is deeply sad that such a local treasure should be discarded and forced to seek a new premises away from its rightful home. Not only that, but the council seem to be making an extremely short sighted decision, with the yard’s potential as a way of attracting people to the area and an opportunity for more long term regeneration being lost.
I paid a visit today and took a few photos of what is just a tiny proportion of the collection of neon art Chris has made for films, theatres, strip clubs and the like over the years.
I strongly encourage you to check it out and show your support, but take note – you’d better be quick! Although the inner sanctum has had a stay of execution for the next 6 weeks, after this Sunday 21st September the yard packed full of signs, statues and even a shrine will be closed to the public for ever.
While Chris was being interviewed by TimeOut I spoke to his wife Linda, who said she hopes a fairy godmother will step forward and save them. Are you out there? You can get in touch and find out more at http://www.godsownjunkyard.co.uk/