Nothing really prepares you for your first visit to God’s Own Junkyard. It’s just so unexpected. Despite the photo and what you may have seen online, the visual impact this place makes on your first visit is jaw-dropping.
I think it’s the combination of such an uninspiring surrounding (an industrial estate in Walthamstow!?) and the overwhelming floor-to-ceiling neon that does it. It’s incongruous but all the more glorious for it.
God’s Own Junkyard is world-famous and rightly so. It is the place that visual artists come to for inspiration or advice. It is where TV and film companies come for iconic pieces to fill the background. It’s where global stars buy art. In fact, everyone can buy something. Almost all the neon signs are for sale! Ever wanted a massive neon arrow filled with ‘thrills’? This is the place.
Once you’ve wandered around and taken a huge amount of photos (as everyone does!) you can sit down for a cup of tea and cake, in what must be one of the most surreal settings for a good old-fashioned English caff, because The Rolling Scones Cafe is open for food and drinks all weekend.
It isn’t central but incredible neon on an industrial estate in E17 definitely makes the trip to the end of the Victoria Line worthwhile.