God’s Own Junkyard is one of London’s quirkiest attractions, yet regularly welcomes visitors from all over the world – each of them eager to find out more about this cult space in the city. Whether you’re an art fan or simply keen to experience something unusual while you visit London, this particular space has it all.
In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the venue, and tell you a little bit more about this popular London mainstay, as well as providing a few key reasons why you should plan a trip…
What is God’s Own Junkyard?
There are few areas in London – or anywhere – which are quite like God’s Own Junkyard. It’s a treasure trove of vintage signage and neon light fixtures, situated in the unlikely surroundings of a Walthamstow warehouse.
The origins of the venue in its current form originate with Chris Bracey, who had an illustrious career creating many of the signage associated with Soho’s nightlife. This included a vast array of neon signs which adorned eclectic venues ranging from brothels to strip clubs, and it didn’t take long for Bracey to decide it was time to diversify his creative talents.
In the next few years, the artist created a wealth of props and set pieces which were used in major film productions. These are as varied as they are plentiful, and include items using religious iconography, disco balls and much more.
While not all of these original items are on display at the venue, the artist created pieces which were used in films by directors like Christopher Nolan and Stanley Kubrick, helping to signify their quality and strength of design. During your visit to a boutique hotel in Shoreditch, you’ll have the opportunity to see many of these works up close.
Why visit God’s Own Junkyard?
Still wondering whether you should visit God’s Own Junkyard? Here are a few of the most important reasons to head for this special venue in London…
1.) You can buy the creations
One of the most incredible things about God’s Own Junkyard is that you can buy the items on display, rather than simply looking at them. It’s certainly true that the creations you’ll find here are rarely cheap, but if you want to add some original pieces of illuminated art to your home or work space, then this is a fantastic opportunity.
You’ll often find avid art collectors browsing the space looking for their next fantastic new addition – and if you want to be among them, you’ll be in good company while staying at the Montcalm Shoreditch.
2.) You can also rent them
If buying the signs is out of your reach, then don’t panic – you can also rent them, with prices starting at around £100 for a week’s rental. This is a great way to add some flair to a big event you’re planning, and a much more affordable option than buying the signage outright.
To find out more about renting (and purchasing), either head to the official God’s Own Junkyard website or ask when you’re visiting.
3.) Special events
As well as being a stunning spot to explore, God’s Own Junkyard also collaborates with other creative areas of London and operates fun pop-ups and special events. If you’re in a creative mood, then getting acquainted with the space is a wonderful way to discover more about the city’s underground arts scene, and after getting inspired you can always head to Brick Lane Market and pick up a few more affordable pieces to add some flair to your home.
4.) It’s free to visit
Some people might be deterred from visiting such an arty space, for fear of the cost. However, there’s no need to in the case of God’s Own Junkyard – as with so many of London’s finest artistic venues, entry is free, and you can head here every Friday and Saturday between 11am-9pm, as well as on Sundays between 11am-6pm.
5.) Dining and drinking options
A visit to God’s Own Junkyard isn’t just about great artistic illuminations. You can also enjoy a bite to eat at the delightfully named ‘The Rolling Scones’, or head to the bar which is located directly opposite the venue.
6.) Off the beaten track
London has lots of fantastic artistic venues, but few are quite as unusual as God’s Own Junkyard. It’s also off the beaten track, further away from the busy streets of the city than many of the venues which people commonly associate with London’s art scene.
7.) Great photo opportunities
One of the reasons people visit God’s Own Junkyard is to take some fantastic photos og the items in store. There’s lots of photo opportunities everywhere you look, and photographers are welcome.
The official Instagram feed of the venue is testament to how many reasons there are to bring a camera, so we strongly recommend visitors don’t forget their own! Taking a few photos here is sure to liven up your social media and create some incredible talking points during your stay in London.
This gives it extra appeal for anyone who likes discovering new things, and has helped to build a certain mystique around the space.
8.) Plenty of history
One of the major draws of God’s Own Junkyard is its rich historical significance. The company first got started in the 1970s under a different name, ‘Electro Signs’, and was founded by Dick Bracey, father of Chris Bracey. Chris’s father had started the company to design fairground amusements after the Second World War, but by the time Chris joined the business, he had some very different ideas for the direction of the company.
The 1980s proved to be particularly fruitful for the business, and the venue has now taken on an almost mythological appeal. A trip here is a great chance to explore this history, before heading to Shoreditch bars and restaurants to celebrate.
Where can I find God’s Own Junkyard?
God’s Own Junkyard is located at Unit 12, Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Shernhall Street, Walthamstow.