I can’t remember when my obsession for neon lights started but when I heard about God’s Own Junkyard it sounded like utter heaven. Located in Walthamstow, East London it’s a warehouse filled with neon signs. There’s every kind imaginable, available for hire (adequate reason to throw a party methinks), or buy…if you’ve got a couple of thousand pounds spare that is. But shopping aside
it’s also a museum, dedicated to the craft of handmade light-up signs
where anyone is welcome to step inside and explore. There’s even a ‘Rolling Scones’ café on site so you can take a seat and enjoy a cuppa’ while taking it all in.
Though I heard about GOJY a few years ago when my sister lived in the area, is wasn’t until this month that I finally ventured there. Opening hours are from 11am Fridays to Sundays and that was my problem. I work in the week and at weekends I always have so many things going on. I knew that if I were to visit it had to be when it opened at 11 because I guessed that would be the best chance to get clean shots with no one in the background!
And I was right..ish. I actually arrived at 11.30 which was perfect as there was only a handful of people inside so I could look at everything, take photos and relax….by 12.15pm however if felt like the whole of London has descended! People were flocking to the yard in groups and so they should be; it’s an amazing place…but arrive at peak time and you’ll most likely have a lot of people to contend with.
Signs, light boxes and props are everywhere, at every height, on the floor, hanging from the ceiling, designed for every possible reason. And of course for a rainbow hunter like myself, the setting is paradise. The vibrancy of hues that come with neon lights are unlike other forms of colour; it’s very much a sensory experience.
Picking a favourite is nigh impossible, I liked elements of so many of the signs. Anything featuring lips will always be hit with me but if I really had to make a decision then it was unexpectedly a vintage swimming pool sign that totally bowled me over.
Now I just need to throw a pool party so I can have an excuse to hire it!
God’s Own Junkyard Unit 12, Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Shernhall St, Walthamstow, London E17 9HQ