Visit God’s Own Junkyard at Leadenhall Market
Until the end of July you don’t have to go to Walthamstow to visit God’s Own Junkyard, you can head to Leadenhall Market instead!
They’ve transformed three units into exhibition spaces, adding a splash of neon to the historic market.
History of God’s Own Junkyard
It began with Dick Bracey who founded a neon sign business in the 1950s. He’d made the moved from the coal pits of Wales to building bright lights in Walthamstow.
Gradually he began to specialise in neon, creating bespoke pieces for funfairs, the circus and arcades.
His son, Chris, was an artist and combined the family trade with a knack for sourcing salvaged pieces into signature artwork.
Chris would make bespoke signs for Soho’s sex shops, most famously that of Raymond’s Revue Bar on Brewer Street. John – an illustrator who’s worked at God’s Own Junkyard for over 20 years – showed my this photo from 1986.
The company have replaced the sign 3 times and it can still be seen today.
From Soho, Chris’ work caught the eye of film producers and directors and he’s worked with Stanley Kubrick, Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan (more on that later…)
Chris passed away in 2014 but his son Marcus is now Creative Director. Gods Own Junkyard opened to the public in 2004, an archive you can walk through, eyes wide, soaking up the neon glare and then enjoying their cafe!
Celebrating its 700th birthday this year, Leadenhall Market is itself a spectacular visual backdrop, but now there’s even more colour to be found!
As well as a the main exhibition hub there are two further spaces, one focusing on neon pieces from Judge Dredd
And another with artwork from Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut.
Given Leadenhall Market is a popular place for filming (in the image below the curved building on the left is used as the Leaky Cauldron in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone!) It seems a great use of the space.
Gods Own Junkyard will be in Leadenhall Market until 31 July and its free to visit. The lights are on 8am-midnight daily and you can visit inside the main hub Wed-Sat 11.30am-7.30pm. Find out more here.
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