Hidden behind some shutters in Walthamstow is London’s very own neon wonderland!
Dubbed ‘North London’s version of Vegas’, God’s Own Junkyard was started up by British artist and ‘Neon Man’ Chris Bracey.
Having been influenced by his dad’s collection of lights, Chris devoted 37 years to collecting neon from all over the world – as well as creating his own bespoke designs.
Following Chris’ sad death in November 2014, his 43-year-old son Marcus now owns this neon nirvana and takes huge pride in carrying on the family trade for a third generation.
Marcus explains, ‘It started back in the 50s. My grandfather, was a coal miner from Wales and worked in the dark and then he came up to the light.’
‘He came up to East London and worked for a lighting company.’
‘He worked for funfairs and carnivals all around the country. He started to collect and upcycle.’
‘He wouldn’t throw anything away, hence why we’ve got such a mis-mash ‘mini Vegas’ going on in here!’
Now, God’s Own Junkyard are throwing open their doors to invite members of the public to have a nose around their impressive collection.
And with over 1,400 pieces on display – it’s fair to say that Marcus dreads the day that the energy bill arrives!
He says, ‘Every day we have to gradually turn the switches on, it takes about 5 minutes, because if we fire it up in one go it just blows and trips.’
‘The electricity bill comes to £700 a week. And if you get a film company turn up and get a few location shots here, I can go to over £1000 a week – it’s quite expensive!’
But with each piece on display for sale, with prices ranging from £400 to £60,000, we recon he can afford it! And Marcus isn’t a stranger to a celebrity customer either…
He says, ‘we’ve got plenty of famous celebrity customers that come in and see us. We’ve got Kate Moss, Jude Law, Martin Creed.’
That’s one way to light up the room!
Watch the video above to see this jaw-dropping collection for yourself.