Gods Own Junkyard: a Walthamstow institution

more neon

 

For the past year or so I’ve been very very lucky to live only a short walk from Gods Own Junkyard  (yes, I’m fighting the urge to put in an apostrophe).  If you don’t know about it, it’s an amazing place filled to the rafters with nothing but neon.  It’s all the work of the Chris Bracey, who has been the go-to person for neon signs for the past few decades, ranging from the stripclub signs of Soho through to just about every neon sign that you’ll see in a film.  His work is just amazing, and you can even see it in Selfridges Oxford Street.

 

GOJY at Selfridges

 

I’ve been meaning to put together this blog post for a long time.   Sadly I’ve been prompted to post it now as Chris Bracey died last weekend.  Of course, I found out on twitter:

 

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I was pleased to hear that his family will be keeping Gods Own Junkyard open and I hope you’re inspired to visit.  I’ve taken so many friends there, and no-one has been disappointed.  You can even stop and have a drink at the cafe while you’re there.  It will definitely brighten up a London winter’s day.

 

gojy

 

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in the village: Walthamstow Summer Garden Party

It’s amazing how many people in London don’t even know that Walthamstow has a village.  Well it does, and it’s lovely!  Cute, quirky, independent shops, an ancient house, and a great sense of community.  I think I’ll save the detail for another post, but this is just to say that on Sunday I’ll be having a little travelknitter yarn stall at the Walthamstow Village Garden Party (well, if I ever get rid of this cough, but that’s another matter).

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Fingers crossed for good weather, and make mine a Pimm’s!

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Being a recent arrival to Walthamstow, I quickly set about getting involved in various things, including kicking off a new knitting group.  We have a group on Ravelry, as well as a group on Meetup, and we have a really good mixture of knitters and crocheters, so there’s no discrimination here!

We meet on the first and third Monday of each month at the recently refurbished The Bell.

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It’s a good local pub, with polished wood floors, rickety second-hand furniture, and comfy couches that are just right for sitting and knitting.  We tend to snaffle the couches by the window, so we get the best light and we can do some knitting promotion with the passers-by.

One of the walls even features William Morris-esque floral wallpaper, in a nod to the William Morris Gallery down the road:

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The food always goes down a treat:

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1-knit night

If you’re local to E17, please do come along and join in.

And just a little snippet of news:  Woolthamstow is about to get even woollier…

exciting!

E17 Pop-up Restaurant

There’s actually a good reason why things have been rather quiet over on this blog: I’ve moved to Walthamstow.  The move was completely unplanned (thanks landlord!) so it’s all been a bit frantic, but I think I’m getting myself settled now.  I’m having a great time getting to know a new part of London, and so far, I really love it here.

The thing that I love most about Walthamstow is the great sense of community.  I’ve jumped in head first, am getting involved in everything I can, and have even set up a knitting group (see here! Come join!). (Oh, and for those of who are not local, yes, it’s the birthplace of 90s band East17. There’s no need to include a link for that, is there?)

One local event that I discovered is the fortnightly E17 Pop-Up Restaurant.  Held every second Monday at the famous Ye Old Rose and Crown, the lovely Will hosts the evening which showcases a different international cuisine each time, and it’s about as authentic as it gets.  I was very excited about the first one that I came across: Burmese.  Can’t say I’ve ever had Burmese food before!

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It was really, really good.  For a bargain price, we got a delicious three course meal, with chickpea fritters to start, a main course of butternut or chicken curry on noodles with all the extras, and a dessert of mango and lime cheesecake or coconut sago pudding.

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Of course my photos don’t do it justice, but I was too eager to eat the food rather than mess around with settings on my camera.

I missed last night’s Korean meal as I’m currently in Cornwall (more about that soon) but I’m looking forward to seeing what’s up next.

Oh, and expect more blog posts from around The ‘Stow.  There’s lots of  great crafty stuff happening.

(knitted) paralympics

I make no secret of the fact that I hate sport. I never watch sport on TV, and I often comment that I moved to the UK just to get away from sports-mad Australia. I’d never been to a single sports game in my life (outside of forced school days). Well, now I have!
A friend managed to snaffle a couple of tickets to the Paralympic athletics, and really, it would have been rude not to go. Even for a sports hater, it really was very exciting.

The Stratford Olympic park was amazing. Even though there were probably 80 000 people at the venue, everything ran so smoothly. The army seemed to be managing the security checks which were incredibly fast; airports could learn a thing or two!

We had really great seats (well done Andrea) with the 200m track events starting right in front of us. With so many track finals happening, the field events got somewhat neglected. The javelin was fun to “ooh” and “aah” over, and the mini Minis were a brilliant idea for returning the javelins.

I also got to do a Mexican wave, so that’s my sporting experience complete.

I then went to see a Paralympics of a different kind. The kind that’s knitted!

Some of you may have seen media stories about a woman by the name of Mary Haggerty in Walthamstow who put up a knitted olympics display. I didn’t get a chance to visit, but I followed her on twitter, and made sure to see her Paralympic display. I did a bit of a Saturday afternoon touring wiht a few of my knitting group.  I think the display has become quite the tourist attraction:

 

Definitely not your average front garden!

If you’re in London this weekend I’d highly recommend heading to Walthamstow as it’s the last days of the fab E17 Art Trail. I’d love to hear about favourite art works and exhibitions you’ve seen over the past fortnight.

Personally, I’m not in London at the moment as I’m on my way up to Scotland for a knitting retreat. More about that when I return…