Saturday, November 19, 2011

London through its charity shops #16: Wood Street, E17

Wood Street in Waltham Forest is rather rundown in a nice way, but at first glance, with its fried chicken joints and budget mobile phone shops, perhaps unappealing, but spend some time there and its charms reveal themselves. For a start, it's nice to see a High Street (of sorts) with no boring chain shops.

There are two charity shops. New Life charity shop is cheap and tatty with loads of clothes and bric-a-brac, as well as a fair amount of books and CDs. FEI Education & Cultural Trust charity shop is quite small so half its stock is outside, such as boxes of records (pictured, above right). Inside are a few books, CDs, lots of clothes, including some colourful Indian dresses, one of which my boon companion bought for £4. My barngain of the day: Wild Beasts – Smother, CD as new, £1.

Wood Street also has a charming, if smelly, Antique City Market and Collectors Centre (above left) with lots of interesting stalls and little shops selling records, books, bric-a-brac and tat. Further along the road is a cool Australian-like wooden shack called Second Nature, selling Organic and Wholefoods.

The word plaza is a Spanish word, consisting of an open urban space with a cathedral, administrative centre and law court. Wood Street's recently-built 'plaza' will probably never get confused with one in Spain, consisting as it does of a concrete wasteland and five blocks spelling the word PLAZA (otherwise you wouldn't know it was one). Though it lacks the three Spanish architectural ingredients, it does have three of its own: a monstrous tower block, a post office and an Co-op.

Just off Wood Street is the fascinating Gods Own Junk Yard, an amazing collection of 'New & used neon fantasies, salvaged signs, vintage neons, old movie props and retro displays'. Most recently featured in October's Vogue magazine, above. The owners run their own sign-making business over the road, and will open the Junk Yard up if you ask them. The signs have been collected from films including Batman, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Eyes Wide Shut.

No comments :