At Blackhorse Road

Dear Readers, while I was waiting for my friend S for our regular walk around Walthamstow Wetlands, I realised that I’d never really looked at the mural on the corner opposite Blackhorse Road station. Today, the red ‘welcome’ sign was glinting in the sunshine, and I was intrigued by range of objects shown, so I thought I’d do a bit of research.

It turns out that the mural was created in 2014 by artists Chris Bracey and Jon Blake, and was commissioned by the London Borough of Waltham Forest and the Greater London Authority (GLA). Mr Bracey was the owner of God’s Own Junkyard, which was a showcase for his neon art, and is quite the destination in its own right. He died on 1st November 2014 at the age of only 59, which was surely not  long after this sign was completed. A life-long Londoner and Walthamstow resident, he made neon pieces for everything from Raymond’s Revue Bar in Soho to films such as Blade Runner and Eyes Wide Shut.

God’s Own Junkyard (Photo by JRennocks, CC BY 4.0 <;, via Wikimedia Commons)

The mural depicts images of local Walthamstow industry, such as the shaving brushes, pipes and leather goods made by Dunhill at their local factory, plus images of artists. After all, Walthamstow was also the home of William Morris and the birth of the Arts and Crafts movement, so this is a very fitting tribute to the many artists and makers of all kinds who have lived in E17. I note that in one article about the mural, it mentions that it has a life expectancy of ten years, and it’s now nine years old, and still looks good to me!

In other news, the weeping willow catkins are in full flower at the Wetlands now…

…the geese are all getting very antsy with one another, with much hissing and honking, though many of them can’t be bothered to do any actual attacking (thank goodness), so there’s a touch of ‘handbags at dawn’ about some of the palaver. These two Egyptian geese were very vocal, but it was hard to work out what exactly they were annoyed about. There was a single coot in the mid distance, but no other geese that I could see. Clearly these are very feisty critters.

This was a very striking hybrid goose, but hybrid with what I’m not sure. Plus he or she wasn’t cooperating on the photography front. The bird is clearly mostly greylag, but I’m not sure what else is going on.

And I loved the way that this greylag goose was rising above all the shenanigans and getting on with the serious business of grazing amongst the red dead nettle. At least some creatures have their priorities straight!


4 thoughts on “At Blackhorse Road

  1. Anne

    Egyptian Geese are very feisty creatures and once a pair have claimed a spot for themselves they will defend their territory against everything, no matter how small or large. I once saw one flapping its wings and hissing at an elephant at a waterhole!


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