Walthamstow is a fairly unremarkable suburb of London, notable for it’s long-closed Racing Stadium and it’s highly regarded Labour MP.  In recent years it has seen some impressive modernisation that made a repeat visit unmissable when I was in the area at the weekend.

The main areas of interest are the vibrant High Street market, the colourful takeaways of Hoe Street, attractive old buildings in the Village, and now the new ventures in Ravenswood Industrial Estate, close to Wood Street station.  The walk from the station to the Estate is dotted with attractive street art, but nothing prepared me and Mrs RM for the visual assault of God’s Own Junkyard.

This wonderful shop displays the greatest collect of neon signs and related ephemera I’ve ever seen, most of which were developed for films and TV.  Fantastic art.

However, it was the two units next door that attracted Mrs RM.

Mother’s Ruin Gin Palace was competing with the Wild Card Brewery Tap for her attention – both won.  Compared to Shoreditch or Bermondsey, both had very attractive pricing as well as superb quality.  The outside tables were packed with a very mixed non-hipster crowd, also enjoying some great looking pizza from one of those pop-up food ventures.  The industrial estate also had businesses that would fix your car, which seemed a bit incongruous next to all this fun.

A stroll through the graveyard took us to the delights of E17 central, which has a couple of wonderful pubs in the Olde Rose & Crown and The Bell.  Call it gentrification if you must, but to me this just looks like the efforts of young people to develop interesting businesses in affordable places.

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