Iconic neon lights of 1930s Art Deco Walthamstow Stadium restored and illuminated
The iconic neon lights of the 1930s Art Deco Walthamstow Stadium, London, have been restored and illuminated, as part of a major redevelopment of the site designed by international architectural practice Conran and Partners
The familiar lights, which have been switched off for more than 8 years, were a memorable sight for millions of motorists on the North circular Road and appeared in pop videos, films, posters from what was known as ‘Las Vegas at the end of the Victoria Line’. The neon was restored by local craftsman Andy Cook, of Linton Signs, at his workshop in Chingford, Essex, just a few miles from the stadium. Andy first worked on repairs to the Walthamstow Stadium neon 20 years ago as an apprentice.
The revival of the sign now forms a dramatic entrance to the former Greyhound Stadium and is just one example of how the development is being sensitively redeveloped and remembered for what it once was. The tote board on the reverse of the facade which was used to display information about races has also been restored. And the kennels at the back of the site have been retained to be used as sheds for onsite ‘pocket allotments’.
This full signage restoration takes the colours and shapes back to how they would have looked when it was first switched on in 1951.
There are no readymade tools for neon crafting so nearly every tool is made by the craftsmen from scrap bits of metal. Andy doesn’t use protective wear, as it’s cumbersome and he has to “hold and feel” the glass as consequence he has no hair on his hands! He says it can take 15 years for a glass bender to perfect bending an exact 90 degree angle. Walthamstow has a history of connection with neon, being home to the internationally recognised neon gallery God’s Own Junkyard (www.godsownjunkyard.co.uk)
Conran and Partners' concept and vision will create 294 much needed homes for local people together with a
community-run sports centre, a preschool nursery, pocket allotments, play areas, a newsagent and a cafe. The
development achieved planning permission in 2012 and is currently being realised by L&Q, with their architects
HTA. The first collection of homes are due to launch in the Spring and will include 99 shared ownership properties, including maisonettes, houses and five wheelchair accessible homes.
Notes to Editors
Conran and Partners have been improving the built environment by producing thoughtful and inspired
architecture and interiors for more than 30 years. Based in London and Brighton they have a wealth of local,
national and international experience in Masterplanning and Urban Regeneration, including projects such as
the revitalisation of Green Man Lane, Ealing and the conversion of the landmark Centre Point tower from
office to residential use.
L&Q is a leading residential developer in London and the South East. For over 50 years L&Q has been driven
by its mission to create places where people want to live, and it plays a key part in helping to shape one of the
world’s most exciting, diverse and dynamic capitals.
Andy Cook has over 20 years experience in producing neon signs, using the highest quality materials as well
as tried and tested traditional glass blowing techniques.
For more information please contact Joe Pundek
+44(0)20 7706 6254