Saturday, August 24, 2013

Wood Street

We asked a few recent visitors to Wood Street what they thought of the place. Here's what they had to say:

"I love the community spirit, eclectic mix of vintage clothes and vinyl, new creative start-up businesses and the local characters."..."Relaxed atmosphere, interesting wares to scour, easy chat with stallholders."..."Wood Street Market is bloody marvelous. Can't beleive I've only just discovered it!"..."Not enough characters [on twitter] to describe all the characters in Wood Street."

Wood Street is well and truly chock full of charm and character. It's so retro in parts that you feel like you've stepped back in time. There must be few community high streets in London with such an eclectic and diverse mix of businesses. In a world of homogeneous corporate high streets filled with the same familiar brands, Wood Street is completely refreshing and utterly cool.

Many of the businesses on Wood Street also form part of the high street's rich history. From Colvins to The Brothers Fish Bar, its rare and astonishing just how long some of the shops and businesses have been serving this local community. At 55 Wood Street you'll find the Pie and Mash Shop that has been cooking up traditional East End pie and mash for over three decades.

Serving up traditional pie and mash for nearly 40 years
This is not your generic frozen and re-heated chain style establishment, all pies are made fresh on site each day. This place isn't retro, its original, the kind of place people try to model their modern retro themed eateries upon. The business has recently been put up for sale. So, if you're looking to invest in a fantastic up and coming community, this would be a sound bet.

Possibly one of the coolest places you'll ever enter anywhere ever! Especially if you love neon. If you're not sure if you're a neon fan or not, check it out anyway. The artist and owner behind God's Own Junkyard (GOJY) is Chris Bracey, who has been operating just off Wood Street for 37 years. Chris has a cult like following both here and abroad with buyers as far flung as Los Angeles. Chris has new and used neon signs, old movie props and circus lighting as part of his luminous labyrinth.

GOJY recently featured in an episode of the BBC cult show Luther, as did the new Wood Street Plaza. The only thing cooler than Luther being filmed on your street would be if they made a new season of The Wire and filmed it here. NOTE: SInce the time of writing GOJY have moved to a new location in Walthamstow. Click here for details.

49 years on Wood Street and counting. Pass the salt and vinegar...
Next year will make it half a century since this traditional chippy opened it's doors for the first time. When the mood strikes nothing can beat a hot paper envelope crammed full of fabulous fish and chips. Great friendly service and goes without saying that the quality of the food is outstanding. You don't hang around for 50 years if you're not doing something very right. Mon - Sat, 12 - 9 pm.

Open 10am - 5.30pm Tues - Sat
11am - 4pm on Sunday
Walthamstow's other market is steeped in history. From 1912 to 1955 part of the indoor market building was originally home to the Crown Cinema and was run by the Penny Picture Theatre Company. Market traders and shop owners have been touting their varied wares from the indoor market for over 30 years, but with a helping hand from Boris in 2011, courtesy of the Mayor's Outer London Fund, the market has gone from strength to strength attracting even more treasure traders to this unique menagerie.
So, what's there? An eclectic mix of everything! From vintage vinyl to football memorabilia. Bespoke cupcakes to retro fashion. Plus, an art gallery, hand crafted jewelry, prints, posters and paintings of every variety, toys, photography, upholstery, handmade soaps, fruit liqueurs and even a gourmet pop up coffee shop.

Below is an overview of just some of the amazing traders that make this market "bloody marvelous" as one recent visitor described it. Thanks Scarlet West. I think you're right! For a complete overview of each and every shop and stall please visit the market's website.

Aura Rosa Bespoke Cakes

Run by creative cake-makers Jason and Gio, who is a qualified pastry chef no less. From perfectly packaged cupcakes for any occasion to bespoke cakes for any special occasion, Aura Rosa is your one stop shop for sweet treats. 

Its tiring perusing all the wonderful wares of the market, so have a cake stop and refuel here. You'll be glad you did!

Vintage vinyl heaven. Plus collectible band posters and other music paraphernalia. Run by Guido, originally from Italy, he moved to London in the 90's in search of more music variety. Perfect for record collectors and music lovers alike. As well as Hypstz there's also Ash at A7 - records, comics and graphic novels; Mike's Record Shop; Tony Tunes - home to London's largest collection of 78s, plus collectibles a plenty; and Senza Record Shop. However, with such an eclectic array of vendors you can also expect to find vinyl hiding in other places too and that's part of the experience. For example...

Nobby Lawton's Olde Footy Shop

Musician, artist, collector - Jeff has been collecting football and music memorabilia for over 20 years. More than a specialist soccer shop, so even if you're not a footy fanatic check this one out.

Forsaken Dreams

Vintage and retro rummage fest. From clothing and furniture to antiques, collectibles and crafts. As well as their shop here at the market you will also see them popping up at vintage fairs and exhibitions. On September 15th they'll be at the Amy Winehouse Exhibition Vintage Fair at London's Jewish Museum and this bank holiday Monday check them out at Pop Up Vintage at Old Spitalfields Market.

Keep up to date @Forsakenvintage
It would be very easy to list every shop and stall, but that would spoil the surprise. Just go down and check it all out today, right now please. Its an absolutely amazing market that definitely helps put the awesomestow into Walthamstow. If you stop by on a Sunday (11am - 4pm) you'll also get to enjoy the best pop up coffee shop in London, Wood St Coffee. After your visit post your comments/pics online @Lon_Trends. We'd love to know what you thought and what you bought.

With coffee shops in mind, there are plenty to take in on Wood Street. There's Cafe Bonito - go try their Spanish hot chocolate, bueno! Lot 107 - lovely outside seating and lots of organic fare. Enjoy a coffee or a beer. Nice! The Old Station Yard Cafe - opposite Wood Street Station behind the garden centre. Top full English brekky. No need to pick one, try a different one each time you visit.

We're going to be doing a separate article in a couple of weeks on Walthamstow's best pubs and drinking holes, but suffice to say that if you're in need of a libation, Wood Street has got you covered. Drop into the Duke's Head or the Flower Pot and wet your whistle.

There's so much to investigate on this truly unique High Street in Walthamstow. With around 150 shops and businesses to explore you'll need to pick up a rail timetable at Wood Street Station to schedule in your many visits. The community spirit is a pleasure to experience. Whether you're dropping in to post a letter at the Post Office or enjoying a pint at one of the pubs, exploring the market or chilling out with a coffee, Wood Street's friendly folk ensure that you will certainly leave happy.

And there's more! From top left: Second Nature - organic and whole foods; organic ales at Second Nature; new and reconditioned bikes at Station Cycles - one of the biggest selections in London; Colvins - ironmonger, wood cutting, paint mixing and DIY specialist for over 65 years; The Viking Store - medieval, Celtic and Saxon military wares, Live Art Role Play and costuming. For more details on everything Wood Street check out the amazing

Thanks to Katherine Green for many of the amazing images used in this article.

A complete Walthamstow area guide.


  1. checked out wood st market for the first time. Immense vinyl assortment and loved Aura Rosa cakes and well everything down there really. Wood St Market is my new favourite London market!

  2. Glad to hear it, you're right Wood Street Market is very cool. Its possible that Gods Own Junkyard will be moving there soon too. Watch this space!

  3. Absolutely brilliant overview!

    Whats amazing is that living here all my life, I hardly realised how much actually goes on in the Stow. Its great sites such as this that allows us local people and those further afield to keep in touch with what happens in Walthamstow.

    Looking forward to the E17 Art Trail, that looks like its going to be fun! Also helps when you have a very prominent local MP too.

    Keep up the good work!