My parents have come to visit for a few days, this is the first time they have been to stay with us for about 10 years. They aren’t seasoned travelers so it took some planning to get them here. We booked their tickets and sent them up, then drove to St Pancras on Saturday to collect them. They don’t like central London so much, I think they find it a bit to busy and overwhelming, so they didn’t really enjoy the bit of the trip from train to front door. Happines soon fell when they were sat around the table drinking tea telling us who had died since we last saw them. “Do you remember Mrs so and so” My mum will say “well she’s dead”, I never have any idea who she is talking about but she feels the need to me anyway. Talk soon turned to what we were going to do in the afternoon, happiness turned to confusion when I told them we were going to an industrial estate to look at neon lights, drink some beer and eat chips.
I understand why they looked confused, travelling 200 miles to then spend your afternoon on an industrial estate may at first glance seem like a pretty odd thing to do. Ravenswood however, is no normal industrial estate, it’s already home to Gods Own Junk Yard, Wildcard Brewery and at weekends Chips With Dips, and now Mothers Ruin Gin and cakes Aura Rosa have moved in. On a normal day these residents make Ravesnwood an exciting place to place to be, but throw in a Cuban festival with live music and cocktails and you have the perfect recipe for a perfect sunny Saturday Afternoon.
First stop when we got there was to take Mum and Dad to Gods Own Junk Yard, on the way up Mum had asked if it was like the lighting section at B&Q so I don’t think they really knew what to expect. The yard was much busier than I have seen it, a self policing one way system was in operation as people flowed from the front door, past the new cafe and back up the other side of the yard. The parents made the appropriate “wow” and “ohhhhhhh” sounds, Mums opinion changed from B&Q lighting section to describing the yard as a magical fairy land. I knew they were enjoying it as they took some photos on Mums phone, a complex task that they reserve for very special occasions.
After our adventure in the neon wonderland we found a table outside Wildcard and sat the parents down for a rest, this also provided the perfect opportunity to purchase a few beers and a portion of chips with dips to keep our hunger at bay. By this stage the car park had turned in to a sea of people, it looked like half of Walthamstow had turned out to enjoy the event. We chatted with a few people we know, and chatted with a few more we hadn’t met before, prompting my Mum to say how friendly everyone was. It was sort of like being at a legal illegal rave, the warehouses and industrial units providing the urban backdrop, the Pimms stall confirming that we weren’t in any danger of being raided by the police. Its amazing how quickly Ravenswood has changed, like most people I didn’t really know it was there until the Junk Yard and Wildcard moved in. In a relatively short time it has grown in to a destination, then presence of Mothers Ruin, Cakes Aura Rosa and events like Saturdays are only going to add to its popularity. The success of Ravenswood is of course down to the hardwork of the local businesses who took the chance and opened up there, much to the benefit of those of us who live here.
As for my parents, they thoroughly enjoyed their day in a Walthamstow car park. As they are getting older I’m not sure if they will brave the journey down south again, so I’m pleased that they got to see how E17 throws a party.