The iconic 1930s neon sign for Walthamstow Stadium was lit up for the first time in eight years last night (February 10).

The 1933 greyhound track in Empress Avenue, closed in August 2008, and is now being converted into a L&Q housing development.

A total of £100,000 was given to the restoration of the much-loved Grade II listed landmark which featured on the album cover of Blur’s Parklife.

The race track display on the reverse of the facade has also been restored.

The kennels at the back of the site have been retained and will be used as sheds for on-site allotments.

Yesterday at 5pm, the scaffolding came down and the sign was lit up.

Historic buildings and areas inspector of Historic England, Claire Brady, said: “The whole thing is an amazing art deco piece.

“We don’t have that much art deco architecture represented in England and this one is of the finest quality.

“It’s a wonderful piece of construction that is very much valued locally and nationally.”

The housing development, dubbed Stadium Place and opening this spring, will have 99 shared ownership properties, a nursery, newsagents and café.

The neon was restored by craftsman Andy Cook, of Linton Signs, in Sewardstone Road, Chingford.

He first worked on repairs to the Walthamstow Stadium neon 20 years ago as an apprentice.

But he was excited about this opportunity to restore it to how it would have looked when it was first switched on in 1951.

He said some of the neon on the stadium facade was in a very poor condition.

A total of 320 pieces of glass were used in the restoration of the sign.

Mr Cook added: “I think to have it restored is a far better than having it made new because you would have lost the history of it.

“Everything had to be documented and photographed.

“Then L&Q showed Historic England and we would get the go-ahead to go onto the next letter and so on.”