The Christmas Crib on Streatham Common

60 years ago John Taylor, of Norbury, built a crib that he placed on Streatham common, next to the Christmas tree, for the whole community to enjoy. He has continued with this generous act annually & this year, on December 3rd , when he puts up the crib once again, will be his 60th year!

The first crib had an oak floor and a thatched roof made with straw from Chianti bottles that were fashionable at the time.  The first figurines were borrowed but Mr Taylor bought  his own set  the following year & has continued to maintain the crib and its occupants ever since.

Image of John Taylor of Norbury, who built the first Streatham Common Christmas Crib

Mr Taylor is a member of The Knights of St Columba, based at St Bartholomew’s RC Church. The Knights of St. Columba is a worldwide organisation that offers charitable support for local parishes.

In the early 80s Lambeth council attempted to prevent the crib being put up as they said it could offend other religions. However, a proactive member of The Knights went to all the different faiths to seek their views and none of them raised any objections, so the Council backed down.

In its 60 years there has been very little vandalism apart from a rogue brick thrown a few years ago which caused some damage but was very quickly repaired by Mr Taylor and his assistant of 20 years, Gordon Clark.

The Friends of Streatham Common and all members of the community are grateful to Mr Taylor and Mr Clark for their dedicated service and we look forward to enjoying the crib on Streatham Common for many years to come.

Photo of Streatham Common Christmas tree with crib scene underneath