Memories of Skipton: The Bethlehem Crib Scene of the 60’s


Welcome to one of our new features, “Memories of Skipton.” We want to create a section of our site where people can reminisce, discuss and share their memories of Skipton. It will be great for current generations and future generations alike, giving them an insight to the Skipton of the past!

Our first memory comes from Brian Stott, who is very active in the community, doing great work with Skipton Rotary Club.

If you have a memory of your own that you’d like to share, email it to

Memories of Skipton from the late 50’s and early 60’s by Brian Stott

Benny Robinson, my Uncle and my Auntie Minnie ran a Television Sales and Rental Business named Robinsons which was on on Sackville Street ( it is now Chico’s Pizza.) Your older subscribers and readers may remember this. My Dad Donald Stott worked for his sister Minnie as the Television, and in those days, Radio Repair Man.

The crib looked something like this, if you have a photo of the real one, we’d love to see it!

Every year the Skipton Hospital Friends used to build a Bethlehem Crib Scene in a sort of open fronted shed which was erected in the cobbled area ( if my memory serves me right) in front of what is now The Woolly Sheep and which then was called The Brick Hall . It contained ceramic figures of Baby Jesus , Mary , Joseph, The Shepherds, The Three Wise Men and various stable animals. It was full of straw and greenery.

My Dad and Uncle Benny used to do the wiring for the lights, and somehow, in the days well before tape recorders (never mind digital stuff) they got a record player to play carols to people who made a donation into a cash slot. The money raised went to The Hospital Friends Charity.

My Mum Muriel always used to take me and my sister, Janet, to see The Crib once it was put up and we were very proud that my Dad and Uncle helped build it. It was part of the Skipton Christmas tradition at the time!

Sadly some vandals smashed it up in the early seventies ( I think that was the date) and it was never seen again.

I wonder how many of your readers have memories of this!

In those days it wasn’t as easy as now to photograph everything so I have never seen a photo of it anywhere, however, the figures did look something like the picture in this article.

I hope you like my reminiscence!




  1. I remember thie crib , to me as a child I thought it was lovely . Was really disappointed when vandals destroyed it . I was really happy when it was repaired , I was talking about it with my sister Heather Furness a few weeks ago ,, we both liked it , After it was repaired , we remember it being destroyed by a wagon or van , it was the end for it , such a shame .


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