Today marks the start of Christmas for JFW Ltd. Our now 19 year tradition of assembling the Nativity Crib in Coventry City Centre.
Manufactured way back in 2004 we have been erecting and dismantling the crib every year since, not even COVID stopped us!
Building the Crib is a team effort every year, mainly because the roof is one whole piece, built using marine ply, Oak battens, fascia’s and soffits and Cedar shingles. Depending on how wet December is determines just how heavy the roof is going to be, one year saw expansion of a round 10 mm on each shingle!!! The second reason is for bacon butties and cappuccinos on site! There isn’t anything much better than gathering around in the cold with a lovely bacon batch with your work mates, laughing and joking. Every year this job allows us to put aside the stresses and pressures of the other jobs we have going on for a couple of hours so we can get together as a team and as mates to carry on this long company tradition.
We used to get together again during our Christmas shut down to dismantle the crib, giving us a chance to discuss our Christmas’ and plans for New Year. Also for more coffee and bacon rolls….. Could you blame us? It was usually freezing and a couple of the years we had to brush the snow off of the roof….. It also used to allow for extra help from friends, family members, work experience team members and retired team members. If you’re reading this, you’ll know who you are! It appears no-one can resist the tradition, or is it the bacon batch? However now we dismantle on our first day back, the threat of damage on New Year isn’t as great as it used to be.
Over the years the Nativity has been in a few different locations
- Smithford Way by West Orchards and the Library (this was the main location for around 12 – 13 years
- Upper Precinct next to the two escalators which have now been removed
- Broadgate opposite Primark
- Broadgate opposite Top Shop
- The top of Upper Precinct/ bottom of Broadgate
- Broadgate opposite Five Guys. (this years location)
We have liaised with 4 Fathers, used 8 different cafe’s/ coffee shops for bacon baps and coffee. (Currently Greggs), used 6 different company vehicles, Used 6 different hire vehicles, re-stained it twice, replaced 9 pieces of glass, used countless tubes of silicone, purchased 2 sweeping brushes because we forgot to bring one, made 2 modifications because of the location, locked a team member inside more times than I can remember and surprisingly the same garage door at the church (the thing has been falling apart since 2004…….) However we now collect from a different lock up.
Christmas has begun for us, I hope you’re all getting into the spirit of it!
Have a great weekend!