Profile: Silbert Crichlow
In this month’s profile, Silbert Crichlow talks about growing up in Barbados, becoming bus driver of the year and volunteering at Live Aid and the London Olympics
When and why did you start coming to St John's?
I was brought up in Barbados and attended the Anglican church in our area. It had a school similar to St Johns. I attended that school, before moving onto the Secondary School. Both my parents were Church of England followers.
I cannot remember the year I started attending St John’s but always wanted to continue in the Anglican Church. I found that St Johns has that friendly and warm feeling when you enter. I used to attend St John’s occasionally due to my work (shift work) and since my retirement I can attend more often. Both my daughters were christened at St John’s. The vicar at the time was Father Gordon.
I like the friendliness of the people at the church and the flourishing choir.
What things have you done at St John's?
The main things I have done are being a sidesperson and operating the sound system.
How long have you lived in the area and where did you live before?
I have lived at my current address in East Dulwich for 39 years. Previously I lived in Queens Road, Peckham.
In Barbados I used to work at the private office of the Mayor and MP in the city of Bridgetown. He was the Grandfather of the present Prime Minister of Barbados (Mia Amor Mottley). This involved the selling of land, collecting rent and plans to be taken to the Government Ministerial Office for assessment.
Most of my friends were leaving the Island either going to America or coming to the UK. I always wondered what the other side of the world was like. My family have a record of travelling; my Aunts were in New York USA, and my Uncle was in Buenos Aires South America. I decided to come to the UK in 1961. I like holidays and cruises, but am grounded due to the pandemic.
Which other countries do you have family members in?
I have relatives in Barbados but all my siblings live in Canada.
What jobs have you done during your career?
I was a bus driver for London Transport. The routes I worked on during my career were 70, 202, 177, 188, 36, 163, 184, 108, 12, 436, 179, 186, 228, 192, 176, 94, 343 and 171. I was tested on all the latest models from time to time.
Whilst there I joined a computer course and after I retired, I attended Southwark College and gained my City and Guilds and ECDL certificate.
In 2003 I was voted Bus Driver of the Year. I was the only winner out of 2000 drivers. I went to City Hall to receive my award which was presented by the then Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone. The award also included a weekend in Barcelona all-inclusive for two.
I was voted Bus Driver of the Year for number of reasons including always being smartly dressed in full uniform, not taking sick leave, good attendance and punctuality, being accident free, and having no public complaints.
What other things have you done while in London and what were they like?
On Saturday 13 July 1985, I took part in LiveAid, arranged by Bob Geldof, ferrying people to and from the concert at Wembley Stadium. In 2012 I was a Games Maker volunteer for the Olympics. I was stationed at Greenwich Park where the Dressage took place.
You've been a regular attender at the Zoom Mass recently. What do you like about it?
We have to thank God for modern technology. Although we are in lockdown, we are still able to have Mass and communicate with our fellow worshippers. I like that with Zoom we still have a sense of closeness.
I found it easy to join the Zoom Mass. I would advise anyone to learn the basics of using a computer as most things are computerised these days.