On BBC at the moment there is a lovely drama series “Call the Midwife”, this is set in the East End of London during the 1950s and I know it is very popular with pram enthusiasts. What a shock however last week when at the end of the programme it showed a Silver Cross Carlton pram which was used to portray a new pram bought by a grandma in the 1950s. For those of us who know our prams I am sure a lot of us gasped in disbelief that the BBC had chosen a pram first made in the seventies, but even worse, the pram used had the pastel dash lining which was not introduced until the nineties!
I know a lot of people complained to the BBC about this and I am also informed that the prams supplied for use in this series were clearly labelled with their details, so why use this pram? Had it been a 1990 model of car that had been used in a fifties series can you imagine what the outcry would have been!
This is the Silver Cross Carlton model, an older one than that shown in Call the Midwife, but the bodywork is the same design with the chrome “wave”.
I thought it would be interesting to show some pictures of prams which would have been used in the 1950s, many of them were the droptoe models as these were versatile and could be used from birth until toddler age. But for the more well off mothers there were some beautiful large coachbuilt models as well. The mothers in the Call the Midwife series were quite poor and it is hardly likely they could have afforded a new pram, so they would have used a pram which had been either bought secondhand or been passed down by others.
These two prams are both 1950s droptoe models, the black one is Marmet, the one behind Silver Cross.
And here is a Swan pram:
It makes me believe that the props department responsible for the Call the Midwife series must believe that all vintage prams look the same and that they are all made by Silver Cross. In the village where I live a friend told me last year that she had seen a young mother pushing a pram “just like yours”, meaning my Wilson Wedgwood. A few days later I saw the lady with her pram, it was in fact a Silver Cross Berkeley. I leave you to judge for yourself if they look the same!
Wilson Wedgwood, left,
and below, Silver Cross Berkeley