Vintage Pram Fan

For Fans of Silver Cross and all Vintage Prams

Posted by Lucy On February - 12 - 2014

 

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Have you ever tried to wheel a modern buggy or pram in the winter?  With British winters over the last two years having been particularly bad, a lot of parents have found it hard to get around with their babies in snowy conditions. . Impossible to take the car out and risk skidding, many have had to resort to walking with a baby in its pram, but how have you managed? Was it difficult to push the pram through the snow? Was your baby warm enough? How did you protect the baby from the cold? Did the fabric get soaked through or did you have to cover it with a plastic raincover?

All these things would have been so much easier with a traditional pram, the wheels are bigger and the tyres are made of solid rubber so they get a better grip on the snow. If the pram does slip and slide the baby is safer than if it was in a flimsy modern pram as the sturdy bodywork would protect the child against any impact.

In wet weather modern prams have to be covered with a plastic cover, which means it has always to be on hand whenever you venture out in case the weather in the UK turns, which frequently happens.A traditional pram has a hood and apron made out of waterproof material, just put the hood up and pull up the stormflap on the apron and baby keeps snug and dry. Only this week I have seen mothers holding a blanket over the front of the hood on modern buggies to shield their babies from the blustery wind, the babies must have felt quite claustrophobic.

A modern pram would be of little use in the floods affecting the UK at the moment, the fabric would be drenched and these prams are so low I imagine it would be impossible to wheel them through flooded areas. At least with a metal bodied coach built pram the baby would be high up and have more protection. And what about people being evacuated from their homes? I have seen pictures from the war years where families piled their prams high with treasured possessions as they were moving to a safe refuge.

Traditional prams are warmer, of course you still need to cover the baby with pram covers but they will be much cosier. In the days when everyone had a traditional pram, babies were put outside every day in the fresh air, whatever the weather, and in extreme conditions a hot water bottle would be tucked at the bottom of the pram, safely out of the way of the baby of course.

People in cold countries still use coachbuilt prams as they realise the benefits. One young couple in the Baltic states told me they bought a modern pram for their new baby, they walked everywhere and within a matter of weeks the wheels had worn out! They decided to go for a more traditional pram and bought a new one from Heritage, they are delighted with it, they walk miles every day and the baby keeps snug, warm and dry in their cold climate.

 

How did you manage to wheel a pram in bad weather?

Do leave a comment on the website

www.vintagepramfan.com

if you would like to share your memory.

 

Categories: Silver Cross

3 Responses

  1. val court says:

    Our son was born in Feb:1961, I had a lovely ‘Restmoor Countess’Coachbuilt pram for him. I walked miles and miles with baby safely snuggled down whatever the winter weather.
    That pram was a godsend in the winter of ’63, the baby was now a toddler but still able to snuggle down, well out of the snow and freezing fogs which were the order of the day,or should I say 3 months!
    There was plenty of room for the shopping in the bottom of the pram too and as you say in your article…. the large wheels got over the frozen snow ruts without any problem.
    I truly believe new Mums miss out not having a Coachbuilt pram for there babies.Unfortunately ‘progress’ has meant out of town shopping is a must and unless you have a Van a ‘Coachbuilt’ won’t fit into the boot of a car.

  2. Lynn Luck says:

    In the 1950s the advice was indeed to put babies outside to sleep no matter what the weather and I wonder how many deaths from hypothermia were attributed to cot deaths ie unknown cause . I can remember my baby brother being brought inside with croup one winters day . When the weather was clement I used to put my babies out to sleep two decades later but only when the weather was temperate and not in the heat wave we had in 1976 .
    Now our suburbs have sprawled so far and wide with all the shops gathered into shopping centres , competition making village shops un viable , it’s no wonder that the current generation of parents needs a car and therefore a pram that fits into a car . I love coachbuilt prams . They are wonderful but just don’t work for everyone . I remember lines of prams left outside the local shops while mothers went into individual shops . A stranger might very well rock the pram f a baby was crying . This was in the 50s and by 1976 when I had my first baby while I could walk to the shops with my lovely Silver cross I didn’t dare leave him outside and I had a bike chain for the pram .
    And so the coachbuilt is perfect for mothers or nannies who do not have to deal with the supermarket , who live in walking distance from schools or corner shops , perfect for picnics in the park but I don thnk we should blame contemporary mothers for doing what they need to do to make their lives work and keep their babies safe .

  3. Bren says:

    I think why not have one of each? — that way you can take your baby for a leisurely walk in your own neighbourhood with a lovely pram, & baby can stretch out comfortably & enjoy the fresh air. Then, have another (more modern or transportable one) that you can take in the car with you for errands. That’s what I did (of course, this would be if one has the space in their home for the traditional pram, as I realize they are quite big & that’s not always the case). Perhaps a more traditional style of modern pram would be the answer for those who don’t have the space for both, as a bassinette can go on the chassis for younger babies in many of them. That way you can have the best of both worlds. :)

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