Vintage Pram Fan

For Fans of Silver Cross and all Vintage Prams

Posted by Lucy On August - 15 - 2017

Vintage prams are experiencing a surge in popularity as more and more modern parents want to keep up with the latest trends for all things vintage.

But what do you look for in purchasing a vintage pram which is to be used for a baby?

First of all have a look around this site and at prams for sale or that have been sold on E Bay to find out about the different models, look in pram brochures from Silver Cross to see what the latest coachbuilt models are like, they currently make two styles but these come in many different colourways. Once you have done this you should have an idea of whether you prefer a high pram on straps or a medium sized one which is on a detachable chassis. The picture here is from a 1990’s catalogue, but gives some idea of the different styles of prams.

Think about your lifestyle and where you live. If you live in a house or flat with a lot of stairs then unless you have somewhere to store your pram on the ground floor it is probably not a good idea to opt for a large coachbuilt as they don’t come apart as easily as one on a detachable chassis. Nor do they fit into a small family car.

Whereas the medium sized prams, i.e. the Kensington, or vintage models such as the  Carlton, Grosvenor, Berkeley, Corniche, Tenby etc, have a chassis and bed unit which can be easily taken apart by just unclipping a bracket at each side. The handle also folds over and the wheels will detach easily too and they will fit into even a small car. When my granddaughter was born I bought a Kensington and this easily fitted into my very small car, the chassis fitted into the boot and the pram body fitted onto the seat next to her car seat.

Once you have decided on the model you like then you need to decide whether to buy new or secondhand. New prams cost in excess of £1000 but compared to modern buggy type prams this is not expensive as they will last far longer, your baby will be comfortable in a coachbuilt pram from birth until toddler age.

If you buy a secondhand pram or are given one that has belonged to friends or family it is vitally important that you make sure it is safe to use for a baby. In earlier posts I have mentioned how to clean surface grime off a pram, and there are other posts about restoring faded hoods and aprons – if you want to find these just go to the top of this page and in the Search box on the right hand side enter the phrase or words you are looking for.

A check on all the “mechanical” parts of the pram is essential before it is used, a bit like making sure a car is roadworthy.  Besides this perhaps the most important thing to remember is that years of grime can be accumulated in out of the way places inside the pram, (search earlier posts about this).

Before buying a pram you should try to inspect it personally, photographs do lie and often what looks to be a pristine pram in a photo turns out very different. If you can’t view before buying then you should ask the following questions from the seller:

Bodywork – are there any dents, major scratches

Chrome – is there any rust? If so is it just rust specks or is it flaking?

Fabric – is there any fading on the hood or apron? Are there any tears in any of the fabric?

Wheels – are all the hubcaps present? Are there any missing or loose spokes? Are the tyres worn? Do the wheels turn correctly?

Brake – does the brake work satisfactorily? Are the brake pads present ? (If not then you can buy replacements reasonably cheaply)

Are there any musty smells from inside the pram or on the fabric? If there are then this could be a sign the pram has been stored in damp conditions and will need a new bedliner at the very least.

Should you buy a pram that is advertised as having been “fully restored” or “baby ready” then make sure it has been done properly. A pram can be resprayed in any colour you choose and the hoods and aprons done to tone, in a fabric such as hopsack or cordura which are available in many colours nowadays. This updated look for a vintage pram often appeals to young parents instead of the more traditional black or navy.

Sometimes prams that are modernised with patterned bodies have been wrapped in a kind of plastic covering, this does not wear very well and may soon begin to peel off or look shabby. The same applies to transfers on the sides of the pram, a good restorer will have coated these with lacquer to make sure they don’t peel off.

Hoods and aprons that have been recovered should be made from proper waterproofed material, waterproofing sprays are definitely not suitable for use on a baby’s prams, they can give off highly toxic and dangerous fumes into the pram from underneath the hood which the baby will breathe in easily being in such a confined space.

Similarly, using material that is sold for vinyl tablecoverings is not acceptable as in time this will slacken and the hood will become baggy and loose. Curtain or upholstery fabrics are not suitable either, they are not waterproof and again will loosen in time. A good pram restorer would never use any of these materials.

 

Hopefully I have covered most things in this post but if you need any advice or want to add any tips of your own then please go to the website www.VintagePramFan.com and leave a comment.

 

Categories: Silver Cross

2 Responses

  1. Fiona Macpherson says:

    Hi

    I have a wonderful Silver Cross pram from around 1960. My daughter wants to use it for her baby in July. I wondered if you knew of anybody who services/ refurbishes them. It’s in pretty good condition and has been stored in the attic. Great to discover your website!
    Best wishes
    Fiona

  2. Lucy says:

    If you search on the website for Jacki Canning you will find some of the work she has done and her contact details.

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