Gallery: Marmet, Silver Cross, Osnath – there’s nothing like the grace and elegance of coach built perambulators say Felixstowe women
- Credit: Archant
The polished chrome and gleaming paintwork of a selection of coach built prams make an impressive sight arranged in a sun- drenched Felixstowe garden.
And with them are the owners and collectors whose passion for prams makes sure these reminders of a more civilised age are loved and cherished for future generations.
Penny Lingley, 66, is a founder member of Felixstowe Treasured Coachbuilt Prams.
It is her garden which is hosting the gathering.
She said: “We collect coach built prams, preferably the ones that are strap hung. They can be wooden or metal bodied.
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“In 1967 I had a green and cream Marmet Queen pram for my children. When my grandchildren came along I decided I wanted to get another one like the one I originally had.
“I couldn’t find one straight away so I bought a different model and when I got home my family initially laughed. But my grandson loved it and it was very comfortable for him.”
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Penny added: “Slowly I thought I’d have another one and now I’ve got 13 prams – ten for show and three under restoration.
“It is just a hobby but it is amazing to take a child out in them. Lots of people stop you and talk about them and tell you what prams they had. I soon realised there were other people interested in prams.”
Set up last year, Felixstowe Treasured Coachbuilt Prams regularly take their prams to events and shows such as Kirton Fete and the Felixstowe classic car run.
Penny said: “The majority of events are Felixstowe-based. I think we have about 16 people in the group now and it is growing. They don’t all have their own prams but they love pushing them. Little girls especially love pushing the dolls’ prams.”
Among her collection is a 1966 green and cream Marmet Queen Penny eventually found and restored. It cost 39 guineas to buy new.
She said: “We create information cards for each pram. We search for parts and accessories which can cost quite a bit of money. A new set of tyres could cost around £200, rechromed and respoked wheels could cost about £450.”
Prices of prams are rising as the hobby develops with an entry level collectors’ pram costing something like £300.
Penny said: “Coach built prams are very comfortable for children, they are safe and you can see the baby as you walk along. I see quite a few young mothers with prams nowadays.”
Kathleen Jenkins, 81, of Tomline Road, Felixstowe, has just bought a Silver Cross Wilson pram.
She said: “I had my first pram in 1956, this one is a little bit later. It helps me with my walking and I have always enjoyed prams.
“When my children were born I didn’t want to give up the pram but I had to sell it because we didn’t have room.
“I didn’t know so many people were interested in prams. I didn’t realise there were lots of other women like me but there are a lot of them about. They are beautifully made and I enjoying showing prams to other people and parading them. People are just so interested.”
Penny’s sister Dee Cornforth, 58, of New Road, Trimley, became interested in prams when her sister gave her one to push. Today she has a 1963 burgundy Wilson La Dauphine. She said: “I just fell in love with them. I wanted to do one up. It was hard work and took about eight months. It felt very good when it was done.”
Making the bedding and finding accessories is also all part of the fun.
Penny added: “There are so many different prams from so many different eras. We have had some lovely times showing them off to people.”
For more information about Felixstowe Treasured Coachbuilt Prams email penny at firstname.lastname@example.org