Welcome to the part of the hobby which I love. To recreate a heap of old, unloved scrap into a beautiful lady who shows us how she looked when she was new and carried someone's newly born infant in safety and comfort has always been my dream, and now I have had the good fortune to be able to do it for myself. I have long admired the talent of people such as Susan "Clovergem" and Alison Murfett and have watched their creations with wonder. It has taken years of patience and hard work to get to a standard I am happy with but there is always room for improvement and perfection is the ultimate goal!
Here are a few examples of my "projects" over the years. I can sit and look at the mistakes I made which, to me, are glaring examples of inexperience but they have been made with love so that's my excuse!
This is a SilverCross "Rose" dolls pram which I bought as a wreck and which was delivered to me in this condition, so no nasty surprises there.
And this is how she turned out, after several coats of white coachpaint which was my first attempt at coachpainting.
My own Wilson Antibes "Bird of Paradise" was a poor, neglected old lady when I first saw her. She had been allowed to decay quite a lot before I eventually bought her and it was with relish and quite a bit of gusto that I set about restoring her to an elegant and unmistakably beautiful pram.
Luckily I didn't have to replace the upholstery, it was the only thing on the pram which didn't need work!
I asked my sprayer, Dave, if he would put some coachlines on for me and gave him the colour. He used the stickon ones in ivory I got from a guy who cuts them with a computer program but Dave didn't have a pattern to copy so he used his imagination and I have to say I really like where he has placed them. It seems to give more elegance to the pram.
The Bird now lives with another dedicated prammie lady in Scotland and is being used for what she was originally intended - such a pleasure to do this pram.
WILSON ANTIBES "MONACO"
This is my favourite pram at the moment, I've just finished restoring it from what looked to be a lost cause, everything was rusty, even the aluminium body had suffered where the rust had pushed the paint off - the aluminium doesn't rust but it does gather on the surface of the metal and raises the paintwork from underneath.
The pram was given to me by a lovely lady in Codsall, Karen, who was the only baby who had ridden in the pram and then it had been put away and eventually had ended up in a damp shed where it had stood for a long time.
The wheels looked as though they would be impossible to get back to good condition but my platers did a fantastic job on them.
Natalie - Apolline on ebay - provided the tyres, Dave my sprayer did the paintwork and I did the rest, the upholstery, the hood and apron, I relaced the wheels and balanced them, and then my son David helped me to fit the tyres. I fitted all the rechromed bits and bobs, adjusted the brake to make sure it held the pram on a slope and it was such a lovely feeling to see it all coming together after seeing it for the first time when Karen wheeled it out of the damp garage.
I'm sure you'll love her too!!
The next pram I really enjoyed restoring was this sweet 1927 Pedigree belonging to Jan Oakes. Jan runs the exhibit at Onslow Steam Rally near Shrewsbury on the Bank Holiday weekend at the end of August. She is the wonderful lady who inspired me to start showing my prams and dressing in costume, if it hadn't been for Jan I would have been a closet Victorian!!!
The next two prams were restored at the same time, the SilverCross dolls pram was originally a "Rose" and fitted with two original Wedgwood medallions to make a mini Wedgwood pram. This was donated as a raffle prize for the Wedgwood Pram Day and the Marmet Queen was mine which was fully restored for Lorraine at Prams of Distinction.
This pram was one of the first restorations I did for someone else. It belongs to a lady in Scotland who found this 1950s SilverCross Equerry pram on a tip and paid £10 to take it away! She sent it down to me with instructions to make it cream with black polka dots - so I did!!!