One of the UK’s most devoted pram collectors is parting with 30 of her antique and vintage prams including one used in cult TV show Peaky Blinders.
A Marmet Model W 1920s pram, restored and hand-painted by Mrs Brenda Nason and featuring its original hood and an umbrella case, was perfect for the atmospheric programme.
Mrs Nason, 78, from Kenilworth, a great grandmother, is selling 30 of her precious prams, several of which have been used by TV companies. Collected since the 1970s, they include rare and top-quality examples such as the Millson Sunningdale make favoured by the royal family and a 1920s Millson pram which originates from Yorkshire stately home Castle Howard where TV drama Brideshead Revisited was filmed.
She is also parting company with vintage Silver Cross Wilson prams identical to the ones she pushed her own babies in when she started her family 60 years ago.
Mrs Nason in 1963 with her La Ronde and the one in the auction.
“I’m selling a Wilson La Ronde and Wilson Pastorale, the same makes we purchased for our own babies, a La Ronde in 1959 and the Pastorale in 1969. These were top quality. I paid 38 guineas (equivalent to £594) for my original Pastorale which was a lot of money in 1969.”
The collection will be sold on Tuesday, June 18 at Hansons Auctioneers, Heage Lane, Etwall, Derbyshire. Makes and models include Marmet Britannia, Osnath, Pedigree, Wilson, Cumfifolda, Silver Cross and Millsons. The Duchess of Cambridge pushed Princess Charlotte to her christening in a vintage Millson pram the Queen used to take Prince Charles to his christening in 1948.
Mrs Nason said: “I think my love of prams was sparked by my mother. When I was a little girl in 1945, I desperately wanted a Silver Cross toy pram for my dolls. My birthday was approaching and there was a black Silver Cross with mother’s name on in inside a toy shop.
The classic 1920s pram used in TV show Peaky Blinders.
“I went to the shop every day to look and dream. One day the pram had gone. I was so excited.
On the day of my birthday I woke early and rushed downstairs but no pram. I thought it was going to appear after school so rushed home but still no pram.
“I never ever told my mother of my disappointment. It was obvious she had intended to buy it for me but, being wartime, money was short.
“My husband Malcolm bought me the pram I’d always longed for as a girl on my 60th birthday.Collecting and restoring prams was a labour of love for us both.
“Sadly, I lost Malcolm very suddenly three years ago, he collapsed at home and it was a terrible shock. We met when I was 16 and he 18 and almost made our diamond wedding anniversary.
Brenda and Malcolm Nason showcasing their prams in vintage costume.
“After that things were never the same. But even before I lost Malcolm I’d been saying I would have to let the prams go as I was approaching 80.
“We used to live in a large house with lots of space for the prams but I’ve downsized to a bungalow and simply haven’t got room for them all anymore, even though I am holding on to a few.”
For many years, Mr and Mrs Nason were invited to show the prams at charity events. They would don vintage costumes to match the era of the pram - outfits made by Mrs Nason, a talented seamstress.
She said: “We had a lovely time over the years. After we retired the prams became our main focus. Before the internet came along, which made it easier to source and buy them, I travelled all over the country to find vintage prams. I’d even go on holiday and come back with a pram in the boot.
“At one point we had over 200 prams dating from the 1800s to the 1970s but I never liked to count them. They cost me a fortune to restore but I did it for love.”
Mrs Nason, who has three children, four grandchildren and recently welcomed a great grandson into the family, says her favourite make is Silver Cross – but she isn’t fond of today’s generation or prams.
“They’re more like cots. The babies fit in to them too tightly. In the larger, older style prams they could stretch out their arms and legs and sleep comfortably.”
The pram collection will be sold on Tuesday, June 18 at Hansons, Heage Lane, Etwall, Derbyshire, DE65 6SL. Estimates for each pram range from around £60-£100. View the catalogue online at www.the-saleroom.com. To find out more, email [email protected]
To view the catalogue CLICK HERE