PUBLISHED: 08:26 10 October 2013 | UPDATED: 08:26 10 October 2013
Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2013
Having dreamed of having a beautiful, classic coach-built pram for her own children, Chrissie Hall was delighted when she got the chance to finally buy one for her granddaughter. But she enjoyed searching for her perfect vintage pram so much, she began collecting them - and her passion developed into a wonderful new business.
“It really started by accident,” laughs Chrissie. “I just fell in love with these beautiful old prams. They were too expensive when my children were born but I always wanted one, so when I discovered I had another grandchild on the way I persuaded my daughter-in-law to let me get her one.”
Last year, Chrissie launched her business the Vintage Pram Emporium and she has been overwhelmed by the popularity of the beautiful pieces she collects and sells – for anything from £400 to £2,000.
“The trend for vintage isn’t showing any signs of slowing down and I think new mums just love the beauty and quality of them. To me, they are like a Rolls Royce. They are just exquisite and the craftsmanship that went into making them was exceptional,” she says. “The one for my granddaughter Scarlett is very rare and dates from the 1960s. It was made by Wilson and is called a Bird of Paradise pram. It is a huge, deep bodied pram which is cream with a burgundy hood, and has the most beautiful ceramic plaque of a bird of paradise on the side.”
She has some 100-year-old prams which she uses for exhibitions, and the 1960s and 1970s prams are proving very popular with new mums.
“People offer me prams from their attics, and I pick some up secondhand and refurbish them. I love the history and stories behind them. One of my first prams came from the Cadbury family, it was a Mark One Marmet Queen, and was top of the range. It was bought from Peter Jones in 1972 for Peter and Sally Cadbury, for their daughter Eleanor’s use. Then Eleanor married the Duke of Argyle, and it was refurbished for their three children. I bought it at auction for my collection and sold it to someone who came over from Australia especially.”
As well as collecting and selling prams, Chrissie also sells other vintage baby items such as sun canopies and cradles, and offers a refurbishment and restoration service.
Chrissie says the old fashioned prams are not just beautiful to look at but fantastic for the baby.
“Although modern buggies offer convenience and have benefits, to me there is nothing like a coach-built pram. The suspension is amazing and the baby is much higher up, and because it can lay completely flat and have plenty of room it is good for them physically while their bones are soft and still growing. Best of all, the baby is facing you, which is lovely for interaction and means you can watch them while you are walking.”
Viewing by appointment, 07776 274618; www.vintagepramemporium.com.