CoachBuilt Prams


Fred  McKenzie  'Prince'



 'Prince Fred'



 I   like    big  prams   that's  all there  is  to it.  I  nearly  fell off my  chair   a    few weeks ago  when   an  email   came  into my Inbox    with  photographs  of     3 prams  which  a  gentleman  was  selling.  They had  belonged   to his  mother and  she had recently  died.       I  looked  a little   harder   and  I  thought Millson Prince!   And  sure  enough it  looked to me  like  a Prince.  Same  hood arms,   same  handle,   it  looked  to have    24  and 22 inch  wheels  (  I do hope  so)  balancing  axle.  I can't  see the  little     Nanny's    storage  compartment  which   apparently  all Prince's   had   but  I hope it is  there   as  well,  there is  one on my other  Prince,  just  below  the  foot extension,    so  I will know  what  to look for.


I  very  soon  made  an offer  on the Fred  McKenzie   and     it was  accepted,  I'm  now  waiting  for  Prince Fred  to  get  here,  very impatiently  too.  It is   only  the  second   green    Prince that  I have   seen      as  well (they are  usually    dark  navy  blue,  but  I  have  seen  a   lovely  silver  grey one  too  both the  green  one  and the  grey  one  had   cream linings  as  well) and unusual    to  see a    cream  lining  in  a  Prince,  they  mostly  seem to be  navy lined as  well. 


Why would a Millson Prince be sold with a Fred McKenzie badge on it? Apparently Fred McKenzie sold quality prams but they weren't pram makers. It appears that they bought in unbadged prams from good makers such as Millsons, LBC etc and then put their own badge onto them. Treasurecot did the same and so did Harrods.


 I have been  Sleuthing around for days now asking people and trying to find out about it  all. I have today spoken to two ladies one, Queen B. - who some of you may know  and  who has  forgotten more  about  prams  than  I have  ever  learned - told me that she had once seen a Millson Prince  wearing the Fred McKenzie badge and she couldn't get over it either at first. The second prammie I spoke to was   another friend  of  mine   who  lives  north  of the  border - also well known to many of  you  and  very  knowledgeable - and she said that the Fred McKenzie company were indeed pram sellers and not pram  makers in the same way as Treasurecot were. So that puzzle seems  to be  solved.



 The  pram   has  a decal    for   the McKenzie  badge    as you  can see  above.   So if  the body needs   repainting   I  will have  to  do something  to    make  sure that  I  keep  this  badge  and  the  crest  below as well. 


I  am  hoping  to   keep  the  pram  as original  as  possible,     I   will have to make  a new  hood  and apron  for  it  because there  is no  apron with it  at the moment,   but   if  you look at the   photograph of the inside of the  pram  at the  top,   you  will  see that  it has  two  sets  of    rein    fixings,  one  at  the  top of  the pram where  the   baby   would  lie   and there  is  another  set of    rein fixings at the handle  end  of the pram,  presumably  these  are  for  a    toddler  to be   fastened into  the pram  with it's  feet in the   foot  extension  judging   from  the    positioning  of  the   rein   and  apron  fittings.  I  will be  able  to  tell you more  hopefully  when I  get it  here  and  have  a proper  look.   But    there is  also  a  set of  chrome   apron   fixings    on the top rail   above  the  rein  fixings   which   presumably means that there  was   an  apron  with this  pram    for    the   toddler     as  well  as  the  baby,  rather  as  there   is  on my other Prince,  the navy   Millson Prince.   So I  will have  to work something out   in order  to give  Prince Fred  his Apron  again.


There    also  appears  to be  a   crest of  some  sort  on the    side panel  of  this  lovely pram,   I    would like to be  able  to   discover more  about that,   or maybe  it is  a Fred McKenzie     'thing' I  know   very little  about  the  company  up  until  now.  I  do know  that  Millsons   took over  the  company  pre   1963  but    exactly  when I  don't   know. I  found  an  advert  which had  been given  to me  by  another  prammie  years  ago   and    it  was   saying that   the Fred McKenzie   company had   been amalgamated    with Millsons   and  they   now  had  the   largest  and best   pram   showroom  in London.   The  advert  showed   two     phone  numbers   for   Millsons,   and  one  of them  was  Welbeck   2401   and  as you will see  from  the    Fred  McKenzie  badge  above    it  had originally been   their    phone  number   and  so   Millsons  took  over    the  phone  number  with the  company. 


Search  for  Millson  model   Information   


If  anyone   has  any     information   at  all on  the Fred McKenzie  company   I would be  very interested  to     hear of   it  please.   But the one  thing  that  I  would  also  like to see is  a  Millson catalogue  page of  a  Millson  Prince  pram if  anyone   has one    I  would be   willing  to  buy a copy   please????  There are many  Millson prams  around  which have   some   form  of  'wings'    but    totally  unlike  the   Prince  wings    that  I  have   on my   Prince's.    I am  wondering    what  model  the  others  were.  Were  they     earlier  models  of a  Prince,  or  later  perhaps   and  my Prince  prams  are  maybe  older?    I  don't  know, but the only  way  we  can be  sure   is  to  see  a catalogue  page of  a Millson Prince model.  


Last  night  I  was  watching  a  DVD of  a  visit  that  Queen B  made  to   Jack  Hampshire at his  home  along  with   her  daughter  in the late    60's I  believe it  was.  It  was  amazing  to  see  the   sheer  numbers of prams,   on  shelves  on  walls,  in the  bathroom,  in his  bedroom  and  the  way that  he hopped in and  out of   a  couple of the larger  models   and  lay  down  too!  BUT  at  one  point,  after  he had   got into   a  large  pram,  he  describes   the one that  is  next  to  it  as -  and I   think  these  are  his   very words,  which I  will  double  check -'the  finest  pram  every  made,  a  Millson  Prince.'     The video   shows    a   dark image  of  a pram  and the camera  was  looking  down  at  the pram   so  the image is  not  absolutely  clear,  but  that  pram   has  the same  shaped  'wings'  as  the  two 'Prince'   models  that  I have.  Whether  there  was  an earlier   model  though I  don't  know,  please  help  my search if  you can  provide  any  information  at  all.


I have  realised  now  how  I  can  prove  that  my   Millson  Prince  is  a  Millson Prince  at least!   I had  forgotten  that  when I    took    the  hood  fabric    from the  frame  and  took  apart the storm  apron on the Prince,  that written on the  back of  the   fabric  was  the    word 'Prince'  and  the   date,   a  day  in    1964.  I  will take    photographs   of  each  and  put  them onto   the  site   asap.   So  I know that   it  came  out of the  Millson  factory  as  a  Prince.   So there is more than  one  way of  skinning  a cat  as  they  say! I  will be   interested to  see if the  same  is on the  back of the hooding  fabric  on   Prince  Fred,  who is  arriving  tomorrow  by  the  way.



 Well    Prince Fred's   chassis  is  being collected  today  from being  sandblasted   and   I  will need  to   prime  that  asap  to    begin  the painting  process.   I  took  the  body  to  a   paint  manufacturers  locally  who    matched  the  paint  beautifully,  I  can recommend   their coach  paint  and it  doesn't   cost  the earth.  The name of the  company is  Bradite  paints  and  they are   in  Bethesda  North  Wales  and have  been manufacturing  paint  for     70 years.  by the  way  the   paint  'recipe' was saved as  'Millsons Pram Green'  if  anyone  would  like  any  of it! 


I have  been practicing  coachlining  using   stencils  as  well  over the last  few  days  and   it isn't  going    badly   I  am  at  least   sure  now that  I can  put   the  coachlines  back onto  Fred's  chassis. You can  see    my  first  effort  above.  One thing  I  did notice about  the  chassis  is  that  it  only  has  one leaf  in it.  Most   C  chassis  have    one  long  leaf   which makes  up the   'C'  and  another  shorter  one   in the middle of the  main  one   which is  rivetted  into  place.   Fred  only has   the one   which means  that   the  chassis  is  very easy  to  bend,   I can  put on  and  take off    the  suspension  straps  with no  problem at  all on my own.  No  struggling!  It   does  mean that  the    chassis  is   slightly  lower   and  I have   tightened  the straps  much   further than  I ever  have  done  on  any other pram,   just    to   pick that  chassis  up.    However  the handle  is  still    pretty  high  and the  top line of the pram  is    36 inches  now, or  rather  it was  when I    had the    body on  the  chassis.  Handle  is lovely  and high  too,  I  do like  big  prams.

One thing  that  I  noticed - funnily   enough it was  when  I had the pram  at  the  paint   factory - was  that  Fred has  - or has had - woodworm  at  some point,    and  so  he was  treated   to  a   treat of  the nasty  smelling  stuff,  just in case.   I now have  to  fill the  holes  as  neatly  as  possible  because  I  don't  want  to   have  to   repaint    the body if I can possibly  avoid  it.  Also  while  I was there   there  was  a  Rep  from Purdy  the  brush  company  and  I   told her that  I  used their  brushes  for   coachpainting.  She told  me of  another    type of  brush  that  they    have   which  makes  it   even   better  for    coachpainting,  hardly  any  brush marks.  So  I am looking  forward   to  trying one of  those  out   on  Fred's   chassis. 

I  am  also  very loathe    to  re line  the pram  because there  is nothing  wrong  with the lining  except  that  it  is  rather   'yellowed'   in places  and  the    stitching  has  disintegrated   along  the line  of the piping  on the  top  rail on  each  side,  something to  do  with  the  baby  having it's  hands  on there  so much I  assume.  But  I  think  that  I  can  handstitch  the piping line  back  again,  I'm  hoping to  give  that  a  go  today.



Hot  off  the  Amberservices   van   and    with  the body   on  the  wrong  way  around  but  here is  Prince Fred  when  he   arrived  here

Beginning  to   take  Fred  apart    in  this  pic.  The  chassis (below)   is   going  to be  sand blasted   and  I   will  paint   it    once  I have   got  my paint  matched  to the body.  Bradite  paints    which is  a  local  company  here  in  North Wales   matched the paint (oil   based    either  for   coachpainting  by  hand   or   for  spraying  when   diluted   sufficiently  with   white   spirit)  for me   and  it has  been stored     as Millsons Pram  Green!  How  about  that    for  'imortality'   then?  The    match  is  very   good  I have  to  say.



What  a s tate  the  chassis  was  in  as  you can  see.   It   was  covered  with  thick     oil   which  was     thick   with   lots of  dust  too.  Large  areas  of the paint   was  missing,  as  you  can see  above,  this is  part of t he  balancing   axle.

Fred's chassis  is  unusual  in that   there  is only  one   'leaf'  in  the  chassis,  I have n ever  seen  one  like  this  before,  they   usually have  two  leaves,  the  two  large  outer     leaves   which   also   take  the straps   to  suspend  the  body  from  and  a   smaller    inner  leaf   which  is rivetted    onto  the   larger  one,  that  one is  non  existant  on Fred  and  moving the  chassis  around    is  a   bit  strange  because    it is  so  'moveable'.   I  even  managed  to  put  new      temporary    straps   onto   it   myself,    it  usually  takes    two of  us  to    put  straps  on.


Here is  the  footboard  or    rather  the   foot  extension,  as  you  can see  this  pram    has  no  top rail   to  the  bottom of the pram.

When  the   foot  extension  is  folded   up  as  in the  bottom pic here,   the   extension   forms  a  sort  of  pocket   which has  obviously been used  as  a  sort  of  purse  type   holder.    The later    Millson  Prince  had   a   little  compartment  under  the  foot  extension     and  presumably  this  is  where  the  idea  for  that  came   from.  The later  Prince  had  a more usual top  rail  to  the   foot   end of the pram    as  well.


The lining of  the pram   is  rather    faded  in parts,  but   is  in  not  bad  condition   apart  from that.

One of  the  larger square   cushions  is  missing  and there is  no     apron  to the pram  either.

Because  I    don't   want  to      mess  about   with Fred's    body    or  interior  any  more than  I have  to,   I   tried  something  radical   on  the  interior.  Some  years  ago  I    bought  a    vinyl   dye  in  white   which I have   never  used  and I have  no idea  where  on  earth  I  bought it  from,  but  I had   two    aerosol  cans of it  and I     wondered   what it  might   do  for  Fred's    cushions/interior.  I  tried it  on the  cushions  and    boards  first,  the  result  can be  seen  below. 



This is  what  I  used.  I  used   both  cans  up   spraying  the interior of  the pram  and  the   hood  lining.  I could  have  used  another     can at least  but  couldn't  find  any    for  sale  over  here.  I  would  not  use  this   sort of  thing  for  any  pram   which might  be  used  for  a  baby  but  for   smartening  Fred  up  until I  can    change  the lining  this  will  do  fine  for  now. 

  Here  is  a  pic of the lining   after   I had    done  my  spraying   bit.  I think it  looks  a lot  better,  I  also    sprayed  the   hood lining  too.

I   found  that  Fred had  had   woodworm  at  some  point,  which   should  not  be    active   at  this     time of the year  but    just  to be  sure, I      gave  him  a  damned  good   bath  in    the  appropriate  insecticide   and  apart  from  a  bit  of  a  smell   hanging around the work  room  for  a few  days    all  is  well.   Apart  from  filling  the holes   in  the  body  and      putting  a    few   blobs  of   paint  in  various  places to   make  good,   I  am   hoping that   a  good  polishing   should render  Fred 's  body   fit  to  be  seen  again,  I     would  really like  him  to be  as    original  as   I  can  possibly  keep  him.

Fred's     chassis    being  sprayed  with   Halford's   primer.   It  has  been  so    very  cold  and  snowy  up here  that  I have  had  no  time  to be  able  to    start  putting  the  top  coat  onto  the  chassis.  Cold   weather  and  painting   don't  sit   well  together.

I have   however   been  busy   sewing  the  hood  and  making  up   the  apron.  Luckily  I had  the    original  apron  for  the Millson Prince.   This  didn't  fit  Fred   absolutely  correctly,  the  sides of the apron     were   rather  a   bit  too   short  and  had  to be  extended  and  the  length  of the apron,   or  at least the part   that    extends  inside the  hood  to   fit  around the  baby  was  too  long  and had  to be  shortened.  There  was  also  some    big  differences   in   the   bottom of the  apron  at  the   foot  end  of the pram  and  how   they   fixed onto  the  foot  extension (because there  is  no top  rail at  this  end of  the  pram).

As  you  can see  above,  there  are  two   'turn locks'   which    fix  the  bottom of the apron  to  the  top of  the  foot   extension  when   it  is   down,   but  when the     foot  extension is  folded  up  and  isn't  being  used, there  are   also  two     turnlocks  in  the  wooden   base of the    foot  extension  too.  As  you  can see,  there  are  also   two  lift  the  dots    on   each  bottom corner  of the  apron  on the outside   edge,  there  are  two more  at  the    top  of the apron  on  the   outside  edge  too  and then  two  leather  tabs   at  the  inside  top  edge    which      go  over  two    chromed  pins as  usual  in  this  type of  apron.  There   are  yet  two more   fixings for the apron that  I have   got  to    put  onto  the   apron, but  I'll  show  you  those later  when  I have   finished  them.

The   apron  storm   flap  isn't  attached  in  this  photograph,  I   want  to   fix  the  hood into  place  before  I     work  out  the  exact  place  to   stitch it  to  the    main  apron.  the  Prince    original  apron   is  slightly  different   to  aprons  that I have  made  before  because  it   is   slightly   wider  than  I  would have   expected  it  to  be  in  comparison  to the   main   apron.   I have  kept that  in place  for  Fred's  apron   so it  is    slightly  wider  than normal.  The  storm  apron   flap    on   Fred  was   also   fixed  with  a  popper  to  the  main   frame of the  hood  and  not    using  the  normal   apron lifts  but  I  have    parted company   with  Fred's  originality  here  and  have  put   apron  lifts   onto   the  apron.  I  could  not  find    poppers   small  enough   to  use  and  I     could  not  face  using  those   great   big   horrible     silver  things.     If   I  can  find    something  neater  I  think  I   would  put   them  onto    the apron  mark   II  because  I  am  not  totally happy  with   either  the hood or the     apron  mark  I,  so  watch  this  space. 

The  Prince      had  3  aprons   I think   I have   shown you  before,   one   for   single   baby    in the pram     and    a  toddler   apron  and separate   half  sized   baby  apron   for  when  there is  a  toddler  seated  on the toddler  seat  which  attaches  to the  top  of the pram.  Fred  has  a  similar    way of  seating    a  toddler.  There    is  a  way of  seating  a toddler    with it's  feet  in the  foot  extension   and   there are   fixings  for     reins  and  also  a  toddler  apron    also  and  so  I have  got  to   make  one of  those   next  and     that means  I'll  also  need  to  make  a  half    sized  apron  to   fit  the   baby   end  of the pram  too.   I   tried  the  Prince   apron      into  place  on Fred  and  it   doesn't   look  half  bad,    so I'll  use  that  as   the basis  of  my pattern    for   Fred's   toddler  apron.  Watch  this  space.


 I have  use    some    different   fabric  for  Fred,  it  is   the  only      one that  I  could get  this   particular  shade of   green  in   and    is  a much  softer    fabric  than  I   normally  use.    I  like it,  but  now  that  I have  used it,  I know    that  I   need  to  employ  some  different  techniques       the next  time  I  use  it  because  I am  not  totally happy  with  the  finish  on the  hood  particularly.


If  you  look  at  the  photograph  above,   see  the   pin  where  the     canopy knobs  will  normally   fit  onto  the  frame  and  you  can see that the     fabric   there is  puckered    slightly.   This  is   because    this  new  fabric  is  much  much  softer  and  the   fabric  has   moved   slightly  on  the  frame  as  I have    sewed  the  lining  into  place.  The lining   has  pulled  the    main  hooding  fabric    and  it  has   moved  slightly   on the  frame.  I  will  need  to  use    something  to  stiffen  the  fabric  at  this  point.    Apart   from  needing  slightly   different   working  techniques,     it  sews  beautifully  is  a  very matt  fabric  and   looks  really  lovely  I  think,  but  then   I'm  biassed. 



This  is the original  hood  lining   sewn  back  into  the  hood  which  worked  very  well.

All  I  have  to  do  now   to  have  Fred  looking  fit  to be  seen  is  to   paint  that  chassis  and   to  put  the   coachlines  onto   it  as  well.   Roll    on  the    decent   weather  please!

2nd  April    2013

Still  no      warmth  to  allow  me  to   paint the  top   coat on Fred's  chassis,  there is   still a  lot of  snow  and ice   hanging  around here   and  although the  sun is  out  today it is  very  cold  with the   wind   coming  from  Siberia   I  think!

  DISASTER!   And  I  am not  exaggerating. I    gave  Fred's  body  a   good  T  cutting  and  waxing  the  other   day,   fixed  in  the  rein  fixings  etc   and   wanted  to    fix on the  handle   brackets  to the  body  before  I put  the  hood  onto  the body  as  well.  I  went  to  fetch  the handle  fittings,   there  was  the push  bar,  there   were  the S  bars,  brackets?   Nowhere  to be  seen.   They are   a  good   7 inches  long   minimum,  I  can't   have  lost  them,  I  can't have,   they  were  all together   there.    After   a  lot of  searching  and  not  finding,  my husband  found  them,  in my  painting  shed?  What  on earth  were  they  doing  there? No idea.   They  were in  a  carrier  bag  with  some  old  tape off  Fred's  hood  frame  and  a   tin of  rubbing  compound  which I have  had  for  years  and never   used,  where  that  had  been   heaven  knows.  I  was  just  sitting  here  thinking that  I  should  go  and  have  a  really  good  dig  around  in that  shed  and Tony  came upstairs  and  said  he  had  found   them  in there  himself.   Thank  you God,  that's  all I  can  say.

Here  you see  them  the  bracket   pinned to  the  underside of  the  top  rail,  the  handle  folds on Fred,  folds  down    so it  just  skims  the  floor  to  save  space,  it   comes  up  again  and    fits  up  against  the bracket  that you  see  there   and   the  little   chrome   ring   is  pushed  down over  the  end of the  bracket   and   fixes it  firmly.  As  you  can see the handle   pivots  off the  suspension   hook,   these  are  not  the  same  way  that  my  Millson  Prince  handle    fixed  at all.

The   handle  bracket     when it  came off the pram  and  below    after  I had  cleaned  them up  enough to  have  them  made  decent  at  least.

Got   to  go  now,  I must  go  fix  the  brackets to  the    pram  before  they  disappear  again!

Chassis restoration


Fred's   old   chassis  above  was    sand blasted   and  then I   put  a  coat  of  high build  primer  onto it.  This is  Halford's  high build  primer.

I had  had  the top coat paint  mixed to match  the   body of the pram  and  I  sprayed  the  chassis  with that myself.  It is  an  oil  based    enamel  paint,    which  has it's  drawbacks  because  it  takes  a long  time  to  dry,  but  I     took  to   spraying   in the morning,   leaving  an oil filled  radiator  on  high  in the  shed  and then   I could  get  another  coat  onto  it  again  in the  evening,  which wasn't  so  bad.   I  also  found that  the lighting in that  shed is  terrible  for  spraying,   certainly  for  dark  colours,  so that  will need  changing  now. 


Not  a professional  job  I  wouldn't  say  but  I have to learn  don't I?  I was going to   coach paint it  but  it  was a  nightmare  getting  in between  all of the     bars  of the    balancing   axle.  On the Millson   Prince the  balancing   axle  can be removed   to  paint that  separately but    with Fred   there is  no option  but  to  do it  all in one  piece,  so I  gave in  after  a couple of failed  goes  at it and  I  returned to my  spray  gun.

Fred   has  coachlines  on each  side of  the  chassis  and it was  a  nightmare   trying to  get  the masking  right  under  that  curve   on  each  of the  corners.  I  also  changed  the      pattern  of the  coachlines   which I  wish  I had  not   done  now,  I'll probably  change   it back   after  Wedgwood  I  think, more  practice   if  nothing  else.  I forgot  that I  was  supposed  to be  keeping it  as  original  as  possible.


This is  the  underside of the  chassis (above)  you can   see the  balancing  axle  at  the  top of the pic,   after   masking tape has  been removed.

Above - this is  the  top  of  the  chassis    that   has  been  masked out  and  painted  this morning. 



The   finished   coachlining  which  is  a   sort of   light   gold  colour, as   near  as I could  get to  what  is  on the   body work.  

All  I need  to  do  to it  now  is  to  lacquer it  tomorrow  hopefully.  I have  the straps  dyed  and  made  so  hopefully  I    could have  him on  wheels   again  by  Monday   sometime.   Can't  wait.

Well  I  lacquered  the  chassis  with  the   lacquer that  Halfords  told me    would  be  fine  to put over an oil  based  paint  and it looked  good after the  last  coat. 15 minutes later  I  went  back  into  my shed  and   the paint  and  lacquer   didn't seem  to have  taken to  each other  at   all,  the  surface  had  wrinkled  in a  few places   but   one   place  especially   on  the    top of the  chassis  right w ere  it  would be most  visible.  I  felt  sick!    No time  to   strip   down and  respray   so I  masked  off the   roughly     2  inch  long  section   sanded  down the  paint   and    painted it   with a  brush,  using  an electric  radiator  to  dry  the  paint  over night.    Next  day  it w as  looking    acceptable (amateurishly  acceptable!)   and   I    polished it with a   cutting   compound  and t hen  re-did the coachlines  too.  Here  is a  photograph of the  end  result.    You can  just see that  the  new paint is  a shade lighter  than  the  part that  had been lacquered (I  daren't  lacquer  this  section again) and you can  just  see the  joins  in    the  coachlines  too.


2nd May 2013

I   put  the  eyelets  into   Fred's  main apron   where the  toddler  apron   should   fit  when I  finally  get  around to making a  pattern  for one.  There are   two   chrome  pins  sticking up  on the   top  rail    and  eyelets  were  needed   so that   there  weren't  two  'bumps'  in  the  top of the apron. I   think I  will  replace the    lift  the  dots  that  I put  into  the  sides of the apron  with  these    eyelets    when I   make   model   two of the  hood  and apron  - when I  find the right fabric!  They look  more in  keeping  with  the  age  of the  pram  I think.

3rd May 2013

Today    we put the  wheels onto  Fred.  These  are    'borrowed'  wheels  from  two  other    prams - 24 inch  and  22 inch  wheels  on Fred -  because  his own  wheels  need  chroming  and  I  didn't have  time to  do them before Wedgwood.

Then  it  was  get the straps  on,  and lets  see if  it  looks  any  good!   Needs   the  wax  stripping off the  body  and  repolishing because it  is  streaky  and I  have  to polish it     all again  anyway  because  I  got   fingerprints  all over  it  when I  was  fiddling  with the wheels  earlier.  But  Fred  looks   complete   anyway  doesn't he?  What  do you think?

Remember  the  little   family  crest  on Fred's   side  panel?   Well  thanks  very  much  to  Angie Allen  for  her  help  because     she  found   that  the crest   belonged  to the  Seymour  family,  same  family    as the Marquess of  Hertford  although  his   crest  is  different   from  Prince Fred's

This  pram is  huge!   I am not  short  but   the handle  comes  up   to the  bottom  of my   ribcage!   41  and a  half  inches  from the  floor  to  top of the  handle.

I'm  not happy  with the  colour of  the   straps,  not  dark  enough,  the hood  and  apron   need   redoing -   don't  like the  fabric    but  love the colour.  All of the  chroming  needs......chroming  and  the  chassis  needs  redoing,  I  also have  to  reline it  at   some  point! 


But it is  a magnificent  pram  isn't it?

Here's  to Prince Fred!


28th August  2013!

I  came  home  from  the Onslow  Steam Rally   last   night   with  some  surprising  news  about  Fred.   He  is  a  twin!!   I never  dreamed   in  a  thousand  years that   Fred  would be  a   twin!  It  was  suggested   by  a  lady    who   was   also  telling me  that  the pram  hood  was  too  long   which  didn't  make  sense  to  me,   and    she  also  told me  that   she  thought  that  the pram  should have  had  a   toddler  seat  with  it.  I'm  ashamed  to  say  that  I was  rather   rude  to her  and   couldn't  believe it.   The  lining  on the pram  looked   old  to  me  and  I  couldn't  understand   why  it  would have  been  relined  years  ago   to  make it   into  a  twin pram  to be  honest   and yet  the  fixings  were   still there on it  for    another  child,  which I had  taken  to  be  a  toddler  fixing.   Also  the    broderie  anglais   canopy   cover  and  apron  cover   from  my  first   Prince   fitted  Fred  correctly   so  I  had  no  reason  to   think  anything  other  than   that   he  was  a   single  pram.

That   evening    a  friend  of mine - Diana  Butcher -   and   I  were  measuring  the pram.   He   is   45  inches  long   at  the  top of  the body  and   21 1/2  inches   wide.   I  can't  remember   how  long  the  hood  was  now  but Diana   also has  a  Prince,  hers  is  a single  pram   made  by  Millson.  Diana  said  that  she  would    measure  her  pram  for  me  when  she  got  home  and  compare it   to  the measurements  of  Fred.  However   we  did  measure  from the  foot  end of the pram   for   a  hood  the  same  size  as   Fred's  current   hood  and  sure  enough  there  appeared  to be  room  for  a  second   hood  and it  seemed  as  though  the  top of   the  second  hood  would   touch  the  top of the  current  hood,  as   twin  hoods  used  to  do I  believe.

The  next  day  I   asked  Pat  Holgate  about it  and  she  said  that  she   also   thought    that   Fred  was  a  twin  because   she  pointed  out  that  the  hood  was  too  short   for   a  single  hood (it  should   come  to  about  half  way   along  the  body  apparently  and I had  never   thought  of  that  either!)  plus  she  said  that  the pram  was  unbalanced  because  of  this. This  made  more  sense  to me  but  I  couldn't  see that  a  twin pram  would  have  been made from  a  pram  body  which had  a   foot  extension  in it,   why?   Pat  said  that  they  just  ignored   them!   Stranger  and  stranger  to  me  that  was.   I   wonder  if  someone  put  a    foot  extension into  a    single  pram  and  took  off  the  hood  at  that   end of the pram  in order  to make  a   single pram?  Could  that  be  why  there  is  no  top  rail   along  the  foot   end  of the  pram   where  the   foot  extension  was?   I  suppose  we  shall never  know. Pat  also  said  that  the  lining  in Fred   didn't  seem  to   be of  the  same  quality  that  Millson usually  used.   One  thing   that  I   should   surely  have  noticed   earlier  - and   just plain  hadn't -   was  that  the    foot  extension  on  Fred   has a  different  lining  then   the  main  part  of  the pram,   which  is  the   white,   the   extension  is  lined  in  a  dark  green.     Pat  has  been a  friend  of mine  for  many years   now  and  she  has  forgotten  more  than  I have  yet learned  and    I  trusted  what  she  told me   absolutely,   but   I  can't  believe   that  I   just  didn't   question it   at  all.  

Anyway  I had  to prove  it,  so I  borrowed  a  knife  from JanPram (Organiser of  the   Pram exhibit  at  Onslow  Park   and   set  to   to   lift  out  a  couple  of  upholstery  tacks.   When  I lifted  up  the  upholstery on  the  top  rail,  there    was  the  telltale  screw hole  where  the  second  hood    had  been  fixed in place!     Now  what   do  I  do?  I  didn't   really  want  to have  another  Millson  twin,  even  a  twin Prince,  but on the  other  hand, it  ought to   be  put  back    to  what  it  originally  was.  


 I  now   had  to  apologise  for  being  so    rude  to   the  other  lady  the  day before.   As  soon as  I   had  a chance  I  did  and   she  kindly   accepted  my   apology  although  I still  feel  very    guilty  about  it  I have   to  say -  and  so I  should.  


I  now have  to    lift  the  rest of  that  lining  up  and  see  if  there  are  any  holes where  a    toddler  seat   could  have  been   fixed  but  I  will be  very   surprised  to  see  that.   Why     make  the pram  into  a   single,   leave the   fixings  for  a  toddler  on  the new   lining   which is  also    covering  the   toddler  seat  fixing  holes?   I   wish  I  could    read   Fred's  mind  and  see  what   went  on  back in  time  to him.










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