Most of you will be aware of Jack Hampshire, he is the man who wrote what has been the most sought after book on prams ever written, Prams, Mailcarts and Bassinets, published in 1980, which he wrote after realising that there just were no reference books available about prams.
Jack lived in a large house called Bettenham Manor nr Sissinghurst, Kent, where he had a collection of prams which he describes in his book as numbering 350 prams at the time of writing. (The Jack Hampshire (JH) prams are clearly marked as being part of his collection by the white painted JH name and the number of the pram in his collection, by the way).
Jack said in the Preface to his book "We are destroying too much, too fast, without realising how much we are losing ... if not now,
then later, we shall all have cause to regret this loss."
How many times have we heard similar sentiments from people who also love the prams that we have left?
When I bought the Millson Portman twin pram and added it to the site, a friend of mine, Daniel Olaizola emailed me and said that she knew that pram, she had spent the night with it on a few occasions! Of course, I had to ask the question didn't I? It appeared that Dani was a friend of Jack's and used to visit him and his family at Bettenham Manor. She said that in the bedroom where she slept there were quite a few prams, in fact she said that she had to climb over them to get into bed practically! One of these prams had been my Millson twin, which excited me no end of course! Dany sent me some photographs and said that it was ok for me to add them to the web site to show you all, so here they are finally, it has taken me a while to get around to posting them on here which can be a little time consuming sometimes.
I'd like to thank Dani sincerely for allowing me to put the photographs onto the site.
Not the best views of the Millson I'm sure you will agree, but this pram handle (bottom right corner) and side panel with the twin red coachlines is my Millson PortmanA better photograph of it an looking a lot better than it did when I got it. The poor pram had been bought after JH died from the sale of his collection of prams which I believe was in 2002, although it seems that there may have been more than one sale I have just heard. After being sold my Millson seems to have been left to it's own devices in a barn in the south of England somewhere, along with quite a few other JH prams, all slowly degenerating. It didn't have the best resting place that's for sure. Photographs of the pram when I bought it are in the section Millson PortmanThis is a photograph of some of the prams leaving Bettenhall Manor after JH died. I wonder if the Millson is in among them somewhere? Apparently there were well over 400 prams in the collection before they had to be moved out, either for sale or to go to the Museum at Pailton, Rugby, Warwickshire which housed the remainder of the prams. Jack with one or two of his many prams.
This is Danielle Olaizola along with Katie Ball another friend of Jacks who used to stay at the house regularly. (I must thank Lorna Kent here, for giving me that information) Dani is having a rest in one of JH's lovely prams, can you see her legs making the most of the foot extension? I have no idea what the pram is I'm afraid, I need some help if anyone knows please?Wilson La Dauphine, I have heard a rumour that JH didn't really favour Silver Cross and Wilson prams, how true it is I can not tell you.How about a Marmet Queen for a towel rail in your bathroom? That is surely decadence isn't it?What we would all give to go and see hundreds of prams like this.Could this be a Millson Prince? Not sure, I'll check.And my husband would love the train!
There has been a great deal of interest in the Jack Hampshire photographs which Dani, kindly allowed me to put onto the site. I have had offers of more photographs from various other people and the first of them came from Jan Oakes (JanPram to many of us) Jan herself has a fine collection of prams and her website is:- www.webperambulatormuseum.com My thanks to Jan for letting me 'borrow' the photographs.
What a lovely site, Bettenham Manor what a beautiful house and that pram looks made to go onto that lawn doesn't it?Jack obviously enjoying the comfort to be found in a well sprung baby carriage.
I have been so happy to hear from lots of you who have so enjoyed seeing the JH photographs on the site, I didn't quite understand just how much you would enjoy this feature I have to say. I have heard from quite a few people who have offered to let me have more photographs and memories of JH and his prams as well. One lovely lady who I have been talking to and who has sent me photographs is Lorna Kent. Lorna was another friend of Jack's who used to go and stay at Bettenham Manor along with her friend Eva and Eva's daughter Linda. Eva and Linda come from Sweden. I will be putting those photographs on next within the next few days. So keep looking, there will be more to see.