CoachBuilt Prams



Wilson  Antibes  Wedgwood  Restoration

This  is one  of  the last  photographs  ever   taken of  my  Wedgwood  pram  as  it  was  when I bought  it!

Today   I stripped  down the pram   ready  for  spraying (no,  I am not  doing  this one myself!)   I   have  taken  lots of  notes  and lots  of  photographs,  some of which turned out  rather   blurred  I am  afraid,  but  they are  better  than  none.    I  am  hoping  to  show  you what  I  did  in the order that  I  did  it,  along  with  corresponding  photographs.


The   first  thing  that I did  was to  remove  the   hood  and apron.   I  am  afraid   that  I  forgot  to take  a photograph of  this, which  was a  fine  start!

The  hood is  actually  only   fixed  to    the  body of the pram by two   screws  which are  located  along  side  the   canopy  knobs,  just under the  fold  of fabric  on the  bottom   part of the  hood  frame.   You  can  easily   just  lift  up the  fold slightly and  undo  the  cross  headed  screw.   There is  one  on  each  side of the pram.  After  that  it  is  a  simple  job  to stand  behind the pram  and  slide  the  hood  off  to the  rear,  which  disengaged   two  little  metal  lugs  which   push  into  the  back of the  body and  support the rear of the  hood   stopping it  from  falling  down  in any way.

The  next thing  I   did was  to  undo   12  little  cross headed  screws  which  fastened the  base of the pram in  place and  lifted it  out.   It  is  only made of  painted  hardboard and I  think I  will be  replacing it  with  a new  section,  when I put  it  all back together  again.

The  next  job  was the  to  remove  the  two little  chrome fittings  which   accept  the   safety  reins.     They  are  held on  with   two  crossheaded   screws  again  and  beneath  the  metal  bracket you  can  hopefully  see  a  little  plastic   plate  which   lies  behind it  and  presumably  protects  the lining  from  being  damaged  by  rein clips.   Sorry about this  photograph,  it  is  rather blurred!   These   fittings  will get  a  good  clean and new  screws  instead of the  rather  rusty  ones  and if  necessary  I will have the  rein  fittings  re-chromed  I think.


The  next   job  was to have  a look  how  the  head  and  foot  board  part of the  lining  was  fitted and  remove  them.   
First  job  was  to remove  the  plastic   finishing  tape  which  goes  all around the outside  edge of the  lining  of  the pram,  with  upholstery  tacks  at  regular  intervals.   These  tacks  are  finished  with  a  leather  grain  effect  and  so are  worth  saving if  at  all possible,  to re-use.    You  can respray  them  if  they are  scratched  but  if they are  rusty  it is  best  to  replace  them  from   upholstery  nails  which  can  easily be  got at  B&Q.

The  handle  end  also  has  a  row  of   piping  which   lies  underneath the   plastic  finishing ribbon  on the  side  of the   body nearest  to the  handle,   to  just finish it  off  that  extra  little  bit.   I used   a  blunt  old  knife  to  begin to carefully lift  the   nails  and  once  they  were  slightly lifted  I  used  some  pincers  to pull them  out.   Try  to  save your   plastic  finishing  ribbon if  it  is  worth   saving  too  because  you can't buy  this  stuff  now and  you would  have  to  cut  lengths of  lining  fabric  and  laboriously  fold it  into  nice  neat  widths  which isn't  easy  to do.   The  stuff on the  Wedgwood  was  excellent  and  so after  a  good  scrub  I am hoping to  re use  it.

In the next picture, again taken  after I removed  the  finishing  ribbon,  you can  clearly  see the piping  on the upper  edge of the   body.   Next  I had  to begin   taking   out  all of the little  metal   tacks,  many of  which  were rusted into  place.   This  was  a  laborious  job  because  I had  to  be  careful  not to make  a  mess of the lining  which  of  course I need to  use  as  a pattern.   Also in  places,  there  was a chance that  the  knife  I  was using  could have  slipped  and  dented the   bodywork.   Being  aluminium  it  would have  been very  easy  to do.


Here  you can  see the  way that the   bottom  edge of the  upholstery   is tacked to the   base frame of the pram.    I  missed  photographing  a step  here,   I  had  already   removed the    floor of the pram  bed without  taking any  photographs!    What  does that  make  me?    Anyway  it wasn't  a hard  job  to take it  out, otherwise  I would have remembered it!   Look at the dirt  that  has   built up under the floor  of the  pram bed  over the years!

The next  job  now  is  to  finish  removing the    foot   and head   boards of the   pram  upholstery.   After  removing  all   visible  tacks  and   upholstery  nails, the   boards  simply  pull   out.

As  you can  see from the  photograph,  the   whole  thing  simply  consists  of  a  cardboard   first  layer,   a   layer  of thick  cotton   flocked  padding,   a layer  of  a  sort of  clear  cellophane  material   (presumably  for  extra waterproofing?) and then  the top layer  of  piped  leathercloth  type  fabric.

This  photograph  shows  the  way  that the  side upholstery  was  fixed into  place   beneath the   foot  and  head boards  at  either  end fo the pram.   these  hidden upholstery nails  now have to be removed.

Once the    extra  nails  are  removed  this  photograph  taken  from  above the  top  rail,   shows  how neatly the  fabric  had  been    snipped  and  fitted  to   give us  the  lovely neat  end  result  that  is  what  I am   also going to be  striving for,  when  I  try  to put things  back in the same way  as the  experts  did it!    This  just  shows  how important  it  is  to  take  photographs  and   make notes   all the way  along as you dismantle  everything.    You would never  remember this sort of thing in a  month of  Sundays,  would you?

This photographs  shows  me  lifting  only the top  leathercloth  layer  of  fabric  off the side  panel  and you can   see  the  amazing  way that the  cotton  padding has  been   shaped  and  wrapped  to   provide  a  lovely neat    top  edge to the  upholstery.

The   top layer  of fabric  lying   flat  in the  base  of the pram  bed  revealing the    full  layer  of  cotton  padding   beneath it.  As you can  see  there is  a  layer  of a  very  fine   fabric,   something  like  a  lightweight interfacing material,  which  covers  the   padding,  there  is  a layer of the  clear  cellophane   between that  and the leathercloth  again,  which I can  only assume  was  for  waterproofing.

The   thick  layer  of padding  which  forms  the  top   rail   simply  lifts  off  in  one  piece, it is  amazing   when you see it for the  first  time.   I am  sure that  I  could  re-use it  if I  wished to, but  I  don't  think  that I will be  doing  that.   When  you see the  amount of  dirt  and  dust   which  has  been  caught  up  in  all of the  nooks  and crammies of the  upholstery  I  think that  you  would  agree with me  that  it  would  be  much nicer   for any baby  who might  go into this pram  in the  future  that  everything is  replaced  using     modern,  safe  and  above  all   CLEAN  materials!

Now the  side   padding is  exposed lying  in the  bottom  of the pram bed.   For the first  time we  can see the shape of the Wedgwood  plaque  reverse  and how  it   is  held in place on the  side of the pram (the  other Antibes  plaques   such as  the  Monaco  rose  and the  Antibes   Bird of  Paradise  plaques are  exactly  the same  shape  and  fixed in the same  way, using  a  large  rubber  band)  

I  tried  very  hard to  take the    band off   in  one piece,  but it  wasn't going anywhere  and  I had  to  cut it  in the  end  in order to remove the precious  plaque.

Close up of the  right  side of the   beautiful   Wedgwood  plaque.    You  could  buy  a Wedgwood  pram  with  a  blue (jasper ware),  green or  lilac  coloured  plaque.   Wish I could  find  a   lilac  one!

To be continued.

 First  Outing  at  Onslow August Bank  Holiday  2008

In the  ring  at   Onslow  August  2008



My    beautiful  Wedgwood  pram   which has  gone  to pastures  new  in Australia     now  and I miss it   dreadfully.


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