Child's Pram, 1880

I have been searching our photo collections recently for images of childhood. A general search word can sometimes reveal the most intriguing images.

Not all babies were transported by motorcycle side car. It looks as if this combination was a studio prop.

Womens Picnic, 1930Looking at our street scene images, many include a pram, Silver Cross style with hood and cover, coach built with sprung wheels. These prams never went by bus.

Shopping could be carried in a tray underneath. A toddler could be perched on a special seat over the sleeping baby.

Claremont Road, Moss Side, 1962More than a form of transport, they were also cot and playpen to the baby of the family.

Monton Street, Moss Side, 1964The baby carriage could take you anywhere as long as there was someone willing to push.

Alexandra Park Entrance, 1900And once the babies had become toddlers and the paintwork was scratched the pram could be transformed into a go-cart – from buggy to bogey. They were also useful for transporting all sorts of heavy items when people didn’t have cars, a great alternative to a hand cart or a wheelbarrow.

Talking to colleagues everyone has a tale to tell about these majestic prams. One went all the way to Canada for a new member of the family. My mother talks about my sister and I sleeping out in the fresh air in all weathers in our prams. She remembers brushing the snow off the cover. There was a cat net for summer months, designed to stop neighbourhood cats cuddling up to the milky scented sleeping baby.

Cosy in cellular blankets and woolly hats, every baby looked like a little treasure in a coach sprung baby carriage.

They must have blocked many a hallway or back door.

I haven’t found photos of the pushchairs and baby buggies of the 1970s and 80s yet. Nowadays parents are faced with elaborate combinations of car seats and all terrain sports buggies that can take a child anywhere.

The prams in these photos hark back to a time when you took the baby as far as you could walk, to local shops, school or park and on family visits.

Lollipop-Lady in Moss Side, Upper Lloyd St, 1976.

We don’t know the name of the lucky baby in the carriage pulled by two toy horses . It’s possible that this pram was a special commission. But we can celebrate the once so familiar workhorse prams revealed in the other photos.

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