Most of us have probably riden in a Silver cross pram as a baby and the design is almost identical to the one in my baby photos from the 1970's although the hideous aubergine colour I had is no longer available. (Thank Goodness for that)
Silver cross have been making prams since 1877 and what a shame it isn't possible to count how many newborns have been gently placed inside one of their prams since the start.
The heritage collection has made a real come back with the second hand market on the likes of Ebay making more money on secondhand ones than they are to buy new.
The Kensington is a large roomy pram however its still foldable making it transportable. We'd all love to purchase and have the room for the larger balmoral but alas my palace just wont allow the room. The kensington for us is the best of both worlds.
For my first born I purchased a Mamas and Papas complete set, seat, carry cot and every matching extra available at only 22 I just wanted to fit in with everyone else. It lasted well but had a few problems along the way which is why at 25 and with our second child on way we went for a cheap and cheerful Mothercare pram. I didnt care so much about fitting in if it didnt hold a huge amount of shopping and be able to have a toddler hanging of the handle it wasn't the pram for us. This didn't last the course and eventually went to the skip before our daughter could walk properly. We used an even cheaper stroller for the next few months as buying another big pram seemed pointless.
Ten years on we suddenly found ourselves with a third on the way and now at 35 I dont care a hoot if I fit in with everyone else. We looked at Silver cross right from the start but at £950 for a pram I nearly passed out, so we turned to Ebay again to look at the second hand market. I watched every pram that came up for auction for weeks and lost out on one by £10. You would think that would have made me give up but no I was more determined than ever to get my dream pram. Others that came up went for £700 plus and still needed extras adding on. I started to think new was the only way I would get one.
I was determined and looked longingly at the silver cross website picturing my new baby girl all safe and happy in the kensington pram I was yet to lay my hands on.
I convinced my husband that this pram was a future investment and our grandchildren would also go onto use it. eventually he gave in and he agreed to the pram at £950 but that was it my top limit and not a penny more, I rang customer services to order one to be told each pram had a £50 white glove delivery charge and the sunshade, reins were all going to be extra again, ahhh my pram was slipping away from me yet again. Hubby had firmly put his point across and I knew there was no point pushing my luck or a divorce would be on the cards.
I wanted to cry. I started to flick around the silver cross website and found a map with local stockists, I knew they would only stock the new range modern prams but then all of a sudden I saw the logo to tell me that a shop within 35 miles of me stocked silver cross heritage prams. I clicked on through to there website and my heart sank again when it said Call for price. Everybody on this planet knows that's a bad sign for their wallets and your bank managers nerves.
I called anyway and nearly fell over when the lady gave me a price £200 cheaper than silver cross direct. I asked what it came with expecting that to be the catch, but to my suprise it came with the same as one direct from silver cross came. I quickly booked a viewing appointment and confirmed that they were indeed "real" Silver cross prams, yes they were and how happy would my husband be.
We viewed ordered and paid £750 it came with mattress, bag, bag clips, and shopping tray. I added on the sunshade and pram sheets and leather reins and managed to still get it all under budget at £850. The shop also offered free delivery. Happy mummy, happy hubby, happy baby and a reasonably happy bank manager.
If you can consider silver cross heritage, they last the course and will still be around when the occupants are having babies of their own. The ride is superb and the attention you get while pushing it is nice too. Its built the way things used to be and I know even secondhand this pram would sell well if we look after it.
My daughter now has my silver cross dolls pram that I had for my fourth birthday and its still going strong, this pram will out do the modern pram at every turn the only down point is the price, however look hard enough and bargains can be had.
When I was pregnant with my first child, my Mum kindly said that she would buy me my pram. I happily agreed, unaware that she had in mind a coach built Silver Cross pram.......
Silver Cross have been making prams since 1877 - they pride themselves on great quality and elegance. The "Kensington" is handmade - something that cannot be said very often nowadays!
We went to the local "babywear" shop to look at prams, and the owner had a Silver Cross Kensington pram, just like the one in the picture above, that she was prepared to reduce because it took up too much room in her stockroom. So having done the deal, my Mum arranged to pay, and to take it away closer to my due date.
Silver Cross coach built prams are definitely the Grandmother of all prams - solid, roomy, traditional......think Norland Nannies in Royal Parks and you will probably think of Silver Cross prams.......Think of early 20th Century babies being transported, and a coach built pram is likely to feature in your picture.
I lived within walking distance of our town centre, at that point, so for us, this pram was wonderful - baby had plenty of room to wriggle and grow, a beautiful hood to keep out the sun/rain/wind, a HUGE tray underneath to carry all my shopping, and just a fantastic looking piece of kit! The pram has a washable interior - always handy!
Because of the size of the pram, it made an ideal sleeping place for daytime naps, and doubled up as a moses basket/travel cot on more than one occasion!
When my second baby appeared, 15 months later, we bought a special seat to go on the top of the pram for the toddler, so we could continue our lovely walks!
This pram is a timeless classic and as such always has an appeal. We still have it, with the intention of using it for the grandchildren one day - and if we need to sell it, resale values are very attractive.
There were downsides, though - we only lived in a mid terrace cottage - and the pram took up a good amount of room - there is no way to pack this down into a small space, so if you don't have space, then forget it!
Transporting it is difficult unless you have a lorry.....you need to take the wheels off, then collapse the framework, but you are still left with the big body of the pram which doesn't compact in any way whatsoever, so you need plenty of space in your boot. For this reason, we also needed to buy a second pram that did fold up for easy transportation.
You cannot get on a busy bus with this pram - the only place it will fit is the wheelchair area which is not generally ideal.
These prams are expensive - and you do still need an additional pram (as mentioned above) if you want to go further than walking distance.
Lots of old people stopped me to reminisce - this often added frustrating amounts of time to my journey!!
We walked miles when the children were young - whenever I did the shopping, we walked, and only bought what we could carry in the base of the pram (which was quite a lot!). We went to parks, round the town, down the lanes - it was a pleasure to go out with this pram.
But they are expensive, and they do take up a huge amount of space - only buy one if you have room for it, otherwise you will fall over it and end up hating it.
You don't see many of these about and when we do see one, we comment on it - they are nice to see in these days of techno-prams......
I bought a silver cross in october for my first baby.I wanted somthing diffrent and i was glad i bought it.I paid £800 for that pram and bag.i bought the kensington as i wanted to take the pram in the car.we also bought a silvercross pop pushchair for running in and out of the shops.When my daughter was first born we used it in the living room for somwhere for her to sleep then two weeks later we went on our first walk.We had to put a pillow at the bottom as she was so small we were worried sheI bought a silver cross in october for my first baby.I wanted somthing diffrent and i was glad i bought it.I paid £800 for that pram and bag.i bought the kensington as i wanted to take the pram in the car.we also bought a silvercross pop pushchair for running in and out of the shops.When my daughter was first born we used it in the living room for somwhere for her to sleep then two weeks later we went on our first walk.We had to put a pillow at the bottom as she was so small we were worried she would slip down.It was a very bumpy ride and i did not like the pram as the baby was being throun around as it wasnt that springy.so we then took the pram out with out the baby to brake it in.we have an alfa romaeo and i can get the base in the boot by taking the wheels off and the cot on the back seat.it is very heavy to pick up and if you have a bad back its a nono...Iwould say that it is a perfect pram for baby comfort and to be noticed..it is not practical or easy.you will need a travel sistem for the car as day to day you wont be able to use it.also be aware of where you park when you have the pram as you wont be able to get the cot out of the car .you will need to be in mother and baby spaces. would slip down.It was a very bumpy ride and i did not like the pram as the baby was being throun around as it wasnt that springy.so we then took the pram out with out the baby to brake it in.we have an alfa romaeo and i can get the base in the boot by taking the wheels off and the cot on the back seat.it is very heavy to pick up and if you have a bad back its a nono...Iwould say that it is a perfect pram for baby comfort and to be noticed..it is not practical or easy.you will need a travel sistem for the car as day to day you wont be able to use it.also be aware of where you park when you have the pram as you wont be able to get the cot out of the car .you will need to be in mother and baby spaces.
Whoever says size does not matter is telling lies! If you have the room then always go for the bigger option (pram). I bought a more modern M&P carrycot type pram for my last baby - by the time we added all the bits and pieces on it came to £650.00 so no saving really, compared to a Silver Cross coachbuilt - you can now pick up brand new ones for £600-£650 on ebay. We used our M&P carrycot until my daughter was totally cramped - only about 8 months old and then gave in and bought a second hand silver cross coachbuilt pram (on ebay) - everyone loved it - the baby was comfortable, granny loved taking her for big long walks and everyone at the shops commented on how nice it was to see such a beautiful pram/real pram. It definitely encourages you to do lots of walking and its great for holding all the shopping bags/picnic/school bags/coats etc. I used to leave our baby outside to sleep in it and she was so comfy she would sleep for hours. When we eventually got rid of the SC pram we sold it again and got more than we paid for it - so you may say i had it for free - as long as you look after them they keep their value well. Unlike my M&P one which sold for less than a 1/3rd of what i had paid and it was in perfect condition. I got rid of the M&P pram before her second birthday as her head was touching the top of the hood and it was uncomfortable for her when sitting up - so you may say that this was used for her first 8 months and sat in our front room for the rest of the time with very occasional use! I would recommend a SC pram for everyday use and a good quality folding buggy for the boot of the car - best of both worlds that way. I have just bought her very own silver cross coachbuilt pram so that she can take her dolly for a walk in comfort - not sure if its more for me but i hope she is pleased on xmas day!
I live very close to where the prams were manufactured.
My daughters are adult now, one married, one sitting her final year at university.
We women can all remember the very weak/fragile days after the birth, yet one can walk for miles with a coach built pram. It smoothly travels along giving support and is so easy to manouver.
The todler can be strapped to the seat on top when she does not insist upon pushing the pram!
Eldest daughter let the break off when I turned my back once and the pram carreered into oncoming traffic.
It does not bear thinking about what could have happened with the silly modern cloth and frame prams if a vehicle had made contact.
All of this nostalgia arrives as my former husband has emptied his loft to sell his house-the pram has come home at last.
I have to sell the pram now. I am wondering if it is worth rennovating/renewing the hood, cover and vinyl (dolly mixture print inside), and buying new wheels.
The body and chasis are still immaculate. I have the sun canopy and child seat.
Does anyone have thoughts about this project as they are back in fashion and far safer for a baby than a modern pram.
SILVER CROSS KENSINGTON
This is one of the range of coach built prams from the Silver Cross Heritage Range and it really is, as Silver Cross say, the Rolls Royce of prams. The Kensington is not the largest model with the big wheels. I am told by my mother that those were called High coachbuilt, whereas the Kensington is a Medium coachbuilt.
With a new addition due to the family, a new pram was high on our new baby shopping list and as it was going to be bought as a gift cost did not matter! Call me old fashioned but I do not like these modern, fabric covered prams so it had to be a Silver Cross. I wanted something that was going to last and look smart, be practical in all weathers and most of all, be comfortable for the baby to ride in and comfortable for me to push.
SILVER CROSS COMPANY
Silver Cross have been making prams for decades, generations of us have probably grown up being gently wheeled around in their baby carriages. The factory in Guiseley, near Leeds closed several years ago and it was feared the tradition of making prams for royalty and the aristocracy would be lost forever. Thankfully, the Silver Cross company continues and so we could buy our pram.
There are several pram shops which sell Silver Cross so I advise you to look through Yellow Pages or on the internet to find your local stockist. If you have difficulty, then contact Silver Cross at www.silvercross.co.uk and they will send you more information. Different stockists quoted different delivery times, so order early if you want one of these to ensure it arrives with the baby!
Of course, you could also look on E Bay. I have seen the Kensington advertised on there, both secondhand and new. So you might just find a bargain if you are not fussy about your baby having a brand new pram. (If you do buy secondhand, do make sure you buy a new mattress though).
THE STRUCTURE OF THE PRAM
Coach built prams are so called because their bodies are made from steel and the paintwork has a coach finish. The paint is applied in such a way that it hardens and has a high sheen, this is then handfinished with a coachline being painted onto the bodywork.
The body is attached with bracket hinge thingies onto a superb springy chrome chassis. The wheels are two large and two small, with chrome spokes and heavy duty white tyre treads.
All in all a very robust and sturdy pram.
Another thing which I like about the Kensington is that the interior is made from vinyl which can be wiped clean. I think these interiors are much more hygienic than the fabric covered ones. Of course you use fabric bedding inside the pram, and when I wash this I always give the interior vinyl a wipe over too.
MORE ABOUT THE KENSINGTON
The Silver Cross Kensington is made to these exacting standards and is not cheap by any means. If you shop around you might find prices start at around 600 pounds, rising to almost a thousand. These are prams that will be handed down to future generations if you take care of them so can be a good investment. That is exactly what is happening with ours, it is now being used by the second baby and hopefully will remain in the family for years.
Each Kensington comes with an individual plaque and a certificate of authentication, and is really a beautiful pram. We found people stopped us in the street at first, not only admiring the new baby, but commenting on how nice it is to see a proper pram too.
The pram is rather large, and one of my friends wondered how we would fit it into a modern house. But considering how my grandparents and parents managed larger prams in much smaller houses, we didnt think this would be a problem.
In fact, the pram is almost part of the furniture and during the daytime baby sleeps there instead of being put into the cot upstairs. That way he is used to being around the family all the time and has learnt to sleep amidst all the usual family activities. Now he can sit up he also loves to sit in the pram, surrounded by toys, happily playing away from a vantage point where he is on a level with the rest of us instead of being on the floor or in his low baby chair.
When baby goes to bed at night we wheel the pram into the hallway and it stays there.
But as I said, the Kensington is a large pram and you have to bear this in mind. These are the dimensions:
Height 1240 mm
Width 650 mm
Length 1220 mm
Handle Ht 990 mm
Internal bed 780 x 360 x 180mm
Folded chassis 890 x 490 x 650 mm
The body is detachable, but it is also rather heavy, although I can manage it quite easily but would not attempt to lift it with the baby inside! The chassis folds down and the wheels are also detachable. It easily fits into the boot of a medium sized car. Of course, now we have to have baby seats fitted into cars you cant just put the pram cot onto the back seat and put the baby in there, so if you do choose one of these prams I would advise you to get a smaller pushchair as well.
A PLEASURE TO PUSH
There is no doubt that pushing this Silver Cross is a pleasure! It glides along, no harsh bumps as you go up and down pavements, the suspension is so springy it takes any impact, thus ensuring a smooth ride for baby.
It depends on your lifestyle I suppose whether or not you choose a coachbuilt Kensington. If you live within walking distance of the shops, friends and family and local parks etc and intend taking your baby out into the fresh air in the pram, then this would be ideal for you. Baby sits opposite you and you can communicate with each other as you push the pram, the hood and apron keep baby snug and dry on wet or windy days and in summer you can attach a sun canopy to shade baby from the sun.
Our pram has been used all year round, almost every day. Instead of our school run being in the car, nowadays the kids trot along at the side of the pram and everyone gets lots of fresh air and exercise.
It has a bag which fastens onto the front and holds nappies and bottles etc, and underneath we have a shopping tray. It is ideal when I go to the shops and can wheel all my shopping home without having to carry heavy bags. One important note though, do not leave your baby in the pram unattended outside the shops, again this can sometimes be a problem if the shop is small, but where I live most of the shopkeepers know me and are very accommodating by holding doors open etc.
The baby can also sleep in the pram outside in the garden and we know he is safe and warm. Again, this is great after an outing if he is asleep we dont need to disturb him, but just wheel him into the house until he wakens up.
Perhaps if you are car dependant and rarely walk anywhere then the Kensington would not be a good purchase, they are very expensive and are bulky. Also when the baby is around 15 months old or so s/he will probably have outgrown the pram and you will have to decide to either store it or sell it.
The Kensington is usually seen in either black or navy, with bodywork and hood and apron in those colours. However, they are now making limited edition models in different colours and these look very smart. We have the white body with the navy hood and apron, but they also do the bodywork in cream with black hood/apron.
But now you can also have a VERY SPECIAL limited edition in either pink or blue! Seems a lot of money to pay though, just under a thousand pounds, for a pram which may not be wanted if the next baby is a different sex to the first one who the pram was bought for. I think it is much wiser to invest in a more neutral colour combination which will last for more than one child.
It is up to the individual to decide what to buy for their baby. Perhaps a Kensington is a good investment for grandparents to buy so it can be used by many of their visiting grandchildren. Or you may live in a stately home and have your own grounds where you can push the pram! Silver Cross have been a favourite with Royalty and Celebrities for decades!
If you do decide to buy a Kensington, then do treat it with respect. These are expensive prams and should be well looked after. Every week I lovingly polish the gleaming coachwork and the shiny chrome chassis, and when it is not in use the hood and apron are kept taut and given a brush on a weekly basis to keep them immaculate.
I hope this review will have helped some of you to make up your mind about choosing a pram and if you do get the Kensington, then I am sure you will not be disappointed.
The new Balmoral stands as the flagship of the Silver Cross pram line. The coach body is finished with fine lining, painstakingly brushed on by hand. An English leather suspension and painted steel chassis is mounted atop separately sprung and individually laced wheels. Continuing the 127 year traditon of craftmanship prams are sequentially numbered. To insure you own a Silver Cross, each pram in the Heritage Collection comes with a signed Cerificate of Authenticity.