Monday, March 19, 2012MUM Susan Bagley joined more than 250 visitors to a vintage pram convention at the weekend – but her own pram hides an unusual secret.
The 57-year-old uses it to push around her favourite baby doll, Oscar.
Mrs Bagley, of Willows Drive, Meir Heath, was among pram enthusiasts from around the country who attended the event at the Wedgwood Museum, in Barlaston, on Saturday.
They had all brought with them a range of collectors' baby carriages dating from the mid-20th century.
Susan is a doll-maker who specialises in lifelike models known as 'reborn babies', designed to be the same size, weight and have the same texture as real infants.
Pushing the doll in her London Borough Baby Coach, which was made in around 1950, she said: "My kids are all grown up, but I wanted a pram to put my reborn babies in. They are dolls which I make myself, the idea is that they are supposed to be as lifelike as possible.
"You buy kits to make the dolls, but then you have to put each part together and paint them as realistically as possible. They are quite time consuming because you have to add each strand of hair individually.
"I have made too many to count over the years, but I sell most of them, so that I can then use the money to buy more kits.
"The first one I made I gave to my mum for a present, I kept the second one and named him Oscar. He is my favourite because he looks like my nephew, I would never sell him.
"My aim is to make one so lifelike people think it is a real baby."
Susan, who is married to Paul, aged 54, and has three grown up children, Victoria, aged 38, Elizabeth, aged 30, and Alan James, known as AJ, aged 29, added: "I bought the pram for about £150 from a place called Alison's Prams, in Lincolnshire, about five years ago."
Alongside the 150 prams on display, visitors from all as far away as Australia transported their own lovingly restored prams to the museum.
Ray Atkins, the museum's business development manager, said: "In 1959 the Wedgwood company supplied 500 Jasper plaques to Lawrence Wilson and Son, in Leeds. Mostly they were white on blue, some were white on sage and a small amount were green on lilac. Back in November, out of the blue we had a call to say one of these rare lilac ones had turned up.
"The pram convention has built up from that. The outcome has been great."
Julie Austin, aged 54, of Longton, found her pram bearing a rare lilac Wedgwood plaque at an auction and has lent it to go on display at the museum.
The grandmother-of-three said: "It's fantastic to see so many prams and pram enthusiasts. It has been great."