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My pram business is really taking off; Aeronautical engineer Carolyn has gone from Jetstream to Silver Cross.

Byline: Ellen Arnison

MUM-OF-FIVE Carolyn Frew has used skills she acquired as an aeronautical engineer to start up a new business restoring classic prams.

The businesswoman is now busy repairing coach-built models, such as classic Silver Cross prams, after she struggled to find the perfect Christmas present for her youngest daughter.

And now, since the solid old prams were featured in the BBC's Call The Midwife and reports abound that young Prince George gets pushed around the grounds of Kensington Palace in a stately Silver Cross Balmoral, her order book is full to bursting.

"It has gone from one extreme to the other - from planes to prams," said Carolyn, 39, from Mauchline, Ayrshire.

"But I've always been practical so I applied from school to work at British Aerospace in Prestwick and got accepted for an apprenticeship. By the time I was qualified, I was building the wings for the Jetstream 41."

However, cutbacks meant Carolyn was made redundant. She ended up working for a company who made spectacles, as it gave her another outlet for her practical abilities.

Before long she had her first child, a daughter, and then another four children in fairly quick succession, leaving her with her hands full.

Only recently, with her youngest aged three and her oldest 11, has she had the time to consider doing something else.

But before she'd even begun looking at job adverts, her daughter helped her decide what to do next.

She said: "I've got four daughters and one son. My youngest loves ladybirds and bumblebees. She kept saying, 'I want a bomba pram for Christmas'.

"I racked my brains to try to understand her and finally I worked out she wanted a ladybird pram but I had no idea where to find one.

"Eventually, I started looking at the children's versions of Silver Cross prams, which cost PS400 new, so I found an old decrepit one on Gumtree."

When the broken PS30 pram arrived, Carolyn decided that the best way to know how to repair it and customise it with ladybird spots was to take it to pieces.

"I saw how the chassis was attached to the body and I thought I could repair it.

"That's the moment Prams With Pizazz was born."

As soon as her daughter's pram was completed, followed by one each for her other three girls, other people saw them and the orders began coming in thick and fast. As well as trawling secondhand sites to find old prams - both the child-size toy ones and the full-size versions - that she can restore to gleaming glory, Carolyn has been inundated by people asking to have theirs repaired.

Just as the royal family have been using classic coach-built prams for their babies for generations, many families store the pricey and well-built baby carriages for the next generation, only to find time has taken its toll and the pram needs more than a little TLC before it's fit to be used again.

The oldest pram she's worked on was made in 1952, which was a popular period for the classic prams as the Queen chose one for Prince Charles in 1948.

"They're making a comeback," said Carolyn. "People love them but a new one costs around PS1500.

"I love doing this, I should have done it years ago - although my house is now full of prams in various states of repair."

For further details visit www.

facebook.com/PRAMSWITHPIZAZZ

'It has gone from one extreme to the other - from planes to prams. But I love doing this'

CAPTION(S):

CAPTION here please HANDIWORK Carolyn restores a classic pram at her home in Mauchline
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 25, 2013
Words:605
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