This 1960s pram — made by Letchworth-based pram-maker Marmet — featured in a 2018 revival of a Somers Town tradition, the pub-to-pub Pram Race where pairs – a ‘mother’ pushing a ‘baby’ in a pram – had to down a pint in each pub on the route – and there were many in Chalton Street alone.
Drinking and pushing a grown man (or woman) in fancy dress in a pram down the cobbled streets made these a true test of endurance, as this picture of Barry Purchase 40 years ago shows, who recalls, that after the photo was taken, he had to empty the contents of his stomach.
They were the central event in Somers Town’s annual community-run festivals, which were communal boozy three-day events, with pubs setting out drinks on tables outside.
The 1975 race (dated by the width of the flares!) visited nine pubs. Music-hall comedian and actor Max Wall caused a stir, competing to publicize his one-man show, Aspects of Max Wall, at the Shaw Theatre, pushed by actor Jonathan Coy.
By the 2018, there were not many pubs left in Somers Town, and the race had stopped years before.
By Diana Foster