1973 Original Dawlish Carnival Pram Race

Marking the 50th anniversary of the Pram Race

Here’s a clipping from the the local paper in 1973 with a great article about the Pram Race. Click on the image to view at a larger size. Selected text from the article is featured underneath. Many thanks to Val Wedlake for these – she features in the photo above handing out the drinks !

Newspaper article from 1973 about the original Dawlish. Carnival Pram Race.


The Pram Race round the town on Tuesday was hilarious and attracted a tremendous crowd.

A new event for the carnival, it is one that will surely be repeated in future years.

There were 16 entries, most of them all-male, and everything from superior looking baby carriages to rather battered push-chairs was in the line-up.

Not that any of the prams will ever again be usable for their proper purpose. The majority returned to base minus tyres, with battered wheel rims, sagging springs and, in one case, without a handle.

The competitors showed a proper sense of the occasion, and had attired themselves in appropriate garb.

Nappies, looking perilously insecure in many cases, were the order of the day, and frilly bonnets, dummies, iced lollies and long nightgowns were also much in evidence.

The course to be run covered about a mile and involved a hasty visit to 15 public houses, at every one of each half a pint of beer had to be consumed by a member of each team.

The Exeter Inn team roared home to win in a flat 22 minutes, while Hammett’s Milkos were only half a minute behind. The Swan B team was third, at 23 minutes, and the first of the ladies teams to clock min was an entry entitled The Pyjama Game, who made it in 26 minutes.

Other teams entered were Lansdowne, Devon Dumplings, Prince Albert, Oh Knickers! …

A careful, two minute interval between each departure ensured maximum safety.

There was in fact only one spill, and the contestants soon righted themselves and continued on their way – one of them dripping blood, it is true, but quite cheerful about it.

Lovely ladies of Dawlish Keep Fit class 1973

Below is another great newspaper cutting from Val Wedlake … you can see her at the back of the line up. Keeping fit looks a little different in 2023!

The lovely ladies of the Dawlish Keep Fit class of 1973
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