Fetha-Lite prams were hand made coach built prams, manufactured by Greenwood and Company of Nottingham and sold worldwide. They had wooden bodies and hand-painted coachwork. The company manufactured both full size and toy prams. There were outlets called Nurseryland, in Beeston and 20 Radford Road offering prams at 25% off high street prices.
Greenwood and Company was started by Albert Henry Greenwood in 1921 in a builders yard off Birkin Avenue, Hyson Green, near to where he was living with his wife Louisa on Brushfield Street. Albert Henry's son, also Albert but known as 'Jim' Greenwood joined in 1921, aged just 12 and many years later took over the reigns. 'Jim's second wife Jess worked alongside him. The company was originally known as Greenwood and Notman but Notman is later removed from the company name and it became Greenwood & Co. Prior to setting up Greenwoods Albert Henry had been a travelling salesman selling baby carriages (1911 census). At one stage Albert Henry lived on Noel Street, Nottingham and employed servants.
The earliest newspaper ads found to date that referred to Greenwood and Notman were dated 4th and 6th April 1922 in the Nottingham Evening Post. Strangely, the ad was not selling their prams but was asking for spare cup final tickets (Preston North End v Huddersfield) which were to be sent to Greenwood and Notman at Dalkeith Works, on Collinson Street.
By 13th February 1923 an advert shows the company had relocated to Warser Gate in the centre of Nottingham. This would have proved very handy for the two main railway stations at that time: The Victoria Station and Nottingham Midland Station.
In 1924 Notman was removed from the company name. In September 1925 a new company Notman and Co. appears in adverts, set up in competition with Greenwoods!
Greenwoods relocated to Talbot Street, Premier Works, Nottingham city centre, precise date unknown. Adverts show them as being there at least between September 1923 - and 1926. Still quite handy for local rail stations.
The Fetha-Lite brand appears in ads around 1926.
Premier Works became known as Fetha-Lite works around January 1927.
In June 1927 they moved to the old water mill located on Mill Close, off Lincoln Street, Old Basford but job advertisements in The Nottingham Evening Post in 1927 still advised applicants to write to either Talbot Street or Lincoln Street, so they clearly still had both premises at that time.
In 1928 Greenwoods were advertising car renovation and even garage space to-let in Talbot Street for motorbikes. Again adverts were directed to either of their two premises.
First reference to Nurseryland shop at Beeston found in an August 1929 advert in the Evening Post. In April 1932 Nurseryland was advertising over 100 prams in stock carriage paid to anywhere.
In 1930 'Jim' became Works Manager.
Nurseryland now advertising at 20 Radford Road in November 1933 onwards. It is not known if the Beeston shop was still in existence at this time but a photograph on website Picture The Past shows a Nurseryland shop trading on High Road circa 1960.
In 1934, at the time of the fire - see The Factory (Mill) link - Greenwood's employed around 30 staff. They became a Limited Company in this year.
1935 saw the demise of Nurseryland at Radford Road with a bankruptcy case, reported in July, of a Miss Louisa James who appears to be the owner. Her connection is unknown except she lived on Collinson Street, the site of the original works. Her bankruptcy wasn't discharged until 12 years later in 1947.
Wartime - In 1943 an article in the Cabinet Maker and Complete House Furnisher magazine cited Greenwood and Company as 'designated manufacturers of wartime perambulators'. Nurseryland now advertised as High Road Beeston (further references to Nurseryland stop here).
Alan joined the firm in 1952, when he was 20 years old, after his National Service with the RAF.
In 1965, according to a local newspaper article, there were only two surviving coach-built pram manufacturers in the area: Greenwoods and Notmans, both were working to full capacity. Albert Henry was MD and both 'Jim' and his son Alan (Grandson to Albert Henry) were Directors at this time. Output was between 150 and 170 a week. Greenwoods had recently refurbished a 100 year old pram for a 'member of the aristocracy'.
The following article is from the Nottingham Evening Post 1st May 1973 (Click the green download icon to view full size). In the article the father and son owners, Jim Greenwood and Alan Greenwood, lament the difficulty of recruiting skilled workers. At that time, in 1973, Greenwoods was the only firm in the country building coach-built prams and there were only 7 remaining employees, including the owner-Directors, whereas at its peak the firm employed 40 staff. It seems from the tone of the article that the 'writing was on the wall' for Greenwood and Company.
The market for coach-built prams dwindled and Greenwoods was unable to remain competitive with competition from manufacturers producing fold-down prams that would fit in the boot of a car. It was closed down in 1981.
The factory/mill was turned into flats which still exist today.
Please explore the site and learn more about Greenwood and Company and Fetha-Lite.