Fetha-Lite prams were hand made wooden 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. They were sold in various outlets locally such as Nurseryland, in Beeston and 20 Radford Road Nottingham.
The Company was started by Albert Henry Greenwood and his wife Louisa 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 reins. 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 the Company Albert Henry had been a travelling salesman selling baby carriages (1911 census). At one stage Albert Henry lived on Noel Street, Nottingham and became quite prosperous employing servants.
In later years Alan, Albert’s grandson, owned and ran the company.
The earliest newspaper ads have been found in the Nottingham Evening Post referring to Greenwood and Notman dated 4th and 6th April 1922. 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 from Birkin Avenue 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 Greenwood & Co. They sold prams branded Manton (an anagram of Notman).
Greenwood & Co. 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 Greenwood & Co. 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 was 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’, Albert’s son 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.
1934 was an eventful year. Greenwood & Co. became a Limited Company whilst employing around 30 staff but there was a serious fire. See this page about the Factory (the old Corn mill).
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 & Co. as ‘designated manufacturers of wartime perambulators’ (see Archive page). 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. Greenwood & Co. had recently refurbished a 100 year old pram for a ‘member of the aristocracy’ – the Duchess of Rutland at Belvoir Castle. See our Featured Prams page for photos.
The following article is from the Nottingham Evening Post 1st May 1973 (Click 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, Greenwood & Co. Ltd 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 Limited.
In approximately 1974 Alan Greenwood, the third generation of the Greenwoods, took over the business.
The market for coach-built prams dwindled and Greenwood & Co. was unable to remain competitive with competition from abroad and manufacturers producing fold-down prams that would fit in the boot of a car. Sadly, Greenwood & Co. was closed down in 1981. Alan went on to be a successful Sales and Marketing executive in the building supplies trade. Alan also subsequently become an enthusiastic and prominent local Freemason in Nottingham.
The factory/mill was sold and converted into flats which still exist today.
Please enjoy exploring the site and learn more about Greenwood and Company and Fetha-Lite.