BAYKO Supermodels

Not a scantily clad young lady in sight - sorry to disappoint you - but why not read on anyway!!!
Most people in the toy world, when they think of large, impressive models built to amaze and seduce the trade and the public, would think of MECCANO, and, more recently, LEGO...
...but BAYKO also had it's moments!
To BAYKO aficionados there are six famous models, four produced by Plimpton and two others by MECCANO.
The B.I.F. model Village from page 70 in the second style of BAYKO manual
The first [right] is the model village, which was illustrated on page 70 of the second style of BAYKO manual.
The model was built for display at the British Industries Fair [B.I.F.], probably 1935, and the script from the manual says it all : -
"This Village was built for the B.I.F., and all the models included were built entirely throughout from Bayko Standard Parts. Its measurements overall were 12 feet long by 6 feet wide.
The B.I.F. Skyscraper model from page 71 in the second style of BAYKO manual
 
The second [left] is the Skyscraper, which was illustrated on page 71 of the second style of BAYKO manual.
This model was also built for display at the British Industries Fair [B.I.F.], again probably 1935, and appears in the manual with the following the script : -
"This Skyscraper was built for the British Industries Fair and, except for the extra length of rods, was built entirely from Bayko Standard Parts. It was over six feet high, and covered nine bases. Nearly 2,000 Windows, 500 Corners and 2,500 Bricks were used in its construction."
 
The third Plimpton era model, which I am a little less certain about, was again built for the B.I.F., I think for 1951, but certainly in the early 1950s...
Leo's model of the original Liverpool Speke Airport building
The B.I.F. Liverpool Airport Building model, shown courtesy of The Friends of Liverpool Airport
It is a model of the terminal building of Liverpool Speke Airport, now more touristically known as Liverpool John Lenon Airport.
The catalogue for a DINKY TOYS exhibition - Birkenhead's Williamson Art Gallery and Museum, between July 13th and September 8th, 1985 - says it was also displayed at the 1951 Liverpool Show.
The building has been superceded by a modern steel and glass version, but still survives, somewhat modified, as the Airport Hotel.
The black and white photo of the original model [above right] is shown courtesy of The Friends of Liverpool Airport.
The colour photo [above left] is shown courtesy of Leo who built it.
 
No photo of this one I'm afraid, but an article in 'British Toys', the September, 1956 issue, refers to a model of the Empire State Building "shown at the last B.I.F.", so Plimpton must have attended around this date. The article also describes the model as "8ft. 6in. in height", around half the height of Leo's valiant effort.
I'm now very sceptical about this article as I discuss elsewhere...
 
Buckingham Palace model shown in 'Toy Trader', December, 1961
The next model [left] is, self evidently, from the MECCANO era of BAYKO production.
Buckingham Palace, junior, was built by MECCANO Model Room Manager, Bob Moy, [right] and his team, for the January, 1962 MECCANO Trade Show which was held almost within site of the original.
Buckingham Palace model shown under construction
This is a truly stunning model and includes some very effective use of one particular non-standard BAYKO part...
...glue(!)...
...it's good to know I'm not the only one who cheats!
Clearly, at this stage, BAYKO was fully integrated into the MECCANO organisation, and this must mark the peak of their commitment to BAYKO, it being the only large model they built.
The image [left] is taken direct from the December, 1961 issue of 'Toy Trader', a leading publication for the UK toy trade and bears the legend : -
"Above is the famous BAYKO model of Buckingham Palace. And within sight of the palace is the Meccano Trade Show at the Grosvenor Hotel, London!"
 
Leo's model of the Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada head office building in Montreal
The last model I have to show you was shown at the same MECCANO Trade Show in 1962, though it clearly must have taken second billing, in MECCANO's mind, to the Buckingham Palace model above, at least for the UK market.
BAYKO model of the Sun Life Assurance Comany of Canada head office building in Montreal
The model [right] is of the head office building of the Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, which is located in Montreal and was built in the early 1930s.
If you would like to read the article in 'Toy Trader' in which this photo appeared...
The slightly larger, and therefore more accurate, model of thee Sun Life H.Q. [left] was built by Leo.
 
Both the above models, Buckingham Palace and the Sun Life Assurance Building, are mentioned in an article in 'MECCANO Magazine' entitled "Famous Buildings in BAYKO"...
 
The MECCANO era super models were, almost certainly, all built by Robert Moy...
 
London's Park Lane Hilton Hotel was opened in 1963. At the excellent Frank Hornby exhibition in Maghull town hall, Liverpool, I met Rita Clay [nee Ryan] who worked in the MECCANO modelling shop and who remembers personally building a model of the hotel in BAYKO, she believes in 1962 - which fits perfectly. The model was shown at the Nuremberg toy industry fair early the following year and possibly also at the Chicago toy industry fair later in the year. Logically, it would also presumably have been shown at MECCANO's own fair at the Grosvenor Hotel in London.
Unfortunately I have no further information, but if you know of any photos of the model, or if you actually saw this model, then I'd love to hear from you...
 
Well, as far as I know, that's it, but I'm sure you'll agree with me, that these six models are all excellent in their different ways. If you know of any other large models...
 
For the sake of completeness, there are two more famous BAYKO models, which, though not normally associated with exhibitions, may be of interest...
 
If you've any more information on BAYKO Supermodels, I'd love to hear from you...
 
Below here are links to related info : -
 
Click on any of the links below for related information.
 
 
     
 
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