BAYKO and MECCANO's London Showroom

This page is a direct spin-off from my attempt to unearth information on MECCANO's Trade Fairs which were held, biennially, at London's Grosvenor Hotel, early in 1960, 1962 and 1964. Sadly, though perhaps no longer really surprisingly, it has, to date, proved similarly frustrating…
It was Brian Salter who both provided this map [right] and reminded me that Mr. MECCANO had kept a showroom permanently open to the public, in London, at the Bernard Street, Russell Square corner [slide your mouse over the image to show a pointer]. It's not too far [¾ mile = 1.2 kilometres] from the London Central Y.M.C.A., on Great Russell Street [anybody caught singing that song will be shot immediately!] where I lived, for around nine months, in 1967/8 [too late was the cry!]…
…although I did visit this tidy little square occasionally, I believe the showroom had just gone…
…that's the story of my life!!!
Again I have to thank Brian Salter, on this occasion for sending me this excellent photograph of Mr. MECCANO's Russell Square Showroom interior [below] which I, personally, find extremely evocative - so many contrasts with today's experience almost sixty years on.
Showroom Interior…
Photograph of the MECCANO Showroom
…and beyond
This photograph, shot across the MECCANO Showroom, shows a "Hornby Dublo Haulage Demonstration", on 5th October 1961, according to the caption [not shown].
Interior shot of the MECCANO London Showroom showing Russell Square through the window
From London's MECCANO Showroom shop window we catch sight of the panorama that is the, 'trafficless' North side of Russell Square itself, drunken street light and all…
Compare the display with what you'd expect today.
…London commuters - eat your hearts out!!!
My mind is drawn to the famous endurance test a short while later, of the 'RINGFIELD' Motor, which did so much to bring HORNBY kicking and screaming into the [then] modern world - perhaps on this very layout?
To orientate those familiar with the area, Russell Square tube Station, on the Piccadilly Line, is round behind the photographer, and across the road, on Bernard Street, which is where the Showroom entrance was.
Remember, of course, that this image post-dates MECCANO's takeover of BAYKO, September 1959.
Somewhat strangely, to me, the MECCANO showroom isn't really in the capital's main tourist or retail areas.
In conclusion, like its TRI-ANG counterpart on London's Haymarket, this showroom was essentially just that, a showroom for the Toy Trade, but with a sufficient supply of blind eyes available to invite the occasional 'presser of a young nose against the window', to come in.  As such, given the photo's date, pretty well midway between MECCANO BAYKO's effective relaunch date [November, 1960] and the August, 1962 [set #15, etc.] BAYKO range expansion, even without a whiff of evidence, I find it impossible to believe that BAYKO was not on show here, routinely, around this time. That's a lot more likely assertion than any of Donald Trump's tweets, and we know they're all true!!!
Obvious candidates to have played MECCANO's Russell Square gig would be the BAYKO Supermodels…
If you can add any further information about the MECCANO Russell Square Showroom, particularly anything post 1959, that can prove conclusively that the word's first, and finest, plastic construction was promoted on this hollowed ground, then I'd love to hear from you…

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Latest update - August 10, 2022
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