BAYKO in South Africa
and South Central Africa

This section is intended to cover BAYKO a number of countries, all of them were former British territories, in South and South Central Africa, specifically they are : -
South Africa
/
Zuid Afrika
Malawi
 
Nyasaland
Zambia
 
Northern Rhodesia
Zimbabwe
 
Southern Rhodesia - later Rhodesia
I currently have just one BAYKO document, in this case from South Africa and it's perfectly possible, as happens today in many cases, that the other countries effectively formed part of the same market.
Before I look at the document, some general comments about the countries concerned.
 
If you have any more information on any of these BAYKO markets then I'd love to hear from you…
South Africa
I have had direct and indirect contact with several BAYKO modellers from South Africa, though I've yet to persuade any to provide much information. However, I understand that BAYKO was available post-war, at least in the major cities like Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, but I've no information from the pre-war period.
I think it's also a pretty fair bet that MECCANO era BAYKO would also have been available, given that the MECCANO product range was already well established before the BAYKO takeover. The catalogue below supports this - though the price list, which would provide conclusive proof, is missing.
Unfortunately, that's the limit of my knowledge.
Zambia
Image in MECCANO MAGAZINE from Nkana, Zambia
The evidence I have for BAYKO in Zambia, or Northern Rhodesia as it was then known, is indirect.
It comes from the January, 1958 issue of the 'MECCANO Magazine' and the image [left].
The image shows two BAYKO models [top and bottom centre] being used to enhance the scenery on a HORNBY DUBLO model railway layout.
The layout concerned belonged to James Davidson of Nkana, in Zambia.
 
There were a number of entries in 'MECCANO Magazine' with similar 'background' appearances of the world's first, and finest, plastic construction toy…
Malawi and Zimbabwe
Here I unfortunately have no information at all from either country. However, even today, despite their decades of independence, it is common for import and other agencies operating on relatively modest scales, to manage these, and neighbouring, countries as joint markets. I certainly know this to be true, from personal experience, both with KELLOGG'S and some of their suppliers. Knowing how Plimpton dealt the with Benelux countries and France, through a single agent, it's not a major stretch to suggest that BAYKO would indeed have been available in both Malawi [formerly Nyasaland] and Zimbabwe [formerly Southern Rhodesia]. If so, I expect that this too was restricted to larger cities.

March 1962 - MECCANO General Products Flier
1962 South African Afrikaans MECCANO General Products Price List - Front Cover
This document is shown courtesy of Andrew Lance of the Hornby Railways Collectors Association.
 
The image [left] is the front page of the South African, Afrikaans version of the standard 1962 MECCANO general products Flier. It clearly says 1962, in the top right hand corner, with a date code indicating March, in the bottom left hand corner of the back page [not shown] of this standard format, 4-page Flier.
This is very much a straight copy of the domestic U.K. equivalent document, with BAYKO sitting proudly across the middle of the front page. Sliding your mouse over the image will highlight the BAYKO section.
If you click anywhere on the full page image, you can see a larger image showing just the BAYKO section.
It's interesting to note that set #15, and conversion set #14C, are both mentioned as being “later beskikbar”, which presumably means something like 'available later', though not necessarily as late as the U.K. August, 1962 launch date.
Those of you who have some familiarity with the current Rand / Sterling exchange rate of recent times, may be surprised at the quoted BAYKO set prices, but remember, the rand was a much more buoyant currency in those days.

1964 - MECCANO General Products Catalogue
Front Cover
BAYKO Page
1964 South African MECCANO Products Cataloge - Front Cover
1964 South African MECCANO Products Cataloge - BAYKO Page
This is the South African version of the standard 1964 MECCANO general products catalogue.
Unlike the U.K. version, the BAYKO page here [above, right] is page 6 of 12.
The lack of the price list with my copy of the catalogue leaves room for a small amount of doubt, but I'm still confident that BAYKO was available during the MECCANO era. This may, of course, have been a side effect of the previously suggested use of South Africa as a regional supply route.
222 x 172 mm = 8.75 x 6.8 inches
 
Below here are links to related info : -
 
The following 26+ other countries are known to have been export markets for BAYKO : -
   
   
Click on highlighted country names above for more info.

Click on any of the links below for related information.
 


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Latest update - January 30, 2019
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