BAYKO and 'The Times'

A superb resource, 'The Times' Newspaper is - sadly - almost unique among U.K. newspapers in that its entire output is available, on subscription, on line. A particular bonus is the fact that every single word [like BAYKO or Plimpton] can be searched! I wish every other newspaper were so considerate!
I took advantage of the subscriptions taken out by the Liverpool Library Records Office and Macclesfield Reference Library to search for any references to the world's finest construction toy and was rewarded with a total of 18 different entries.
Classified Adverts : -
August 24th, 1944
'The Times' didn't remove its lucrative classified adverts feature from its front page until much later that any other national newspaper. BAYKO featured in no less than 14 of these adverts over the years. Almost by definition, these are not particularly exciting, though they were on the front page, but the one shown below caught my eye because of the reason for the advert…
…I hope they were successful!
Classified advert in The Times August 24th, 1944
“Child's Bayko sets bombed : anxious to buy another. - Mackenzie-Low, 21, Walton Park, Bexhill-on-Sea.”
Perhaps this provided the inspiration for Brian Salter's excellent model of a bombed house!
Commercial News in Brief - MECCANO Takeover : -
November 19th, 1959
Short, if not particularly sweet - tucked away on page 18 was the announcement [below, left] which reads as follows : -
MECCANO Takeover Announcement in The Times, November 19th, 1959
“Meccano Ltd., have acquired the entire share capital of the Plimpton Engineering Co., manufacturers of Bayko toy construction sets. The directors of Meccano state that it is their intention to redesign this product, although the basics principles will be fully retained. Further details will be announced at the Meccano Trade Exhibition in February.”
Commercial News in Brief - 1960 U.K. Toy Market Projections : -
November 8th, 1960
The Times Commercial News of the projected U.K. Toy Market sales, November 8th, 1960
“Nearly £40m. of Toys”
“As in almost every year since 1945 British toy manufacturers are again anticipating peak sales this Christmas. The reintroduction of credit restrictions has had little adverse effect on this market, and some sources even suggest that money diverted from cars and consumer durables is finding an outlet in the toy sales rooms. It has been estimated that sales this year will total about £38,500,000, against £37,500,000 in 1959, and that exports will rise about £500,000 to £8,500,000. These figures compare with total sales by British manufacturers of only £3,500,000 in 1938 when some 75% of toys sold in the United Kingdom were manufactured on the continent, mainly Germany, and in Japan. Now about 90% of the toys sold in the United Kingdom are British made, and the British Toy Manufactures Association has 355 members, including Lines Brothers, claimers to be the largest toy manufacturers in the world, with its Triang, Frog, Pedigree and Rovex products. Other large producers are Meccano, incorporating Hornby Trains, Dinky Toys and Bayko: D. Sebel & Co. with its Mobo range, and Chad Valley Toys.”
“Manufacturers have found that despite a fair demand for toys which represent modern living, children generally have conservative tastes in toys, with model railways and dolls still leading in popularity, and cowboy suits in greater demand that spacemen uniforms. Despite television, indoor games continue to sell well, with the more popular television series lending their names and ideas to toy manufacturers. Safety factors, for which the United Kingdom industry has strict controls, have been enhanced in recent years by the growing use of plastics in replacement of celluloid goods, and the exclusive use of lead-free paints.”
Commercial News in Brief - BAYKO in Poland : -
March 26th, 1962
Brief BAYKO mention in The Times, March 26th, 1962
'U.K. TOYS FOR POLAND - Precision toys manufactured on Merseyside will soon be on sale to children in Poland as part of Britain's export drive. Meccano, the Liverpool toy company, recently complimented by the Board of Trade on the high level of their export figures, announced yesterday that they had received a first-ever order from Poland for a “substantial sum”. This includes more that 5,000 Dinky models of cars and lorries, many hundreds of new-style Meccano sets, and Bayko model construction-sets.'
Proof, if nothing else, that BAYKO was sold in Poland - which, of course, begs the question about other BAYKO markets behind the 'Iron Curtain'.
A similar announcement appeared in the May, 1962 edition of 'British Toys', a key publication for the U.K. and European toy trade…
If you've any information on these BAYKO markets, I'd love to hear from you…
An Article on Childhood Crazes - by 'A Father' : -
May 24th, 1965
I'm afraid I don't know the origin or context of this particular article from 'The Times' , other that that the by line is “FROM A FATHER”
The Times Childhood Crazes Article
,,,it should, perhaps, more accurately read “FROM A BIG KID”.
Coincidentally this was my late father's 45th birthday!
I'm not reproducing the whole article here, but just the references to BAYKO and MECCANO.
If you click on the image [right] you can see a larger image which you should find to be readable.
The full text reads as follows : -
“…This did not deter me from building bigger and better battleships as my Meccano set grew. They looked magnificent. One imaginary dreadnought won me a model-builder's Certificate of Merit.”
“When it was not Meccano, it was Bayko. This was a set of BAKELITE building components, modelled, I now realize, on the modernistic villas and roadhouses of the London suburbs in the thirties where we lived. The manual gave instructions for swimming pools and golf clubs galore, as well as the more routine features of suburban architecture.”
Apart from the London centric misapprehension - presumably Merseyside was the actual model - it's nice to read of his enthusiastic memories of a 'well spent youth', with BAYKO clearly a key part of those years.
That, sadly, is the last reference 'The Thunderer' make to BAYKO.
Below here are links to related info : -
Click on any of the links below for related information.

The 'Flaming BAYKOMAN' site logo

Latest update - August 11, 2022
The BAYKO name and Logo are the Registered Trade Mark of Transport of Delight.