BAYKO in the DINKY TOYS Exhibition
Williamson Art Gallery and Museum
Birkenhead - 1985

This fine museum is still very much operational at the time of writing this, in September, 2011. as well as its conventional exhibits, it occasionally branches out, particularly into other exhibitions with a local flavour.
Shown here [below] are the front and rear covers of the catalogue for the exhibition of DINKY TOYS held in the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum, between July 13th and September 8th, 1985, at which BAYKO was the featured supporting act together with “Vintage Motorcycles”, “Tall Ships Festival Remembered”, “Working Model Train Layout” and “Merseyside Historic Transport Displays”.
Just for orientation, I have displayed the catalogue cover in one piece, just as it was printed, which means that the front cover is to the right and the back cover to the left.

Rear and Front covers of the catalogue for the 1985 Williamson Art Gallery and Museum DINKY TOYS exhibition

The reference to BAYKO takes the form of a short article on the [unnumbered] third and fourth pages.
Before I say anything else, we have to recognise that more than twenty five years of research have been possible since this article was written. I do not mean to be critical of the piece, merely to explain why I have decided to point out the errors - I don't want to run even the slightest risk of someone leaving this website with incorrect information. However, I feel it is important to include the article, in full, as there are a couple of very important comments in it.
The article runs as follows 'in blue' with my comments 'in green' : -
Charles Plimpton of Plimpton Engineering Co., Green Lane, Liverpool got the original idea for Bayko from MOBO Building Sets Germany, which were popular in the early 1930's. These were thick pieces of cardboard joined together with wood to make buildings.
MOBACO sets were produced in Mobal, Holland from the 1920s to the 1960s. Plimpton were based at Green Lane until some time in 1936.
In about 1936 Charles Plimpton had sets made up by outside people with bakolite and scarab. He tried to sell the sets to places like Lewis's and Berwicks Toys of Liverpool. Berwick Toys liked the idea and they agreed to handle the sales and marketing of Bayko Constructional Toys. The first Bayko set came out for Christmas 1936.
The first and last parts of this are contradicted by information from Charles Plimpton's daughters who even remember assembling BAYKO Light Constructional Sets, for local sales, literally at the kitchen table in their Wallasey home, ready for Christmas 1933. Berwick's did indeed handle sales and marketing until the split which was announced in May, 1939.
Fred Rogerson from Berwick Toys suggested to Charles Plimpton to manufacture the sets himself and Fred Rogerson joined Bayko in 1939.
It was just the sales and marketing brought in house, manufacturing always was.
When the war broke out production ceased. After the war the address of Bayko was Gibraltar Row, Liverpool and production resumed in 1947/48. Bayko was redesigned and plastic, not Baykolite was used; 35% of production was now being exported.
Plimpton moved to Gibraltar Row in 1938 and stayed there until 1954. Post-war production resumed in 1946, the move away from Bakelite being gradual, for small parts, from 1947 to 1949.
At the British Industries Fair in 1948 the Queen purchased Bayko sets for the now Duke of Gloucester.
This is a truly fascinating snippet and is being followed up - watch this space!
I have now heard from His Royal Highness, the Duke of Gloucester. Sadly, while he does remember his BAYKO Building Set, he cannot remember who gave it to him. However, he suspects the most likely candidate to be the [then] Queen Mother, Queen Mary.
I've now also heard from one of the elves that look after the Queen. She tells me that the present Queen did not visit the B.I.F. in 1948, however, the late Queen mother visited on no less than three separate occasions. This would seem to put her ahead of the late Queen Mary as firm favourite to be the purchaser of the Duke's BAYKO set, though I cannot confirm that with absolute certainty.
Charles Plimpton died in the early 1950's and the firm was taken over by his wife. At the Liverpool Show in 1951 a model of the old Speke Airport terminal building was constructed in Bayko.
Charles Plimpton died in December, 1948. If you would like to know more about the Speke Airport Terminal Building model…
When Meccano produced Dinky Toys with windows (1958/1959), Bayko (Plimpton Engineering) were the moulders.
Another fascinating snippet. CORGI launched their model range, with glazed windows, in 1956, and the first DINKY TOY to match this was the Austin A105 [model #176] launched in April, 1958. DINKY TOYS further extended their use of plastic for model interiors in 1960. This gives a very strong pointer as to why MECCANO took over BAYKO - to secure this crucial, new and expanding part of their supply chain.
In 1960 Bayko was taken over by Meccano. A lot of changes were made to the sets, bringing the buildings up to date.
The actual MECCANO takeover of BAYKO took place in September, 1959, but the changes visible to the BAYKO modellers of the day didn't emerge until well into 1960.
Lego then became popular and Bayko survived until 1967 when production ceased.
This is true, though active advertising of BAYKO ceased three years before, in early 1964.

The organisers would like to thank Mr Ron Williams for much of the above information.

Sadly, having made contact with the museum, it appears that there is no further information available. A limited number of photos were taken, but none include BAYKO - as you would expect, I have arranged for those responsible for this omission to be shot.
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.