November, 1994

This article was printed in the 'Model Collector' magazine, published in November, 1994. This was an excellent publication supporting a wide range of collecting hobbies.
The article focuses on BAYKO Collectors Club member, Andy Harris, and his joint venture in the modelling world - playing, very effectively, with BAYKO and his collection of model buses.

BAYKO Article - MODEL COLLECTOR Magazine, November, 1994 - page 46
BAYKO Article - MODEL COLLECTOR Magazine, November, 1994 - page 47

Leading in to the script [set out below] is a short introductory caption : -
“Andy Harris shows us a novel way in which an old toy can be married up with new models.”
Bayko Bus Garage
My interest in model buses is mainly in N (1/148th) scale, but I cannot resist the occasional purchase of one of the Corgi or Solido 1/50th scale offerings. From time to time I prefer to see my models in a diorama setting, but 7mm O gauge buildings at 1/43rd scale are slightly too big. The following idea utilises another type of model collection, and in practice I find that it works quite effectively.
When I was aged seven or eight I was given a Bayko building set no. 2, and I then added to this out of my pocket money. This superb constructional toy is to O scale and could be used with model railways - a number of the suggested models in the instruction book were of railway buildings, along with many suburban and country houses, municipal buildings, a castle, a hydro, a filling station; even a pier and a mosque can be built. I still have these sets, plus a number of others sets bought in recent years. A few hours of experiment resulted in some buildings constructed to 5/6th of the height, and apart from the overscale brickwork they seemed to suit the Corgi 1/50th scale buses and coaches and Solido RT. Using parts from the different eras of construction, I made a large model consisting of a bus garage, but shelters, kiosk, enquiry office, crew rest room, etc. I have even made some 'new' parts which were never in the Bayko catalogue!
Bayko was mentioned briefly in reply to the enquiry in the March 1994 issue of MODEL COLLECTOR. The system consists, in outline, of lengths of steel rod which are fitted into pre-drilled holes in a base the red or white brick units, windows and doors are fitted between the rods to form the sides of the building. The length of rod determines the height of the building and various sizes of floor and roof are supplied to fit over the structure. A number of ornamental parts are available to complete the model.
Bayko (made originally from coloured Bakelite) was invented by C. B. Plimpton of the Plimpton Engineering Company Ltd, Liverpool, and was produced from 1934 onwards (with a break during the War). The parts were made in a wide variety of parts and colours and the post-war sets 0 to 4 contain many different and new parts compared with the original sets 0 to 6. Conversion sets were sold for upgrading purposes, such as set 2X which converted set 2 into a set 3.
Meccano Ltd took over Plimpton Engineering in 1960 and many parts were discontinued. The set numbers became 11 to 15, with 15 being added later. There was also a change of door/window colour from green to yellow, and a new range of green roofs (which could be flat packed into shallower boxes) replaced red pitched roofs. Production ceased in 1967, but sets and parts can still be obtained on the second had market and at toy fairs from dealers.
I find it pleasing to place models of buses that were in use in the 1940s, 50s and 60s in a setting built from parts that were manufactured in the same era - a combination of two very different kinds of model collection. There is an added advantage that if I do not like a building I can 'demolish' it and start again; and with a bit of modeller's licence it would be possible to create actual transport-related buildings.
For those interested in the history of Bayko and other building toys, a useful descriptive pamphlet is available for £2.50, including postage and packing, from Malcolm Hanson, 11, Willow Close, Long Aston, Bristol BS18 9DT.
There are then two captions which are set alongside the upper model [left, above] and the much loved BAYKO set [right, above] and are set out, in that order, below : -
“Though perhaps slightly small for them, the Bayko bus garage suits Corgi 1/50th scale models quite well.”
“Original packaging, somewhat battered now, for the Bayko building pieces.” [I thought you were younger than that Andy!!!]
Well, that's it, an interesting article which is as relevant as ever today - why not follow in Andy's footsteps.
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