BAYKO - The Reawakening

My favourite set from my collection set 21
I thought you may find the story of my reconversion to the one true religion - BAYKO of course - quite interesting, so here goes.
At the tender age of 25, I was staying at my parents' home in Blackburn, in Northwest England.
I'd suffered a vicious attack of laryngitis -2 weeks into the illness I still had no voice.
I was, however, starting to feel a little better…
Small, but very collectable, an Ornamental Additions set A
…and to get bored!
In desperation I turned to Radio Blackburn [now Radio Lancashire] which was part of the early wave of the local BBC radio stations.
There was a 'Swap-Shop' programme on at the time - on a whim, and with absolutely no plan as to what I might say, I, never-the-less, decided that I would phone in.
Surprisingly, I got through to the programme straight away.
I told the DJ the first thing that came into my mind - that I was interested in BAYKO.
I told him I had nothing to swap except perhaps a couple of £1 notes - did anybody out there have any BAYKO that they didn't want?
Pre war BAYKO set 2
Imagine the scenario : -
'New Series' model of a bungalow
A 25-year-old lad…
…who could only whisper…
…asking for an obsolete children's toy…
…for himself!!!
The DJ saw his chance…
…and took the 'you-know-what' out of me for five minutes [though he didn't have it all his own way!]…
…put on a record, then took some more, as it were, for another five minutes.
The result of all this free airtime?…
…I got, rather surprisingly, no less than six responses!!!
The first five were the usual family hoards, useful, but not spectacular.
The sixth was different…
Model of a Town Hall built with parts from the 1950s
…two massive, teenage Neanderthals [judging by their communication skills] showed me into the large dining-kitchen which ran across the back of a substantial Blackburn semi.
They were engrossed in 4 lanes of Scalextric covering the dining table and kitchen work surfaces and perching precariously on several chair-backs in between.
I'm not sure how enthusiastic mummy and daddy Neanderthal would have been to witness this innovative use of their Sunday-best furniture!
One of my new-found Neanderthal friends grunted and nodded towards a corner…
One of the first two Retail cabinets I bought in 1975
…there sat 2 cardboard BAYKO Retail Cabinets [left]…
Model of a Pair of Semis built with parts from the early MECCANO era - click here for a larger image
…both of which were full!!!
Apparently, Neanderthal senior had previously owned a toyshop…
…still, their loss was my gain!
£10 secured the deal - oh happy days…
…still, what had started out as just a bit of a laugh or a boredom cure…
…had ended up kick-starting my BAYKO collection with a vengeance!
Model of a Primary School built with parts from the MECCANO set 15 - click here for a larger image
Since that strange day, my BAYKO collection has never looked back…
…which is more than can be said for my often fragile bank balance!
It's surprising how often there's an awful lot of month left at the end of the money!
Strangely, I found out twenty years later, that a lad I was at college with, in Durham, had acted as the studio engineer for the occasion…
…I feel an “it's a small world” cliche coming on.
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Latest update - August 11, 2022
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