BAYKO's Holy Grail

It was at Chester's regular Toyfair in the Northgate Arena that it happened. You never get warning of these things do you? The drive from sunny Macclesfield was uneventful. I dropped Diana off in the usual place and agreed a noon pick up as usual. This gives her plenty of time to attack 'The Rows' and doubtless every other shop in Chester. No matter, these two hours were mine.
I mooched around in a world of my own, chatting to stallholders, peering, prodding and poking alongside other bargain hunters. Halfway round I reached the stall Stan shares with his MECCANO pal John. Stan and I have been intermittently talking BAYKO for nigh on two decades.
“I've something to show you”, said Stan, “they came in a job lot from a school in Liverpool - what do you think of them? Are they BAYKO?” With those unpromising words he handed them over.
There were 3 separate pieces, all different, but clearly related, perhaps forming a set for a particular purpose, but I'd never seen them before - or had I? My brain [or what passes for one] raced through the obvious checklist : -
The very rare Balcony parts - never issued for sale
The very rare Balcony parts - never issued for sale
BAYKO style grooves for 2 rods - Check!
Dimensions match BAYKO - Check!
Brickwork pattern on lower faces as standard BAYKO - Check!
Upper faces suggest Curved, Corner and Wall Bricks - Check!
I was growing confident they were BAYKO, but what were they? Slowly I rolled the 3 pieces into their correct positions with respect to each other - daylight dawned. The moment of recognition was quiet and calm. Then my brain did a double take and all sorts of lights rang and bells flashed - it was that shattering!
“I know what they are”, I said, “have you got a 1950s catalogue?” Stan produced one from the bowels of his stall - one look confirmed it. I pointed to the balcony above the Arch on the ubiquitous detached house on the front cover then held the 3 pieces alongside.
There was no mistake. These were indeed the pieces necessary to build that feature. They'd finally turned up after over 45 years!
We've all looked at that model on the 1950s catalogues [and set lids] for decades, habitually 'not seeing' these pieces - because they don't exist! Well now they do and I was the first person to recognise it. It gave me a tremendous buzz - and I made the obvious decision. Stan had three sets. I just had to have one!
That mission was achieved [indeed I now own 2 of them] and, in BAYKO terms, I've never been happier than the day I first built the detached house correctly!
I hope Leo will soon be able to supply replicas [easily identifiable as such I trust] then everybody will be able to have the same experience. I also hope none of you will begrudge me [or Stan!] that warm glow of satisfaction from knowing ours are genuine originals!
p.s. Yet another reason for my reluctance to commit to the printed page. A fourth set of BAYKO Balcony Pieces has recently emerged, built, as intended, into a model of the large detached house. The most likely explanation is that this was a factory made Display Model, probably dating from 1949, which used up pre-product items…
For the record, Brian Salter has now produced replicas of these parts.
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Latest update - August 10, 2022
The BAYKO name and Logo are the Registered Trade Mark of Transport of Delight.