BAYKO in the Army & Navy Stores Catalogue

The Army & Navy Stores, so beloved of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple, was something of an institution in the early decades of the twentieth century.
Army and Navy Stores Postcard
As was common with similar businesses of the period, the Army & Navy Stores was a physical store, but their service to their customers included a substantial mail order catalogue, which would, I suspect, have been very much the larger part of the business.
Army and Navy Stores Stamped Addressed Envelope
The two images here show an Army & Navy Stores postcard [left] and a stamped, self-addressed envelope [right], between them, and the BAYKO catalogue entries [below], they give us a flavour of the business.
The Army & Navy Stores no longer trades as an independent company. I believe that they were absorbed into the House of Fraser in the end, though I've been unable to confirm this.
 
Full catalogue 1937 / 1938 Full catalogue 1939 / 1940
Army and Navy catalogue 1937/1938 - click here for a larger image
Army and Navy catalogue 1939/1940 sixtieth anniversary reproduction by Trident Press International - click here for a larger image
Glasgow University Archive - GB 0248 HF 6/9/6
Glasgow University Archive - GB 0248 HF 6/9/
This is one of the the earliest mentions of the world's finest construction toy, by any retailer, that I've been able to unearth - so far.
The above item is shown courtesy of the Glasgow University Archives.
Thanks to Dave Pittock for finding this excellent item for me.
The image above is actually from a sixty year anniversary reproduction of the 1939/1940 catalogue by Trident Press International. The Glasgow University Archives also have an original copy
Note that the 1930s catalogues [above], were hardback publications, both of which spanned two years - these days most companies would have two major issues, usually 'Spring/Summer' and 'Autumn/Winter', and probably some limited seasonal specials as well, every year.
Dave Pittock tells me that the A&N always prided themselves on testing all the products they sold and also penned their own sales write-ups for their catalogues. I recommend that you take the trouble to read the common script [below] - which is very flattering!
I think, however, that we can be confident that the artwork was by Plimpton, as the image is identical to one shown on page 7 of the pre-war sets #1 to #5 manuals, and page 13 of the later, sets #1 to #6 version. I say this with some confidence as the model in all three instances is clearly mounted on a wooden block rather than a BAYKO Base.
Particularly noteworthy is the fact that the illustration and prices for the 1939/1940 catalogue are still for the earlier style of BAYKO, despite the fact that the 'New Series' style was launched in 1939.
As a final comment, enquiries have shown that the catalogue for 1935 / 1936, the volume immediately before the two shown here [above], unfortunately contains no mention of the world's first and finest plastic construction toy.
The last two sentences above], perhaps, suggest a printing process with a fairly long lead time.
Both catalogues contain an identical script, apart from the catalogue entry reference numbers : -
BUILD BETTER with "BAYKO"
BAYKO Light Constructional Sets are the finest and most modern Building Outfits ever produced. They introduce a new standard of excellence in British workmanship, and make models that are astoundingly realistic, beautifully coloured, and to scale. The parts are fitted together in a simple and ingenious manner, and with each Set is included an Illustrated Book of Instructions.
(Manufactured throughout in Bakelite)
7/6, 10/6, 15/-, 21/-, 30/- and 42/-
The catalogue entry reference numbers are : -
G.G. 662 - [left - 1937/1938]
GG 737 - [right - 1939/1940]
 
Christmas General Products Catalogue 1957?
Army and Navy Stores General Catalogue circa 1957
Army and Navy Stores General Catalogue BAYKO entry circa 1957
This Army and Navy Stores, Christmas general products catalogue dates from 1957 according to the eBay vendor, though the quoted BAYKO prices were valid between 1955 and 1959.
Again I have included the front cover of the catalogue [above, left] for no better reason than that I like it - I find it so evocative.
The BAYKO entry is lower left of page 54 of the catalogue [above, right] - click anywhere on the image to see a larger image of the BAYKO section.
The script is as follows - note the first sentence : -
BAYKO - BUILDING SETS
The finest hobby ever offered to youngsters. All Bayko parts are precision made from richly coloured plastics. There is almost no limit to the number and variety of models that YOU can build. . . . Why not start now by building these super models.
The standard and conversion set prices are then listed : -
Standard Set
 
Converting Set
No. 0
14/-
[= 70p]
 
No. 0 X
7/-
[= 35p]
No. 1
21/-
[= £1.05]
 
No. 1 X
10/6
[= 52.5p]
No. 2
31/6
[= £1.575]
 
No. 2 X
21/6
[= £1.075
No. 3
52/3
[= £2.6125]
 
No. 3 X
47/-
[= £2.35]
No. 4
99/3
[= £4.9625]
 
Post and packing extra.
 
Games and Toys Catalogue 1958?
Army and Navy Stores Games and Toys Catalogue circa 1958
Army and Navy Stores Games and Toys Catalogue BAYKO entry circa 1958
This Army and Navy Stores, Games and Toys catalogue dates from 1958 according to the eBay vendor, though the quoted BAYKO prices were, again, valid between 1955 and 1959.
I have included the front cover of the catalogue [above, left] for no better reason than that I like it - it's so typically 1950s.
The BAYKO entry is lower middle of page 9 of the catalogue [above, right] - click anywhere on the image to see a larger image of the BAYKO section.
The script is as follows - note the first sentence : -
BAYKO - BUILDING SETS
The finest hobby ever offered to youngsters. All Bayko parts are precision made from richly coloured plastics. There is almost no limit to the number and variety of models that YOU can build. . . . Why not start now by building these super models.
The standard and conversion set prices are then listed : -
Standard Set
 
Converting Set
No. 0
14/-
[= 70p]
 
No. 0 X
7/-
[= 35p]
No. 1
21/-
[= £1.05]
 
No. 1 X
10/6
[= 52.5p]
No. 2
31/6
[= £1.575]
 
No. 2 X
21/6
[= £1.075
No. 3
52/3
[= £2.6125]
 
No. 3 X
47/-
[= £2.35]
No. 4
99/3
[= £4.9625]
 
Post and packing extra.
 
Games and Toys Catalogue 1959
Army and Navy Stores Games and Toys Christmas Catalogue 1959
Army and Navy Stores Games and Toys Catalogue BAYKO entry circa 1958
This Army and Navy Stores Christmas Catalogue dates from 1959, with the BAYKO entry, just left of centre, at the top of page 50 [above right].
As far as I've been able to find so far, there seem to be no further BAYKO adverts in the Army and Navy Stores Catalogues, after an association of over twenty two years.
If you know of, or have access to, a BAYKO entry in an Army and Navy Stores Catalogues, from the MECCANO era, or any date not shown here, I'd love to hear from you...
The BAYKO script [above] reads as follows : -
1c136 All Bayko parts are precision made from richly coloured plastics. There is almost no limit to the number and variety of models that YOU can build.
Standard Set :
No.
0
14/6
No.
3
54/3
No.
1X
12/-
 
1
21/9
 
4
104/6
 
2X
21/9
 
2
32/9
 
0X
7/6
 
3X
50/6
Post and packing extra
Click anywhere on the catalogue page [above, right] to see a larger image of the BAYKO entry.
 
Below here are links to related info : -
 
Click on any of the links below for related information.
 
   
   
     
 
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