Modelling Shop

It's probably just the incurable BAYKO modeller in me, but I am particularly attached to this section, and, in deed, wish that I could add more detail, so, if you have any more information, then I'd love to hear from you…
Plimpton Era
The B.I.F. Skyscraper model from page 71 in the second style of BAYKO manual
Although I'm afraid we don't know any operational or organisational details, I can see BAYKO's inventor, C.B. Plimpton, rolling up his sleeves, certainly early on! We do know that, from the earliest days of Plimpton Engineering, they built substantial BAYKO models for large toy trade fairs and exhibitions, particularly those for the annual British Industries Fair…
…there being two magnificent examples shown on Pages 70 & 71 of the mid 1930s sets #1 to #6 manuals.
The model of the [to them] local Speke Airport building, a fine art deco style building, now a repurposed as an hotel, was a later example from the early 1950s.
'Games and Toys', a major publication for the U.K. toy trade at the time, carried a relevant advert in its October, 1953 edition [right]. Towards the bottom left hand corner of the BAYKO advert, Plimpton had added a headline which carried the offer : -
'Games and Toys', October, 1953 BAYKO advert offering models
“SPECIAL MODELS AND DISPLAY MATERIALS FOR CHRISTMAS DISPLAYS.”
Although some models are shown in the advert, and are probable contenders, I don't think we should assume these were necessarily the models concerned as they all appeared regularly in other adverts.
There is a limit to what we can conclude with absolute certainty from these small details, however, I think it is clear that Plimpton must have had a facility, of some sort, for producing significant numbers of models, after all they had some three thousand retailers!
We can, however, feel confident that this was not unusual, or a one off, as, apart from my own experience, several people I have spoken to remember seeing BAYKO models on display in their local toyshop.
I'm afraid that's as far as it goes for the Plimpton era, but if you've any further information, I'd love to hear from you…
MECCANO Era
Fortunately, I now have a little information about the BAYKO modelling shop after the MECCANO takeover. This is thanks to a chance meeting at the Frank Hornby Exhibition which takes place annually at Maghull town hall, Liverpool.
Modelling Shop manager<br>Bob Moy<br>with the model<br>Buckingham Palace
That was where I met Rita Clay, née Ryan, who worked for some time in the MECCANO modelling shop, alongside her future husband, building BAYKO models…
…larger ones for toy industry fairs like Nuremberg and Chicago or large department store special displays and smaller ones for individual toy shops.
The MECCANO modelling shop, which included BAYKO, was managed by Bob Moy who, she said, was a generous, kind, 'Father Christmas' of a man. He designed the models and a team of up to eight people made them. Bob was very supportive, and was very much hands on in his style, particularly if any model builder was struggling at any point.
One thing which Rita told me that definitely made me feel more comfortable with my own efforts - they routinely used glue to ensure the BAYKO models arrived in pristine condition!!!
The modelling shop was, in the early 1960s, initially located at Hanson Road, Aintree, but moved, shortly after the BAYKO takeover, to Binns Road. Next to the MECCANO and BAYKO model making area was a separate cage where model railway layouts were built, with Bob Taylor's photographic studio at the other end.
I hope you find that interesting, if you have any more information on either the Plimpton or MECCANO era modelling shops, then I'd love to hear from you…
 
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