BAYKO Direct Sales?

The limited amount of correspondence, from Plimpton, to their would be direct U.K. customers, which has survived, is consistent in deflecting the customers to their local BAYKO dealer…
…however, some items do raise questions over this policy.
For example, I found these two items really difficult to place. Eventually I settled for a separate 'Direct Sales' page within the packaging section, mainly because the evidence of the first of the two.
The first item is in the form of a modest cardboard box, [below, right] which, in reality, is packaging for postage, rather that the more conventional usages.
The cardboard box concerned, complete with its branded address label, was used to send a limited number of BAYKO parts to a collector.
Small cardboard box used for postage by Plimpton
We know that, as a general rule, U.K. customers were discouraged from applying directly to Plimpton to buy parts, other than for “longer than standard” Rods, and that they were usually referred to local dealers.
However, this box was sent to a private address, so direct contact certainly happened here.
It is, of course, perfectly feasible that this was a replacement for a broken or missing part, or the result of a swap of mismatched coloured parts. However, in the immediate post-war period, [which fits with the company address, stamp and partially legible date in the franking on the box], retail life in Britain was far from normal, so it is, perhaps, just as likely, that this is evidence of direct sales.
This is not such a strange concept, we know that Plimpton supplied international customers directly, though, of course, there were far fewer local retailers to upset!

The second item, though with many similarities, is even less easy to classify than the one above.  The box [below, left, was sold on eBay as a BAYKO Dealer Parts Box” though with no available provenance.
BAYKO Dealers Parts Box, from 1946 or 1947 - if it's genuine!
The box concerned is simple enough, measuring 8 x 5 x 2 inches [20 x 12.5 x 5 cm], and is made from a similar type of cardboard to the item above, which is also the same as that employed for the boxes used to supply standard quantities of spare parts to BAYKO retailers.
However, from this point onwards, it begins to diverge significantly from the one above, which also means that we can be somewhat less certain about its provenance, and there is no doubt that it could have been 'home made', rather than be an official BAYKO Dealer Parts Box”.  If genuine, it would have had to have been wrapped to be posted.
There are no less than four paper additions to what is, apart from the two thumb hole cut outs, a plain, stapled, cardboard box : -
Firstly the decorative part of the front cover of an early post-war manual, or a copy of the artwork, has been stuck on to the top of the box lid.

Bayko spare parts sourcing Information Slip from 1946 or 1947

BAYKO extra parts sourcing Information Slip from 1946 or 1947

Secondly [and thirdly!] two different spare parts sourcing Information Slips [right] have been stuck on the sides of the box lid.
Although, as can clearly be seen, the slips are very similar, there are some small differences in wording and layout.  Now, personally, I've never come across either of them which is perhaps indicative that they were not all that widely distributed…
Finally, there are the remains of a label on another side of the box, of which a small patch of edging is still just visible, and is similar to other BAYKO labels I've seen, but, of course, that's not conclusive.
On balance, my vote just about goes in favour of it's being a genuine BAYKO item.  The fact that it is not documented anywhere else is disappointing - it would have made my life easier - nevertheless I still vote yes.  I've been swayed for the following reasons : -
Firstly, at the time, 1946 or 1947, there were several rapid version updates of the manuals, so there could have been limited stocks of superfluous artwork available.
Secondly, Plimpton could sell everything they could make, in those austerity years, so may have been tempted to be a little less scrupulous in protecting the dealer only concept.
Thirdly, the box wouldn't hold a lot of parts, so isn't really big enough to have been created by a collector at the time.  For example, it wouldn't hold a Small Roof and a Base at the same time.
Finally, The individual components, box, manual and two rare Information Slips, would fetch more on today's market than the single item did, so why put them together?
But never mind me, what do you think?  Have you come across one of these before?  Do you have any other information which will help prove or disprove its Plimpton origin?  If so, I'd love to hear from you…
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Latest update - August 11, 2022
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