BAYKO - Oddities Explained

One of the great pleasures of BAYKO collecting is that, just occasionally, individual BAYKO pieces appear which not only break all the rules, but, formally at least, they don't exist!!!
Very rare example of the standard Straight Steps - here produced in white
There are four classic examples of this : -
Fairly rare 'Oak' Pillars
Multicolour, 'spotted' screwdrivers.
White steps.
'Oak' Pillars.
Plain Green Medium Roof.
According to published BAYKO parts' lists, they don't exist - yet they do. They're not common but they are real enough.
The multicolour BAYKO screwdriver, in particular, spawned many theories - specials for a major Toy Fair or prestige customer were the leading contenders.
Wrong - the truth was much simpler!
BAYKO Spotted Screwdriver
BAYKO's Diamond Jubilee exhibition (Liverpool, May, 1994), saw a few former Plimpton workers, who had actually helped make BAYKO, join us.
Talking to them was a revelation : -
Model with a very rare white BWC - they don't exist either
Friday afternoon - was their explanation!
By Friday, as you are doubtless well aware, people everywhere can get demob happy as the weekend fast approaches - the BAYKO factory was no exception…
“Sometimes we just threw any old **** into the moulds”, was their frank admission!
So much for carefully crafted theories - still, it's nice to have the rarities!
It's also nice to look back to an era when things were much more 'hand made' than today!
But before we get too carried away, there could be other explanations for some of the anomalies that date from just either side of the war.
Band Stand model showing some rare BAYKO parts - White Steps, Oak and Red 3-Brick Pillars, Orange Pinnacles and Turrets
There was a brief flirtation in the late 1940s with grey Bay Window Covers and Canopies, but they proved less popular than the standard red [perhaps post-war austerity meant people didn't want drab colour schemes] so they were dropped.
Plimpton also tried light and dark grey Bases, and dark grey Steps, around the same time - with equal success!
Perhaps the occasional White Steps, Pale Blue or Pale Green Bases and slightly more common 'Oak' Pillars were part of similarly doomed experiments - or austerity driven necessity.
Other parts like white and 'Oak' Turrets; White Bay Window Covers; 'Oak' Domes, Pinnacles and other 'New Series' parts; and mottled green or plane pale green Small Roofs do officially exist, but were produced in relatively small quantities and were rarities even in their own time.
If you can shed any light on any of these these anomalies or just want to proffer your own theory, then I'd love to hear from you…
Mixed colour MECCANO era pack of Crazy Paving
Just to add a slight note of caution…
…exact, consistent colours of BAYKO parts never seemed to be a strict requirement for the manufacturers…
…so I recommend that you don't get too excited over slight colour variations.
The image [left] clearly shows that this lack of concern for colour consistency affecting BAYKO parts was alive and well even during the MECCANO era.
If you click anywhere on the image, you will launch a larger version, where the differences are even more apparent.
Below here are links to related info : -
Click on any of the links below for related information.

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Latest update - August 11, 2022
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