Hot BAYKO News!!!

This is an irregularly updated page, which I hope you will enjoy. I'll update it as appropriate but will leave items here permanently, to keep an historical record!
The intent here is to provide information on key events in BAYKO, in the BAYKO Collectors Club or elsewhere…
…I hope you enjoy it and find it interesting.
BAYKO Collectors Club Limited
This is only a short entry, but an extremely important one for the BAYKO Collectors Club.
At the March meeting of the BAYKO Collectors Club, members agreed to the club becoming a Limited Company.
This isn't the first step on a campaign to take over the planet, but is entirely as part of the B.C.C.'s aim to protect the club's membership.  The key word is “Limited”. In the unlikely event of 'something' happening for which the B.C.C. may be deemed liable, members' houses and cars will not be under threat.  Unlikely as such a scenario is in the first place, this ensures that the wider B.C.C. membership isn't vulnerable.
If you want to find out more about the admin. details of how the B.C.C. is set up, its constitution and key policies…

Logo for the BAYKO 80 anniversary exhibition
The BAYKO Collectors Club has always made a particular effort to celebrate significant BAYKO anniversaries. The thirtieth anniversary of the death of BAYKO, our first, was held in All Hallows Church Hall, Liverpool back in 1997. Since then we've celebrated, at five year intervals, in Sandy, Bedfordshire [2004, 70th anniversary of the launch] and Merstham, Surrey [2009, 75th anniversary], which takes us up to 2014
…we are now delighted to announce that we have a venue for the 80th birthday exhibition in 2014.
The Museum of Liverpool, already home to Leo Janssen's stunning models of the Empire State Building and the Speke Airport Building - and yes, there's a BAYKO set too(!) - have invited the BAYKO Collectors Club to put on an exhibition in their stunning new building [below].
The dates are still to be finally confirmed, but we are planning for the third weekend in May, 2014. The exhibition will take place over a long weekend, i.e. Friday, May 16th to Monday, May19th, 2014, and will be spectacular!!! The exhibition will be located in Education Room 3, which is a magnificent space, 25.1 x 16.5 metres maximum [82'3” x 54'2”], on the middle of the museum's three floors, on the same level as the Liverpool Overhead Railway exhibit.
Several members have already enthusiastically committed to making a contribution to the exhibition, and we'll also have a comprehensive display of BAYKO sets from throughout the life of the product. There will also be slide shows, showing a complete BAYKO world; short talks about BAYKO and collecting; and a chance for children of all ages to get 'hands on' experience with the world's first and finest plastic construction toy! We're also investigating the possibility of a multi-member super project and even the very latest technology!
It is very unusual for a small club to be invited to put on an exhibition in such a prestigious venue and we believe the BAYKO Collectors Club is the first in the case of the Museum of Liverpool.
I've been asked to coordinate the club's efforts for the exhibition, so if you want to know more, or want to contribute either with exhibits, doing a talk, or acting as a steward, then…
Watch this space for further developments on this truly exciting opportunity!!! I'll keep you posted.

Museum of Liverpool Life Opens - July 19th, 2011
Early this millennium, Prince Charles’ architectural cronies had steam coming out of their ears as the plans were unveiled to build a modern museum alongside the ‘three graces’ on the Liverpool waterfront.  On a Tuesday evening, on the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Cunard Building, the middle one of those ‘three graces’, the magnificent new Museum of Liverpool Life opened its doors.
Approach to the Museum of Liverpool Life
So why is this event being reported in the BAYKO Collectors Club section?  Well, two club members, Robin Throp and Pete Bradley were invited to attend the festivities.  The name of the third invitee gives a clue as to why, but, sadly, Leo Janssen was unable to attend.
Leos BAYKO model of the Empire State Building in the Museum of Liverpool Life Front view
The museum has only opened 50% of its floor area to date, which makes it all the more pleasing that the world’s first and finest plastic construction toy was the only children’s toy on display.  The pioneering model is Leo’s model of the Empire State Building [left and right] and it is just about the first exhibit you see as you leave the reception area and enter the section which covers Liverpool’s links with the United States.  The model is now enclosed in a hermetically sealed glass display case and has been cleaned and polished to within an inch of its life. It does both Liverpool-made BAYKO and Leo proud.  To take account of the restricted ceiling height, the model has had to be shortened slightly, in both the bottom and top sections, but is still totally stunning.
Leos BAYKO model of the Empire State Building in the Museum of Liverpool Life Side view
MECCANO and other Liverpool toys will be included in future displays as the museum opens the remaining 50% of the floor area, but, for the moment, BAYKO flies solo.
I'm not going to try and do justice to the entire museum contents, but there were several things which attracted my attention.
10 foot tall Liver Birds - on stilts
I really have to mention three models in the museum in particular.
Architects model of the 1930s plan for the Metropolitan Cathedral
In the 1930s, plans were drawn up for a new basilica style catholic cathedral in Liverpool and the original architect’s model is there [right] in all its glory. Building did actually start on this version, though the money soon ran out, and only the crypt was completed. This then had to be incorporated as part of the subsequent design of what is now affectionately known as “Paddy’s Wigwam”, which was the final architectural choice some thirty years later.
The 'three graces' mentioned above, form an iconic vista on Liverpool's waterfront, and the Museum of Liverpool Life has a small model of them [right].
Model od Liverpool's three graces
From left to right they are the Royal Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the former offices of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board. The Museum of Liverpool Life is actually located to the right of these, as viewed from the Mersey [and in the picture].
Note the opening night chamber quartet in the background!
Unsurprisingly there are several exhibits covering various aspects of the lives and careers of the Beatles, and I was particularly interested in one of them.
A procession of Lamb-Bananas on the approach to the Museum of Liverpool Life
John Lenon's childhood home, 'Mendips', which was actually his auntie's house, was opened up several years ago as a visitor attraction for pilgrimages by devotees, as part of organised Beatles Tours.
Model of 'Mendips', the house in which John Lenon grew up
The house is a slightly larger than average semi-detached house, and is located on Liverpool's ring road.
The museum has three models in a sealed display case [right] showing the exterior and both the upstairs and downstairs interiors.
Well, the drummers, band, choirs, champagne and ten foot tall stilt-walking Liver Birds have all been packed away, but I can thoroughly recommend visiting the museum and joining the 12,000 visitors who came on day one.

Mini-Meets Announced
By popular request, the BAYKO Collectors Club is now actively encouraging members to set up mini-meets, small local meetings, outside the normal meeting timetable. The aim is to expand our promotion of construction toys in general and of BAYKO in particular. Apart from the increase in the number of chances this will offer members to talk about their favourite subject, mini-meets will hopefully encourage and allow an increased geographical coverage.
Almost any venue can be suitable - and remember, the earliest B.C.C. meetings were actually held in a founder member's front room! However, please bear in mind that some members or visitors may have to travel a significant distance, so some basic facilities and refreshments [tea or coffee] should be considered.
The BAYKO Collectors Club will be happy to provide organisers with advertising both through this website and through 'BAYKO News', the B.C.C. magazine, so remember to allow plenty of time for the publicity.
If you feel you would like to arrange a mini-meet in your area, the B.C.C. would be happy to offer help and advice…

BAYKO 75, anniversary exhibition logo
The BAYKO Collectors Club is planning another big one - BAYKO 75 - a major exhibition to celebrate the 75th birthday of the world's first and finest plastic construction toy, which is to be held in 2009!
This will be the 3rd major anniversary exhibition, following up on the success of the Diamond Jubilee Exhibition in Liverpool in 1994 and the 70th Birthday BAYKO Exhibition in Sandy in 2004.
Peter Wicker - the new Exhibition Co-ordinator for the B.C.C.
Several venues are being considered, including a return visit to BAYKO's home turf, but details won't be published until they are finalised to avoid any risk of confusion.
2 years sounds a long way ahead, but, you can't have too much planning time when you are putting together a major exhibition like this.
Peter Wicker has volunteered his services as exhibition coordinator, doubtless with much invaluable support from Brenda and I'm sure we all wish him well in the role…
…even more important, I'm sure you will give him your full support.
I'm certainly looking forward to participating in another major triumph for the BAYKO Collectors Club - watch this space.

BAYKO Goes Home
Leo's magnificent model of the Empire State Building - as displayed at Sandy in 2004 - click here for a larger image
Remember you heard it here first…
Leo hands over the Speke Airport Building - click here for a larger image
…two of Leo's famous models have been sold…
…and what's more, they're coming home!
The magnificent Empire State Building [left] and the superb Speke Airport Building [right] are the models concerned…
…but why are they going home?
The models have been bought by The Museum of Liverpool Life<, part of The National Museums, Liverpool which already held a number of BAYKO documents referred to elsewhere on the site.
They hope to have The Empire State Building on display in a couple of months.
Congratulations to Leo…


and, of course, to the Museum for their taste and foresight!!!

The Empire State Building, at the Diamond Jubilee exhibition at Sandy, Bedfordshire in 2004.
p.s. - both Leo's models are now available for you to see,
on permanent display in the renamed
Museum of Liverpool.
I hope this doesn't mean there's no life left in Liverpool!!!
The Speke Airport Building, waiting in the Museum of Liverpool Life store on delivery day.
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Latest update - August 11, 2022
The BAYKO name and Logo are the Registered Trade Mark of Transport of Delight.