This week I have mostly been playing with toys. Finalising the layouts on our toy section has been a lot of fun! It has also really inspired lots of our visitors who have encountered us in the galleries this week and who have shared stories of their favourite toys and asked lots of questions about what is on display. One of the toys have been busy constructing is called Bayko. This is an English building model construction toy that was invented by Charles Plimpton, an early plastics engineer and entrepreneur in Liverpool. First marketed in Britain it was soon exported throughout the British Commonwealth and became a worldwide brand between 1934 and 1967. The name derived from Bakelite, one of the world’s first commercial plastics that was originally used to manufacture many of the parts. Bayko was one of the world’s earliest plastic toys to be marketed.
Our Bayko sets were donated to the museum in 2015. They had been used and played with by 6 children during the 1950s. Each Christmas they were given another set which enabled them to build bigger and better models. One of the now grown-up children recently re-found the sets and enjoyed playing with them during his treatment for cancer. It has been a challenge to get to grips with this unusual construction toy that uses steel rods and interconnecting bricks to create realistic looking architectural models. Pop along to the curatorial office if you fancy a go yourself.
Lauren has been working hard on our school themed cabinets which are now looking fantastic. They include the COMMIT NO NUISANCE sign which was such a favourite of our visitors in the school room, but which was suffering from being on open display. It is good to see it back out where visitors can see it, but where it is protected inside a case.
Our volunteers are continuing to clean objects as we get them out of store and make sure they look wonderful before we put them in the gallery.
Apart from playing around we have also now installed the majority of the large vinyls in the Collections Gallery. Over 80% of the objects are installed and next week we are looking forward moving plan chests and large objects back into the gallery.