Trevor Baylis was born in Kilburn, London, in 1937. He was always an avid swimmer and by the age of 15 Baylis was swimming competitively for Britain. At 16 he joined the Soil Mechanics Laboratory in Southall and began studying mechanical and structural engineering at the local technical college. At 20 years of age he began his National Service as a physical training instructor, and he swam competitively for the Army and Imperial Services. Upon leaving the army in 1961, he joined Purley Pools as a salesman. He quickly advanced in this firm and was soon involved in research and development. He went on to start his own successful swimming pool company. His love of swimming led led Baylis to work as a stuntman on various television shows performing escape feats underwater. His other passion has been inventing, especially inventing products that might help the physically handicapped.
In 1993, he watched a program about the spread of AIDS in Africa, which observed that in many regions radio was the only available media, but the need for batteries or electricity made them too expensive or too difficult to access. There was a need for an educational tool that did not rely on electricity. By 1996 Trevor Baylis was receiving numerous awards for his 'Clockwork Radio' which was powered by the occasional turn of a handle.