Do you like radio? no, do you LOVE radio? if the answer is yes then you must consider a visit to the Hurdy Gurdy Radio Museum in Howth in County Dublin.
The Martello tower stands on the site of a former motte castle of the St. Lawrence Estate. It is also said to have been the site of the original Howth Castle. The museum gets its name from a comment made by the late Seán Lemass (former Taoiseach) while visiting the radio studios of Radio Éireann in Dublin. He referred to the radio service as “the old hurdy-gurdy” as whilst on his visit to the studios the RTÉ Concert Orchestra (then known as the Radio Éireann Light Orchestra) was tuning up… and the sound was reminiscent of a ‘hurdy-gurdy’.
The museum first opened in 2003, Pat Herbert, the curator, had been looking for a suitable premises to display his vast collection of radios, gramophones and other radio-related paraphernalia. Fingal County Council offered the recently refurbished Martello Tower to Pat for use as a museum. Pat maintains the museum as a labour of love. It is not run as a commercial enterprise. He enthusiastically gives of his time voluntarily, purely for the pleasure and enjoyment he derives from it. He is joined in his efforts by a team of volunteers, who all provide tours and introductions to the collection.
visit the Hurdy Gurdy web site before visiting in person.
Have you ever listened to your own local or national radio stations and wondered what similar stations are like around the world? Maybe you’ve listened to news bulletins in the US and wondered what was being reported in the UK about the same events. These days, it’s easy to get the information we need over the internet, and I’m often asked why I bother listening to radio when I can just stream the audio online. Those of an older vintage will know that receiving radio signals from around the world was a normal and everyday experience, and that listening to radio has a certain “quality” that online digital audio streams simply can’t provide.