International Audio Arts Festival
April 4th-7th 2019
The ‘Ye Olde Hurdy Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio’ opened in 2003 in a fully restored 200 year old Martello tower, overlooking Howth Harbour in Dublin.
The museum houses the eclectic collection of Pat Herbert, a lifelong collector of vintage radios, gramophones, TVs, telephones and related ephemera. The impressive collection has been built up over forty years and was recognised by Fingal County Council in 2003 with the provision of a suitable home, in the form of the Martello Tower, which itself has an interesting telecommunications history.
Today the museum is a labour of love for Pat and his volunteers who maintain and exhibit the collection all year round.
Speaking about his collection, Pat has said:
"I would hope that the collection would be kept together, it’s for people to enjoy… It’s not just about me, it must go on to the next generation."
The museum gets its unusual name from a comment by former Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Seán Lemass who referred to Radio Eireann (the national broadcaster) as “the old hurdy-gurdy” when visiting their studios in Dublin in the 1960s.
Today, each visitor to the museum is given a personal tour by Pat or one of the many volunteers whose dedication has made this one of Dublin's hidden historical gems.
Pat Herbert and Joe Guilfoyle in the Hurdy Gurdy Pop-Up Museum at HearSay2015