The radio museum in Howth

This could have been a post about a walk on the Cliffs of Howth, a small seaside town north of Dublin. Yesterday was a beautiful day, with a brisk wind and light cirrus clouds–a great day for a cliff walk if you don’t stand too close to the edge and if you watch your footing on the muddy track and wet rocks.

Pat and EmilyBut before we began the walk, we happened upon a wonderful small museum about the development of radio: Ye Olde Hurdy-Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio. It’s in the Martelo Tower above the harbor, at one end of the cliff walk. Pat Herbert, the founder, is passionate about what he’s learned about radio, and communications in general, drawing everyone else into it. Susan adds:

Pat played a tape on which a group of amateur radio enthusiasts had recorded a conversation with the Space Shuttle Columbia during the few minutes it was over Ireland in 1983, 20 years prior to its tragic crash over Texas. One of the astronauts at the time was an amateur radio enthusiast, and Irish amateur radio people had spent hours trying to contact him. A visitor to the museum gave Pat the tape, which he owned only because his brother had been one of the 1983 radio buffs. The entire visit was like that, just one story after another… He had many stories, mostly directed at Emily. And, typically, at about 1:00, announced that it was about time for a cup of tea and biscuits. So we sat around and talked for a good while.

Howth cliffPat said that not many school groups come to the museum. That’s a shame, because the exhibits could be fascinating to young people as well as to those who lived through some of the times presented there. I think especially of young people in transition year programs (age ~15), who are doing new media projects, such as at the Suas Foundation’s excellent Bridge to College (B2C) programme . The museum would introduce interesting technologies as well as add an historical perspective.

Susan and EmilyWhen we did manage to set off on the hike we had a wonderful windy time, circling a good part of the Howth peninsula with grand views of the Ireland’s Eye and the Dublin harbor, and then making it up to the Ben of Howth. Eventually returned to the port in time for early dinner at The Oar House.

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