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Vintage radios: Reconnecting with the past


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Sound man: Pat Herbert pictured in the Ye Olde Hurdy-Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio in Howth

Sound man: Pat Herbert pictured in the Ye Olde Hurdy-Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio in Howth

Sound man: Pat Herbert pictured in the Ye Olde Hurdy-Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio in Howth

Twentieth-century valve radios are beautiful objects in their own right. Now, the originals are collectors' items and mainstream shops are full of retro radios that mimic vintage designs. Both hark back to a recent past when radio was a luxury that not everyone could afford.

"I grew up in a village in Co Mayo. We had no radio, no electricity," says Pat Herbert of the Hurdy Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio in Howth, "very few candles, even. When it was dark, it was dark." It was 1947, the year that the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final was played in the Polo Grounds in New York, and Herbert was 10 years old.

"We got word that one of the neighbours had bought a wireless. It was the Lamonds, of course. They were the only family in the village with a slate roof. The rest of us had thatch."


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