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Fry Model Railway Museum to close permanently!

  • 31-01-2011 11:02am
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    The Fry Model Railway Collection (around which the Fry Model Railway Museum was built) was purchased from Cyril Fry's widow by Dublin Tourism in 1976. The driving force behind this was Matt McNulty of Dublin Tourism. During the early 1980's the collection was overhauled and a new layout built at Inchicore Works by retired CIE craftsman, Tommy Tighe. The collection was eventually relocated to Malahide Castle and opened to the public in July 1988. In the meantime much new operating equipment had also been built as most of Cyril Fry’s collection was too old to endure heavy running demanded by the Malahide operation. John Dunne was employed by Dublin Tourism as manager to oversee the development and operation of the museum. IRRS veteran Herbie Alexander (?) was brought in to actual operate the layout. I have to agree that the museum always disappointed me and despite the obvious quality of what was on offer the presentation sucked. A paralysis seemed to grip the place and no decision could ever be reached to do anything. I'm sure Tom Ferris of Midland Publishing won't mind me telling about the saga that developed when we were trying to organise a deal to make a video about the railway - needless to say negotiations dragged on for years and it was never made. When John Dunne retired as manager a few years ago he was not replaced due to the embargo on public sector recruitment. The smell of death has been hanging over the place ever since. The last time I was there (Sept.2010) things were so bad that I felt obliged to write to the CEO of Dublin Tourism – I received very little joy from that correspondence.
    To me, Malahide has suffered from the same malaise that affects Cultra - the dead hand of the state - no incentive to be creative or financially viable leads inevitably to stagnation. How was Cultra conceived with no thought of further acquisitions? Ever visited its souvenir shop? I could go on but I suppose it’s better than our National Transport Museum – a stone’s throw from Malahide.



    I had confirmation this morning that the museum will close permanently in February as the buildings are required by Fingal Co.Council for 'redevelopment' plans at the castle. Dublin Tourism are looking for expressions of interest from other bodies with a view to taking over the collection.

    Bring on the Dribblers Heritage Forum! :D


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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,738 ✭✭✭✭ corktina


    i never heard of it! speaks volumes in itself I guess!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,025 ✭✭✭ patrickmooney


    wow, memories, I used to head there on school trips back in the 80s/early 90s.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,738 ✭✭✭ chughes


    This is a terrible shame.

    I really hope another home can be found for it so that it's still accessable to the public.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 DWCommuter


    corktina wrote: »
    i never heard of it! speaks volumes in itself I guess!

    No way!:D

    In fairness most people found it by accident. It was a beautiful display in its heyday but I always got the feeling that the staff didn't really want you there. I'd be surprised if it doesn't find a home somewhere.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 DWCommuter


    The Fry Model Railway Collection (around which the Fry Model Railway Museum was built) was purchased from Cyril Fry's widow by Dublin Tourism in 1976. The driving force behind this was Matt McNulty of Dublin Tourism. During the early 1980's the collection was overhauled and a new layout built at Inchicore Works by retired CIE craftsman, Tommy Tighe. The collection was eventually relocated to Malahide Castle and opened to the public in July 1988. In the meantime much new operating equipment had also been built as most of Cyril Fry’s collection was too old to endure heavy running demanded by the Malahide operation. John Dunne was employed by Dublin Tourism as manager to oversee the development and operation of the museum. IRRS veteran Herbie Alexander (?) was brought in to actual operate the layout. I have to agree that the museum always disappointed me and despite the obvious quality of what was on offer the presentation sucked. A paralysis seemed to grip the place and no decision could ever be reached to do anything. I'm sure Tom Ferris of Midland Publishing won't mind me telling about the saga that developed when we were trying to organise a deal to make a video about the railway - needless to say negotiations dragged on for years and it was never made. When John Dunne retired as manager a few years ago he was not replaced due to the embargo on public sector recruitment. The smell of death has been hanging over the place ever since. The last time I was there (Sept.2010) things were so bad that I felt obliged to write to the CEO of Dublin Tourism – I received very little joy from that correspondence.
    To me, Malahide has suffered from the same malaise that affects Cultra - the dead hand of the state - no incentive to be creative or financially viable leads inevitably to stagnation. How was Cultra conceived with no thought of further acquisitions? Ever visited its souvenir shop? I could go on but I suppose it’s better than our National Transport Museum – a stone’s throw from Malahide.



    I had confirmation this morning that the museum will close permanently in February as the buildings are required by Fingal Co.Council for 'redevelopment' plans at the castle. Dublin Tourism are looking for expressions of interest from other bodies with a view to taking over the collection.

    Bring on the Dribblers Heritage Forum! :D

    They still have the B + I ferry!!!:eek:


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,011 ✭✭✭✭ Run_to_da_hills


    chughes wrote: »
    This is a terrible shame.

    I really hope another home can be found for it so that it's still accessable to the public.

    It should be located to the City Center where more people would know about it and visit it.

    I never heard about the place until this thread. :p


  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 7,490 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Jonathan


    Thats a shame. I loved going there both as a child and an adult.

    It never seemed to get old. My only complaint was that the collection was never updated as Irish Rail got new rolling stock.

    Will the adjacent Tara's Palace be closing too?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,468 popebenny16


    thats sad news, brought the kids there in summer 09 and will bring them the day of the first Dublin double header in croke park in a few weeks to say goodbye to it.

    I was impressed by it, so i wuold love to know what it was like in its heyday, as others here say it had seriously gone downhill by the time i saw it.

    and yes dw, they do still have the ferry!


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,314 ✭✭✭✭ Cookie_Monster


    :(


  • Registered Users Posts: 15 ✭✭✭ bjg


    Perhaps Jackie Whelan of the West Clare Railway would be interested.

    bjg


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    bjg wrote: »
    Perhaps Jackie Whelan of the West Clare Railway would be interested.

    bjg

    I think he has quite enough on his plate and anyway if remoteness is what you looking for why not Burtonport?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    thats sad news, brought the kids there in summer 09 and will bring them the day of the first Dublin double header in croke park in a few weeks to say goodbye to it.

    I was impressed by it, so i wuold love to know what it was like in its heyday, as others here say it had seriously gone downhill by the time i saw it.

    and yes dw, they do still have the ferry!

    Don't go - it is still closed for the Winter (October-April) so it will not be reopening prior to its official closure.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15 ✭✭✭ bjg


    Moyasta isn't remote — at least from me: it's much closer than Malahide. And Moyasta has a large number of passing tourists and holiday-makers.

    bjg


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 DWCommuter


    Once the IE heritage officer gets wind of this he'll organise a buyer in Texas.:D


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    DWCommuter wrote: »
    Once the IE heritage officer gets wind of this he'll organise a buyer in Texas.:D

    New York I think you mean, and I think you'll find the exhibits already being crated. :D

    125202603_ddd7333545.jpg

    Wheeltapper Bar, Fitzpatrick's Grand Central Hotel, New York


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,738 ✭✭✭✭ corktina


    why display the BACK of a distant signal???


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,314 ✭✭✭✭ Cookie_Monster


    bjg wrote: »
    Perhaps Jackie Whelan of the West Clare Railway would be interested.

    yeah, he can store it under a tarp in the middle of nowhere...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,017 invinciblePRSTV


    Never heard of it myself but surely if Clon Railway Village can be viable then i struggle to see how this can't be.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,314 ✭✭✭✭ Cookie_Monster


    I've been and while I thought it was pretty good in places the setup is where the problem lies IMO. You get a tour around the track, with the various bit operating and there's quite a lot to see, but once that section has been shown you have to move on. No constant running of trains, no being able to watch one section for prolonged periods, all a bit rigid and short for what's on offer.

    If it was made a bit more automated and you were free to wander around the active layout outside of the tours and their info and commentary it'd certainly add to it.

    All the same it would be near criminal if this much quality model work got buried away somewhere, hopefully someone takes it and puts it on (working) display. Collins Barracks, I'm looking at you guys :P

    The outer room is pretty cool too, a mix of models and history and bits and pieces of this and that. For anyone who likes that sort of thing its well worth the visit, pity the closed it and won't open again.

    There was of course a trade off for me, and that was having to wander around the castle with the missus. Old tables and chairs and curtains aren't nearly as interesting


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    Never heard of it myself but surely if Clon Railway Village can be viable then i struggle to see how this can't be.

    Ah yes, the Clonakilty Model Railway Village - pic here from Interesting Bridges thread here: http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2056004632&page=13 says it all about Clonakilty and we won't mention the Ruston 'steam' loco. :D

    DSC03493.jpg
    Interesting European stock they used to run in West Cork. :rolleyes:


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  • Site Banned Posts: 5,904 parsi


    Interesting European stock they used to run in West Cork. :rolleyes:

    I don't see your problem. Half the people in Wesht Cork are from The Fatherland.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    parsi wrote: »
    I don't see your problem. Half the people in Wesht Cork are from The Fatherland.

    My only objection is that the place received about €1 million in EU funds to build a model replica of the West Cork system. Incidentally, the bridge looks like it's being maintained to the highest standards of Iarnrod Eireann. :D


  • Site Banned Posts: 5,904 parsi


    I think I can just about make out a party of sea scouts....


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,278 ✭✭✭ dowlingm


    I'm waiting for threads to be started about how service can be augmented and crowding reduced by running that thing in between morning DARTs ex Malahide, or the engine used to pull a Mk3 set :D


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,702 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    I think he has quite enough on his plate and anyway if remoteness is what you looking for why not Burtonport?

    Station house was demolished a few years back and the fishing coop still "uses" the other remaining buildings.


    Will have to drag the boyfriend along to this before it goes, it was part of my childhood but he never had a school trip venture up that far from deep in to DSER land.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    MYOB wrote: »
    Station house was demolished a few years back and the fishing coop still "uses" the other remaining buildings.


    Will have to drag the boyfriend along to this before it goes, it was part of my childhood but he never had a school trip venture up that far from deep in to DSER land.

    The museum (rather than Burtonport I take it?) but it is closed for the Winter and will not be reopening prior to removal. :D


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,702 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    The museum (rather than Burtonport I take it?) but it is closed for the Winter and will not be reopening prior to removal. :D

    He's been to Burtonport.

    There was me thinking Fingal CC would actually have stuff open all year round :(


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    MYOB wrote: »
    He's been to Burtonport.

    There was me thinking Fingal CC would actually have stuff open all year round :(

    No, a highly commercial operation - closed from October until April every year. :rolleyes:


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,702 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    I wonder if enough of us whinge could we get a dribblers enthusiasts visit date set up with FCC...


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,372 ✭✭✭ steamengine


    I'd say 'Puck', one of the castle's resident ghosts and reputedly mischievous, will miss playing with the model railway when everyone has gone home at night ! :D


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