Saturday, September 25, 2010

The GPO Museum

The GPO Museum is small and perfectly formed. It's been open a whole 2 months and hasn't had much publicity. I arrived at 5 past 5 on Friday evening and got into a healthy Culture Night queue of 25 mins before I could get in. The reason for that was insurance: they can't let too many people in at once. The first part of the museum is dedicated to stamps and philately in general. As a sometime stamp collector, it appealed to me but won't be exciting for everyone. They have a nice touchscreen thingy where you can design your own stamp and a separate one that lets you examine pretty much every stamp this country has ever produced. Kid heaven!

Part two of the museum deals with the postal service in Ireland from its inception to the modern day. It has a cool model of the GPO and voiceovers of people describing how things used to work. It also features a lovely old postal table with pigeon holes and a computer set into it, which shows different important letters belonging to the State. There's also an old telephone exchange which you can play with and listen to various postal employees. Awesome. The third section is, unsurprisingly, about the Rising and the role of the GPO in it, nicely designed with actors talking about how it effected them.
If the museum has a tiny fault, it would be that it's too technology based. I was chatting to an elderly lady in the queue and she particularly wanted to see a letter from Michael Collins to Kitty Kiernan. It was on a computer and she needed assistance to view it. Assistance was on hand and she left happy. Luckily, she was assertive but I think older visitors might be a bit intimidated by it all.

The museum took me about 30 minutes to view and will normally charge €2, which is nominal. I would have paid more to see it, if it weren't free on Culture Night! I also would have lingered if I didn't have a million other things to see that night. Wheelchair accessible; child very friendly; lots of fun: two very enthusiastic thumbs-up!

Now with added photos, courtesy of Stephen Ferguson, the museum's curator.

1 comment:

  1. great museum easy to use and view.where could i get a copy of the gpo model and how much would it cost.