For toy lovers of all ages the Irish Agricultural Museum are delighted to showcase an exciting exhibition of over 600 model cars. The collection is complemented by a fascinating collection of vintage motoring memorabilia, garage pumps and equipment from the Museum’s extensive collection of transport related artefacts, long disappeared from forecourts, and other objects from a time when a car journey was still an adventure.
Iconic names such as Dinky, Corgi and Matchbox are a significant part of the exhibition. Appealing to all ages, this colourful collection will introduce a new generation to the joys of these miniature motors whilst reminding the rest of us of our favourite childhood toys.
“This unique collection was a labour of love, amassed over the course of a lifetime from all over the world, by Mr. Maurice Bryan (1929-2013) of Rathfarnham (later Swords), Co Dublin. Maurice’s family wanted to see this unique collection remain intact and available for other people to enjoy so they donated it in its entirety to the Irish Agricultural Museum at Johnstown. The collection was amassed from toy and collector fairs in various states of condition from all over the world, some brand new in their original boxes whilst others requiring total restoration,” said Matt Wheeler, Museum Curator.
Maurice’s workshop was his dining room table. He was no stranger to restoration work as his other main hobby was vintage motorcycles. He was a member of the Dublin University Motorcycle & Light Car Club and served as a committee member, secretary and President. Over the years he brought many old bikes back to life such as his 1920’s Matchless V Twin motorbike. Maurice was also very active in the Motor Cycle Union of Ireland ( the governing body of motorcycle sport) He even found time to act as editor of ‘Exhaust Notes’ for many years the journal of the Vintage Motor Cycle Club in Dublin.
The curating of this exhibition was a labour of love for our own Myles Miller, a key member of our team here at Johnstown and a keen collector of vintage cars and memorabilia. “I’ve always been fascinated by this unique collection and so enjoyed the opportunity to combine the miniature models with vintage motoring memorabilia from our Museum. This exhibition will appeal to all ages, from nine month olds to those ninety years young who remember using the vintage motor equipment and playing with the first Dinky toys.”
“We are very grateful to the Bryan family for selecting the Irish Agricultural Museum as custodians for this remarkable collection and the help of Gerry Martin for all of his help with the collection. We look forward to turning the key on this collection and will be joined at the launch by some full size versions of these miniature marvels, engines revving,” said Brenda Comerford, General Manager. “The exhibition also highlights the adventurous nature of early motoring when the whole family would take a picnic and their transistor radio and head off on a day trip or staycation! We feel it’s a fitting exhibition to launch as our beautiful county opens up and we are finally allowed to put furniture back on our café terraces and in our Farm Courtyard.
If you have a family story, pictures or artefacts relating to the vintage garage or model cars please get in touch with Matt Wheeler, Museum Curator, so we can add your story, copy images etc. with your permission to include in our archives.
This exhibition will run throughout the Summer months and is part of the general admission price.
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