The guided tour is the best way to see The Little Museum. Our tour guides are the people that bring the stories behind the objects in the museum to life.
One of our many popular guides is Godfrey (see above) Godfrey applied to work in the Little Museum as a tour guide in 2012. He had spent most of his working life in the business sector, although early in life he had worked in the entertainment industry in Butlins.
When he came to meet the Museum Director, Godfrey had to wait for a while in the museum. He became mesmerised by all the objects he saw around him. As he says himself, “I was spellbound, and it felt like I was home.” He’s been with us ever since.
It was difficult for Godfrey to pick just three favourite things or topics from his tour to speak about, but when pushed he picked the following:
The First edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Godfrey admits to not having finished the book yet, although he is reading it. One of the things that fascinates him about the book is that it is published in Paris. Joyce spent many years abroad, hence the first edition of this iconic ‘Dublin’ book being published in Paris, rather than Dublin. Godfrey loves to sing and another reason for his affection for Joyce is the little known fact that James Joyce was a very good singer, winning a bronze medal at the 1904 Feis Ceoil.
The bonds below are another favourite of Godfrey’s. Éamon de Valera was a huge figure in Irish politics, for many people he was a divisive presence. The Bonds that he sold in the US have a distinct hint of mystery about them. When he travelled to the US to sell bonds Éamon de Valera was made a Free Man of New York City by the Lord Mayor John f Hylam. Hylam bought the first bond from de Valera, who may have gone on to sell as many as $5million (the exact figure is debated) worth of bonds by the end of 1920.
With the US and UK as close allies at the time it was impossible to ship the money home in bulk, and money made its way to Ireland via an array of circuitous routes. What Godfrey finds so interesting is that all the money may not have made its way home and may still lie dormant in bank accounts in the US! He will research this further if he ever retires from the Little Museum.
Another favourite character of Godfrey’s to speak about is Brendan Behan. A tremendous talent who died at the relatively young age of 41, Behan could have given us so much more had he lived longer. His wit was legendary and a favourite anecdote of Godfrey’s about Behan is that one time, when emerging somewhat the worse for wear from the Long Haul Pub on Great South George’s Street, Behan bumped into a woman carrying her Christmas shopping. Her parcels fell and scattered and the woman reacted with outrage.
As Behan said sorry the woman drew herself up to her full height and said in a loud and threatening voice “I’ll have you know my husband is a detective and if he was here he’d Have you!” Quick as a flash Behan replied, “Ma’am, I do not doubt it for a second. For if he’d have you, he’d have anyone!” – Ouch!
The guided tours of the museum are included in the price of the ticket. We also offer guided tours in Irish and Polish. And you can also join the hilarious Ciaran on his Stand Up History Tour of the museum on Sundays and Mondays: