Ever since completing my GWR branch terminus layout (Cheslyn) it has languished under dust sheets in the loft. My trouble is that I'm a bit of serial layout builder and get quickly bored once a project has been finished. Space is also at a premium and Cheslyn was taking it up so I therefore approached the Lartigue Museum in Listowel, Co Kerry and asked if they'd like to have it for display. They were delighted and mounted the layout on the wall in the old engine shed shortly after it was delivered to site. In addition to the layout I've also donated some stock.
I was delighted to have been made a lifetime member as a reward and can go visit for free whenever the fancy takes me. I live about 35 miles away (which is only a minor distance here in Ireland) and intend to visit often.
Take a look at their website for some original photographs of the Listowel to Ballybunion railway in its heyday. This unique elevated steam train system ran for 36 years from 1888 to 1924 and the descendants of the British drivers sent over to operate the train still live in Listowel to this day. It seems to be an overlooked chapter in the history of steam traction and any enthusiast going on holiday to this part of the world ought to put it on the 'to visit' list.
The lastest boon for the museum was to find an old Pathe newsreel from the early twenties - it's the only known film to ever have been taken of the Lartigue system. The short film also provides a fascinating glimpse of life in Ireland at that time.
There were two driver/stokers on the footplate to balance out this weird contraption - the above is the modern diesel version that pulls a couple of carriages down a short length of restored track.
Whilst on a visit about a month ago I met Graham Morfoot of http://www.grahamsrailways.com/ We had a great chat about our love for the hobby - it's a small world sometimes!