South West Herts Narrowboat Project

Dick's Folly
Booking form [pdf]
Availability calendar 2018

About Pickle's Folly.

Below is the layout of our new boat built by Starline Marine in Worcestershire. This is the same company who refitted Dick's Folly in 2011, and now the boat is at the base, it is fully available for hire. The availability of both our boats can be checked from this page. Pickle's Folly is named in memory of Graham Pickett whose bequest has made this boat possible.

Boat layout [click on picture to enlarge and again to return].

Plan showing layout of the boat Graham's Folly

The rear deck of this 60 feet long narrowboat is large enough to accommodate a wheelchair and the hydraulic lift will carry anyone with mobility difficulties into the cabin. The dinette beyond the galley can seat five with space for a wheelchair at the side. The first sleeping cabin is flexible enough to provide bunks for one to four. With one bunk there is sufficient space for a wheelchair, which can access the wetroom shower and toilet next door. Four fixed berths are in the next cabin, followed by a second wetroom shower and toilet. The forward saloon can seat six around a removable table which can be converted into 2 / 4 berths if required. The galley is equipped with a four burner stove with grill and oven, an electric fridge and hot and cold running water.

Location and cruising.

See the map for the Project location.
Our base offers secure, off street parking for several vehicles for those using the boat. The site has water, electricity, a barbeque and rubbish disposal / recycling. Nearby are several pubs, a pizzeria, an Indian restaurant, a garage and a shop.

The location provides an ideal mooring for the boat on the River Gade at its junction with the Grand Union Canal at Hunton Bridge.

Below is the story of the building of Pickle's Folly.

16 June '12. Starline Marine have sent us some pictures of the boat and these can be viewed on the following page. The shell of the boat is complete and the priming and blacking are almost finished. The lining materials, windows and other items are on site ready to be fitted.

27th September '12. A few of the Project committee visited Starline Marine to see the new boat, and confirm details of the internal fit-out. They were very pleased with the progress: pictures can be seen on the following page.

15 November '12. We are accepting bookings for Pickle's Folly for the 2013 season.

22 November '12. Starline Marine has just informed the Project that Pickle's Folly will be completed during the week commencing Monday 3 December. We are hoping to bring the boat to the base with a two to three week trip in January. Alternatively, we will have her transported by road to Croxley where she will be craned into the canal and piloted north to the base.

6 December '12. One of our volunteers visited the almost complete boat and took photos for those of us who could not make the trip. Take a look at the following page. We are in the process of planning the trip which will bring Pickle's Folly to the base. The first team will start from Starline Marine's base at Stourport-on-Severn on 31 December. We will be meeting together before then to plan the details, such as route [watching out for canal closures], food and equipment, fuel, water and pump-out and team change overs. It's an exciting time!

10 December '12. Terry Huckerby from Starline Marine sent us more photos. Pickle's Folly was moved from where she was being fitted out to Starline's base at Stourport-on-Severn and Terry was on hand to supervise. The photos on the following page tell the story of the trip and the launch of Pickle's Folly in the River Severn, before being taken to the canal basin on the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal where she will undergo trimming and trials.

30 December '12. A small team of volunteers travelled to Stourport with equipment to await a few more people tomorrow. The plan is to head north to Wolverhampton and then to the Birmingham Canal Network before joining the Grand Union Canal. The closure of the Dudley Tunnel has meant a longer trip than was originally planned, and it will now be hard work to avoid the closure of locks near Royal Leamington Spa. Keep looking here for further updates.

31 December 2012. The trip has started: look here for the crew's blog and pictures. Look here for a map of their progress.

16 March 2013. Pickle's Folly arrived at the base late in the afternoon, after a windy, wet day. The final part of the voyage from Stourport began at the bottom lock at Marsworth on Thursday 15 March. The crew cruised through a lovely bright Thursday, and struggled through a wet and windy Friday, before fighting the strong current of the River Gade as they turned the new boat and moored her facing upstream at the new jetty at the base, and alongside her sister boat, Dick's Folly. Look here for the crew's blog and pictures. Look here for a map of their day to day progress.

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Registered Charity No. 299973.