South West Herts Narrowboat Project

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Press Release

Generous Bequest Allows Newly Refurbished Narrowboat for Local Youth and Community Groups to be Relaunched.

Christine Rowe and Ron Baldwin presenting the cheque to Project Treasurer, Robert Marsden.Thanks to a generous bequest from local resident Graham Picket, "Dick's Folly", the 70ft steel narrowboat maintained by The South West Herts Narrowboat Project has been relaunched and returned to her base at Hunton Bridge in time for the summer canal cruising season. She has been entirely refitted to the highest specifications, to enable parties of up to 12 people to go away on day trips, weekend excursions and even longer group expeditions.


Left to right, Ron Baldwin, Peter Lincoln, Tom Lovering and Christine Rowe; enjoying a cruise on Dick's Folly. Next week a launch cruise will celebrate the bequest. In attendance will be Ron Baldwin and Christine Rowe, the executors, and Tom Lovering of Morrisons Solicitors LLP who ensured that the bequest was made in accordance with Graham's wishes.

After over 20 years service Dick's Folly started to show her age and the Project decided to withdraw her from service for a year for a complete overhaul and internal refit. However, funds were short and in the recession, grants dried up and fund raising was slower than predicted. Now Graham's bequest has made it possible to complete the work and return Dick's Folly to service.

The boat now has larger windows and a much brighter interior - in contrasting colours, to aid the visually impaired. Her insulation, wiring and heating have been brought up to modern standards and her engineering systems have been totally overhauled. The aim has been to create the most modern, comfortable and welcoming community boat in the South of England.

Robert Marsden, Treasurer for the Project, commented "Our Fund Raising Team have done an excellent job and their contribution will still be needed to support the Project, however, this bequest has made it possible to accelerate our work and plan even more for the future."

The bequest will not only serve to refit Dick's Folly, but will also allow the charity to fund a new boat, for use by young people, named after our benefactor, and greatly improve the base at Hunton Bridge.

The South West Herts Narrowboat Project is a charity entirely staffed and run by volunteers - new volunteers are always welcome. The Project regularly runs over one hundred days of trips per year with an average of 11 people per day - over one thousand child/days of canal experience.

Dick's Folly is available to all Youth and Community Groups in return for a donation to cover running costs. For booking, groups should contact Janet White, during office hours, on 01923 224411.


Dick's Folly narrowboat.


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Registered Charity No. 299973.