South West Herts Narrowboat Project

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Villager News title image

Articles in the local Villager News magazine
[written by one of our volunteers].

May 2010

Image of poster: Dick's Folly needs your lolly.

Dick's Folly is the name of the community narrowboat based at Hunton Bridge and run by the South West Herts Narrowboat Project [SWHNP]. This year it had to be taken out of service following a number of major problems. Here's the latest update of the fundraising activities by the crew and 'users' of the boat.

With its engine broken, Dick's Folly was buttyed down to Rickmansworth Canal Festival by narrowboat Great Britain. There, with a prominent position on the towpath, hundreds of visitors could not fail to notice our display of banners, posters, press cuttings and Folly Fare keyrings made for us by Stopgap and the Little Dick's Folly [LDF], all out to raise lolly for Dick's Folly's 50,000 refit.

LDF? With the boat going away for some time, a visible reminder was needed to keep up the fundraising. A plan was hatched. In fact you could say it's Angi's baby, especially as I also acted as midwife, and the delivery was on time! Little Dick's Folly ... it's up to you how you say it, hence LDF.

LDF is seven feet long or one tenth the size of Dick's Folly and sits on what was once a kiddie's cart, saved, as were a few other parts, from local recycled centres and projects, and at least one piece from Dick's Folly's guts. Over the two day festival LDF stood in for DF and took its place in the Tug of War, perched proudly on the roof of narrowboat The Crimson Pirate [should we have been disqualified as we were one and a half boats?] I was also invited and sat next to LDF playing my guitar, and actually singing in the rain, as we all got soaked during a brief hail storm.

Jan the owner of The Crimson Pirate has written a series of books about Pirate's life on the canal. The latest, Pirate Goes to a Festival, is about to be published and we understand that DF and LDF are featured in the latest tale.

LDF plans to be in the Abbots Langley Carnival on 12th June and if his helpers can make it happen he will be in the Croxley Revels Parade and then at Kings Langley Carnival on the afternoon of the 19th June.

As The Villager went to press, the SWHNP Grand Summer Raffle draw took place on Sunday 30th May at The Manor House Sports Ground where a large crowd of youngsters were taking part in a cricket competition. Cllr. and Mrs Poole kindly officiated for us and were able to personally congratulate one of the young cricketers whose ticket [bought within the final minutes of the raffle] was drawn for the two days sailing experience at Bury Lake, courtesy of Bury Lake Young Mariners.

LDF was on parade and pleased to receive lots of donations in his two collecting boxes. A big thank you to everyone who bought tickets. Last months Villager article helped especially as we went round the pubs in Abbots and found copies of the newspaper in one of them for all to read!

Thank you to our users who have rallied around with donations both practical and monetary. If you have sailed on Dick's Folly we know you will want to help. Contact Peter James 07905 307107 or email

Angi Naylor - Project volunteer

Dick's Folly narrowboat.


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Registered Charity No. 299973.