Articles in the local Villager News magazine
[written by one of our volunteers].
`Dicks Folly` is the community narrowboat based at Hunton Bridge
and run by the SWHNP South West Herts Narrowboat Project. 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.
Well, I've written my copy in some strange places but today is
very fitting. I'm in the Canal Museum in London, on a wet half
term holiday Tuesday, with god-daughter Jess of Abbots carnival
fame, and friend Alfi. This was one of the museum activities
days and active we were! On arrival we had a short trip on the
Pirate Club Narrowboat Viscount [visit their
website]. Then we spent the next four
hours engrossed in making paper boats and plaster plaques,
having faces painted, and through a quiz, learning about the
history of the Regent's Canal and narrowboat life. Added to
this, we discovered the origins of the building, where a Mr.
Carlo Gatti dug an ice house, later he started selling his
famous ice cream, of which we got a chance to both make and eat!
Our last task of the day was to hand over a few leaflets about
Dick's Folly for the museum's information board. A very
enjoyable outing was had by young and old, familiar and
unfamiliar with canal. And in the words of Mr. Gatti, "Try it
The Big Lift.
Remember, remember 5th October, the day that the big lift
finally took place after a couple of earlier false starts. On
the 4th, Little Dick's Folly came down to the towpath to wish DF
well and then John, Pete and Angi gently brought DF into Cassio
Marina, where the skilled hands of JP Marine Services positioned
the crane and adjusted the lifting straps under the boat until
they found the centre. The following morning, along came the
road transporters and DF was lifted out and swung across the
yard and lowered onto the flat back. Due to work commitments I
was unable to see the grand lift but John has given a grand
commentary as well as putting photos on our
website. Notable hiatus moments
happened when a strop snapped whist still in the yard and there
was a bit of a palaver exiting into the Rickmansworth Road. The
yard in Worcestershire, experts in building community boats have
not only agreed a price but agreed to store the boat rent free
whilst we continue to get all the money in place. We have
£17,000, Starline's initial estimate being £39,000, prior to the
Project asking them to add on some extra work ... the engine
mountings being one of them.
On Friday 22nd I attended the award ceremony for the young
people who have completed their time at Stopgap. I was impressed
by the amount of courses they have completed to advance
themselves into employment and honoured to find that the Chief
Executive was using the link with Dick's Folly as one of his
examples of working together. As part of this event the young
people gave personal testimony of their time. Ben gave a
resounding appreciation of the day spent cleaning Dick's Folly,
including emptying the sceptic tank and the day spent aboard. We
look forward to a continued working relationship with them.
November 7th at 3pm. - we are extremely grateful for the
opportunity to both raise funds and be a part of The Abbots
Langley Winter Acoustics series of concerts to be held at
Abbots Langley Community Centre. The first of four is entitled
Life and Times - Where the Working Boats Went. A show in
drama and song about the waterways past and present, including
genuine canal facts and stories, 12 new songs, songs rarely
heard and old favourites and you are encouraged to join in. Tea,
coffee and cakes will be available in the interval. There will
be a raffle, the proceeds of which will go to Dick's Folly.
Entrance tickets are £8. Enquiries to
or call Tim and Lesley on 01932 264536. The remainder of the
series dates are in 2011: 6th February, 6th March and 3rd April.
November 27th - Kings Langley Christmas Lights Festival.
Members of the Project and Little Dick's Folly hope to be
February 11th 2011 - get your 6 person team registered
now for Dick's Folly Quiz Night, at the Community Centre in The
Knapp, Kings Langley. £10 per person, including refreshments.
the winning team will be given the acclaimed title 'Clever
Dicks'. Email John Blake if you are interested:
Dick's Folly's raffle prizes
We are pleased to announce and at the same time thank two
individuals who have come forward and promised to make specially
created fruit cakes in the shape of Dick's Folly for our fund
raising activities. Alongside this we have our specially dressed
Dick's Folly collection of teddys.
Are you a collector of Gund Teddys?
How much would you give for a Gund 12 inch brown teddy bear,
with the ear tab Gotta Getta Gund still in place? It's probably
circa 1983. Here's a local chance before it goes on Ebay.
Contact Angi via The Villager.
We continue to seek out sponsors, encourage donations and take
up any fundraising opportunities towards our £50,000 goal. If
you or your organisation can help in any way, please contact
Pete James on 07905 307107 or email him
Angi Naylor Project Volunteer