Articles in the local Villager News magazine
[written by one of our volunteers].
Ricky Carnival week and the Canal Festival
are what makes the capital C in community. For anyone involved, a
massive feeling of pride at playing a part in it. Even more so
as part of a team representing SWHNP and Dick's Folly, the
following people formed part of the Little Dick's Folly Crew and
for whom I offer a personal thank you for their commitment, time
and energy. Ann G; Angi N;
Claire A-P; Ellen G; John B; John C; Harry A-P; Lesley C; Liz H;
Martin C; Maureen M; Nigel L; Pete L.
We received a number of compliments about
our smart turn out from the carnival crowds as they cheered,
laughed and clapped us pulling Little Dicks Folly through the
narrow streets. Unbeknown to the Ricky crowds the crew were
hiding their disappointment having just heard the news that, due
to some of the new windows not arriving at the boatyard, Dick's
Folly would not be returning for the Canal Festival!
The next few days created a flurry of
telephone calls and emails, but I really should take a leaf out
of our Australian visitor Ellen's book: 'she'll be right' - and she
was! That's because the camaraderie of the people who live and
work on the canal is unique. Not only are they there for each
other but also there to encourage others to experience life on
the water. Eve and Tony from 'The Triple B' procured a piece of
the tow path and set up a stall of items from their own trading
stall, with all the profits going to the Project. Janul and
Warren with boats Pirate and tug boat Storm stored our publicity
banners and photos the night before and invited us to join in
again with the Tug of War. On Saturday Ralph with Tug Boat Tiny
gave LDF a lift up the canal where he then sat on the top of
Storm and during the afternoon Tug of War had Happy Birthday
sung to him. Yes, he was officially 1 year old. Later in the
evening our community boat neighbours from Apsley, The Reach Out
Project, loaded all our stuff including Little Dick, inside
Close Shave for the night. Phil Bassett former chair of the
project and one of the sponsors of the Festival through his
company Boatshed invited us to drinks on Persephone at 6pm
which soon became a two hour jam and community singing session,
with Janul, myself and a few others.
Sunday morning found Harry and I watching
Claire sing as part of the Rock Choir and then we were off
again, telling, selling and singing for Dick's Folly. After
lunch we steered Little Dicks Folly back up the tow path, and
along with Harry, Claire and Nigel we climbed on the top of
Pirate to sing and cheer in the Tug of War.
Notes on the rules of the Tug of War, two
boats have a rope tired between their sterns and on the signal
pull, until one boat drags the other backwards. The winner
however depends on the cheering crowds and an independent
referee, who for the second year running was a dog, who chose
the other boat even though Pirate very clearly won! Then a whole
lot more cheering as Storm took on Steam Boat Swallow!
Two hours later after sitting, singing and
being covered in soot we were tipped back on the tow path for
the final rally to clear up and store everything inside Storm.
As the 40,000 strong crowds drifted home we felt we could truly
call ourselves ambassadors of the Project.
Just to remind folks that volunteering has
its perks, and in that same sprit of camaraderie Monday morning
saw John B, Martin and myself assist Pirate and Storm home from
Ricky to Apsley which gave us the long overdue chance to crew
and for me a chance to take over the helm on both boats. We
jumped ship at our Hunton Bridge base and off-loaded all our
equipment and waved Jan and Warren off.
Dare I say that Dick's Folly is due back
into Croxley Marina on Friday 10th June which is the eve of
Abbots Carnival and where Little Dick's Folly and crew will make
their next appearance? They will also be on parade the following
week at the Kings Carnival on 18th May 2011.
We are now open for bookings: contact us by
With All Good Wishes,
Angi Naylor Project Volunteer