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].

August 2011

It's official, Dick's Folly has returned to community service. It was very fitting that two organisations who are both old friends of the project and regular 'self steerers' were able take it out during its first week. The old sea salts from HMS Wildfire had such a wild old time that they have booked themselves in for another trip next month. They were closely followed by members of South Oxhey Baptist Church who were steered physically and spiritually by their leader Nigel Luff.

In the days between these trips another group who can claim to be our youngest 'old friends' turned up to help with sprucing up the base.  Stopgap aims to support young people aged between 16 18, who have communication difficulties, to gain skills that will enhance their  CVs and opportunities for employment. This is the third year we have linked up and we must thank them for all their hard work. Over the two half days on site they varnished all our benches and flower tubs, weeded every weed out and levelled  the ground outside the gates.  Alongside this they cleaned the boat both inside and out. Yes, that includes the windows. Now cleaning the windows inside is easy, as is cleaning the windows on the shore side, but what about on the waterside? Well first of all you look at your cleaning crew, specifically for the agile athletic type, and then you check out they can actually do the job (safely) by letting them walk along the gunwale, sliding one hand along the safety rail, with the other hand clutching a cloth whilst squeezing the handle of the window cleaning gun and wiping the liquid off at the same time. Our volunteer passed the test and successfully went on to clean the canal side windows. It's not a requirement for being a volunteer but all skills are welcome! See pictures of Stopgap members at the base on the following page.

We must also thank Stopgap for making and decorating a set of window covers from items salvaged from WRAP (Watford Recycling and Arts Project).

Katherine with Angi's helping hand on the tiller.


The second week allowed Judith, John and me the chance to crew for our first birthday party, a surprise for Mum, Emma from Dad Tom and the children George and Katherine. All took a turn to steer and work the locks and they fulfilled the standard requirement of feeding the crew with birthday cake. Thanks to George we were able to demonstrate our commitment to anti-discriminatory practice by welcoming his hoody friend on board! 

George with his hoody friend [tucked inside his bouyancy aid to keep his hands free].







We are looking forward to crewing for lots more trips whether they be special celebrations or just a group of friends wanting to have a different experience.  For bookings ring Janet White 01923  224411

Angi Naylor Project Volunteer


Dick's Folly narrowboat.


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Registered Charity No. 299973.