South West Herts Narrowboat Project

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

September 2011

It's Community Pay Back Time. That's right now that Dick's Folly is back in the water it's time for the Project to pay the community back for all its support and what better way to do it than offer complimentary canal trip.  Support has come, and continues to come in many guises, including practical help, such as washing up, sitting in the rain at carnival stalls, general fundraising, publicity, winter concerts, marching and singing but most of all your enthusiasm and encouragement for us to carry on!

Some of the passengers and crew on the first 'thank you' cruise onboard the newly refitted Dick's Folly.Bank Holiday Sunday evening found the first 10 very special guests gathering on the landing stage,  as Martin, Judith and I did the final preparation followed by the safety briefing and kitting the youngsters Jessica and Harry out in life jackets, then all aboard and off we sailed.

Our passenger list included supporters from the carnival parades and organisers from the ALWAC series of concerts. Whilst some eagerly lapped up the opportunities to steer and work the locks, others could not be drawn out of the cabin,  and were content with the experience of watching hi-definition panoramic moving pictures out of our new large windows whilst listening to the sounds of the boat cutting through the water.  We will sending sending out more invites in the coming weeks as we work through a very long list of names.

You will also be aware that the project members have been sitting on some wonderful news and last Wednesday were able to announce that the Project has become the main beneficiary in the will of the late Graham Pickett to the sum of 200,000. The money has covered the cost of  putting Dick's Folly back in the water and is committed to repairing our landing stage and 100,000 towards laying down a new boat. Fund-raising as a major activity will continue as we now find ourselves 'asset rich but cash poor' and needing to maintain not one but two boats.

Fittingly the announcement was made  by the executors of the will, as they and members of the local press enjoyed a trip on Dick's Folly.  At the same time the project was extremely happy to be able to assist The Villager's very own Julie Barton in fulfilling a dream to have a trip on a narrow boat.

The bookings diary is building up and so is our experience with the newly refurbished boat.  We have said welcome aboard to two more birthday parties, and welcome back to more old friends from  Myers Clark and The Retreat, and the word is definitely out in the village as we were recommended to local firm Comserve for an afternoon company get together.

A few people have approached me and said they don't belong to a group but would still like to go out on the boat I hope by the next article to have an answer to their question.

Dates for your diary

The Project is already in training for this year's Abbots Langley Tough Ten on Sunday 2nd October, watch out for us completing some more 'community pay back' in our fluorescent jackets as we act as marshals for this fantastic local charity event.

One week later the Project are proud to announce that they will be providing the refreshments and raffle for the Second Series of  Abbots Langley Winter Acoustics Concerts on Sunday 9th October. The line up, once again being masterminded by Tim Brookes, is aimed to bring the best of live music to a village hall near you.  The Villager is carrying the ALWAC  flyer so get the dates in your diary. 

Our thanks to one and all for your ongoing support.

Angi Naylor Project Volunteer


Dick's Folly narrowboat.


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Registered Charity No. 299973.