Articles in the local Villager News magazine
[written by one of our volunteers].
Last month my article focussed on the low water situation and
concerns whether some boats might not make the annual
Rickmansworth Waterways Festival. As soon as I sent the copy to
Julie 'down came the rain', but it did not dampen the enthusiasm
of Martin, the Project's very own base-side Maintenance Man,
rigging Dick's Folly's normally flat roof with masts and ropes
to display our new bunting which has been deftly designed and
stitched by Martin's mum, Janet.
So it was with flags flying Dick's Folly sailed down on
Friday 18th May with Richard as skipper, and crew of Martin,
Chris, Ray and Tracey.
In common with many narrowboats there is always a concern
about where and how you can turn 70 feet of boat in the 30 feet
or so wide canal. In this case, they chose where the River cuts
across the canal near Batchworth Lock. Richard put the bow into
the upstream side and then, just as you do when turning a car,
used reverse and forward to achieve a 180 degrees turn. He then
had the delicate task of steering the boat backwards some 200
yards and easing it up to the opposite bank to moor up. This
year we were next to Persephone who shares a space at our base.
Persephone is owned by Phil Bassett, former Chair of the Project
and owner of Boatshed Grand Union [grandunion.boatshed.com]
who were sponsors for the RWF.
Throughout the weekend there was a brisk trade of enquirers
and lots of people sharing their memories of past times on the
boat. This was the first chance for the public to walk through
the boat and see all the improvements since the refit. [It had
been our hope to get the boat back for last year's festival but
due to a number of circumstances it did not return until a week
Martin managed to take a couple of pictures [see our
news page] during a lull in
the crowds, when Judith was able to have a well deserved sit
Dick's Folly A to Z of Volunteers
Continuing unmasking the unsung champions who are the
mainstay of the Project and the A to Z of tasks that they do.
The growing list can be seen on
M is for base-side Maintenance crew, who keep
the landing stage and three sheds shipshape. Heading up that
crew is Martin who always has a smile on his face, as he deftly
draws a screwdriver from one pocket and a power drill from the
R is for Rickmansworth Waterways Trust who have
been running the festival for the last 20 years. It takes place
in May each year [see their
website in a new
window/tab]. The Project has firm links with the RWT: DF
acted as a floating committee room during its early days. DF has
also taken part in the festival's Tug of War.
W is for Winding Hole. Because the width of a
canal channel [about thirty to forty feet] is less than the
length of a full-size canal boat it is not usually possible to
turn a boat in the canal. Winding holes are typically
indentations in the off-side [non-towpath side] of the canal,
allowing sufficient space to turn the boat.