South West Herts Narrowboat Project

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A - Z of Tasks.
This list was built by Angi Naylor, through her monthly articles in Villager News.

Image of the letter for Albert's Two; the working boater's term for the two Cassiobury Park locks numbers 75 and 76, which Dick's Folly volunteers regularly open and close.

Image of the letter for Anode [Sacrificial Anode]. Fitted to the hull under the waterline, this large piece of metal e.g. magnesium, is designed to corrode due to electrolysis instead of the hull. It has to be inspected every 2 years to see how much has been eroded. Narrowboats normally have 2 or 3 each side of the hull.

Image of the letter for Bookings, and it's Janet who for many years has coordinated the diary and collected the deposits.

Image of the letter for British Waterways who since 1963 have managed the canal network throughout the country and who in April 2012 metamorphosed their stewardship into the charity Canal & River Trust.

Image of the letter for Crew Call Out; the heading of an email, sent to those of us with the Royal Yacht Association Helmsman qualification. The Project requires two people with this certificate to be on the boat whenever it sails.

Image of the letter D.can only be for Dick's Folly and Dick Gettins, the youth and community worker whose vision and drive it was to have a community boat. Originally called Lady Capel, the boat was renamed in his memory.

Image of the letter Eis for Engine: special marine engines propel our boats along the canal.

 Image of the letter Fis for Fender which we lost on our first trip out after the refurbishment in 2011, and cost 80 to replace.

Image of the letter Fis for Fundraising. Every charity depends on the goodwill and financial support of the local community. Without a named Fundraiser, each and every one of the Dick's Folly volunteers plays their part from shaking collecting tins to grant form filling. With slogans such as "Dick's Folly needs your oy" we have managed to keep the Project afloat! The Graham Pickett bequest has put Dick's Folly back in the water and has allowed us to repair the landing stage and order/buy our new wheelchair accessible boat, Pickle's Folly.

Image of the letter for Graham Pickett. The Project became the main beneficiary of this local man's estate which as well as paying for the refurbishment of Dick's Folly, has enabled the Project to order/buy a new boat and repair the landing stage.

Image of the letter H.has to be for Harry, who has acted as our mascot in the carnival parades and assisted in putting up posters for the ALWAC concerts.

Image of the letter for Hunton Bridge. Our base is found [by road] on Old Mill Lane, and [by canal] we are at the bottom of the river race at Hunton Bridge lock, number 73.

Image of the letter for Inside. No, not the cabin, but the term for the side of the canal next to the towpath [depending on which way you are sailing].

Image of the letter for Josher boats, which belonged to Fellows, Morton & Clayton Ltd. who we regularly share locks with.

Image of the letter K. is for the Knitters of Delrow; a small group of ladies who have knitted red and green scarves which have adorned the Project's fundraising Teddies [see this page for pictures of the Teddies]. 

Image of the letter for Knitting for a Knackered Knarrowboat: a great fundraising phrase.

Image of the letter for Lock. A lock is a device for raising and lowering boats between stretches of water of different levels on river and canal waterways. The distinguishing feature of a lock is a fixed chamber in which the water level can be varied. At either end are gates which allow the boats to enter end exit. These gates frequently have paddles in them which, when open, allow the water levels to change. Locks are dangerous places and require every person on board to be very alert.

Image of the letter 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 other. All maintenance, except for the most technical, are undertaken by volunteers.

Image of the letter Nis for Narrowboat. Dick's Folly is one of these. Usually 6 feet 10 inches wide and any length from 20 feet to 72 feet, these boats were made to fit the locks on the canals. Traditionally, they are wide enough (just) to fit in a lock of a 'narrow' canal, and two can fit alongside each other in a 'wide' canal - such as the Grand Union Canal.

Image of the letter Ois for 'Ops Evening' where anyone and everyone turns up to do their bit to keep the base and the boat in good order, and ready to go out. Martin is our base-side maintenance coordinator, paintbrush in one hand and screwdriver in the other.

Image of the letter Pis for 'Pump Out' which is a necessary part of 'Ops' and it's where we find a sense of humour and a willingness to take on the rough with the smooth comes in handy. Like getting your wings in the RAF, on donning your rubber gloves you can count yourself a fully fledged volunteer.

Image of the letter Qis for Quiz Night. 2011 was our best ever single event and all credit must be given to John Blake for his organisational skills. The evening was also fun.

Image of the letter R is for Rickmansworth Waterways Trust, which has been running the festival for the last 20 years. It takes place in May each year. 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.

Image of the letter Sis for Stern Tube Greaser. The last job to do when we bring the boat back in from a trip is to give this a turn which as it's name implies pushes waterproof grease in to packing material around the propeller shaft tube preventing water from getting into the engine space bilge.

Image of the letter for Tiller Pin securing the tiller to the swan neck. Dick's Folly has a choice of a plain one, or one in the shape of a frog. T is also for Tony the Tillerpin and his wife Eve. Tony's metalwork skills are clearly stated in his nickname. The pair have been very supportive of the Project and donated items for our bric-a-brac stall at Ricky Canal Festival 2011. Look at [opens in new window/tab] to see the wonderful eagle he created for Jan of narrowboat The Crimson Pirate.

Image of the letter for Treasurer, Robert by name, making sure the Project's books are balanced and its financial future is sound. T is also for Training, for which Peter L makes sure we have access to courses and are all competent in our roles. 

Image of the letter Uis for Uniform. The Project members currently sport green polo shirts with the logo in yellow. We are on the look out for sponsors for our next generation of shirts.

Image of the letter Vis for Volunteers, the life blood of the Project and we salute them.

Image of the letter 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.

Image of the letter for Webmaster, also known as Pete D, who once a week deftly clicks his mouse and uploads articles to keep our website up to date.

Image of the letter for Windlass or lock key. This is a cranked handle for opening and closing lock paddles. If these are not put in place correctly, they can give you a black eye, or worse!

Image of the letter for [E]Xtra Crew: the third volunteer accompanying the two qualified helms persons.

Image of the letter Yis for Youth. The Project originated out of the South West Herts Youth and Community Service. We encourage users from all age groups to get involved.

Image of the letter Zis for Zzzzzz. This is what all our volunteers and users do at the end of a great day out on Dick's Folly.

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Registered Charity No. 299973.