Archived News of the Project.
This page contains items of news of the Project older than
twelve months. For more recent items, see the
January 2013 - The work to repair and improve the base started
despite the snow on the ground. The bank will be reinforced with steel
piling and anchored to points in the bank. The railway sleepers which
have provided the surface for so long will be replaced with concrete and
include a gentle ramp for wheelchair users. Additional lights, power
points, and pump out facilities will also be fitted. See
this page for pictures taken as the work
Pickle's Folly latest - 31 December 2012. We plan to cruise the new
boat to the base rather than take her by road. A volunteer crew drove to
Stourport-on-Severn and will begin their journey on New Year's Day. See
this page for the continuing story of
Pickle's Folly latest - We have just been told that Pickle's Folly
is scheduled for completion during the week commencing Monday 3
December. This is great news and we are looking forward to mooring her
at the base, alongside Dick's Folly.
Pickle's Folly latest - In September 2012 some members of the
Project's committee travelled to Worcestershire to see the new boat and
check on its progress. We were pleased to see the amount of internal
work done; the engine was installed, and the top coat of paint outside
was being applied while we were there. Terry Huckerby, of Starline
Marine, greeted us with his usual smile, and gave us a very detailed
account of the work so far, and how they plan to continue. If you go to
this page you will see some of the
photos taken on this visit.
Pickle's Folly - June 2012 - we have received photos from Starline
Marine, who are building our new boat. They have almost finished the
shell and will be starting on the inside shortly. Use
this link to view the pictures.
Rickmansworth Canal Festival - Saturday and Sunday 19 and 20 May 2012.
Folly was taken to Rickmansworth for the festival, the first since the
boat was refitted. As many of our volunteers had other commitments,
there was only a 'skeleton staff' in attendance to enjoy the atmosphere
and good weather. The
photos here show Dick's Folly at her mooring [click on them to view
and the more observant of our volunteers found another photo of
Dick's Folly on
Flickr, and one of
Persephone, the boat owned by our previous chairman. These links
open in new windows.
Abbots Langley Winter Acoustic Concerts - Sunday 11 March 2012. The
Oxford Fiddle Group was brought to Abbots Langley Community Centre
by Tim and Lesley Brooks of AL Concerts [use this link to
their website]. They played a variety of
instruments in addition to their fiddles at the last in this series of
concerts. See their
press release for more information. This series of events, organised
by AL Concerts, have once again proved to be a great success and have
raised much needed funds for the Project.
Abbots Langley Winter Acoustic Concerts - Sunday 12 February 2012.
The third concert in this winter's series of concerts organised by Tim and Lesley
Brooks of AL Concerts [use this link to
their website]. Pilgrim's Way, from Manchester, are a dynamic
young trio led by singer Lucy Wright, accompanied by accordionist Edwin Beasant and fiddler Tom Kitching. See their
press release for
more information. The Project once again provided refreshments.
31 January 2012 - An announcement was placed on DEFRA's website
concerning the future of British Waterways. BW is to become the
and River Trust, and has been granted charitable status. Statements by
Environment Minister Richard Benyon and Tony Hales, the chairman of the
trustees of the new trust can be viewed from this link to
DEFRA's website [opens in a new window/tab]. A similar article
appears on British Waterways'
28 January 2012 - Once again we are very grateful to the
committee of the Tough Ten (10K race) for granting the Project
money as a result of last year's race. We have received a cheque for
£250 from the race committee which will be used to fund the new
Crewsaver life jackets which the Project has purchased. A big thank you
to Angi, Martin, Janet, Lesley and others who turned up on the race day.
It was a fantastic day and the weather made the day extra special.
Further details of where the funds went are covered by the
Watford Observer in their article [the link opens in a new
window/tab]. This year's race is planned for Sunday 7th October,
and volunteers are wanted for setting up the course, marshalling,
manning water stations, etc. This year is the 30th anniversary of the
race and many surprises are planned to mark the event. Each year the
race is enthusiastically supported by ex-England and Watford football
manager Graham Taylor who spends the whole day with us and presents the
prizes at the end of the race. There is nothing to stop you bringing
children along as it is a great community event.
5 January 2012 - Members of the Project met on board Dick's Folly
with Terry from Starline Marine, to discuss details of the new boat. This is an exciting
project to be involved with and it should not be long before the
decision is made to go ahead with the building of the new boat.
16 November 2011 - Members of the Project visited Starline
Marine, in Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire to discuss ideas for our
new accessible narrowboat. The outline is for a boat 60 feet in length
and capable of sleeping 10-12 people. Incorporating Starline's ideas,
the plan is to make the accommodation flexible so removable bunks can
make space for a wheelchair user. The boat will have a hydraulic lift to
enable access to a large part of the boat from the rear deck. This boat was made
possible by the gift from the executors of the late Graham Pickett who
died earlier this year [see August 2011 entry
Abbots Langley Winter Acoustic Concerts - Sunday 13 November 2011.
This was the second concert in the series held at The Abbots Langley
Community Centre and organised by Tim and Lesley Brooks of AL Concerts
[use this link to
Dave Webber, Anni Fentiman and Brian Peters presented their
show 'On the Road to Mandalay'. See their
press release for
more information. This concert was also publicised in the
3 October 2011 - Members of the
programme run by HCS for young people in Hertfordshire met members of
the Project to hand over new window covers they had made for Dick's
Folly. The covers are made from recycled materials from
Watford Recycle Art Project. These will come in very useful as only
a few days before, the narrowboat was hit by an angler's line and lead
weights which was cast from the far side of the canal. See pictures on
the following page.
2 October 2011 - This 10km race
has been organised for the last 29 years!
All runners are sponsored and
the proceeds are donated to local charities and causes.
Last year our
Project was one of the beneficiaries of the race, receiving a cheque for
£1000. John Blake organised volunteers from our Project who wanted to
help with the marshalling of this event. For details of the Tough
Ten see their website [link to
will open in a new tab/window]. Angi, Janet, Martin and John were
willing to stand in glorious sunshine, telling the runners where to go.
Click on this picture to enlarge it:
September 2011 - The Project is extremely grateful to many people
and organisations who have helped and supported us through a very
difficult time while Dick's Folly has been out service being refitted.
As a way of offering our thanks, we have been organising 'Thank You'
trips. The following page shows some of
the photos taken during one of these trips with members of the Stopgap
24 August 2011 - We are extremely pleased to announce that the
executors of the will of local resident Graham Picket have presented a
cheque to the Project, in accordance with Graham's wishes. The committee
have prepared the following press
release. The Watford Observer newspaper have also printed an article
which can be seen on their website, using
this link, which will open in a new window/tab.
11 June 2011 - Abbots Langley carnival. Like last year, Little
Dick was pulled along the carnival route by a group of Project members:
Judith E, Martin C, Maureen M, Angi N and Ann G. A member of the public
videoed the procession and Little Dick can be seen at about 8 minutes,
just behind Postman Pat and his cat Jess [see the video on
YouTube]. Other pictures can be seen on
the following page.
10 June 2011 - Dick's Folly arrived at Croxley Marina on the back
of a low loader and was craned back into the water! She has been
repaired and fully refitted and she is ready for use [once our band of
volunteers have given her a good clean]. Click on this picture to
21 and 22 May 2011 - Rickmansworth Canal Festival. Because
Dick's Folly was not quite ready, we could not take her to the festival,
but we did make our presence felt by joining forces with a few friends;
Eve and Tony on Triple B [Slow Down for Duck's Sake], Ralph and family
on tugboat Tiny, and Janul on The Crimson Pirate. Pictures of the event
are shown on this page.
14 May 2011 - Rickmansworth Carnival. A small crew of volunteers
joined the carnival parade pulling Little Dick's Folly with them.
Pictures of the event are shown on this
11 February 2011 - Quiz night at The Nap Community Centre, Abbots
Langley was a fun evening for 25 teams which raised £1,000 for the refit
of Dick's Folly. More details on our
6 February 2011 - JIG JAW appeared at the Abbots Langley
Winter Acoustic Concert held at Abbots Langley Community Centre, Gallows
Hill Lane, Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire, WD5 0AP [see their
Pictures of the event are shown on this page. Jig Jaw combined
the percussion and passion of dance traditions with vocal harmonies in a
tight scintillating quartet of singing and dancing talent. Jigjaw's
music is developed from traditional dance melodies, so to showcase this
connection we are following the concert with a barn-dance for which the
accompanying music will be provided solely by their voices.
December 2010 - Some of the Project's committee visited Dick's
Folly at Starline Marine to see how the work is progressing. Some of the
photos they took are displayed on the following page and are very
November 2010 - The Project was the beneficiary of proceeds
raised by the first concert in a series of Winter Acoustic Concerts held
at the Abbots Langley Community Centre. Entitled "Where the Working
Boats Went" the evening of music and stories by a duo called Life and
Times. Read the article in the
Watford Observer and visit the
October 2010 - Dick's Folly was lifted out of the water at
Croxley and put on the back of a low-loader. She has been taken to
Starline Marine in Worcestershire for the long awaited refit to start.
Fundraising is continuing as the cost of the work has yet to be raised.
The following page contains pictures of the
lift out. The event was recorded by The Watford Observer newspaper -
read a copy of their article.
June 2010 - a team of Project volunteers got together and pulled
Little Dick's Folly in the parade at Croxley Revels. Watch the video on
YouTube of the parade made by Les Mead.
May 2010 - We managed to get Dick's Folly to Rickmansworth
Festival with the help of Richard and his boat, Great Britain. Richard
tied the two boats together and a small group of volunteers helped to
operate the locks and they were tied up along the towpath opposite
Tesco. The festival was a great success and we were able to show people
the boat and its needs [especially the interior]. The
contains pictures of this part of the journey and the festival.
May 2010 - A small group of volunteers joined Friends of Meresworth
[carehome in Rickmansworth]
to organise a float for the Rickmansworth Carnival. This year the float
was also supported by volunteers from
Trust, Henry Smith House, Watford as well as some from SW Herts
Narrowboat Project. As we were using the Roundabout bus you could say we
were an example of community spirit and cooperation. The
following page contains pictures of the
bus at the carnival.
2010 - Dick's Folly was taken to a boatyard at Croxley for an out of
the water survey before the refit works start. A group of volunteers
moved the boat under its own power from the base at Hunton Bridge to
Croxley: this turned out to be the last time the engine could be used
until urgent engineering work is carried out as a major fault with the
powerunit/gearbox was found during the survey. The
following page contains pictures of the boat during this journey.
May 2010 - After the survey in April, Dick's Folly was taken to
Rickmansworth in time for the festival.
April 2010 - Dick's Folly was taken to a local boatyard to have a
survey carried out on its hull, and to inspect the engine mountings.
Once this has been done, the Project will be in a better position to
determine the amount of work needed before the refit of the interior.
2010 - the Watford Observer newspaper has published an article about
the project and the need to raise funds for our continued future. The
article can be viewed from
this link to the newspaper's website, which will open in a new
2010 - Surprise work on Hunton Bridge Lock 72 has closed the Grand
Union Canal by the Project's base. The pound between locks 73 and 72,
going north from the base has been drained in order to repair the
chamber, and replace the lower gates. One boater who was heading to the
Ashby Canal from Denham, said he had walked this stretch last weekend
[28 and 29 February] and there was no warning of the impending work, and
nothing on the Waterscape website. He now has to wait until 12 March
before he can move on, assuming the work goes according to plan. The
following page contains pictures of the
work in progress [as of 2 March].
July 2009 - The base was visited by staff from the local office
of GE Money, Watford for a team-building day. They spent all day working
on the boat and the base, cleaning, gardening and we are very grateful
for the hard work from all those involved.
Day volunteers cruise - Gallery pictures.