South West Herts Narrowboat Project

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Archived News of the Project.
This page contains items of news of the Project older than twelve months. For more recent items, see the News page.

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 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 progresses.

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 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 the trip.

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 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.

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 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.

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 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.

Dick's Folly logo bullett. Rickmansworth Canal Festival - Saturday and Sunday 19 and 20 May 2012. Dick's 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 two photos here show Dick's Folly at her mooring [click on them to view larger pictures], 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.


Dick's Folly logo bullett. 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.

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 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.

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 31 January 2012 - An announcement was placed on DEFRA's website concerning the future of British Waterways. BW is to become the Canal 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' website.

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 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.

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 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.

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 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 below].

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 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 their website]. 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 Watford Observer.

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 3 October 2011 - Members of the Stopgap 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.

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 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:

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 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 programme. 

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 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.

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 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.

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 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 enlarge it: 

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 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.

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 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 page.

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 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 Fundraising page.

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 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 website]. 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.

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 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 interesting.

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 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 Life and Times' website.

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 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.

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 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.

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 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 following page contains pictures of this part of the journey and the festival.

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 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 Guidepost 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.

Dick's Folly logo bullett.May 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.

Dick's Folly logo bullett. May 2010 - After the survey in April, Dick's Folly was taken to Rickmansworth in time for the festival. Gallery pictures.

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 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. Gallery pictures.

Dick's Folly logo bullett.March 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 window/tab.

Dick's Folly logo bullett.March 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].

Dick's Folly logo bullett. 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. Gallery pictures.

Dick's Folly logo bullett.2006 - Boxing Day volunteers cruise - Gallery pictures.

Dick's Folly narrowboat.

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