Articles in the local Villager News magazine
[written by one of our volunteers].
Dick's Folly is the community narrowboat based at Hunton
Bridge and run by the South West Herts Narrowboat Project [SWHNP]. This
year it had to be taken out of service following a number of major
problems. Here's the latest update of the fundraising activities by the
crew and 'users' of the boat.
Plans are now well advanced for all 70 feet and 30 tons of Dick's Folly
to be lifted out of the canal and transported by road to the specialist
yard. With the first £15,000 [just short of a quarter of the £50,000
total] in place the refurbishment will begin. Meanwhile the volunteer
fundraising team continues to seek out every opportunity to raise the
profile, gain publicity and secure the necessary funding.
In last months Villager we reported our achievements at both Ricky
Carnival and Canal Festival. The month culminated with the drawing of
the Summer Raffle Draw at Abbots Langley Manor Sports Ground. There our
good friend Julie from The Villager digitally captured the moment when
the winning tickets were drawn by Councillor and Mrs Poole. What a shame
that the credit for that was missed out when it appeared in the Watford
Observer a few weeks later.
Having hinted of our ambitious intentions, here's the resume of our June
June 12th - Abbots Langley Carnival saw Little Dick's Folly take part in
his maiden carnival procession, with young volunteers Jess  proudly
carrying our standard and Harry  with Angi guiding LDF round the
traffic humps and pot holes, we were cheered, clapped and congratulated
by the enthusiastic crowd, who also enjoyed our 'Dick's Folly needs your
£o££y' placards and could be seen working out the double entendre of his
name! Meanwhile, until mid morning we had been on standby for a stall
[an indication of how popular this carnival is]. We had placed Judith's
car stuffed to the brim ready, on the field and had it set up within
minutes of completing the parade with Tombola, Folly Fare keyrings and
wooden spoons and Find Dick's Folly game, all to help people part with
With the 'recce' undertaken, the stop watch watched, the route checked
for that day of all days, so dawned the 19th June when Croxley Revels
and Kings Langley Carnival happen on the same day, but 4 miles apart.
Military planning had Jane's car ready to set up a Revels stall, Angi
with Little Dick's Folly in her car and Maureen's car similarly stuffed
with a second stall to set up at Kings Langley. We were thrilled to be
placed head of the parade behind the carnival queen. Five year old Harry
now a seasoned carnival parader swaggering along shouting "Dick's Folly
needs your Lolly!" whilst Little Dick's Folly enjoyed the ooh's and
aah's and giggles over his name!
As we came to our stall, we were approached by characters from
Rickmansworth Players Wind in the Willows, asking to borrow the boat.
"Sorry" said I, "we're out of action this summer." "Not the big one,
this little one" she said pointing at LDF. "Of course" said I. What a
hoot, but no time to linger [or explain further this month] as leaving
others to run the stall, LDF was bundled into my car and off to Kings
Langley Carnival to join up with the second team of DF volunteers. Here
LDF watched the dancing before being introduced by the MC and taking a
quick spin round the arena and then up and down the field enjoying
having coins put in his money boxes and people laughing at his name.
Well, what an achievement, and an opportunity here for me to thank all
the volunteers who gave of their time and efforts to raise awareness of
the project's plight. The support received from the local community has
been much appreciated, from reading about us in The Villager, The Hemel
Gazette and The Watford Observer, seeing us at the canal festival and
sharing their memories of trips on Dick's Folly. I was particularly
moved when a mother steered her teenage daughter to our stall, pointed
to pictures of the boat and announced that she had spent a few days on
board when she was about the same age, that it was the best holiday of
Don't forget if you're looking for a children's gift with a difference,
that Dick's Folly and Little Dick's Folly feature in the new story
Pirate Goes to a Festival by Janul, available via Amazon and you can get
a preview at
The Pirate's website.
The Project volunteers have set themselves a hard task to raise £50,000
for the refit of Dick's Folly and whilst as yet we don't have all the
funds in place, we are confident that we soon will. We continue to seek
out sponsors, encourage donations and take up any fundraising
opportunities towards that goal. If you or your organisation can help in
any way, please contact Peter James 07905 307107 or email
Angi Naylor - Project volunteer