This weekend Phil from Boatshed will be at Rickmansworth Festival, one of my favourite boat festivals - because it's so big! It began as just a canal festival in 1993 as part of the British Waterways “Canals 200” celebration that year. At least 20,000 people now come each year.

Over one hundred narrowboats travel to ‘Ricky’ and moor up to four boats deep, making a walk down the towpath to Stockers Lock a very colourful sight to see. Most fascinating to me are the vintage working boats on display, painted traditionally with roses and castles. One of the traditional narrowboats on display will be the Rickmansworth Waterways Trust’s narrowboat Roger.

The festival is not limited to the towpath: You will find live music, performing arts, trading stalls, food and refreshments in the Aquadrome and the area around Batchworth Lock. Rickmansworth Aquadrome is a huge public park and local nature reserve that includes wooded walks, lakes, play areas, a cafe and green open spaces.

There is a great variety of live music on the main stage, the beer tent stage, the Batchworth Lock stage and the acoustic stage. Other entertainments include a Medieval Living History Display, a dog show, a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Dakota Flypast, and Joshua – a working boat horse from Chiltern Open Air Museum. There will also be canal trips, model boats, a funfair and local charity displays and demonstrations. A full programme of events can be downloaded at the Rickmansworth Waterways Trust website.

Boatshed’s Phil is part of the volunteer team who ensure the festival runs smoothly. He will be Harbourmaster for the central section of moorings and helping out with boating activities such as the canal boat tug of war - under Chief Harbourmaster Chris Bennet. If you have any questions about buying or selling a boat, you can find Phil on the towpath, aboard NB Persephone (pictured) - or in the real ale bar!

Rickmansworth Festival 2016

21st and 22nd May 2016

You may also like: Canal Festivals 2016: The Ultimate Guide


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