Thousands flocked to the "most successful" Rickmansworth Festival ever at the weekend.

Visitors gathered at the Aquadrome and the towpath between Stockers Lock and Batchworth on Saturday and Sunday to enjoy the entertainment and activities on offer.

Live music, a tug-of-war battle between two canal boats and Morris dancing were among the festivities.

On Sunday crowds were wowed as a RAF Battle of Britain Spitfire soared across the sunny sky.

Watford Observer:

The event, which ran from 10.30am to 10.30pm on Saturday and between 10.30am and 5pm on Sunday, was organised by the Rickmansworth Waterways Trust and Three Rivers District Council.

David Montague, chairman of the Rickmansworth Waterways Trust and a festival director for 13 years, said the event has grown dramatically since it began 21 years ago.

Mr Montague said: "We think we had something between 25,000 and 30,000 people. The event has grown massively since it started in 1993 in Batchworth Lock.

"Several years ago we went into partnership with Three Rivers District Council and we moved the festival into the Aquadrome and it has grown since then."

This year’s event boasted four live music stages, with more than 70 acts performing over the course of the weekend.

Mr Montague said the festival attracts a lot of support from local organisations, such as scouts and nearby Rugby clubs.

He added: "It’s very much a local community event which benefits a lot of local groups in the area, which is why this is our most successful year ever.

"It’s probably one of the largest Waterways festivals in the UK but it is so much more than just a canal festival, which is why we rebranded it Rickmansworth Waterways Festival - because it’s totally inclusive."

Mr Montague credits the commitment of volunteers who made the weekend’s activities possible.
He said: "The important thing is the festival is all run by volunteers. We all have day jobs and it’s a year-long programme for us.

"I would like to thank all the volunteers that worked to bring the event together, because it’s a really inclusive event for the whole community."

The aim of the festival, which costs about £35,000 to host every year, is to fund the trust’s educational programme.

The amount brought in from this year’s festival is still being counted, although Mr Montague said it will cover the trust’s staffing costs to run the educational scheme for the next 12 months.