A wealth of history was displayed at Batchworth Lock today as boat owners gathered for the annual Rickmansworth Festival.

As well as the boats moored along the canal towpath, showcasing their past and present features, the sun was shining for the hundreds of visitors who flocked to the Aquadrome to see a whole host of live bands, fairground rides and browse an array of charity stalls.

Later this afternoon during the two-day festival a Spitfire and Hurricane flypast will mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Russell Carpender, of the Rickmansworth Waterways Trust, which benefits from the proceeds of the event, said: “It's been going really well so far. We got lovely weather which helps and at about 5.30pm visitors will be able to enjoy the flypast.

“The festival is definitely getting bigger and better each year. We have about 120 boats moored at the lock and that is mainly what the people come to see because it celebrates the rich history of the canal.”

The money raised from the two-day festival is used by the trust to educate schoolchildren about canal history and for the long-term maintenance of the waterway.

Peter Boyce, who has been coming to the festival for four years, said: “I love it because of the fantastic range of boats. A lot of people come every year and take their time to walk along the canal towpath.”

Mr Boyce comes along to sell a vast array of antiques ranging from teapots to collectable plates which would have been collected by those on the working boats in the Victorian times.

Gillian Moss, along with her two children six-year-old Hannah, and three-year-old Jon, were enjoying a picnic near the main arena.

The mother-of-two from Ruislip said: “It's been a great day. The kids have been enjoying themselves and it's just a great opportunity to have family day out.”

Other main attractions are the canal boat tug of war on the waterways, children's fairground rides and dozens of live bands performing on the main stage.

The festival will continue tomorrow from 10.30am to 5pm tomorrow. Entrance is free but visitors are urged to make a small donation towards the Rickmansworth Waterways Trust.