Rickmansworth Canal Festival - 20th May 2017
Arriving early at Liverpool Street station, Cathy and I made our way to the meeting place, near the Metropolitan Line platform, where we found Duncan. After a short while we were joined by Fred, Val and Ken although Brian had decided not to come, just in case there was the teeniest bit of rain.
At Rickmansworth, we headed towards the canal-side, passing numerous eateries, each looking very enticing and, following the sound of the festivities, found the canal, where there was a lively gathering of people enjoying one of the many musical acts performing. We decided to make our way towards the main festival area, along the canal tow-path, the canal being busy with an assortment of canal boats/barges moored 3 or 4 wide. Boarding one of the boats, which offered day trips along the canals to various groups, suggested a possible future day out, maybe?
Having sampled some (barge made) lavender fudge, strange yet surprisingly yummy, we found the festival’s central arena, at which point the heavens opened up, but we sought shelter in the beer tent. Now this was a notable moment in my life, as I wasn’t inclined to go for a beer (doctor says I’ll be back to normal soon, so don’t worry). A short 5 minute shower and we were back with glorious sunshine, and looking for lunch. Cathy and I went for the healthy jacket spuds, whilst the boys went for a burger/roll. Whilst eating, a lady came round giving out flyers for the group that was dancing on the stage, but didn’t hand one to me. It turned out they was for a 50+ dance group, I must have looked way too young (highlight of the day!!).
We decided to leave the others and investigate some of the many stalls providing all sorts of interesting looking merchandise, and were then ambushed by a much more substantial cloud-burst (oh bother, I thought). We dashed to a nearby large tent, which as it turned out, was the owl stage, where another music act was performing a wonderfully eclectic set which sounded like punk meets country music. They were Jo Carley and the Old Dry Skulls and we stayed and enjoyed their performance.
After finishing our round of the stalls we returned to the canal where we met Duncan and then wandered along the canal, watching boats navigate the locks, before returning to the festival site. Unable to find the others (Val, Fred and Ken), we decided to head back to the lock-side centre via the tow-path for a final view of the proceedings, before returning home.
The festival was a much bigger and busier event than I thought it would be, and apart from the two showers the weather was good. Even if you are not a rivers/canal type person, there’s plenty going on. Many thanks to Duncan for a good day out.
Trev Eley, May 2017