Saturday May 17th, 2014
With food and drinks packed, the girls strapped in to the battlewagon and cameras charged, we left the house at 10:00 and headed down the Ebury Way towards Rickmansworth.
We reached Lock 80, also known as Lot mead, at around 10:45 and dropped down on to the Grand Union Canal towpath, which we followed to Lock 81, at Batchworth Lock, where we met my mum and uncle Martin.
On the south bank of the Grand Union Canal, in front of the Little Union Canal model canal system, believed to be the only one of its kind in the country, a Side of Phoenix Morris Dancers were entertaining the crowds.
We then made a donation to the festival organisers and followed the towpath, under Bridge 173, to where narrowboats of varying size and colour were berthed, sometimes three-or-four deep. Each of them had polished their brass and metal fixings, while the paint jobs had been touched-up, making them positively vibrant in the morning sun.
With Erin walking along the towpath, while Keilyn stayed safe in the battlewagon, my mum and Martin kept themselves busy looking at the various wares that were for sale, speaking to the boat owners, taking photos and just generally immersing themselves in the atmosphere of the waterways. Meanwhile, kids played about in their canoes/kayaks.
With lunch time approaching we headed in to the Aquadrome, so that we could find a spot to feed the girls, while my mum spoke to the owner of the Raymond. We found a spot by a Green Goddess Fire Engine, where Erin tucked in to her lunch, under the watchful eye of Keilyn, who was still tired from her day at nursery.
All the time, Erin kept an eye-out for nannie.
Eventually, my mum caught up with us before we all set off to explore the craft stalls and the environment fair. While my mum and Martin took in the stalls we continued at a faster pace, in order to get Keilyn to sleep, which worked… Eventually
Wit Keilyn finally asleep, we headed towards the beer tent ,where we found my mum and Martin, and stopped for a well deserved drink; Coke for Emma and a pint of Greene King’s Abbot Ale for me. Erin was busy, playing with bubbles, that we had been given while touring the environment fair, when she spotted the big helium balloons, so I purchased her a Peppa Pig one. I then spotted Jason, his mum and his son Charlie who decided to join our little group. So, another round was purchased and eagerly consumed. While we waited for the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) Spitfire to make its appearance, we talked and listened to the various bands, that took to the main stage.
At exactly 14:16 the Spitfire, flown by Squadron Leader Duncan Mason, the only aircrew member permanently serving on the Flight, buzzed the cheering crowds, in a two-minute display of attack runs and banking manoeuvres.
With this highlight out-of-the-way, we headed towards the funfair, so that Erin and Charlie could go on some rides. Their first ride was on the Tea Cups, which was quickly followed by a ride on the Roller Coaster.
With time ticking by, we decided it was a good time to head home, so that we could get the girls back and calmed down, before Emma went to work. We arrived home just after 17:00 and busily got the girls changed and fed, before Emma got herself ready. The fresh air must have really taken its toll, on the girls, as they were both asleep by 19:30.
Yet again the Rickmansworth Canal Festival was a brilliant success, made even more special by our family and friends who enjoyed the day with us.
Roll on May 16th, 2015.