January 100+ Club winners drawn

It was a bright and beautiful day for the next RDRA 100+ Club prize draw, held at the Cafe in the Park in Rickmansworth on Friday 26th January. We had a delicious lunch and marvelled at how busy the place was – the Aquadrome really is the heart of Rickmansworth! As per the last draw, we used a Random Number Generator to draw the winners and they will be contacted very soon – congratulations to them!

The RDRA 100+ Club raises funds for good causes in Rickmansworth to make it a better place to live in.

Click here to join the RDRA 100+ Club

If you have not renewed your RDRA membership yet, join the RDRA 100+ Club and be a member of both!

“…be in it to win it!” says Andrea Clark, first prize winner of £150 last month.

Ricky Festival halted after 30 years

A message from David Montague, Chairman and Festival Director of Rickmansworth Waterways Trust and a former RDRA Committee Member, who appeared on television regarding this topic

Representatives from the Rickmansworth Festival Team attended a meeting hosted by Three Rivers District Council just before Christmas regarding the recent implementation of an Asbestos Management Plan for the Aquadrome.

The plan has designated the Aquadrome as a no dig zone and so nothing can penetrate the ground on the site. This includes digging, raking, staking or any activity which could erode or expose anything below the ground surface. It would preclude the use of stakes for fixing marquees or gazebos, and any vehicle movements on the grassed areas of the site would also be a concern. Any hirer of the ground would also need to pay for appropriate monitoring before and after the event at a cost of between £5000 and £8000 per day for two days of monitoring (a total of £10 – £16k).

Representatives from the Rickmansworth Festival Team attended a meeting hosted by Three Rivers District Council just before Christmas regarding the recent implementation of an Asbestos Management Plan for the Aquadrome.

Whilst it is possible to fix structures in place with weights or large water barrels this is really suited for working on a hard site when lifting vehicles can be used and access is not compromised by soft ground. Our Festival site manager has confirmed that whilst anything is possible the costs and extra labour required would go up significantly if we considered this possible to do on the site.  There may also be other requirements such as ensuring all contractors were trained.

Therefore I am afraid Rickmansworth Waterways Trust has had no choice but to make the difficult decision to cancel the event for 2024 and no Festival will be possible with these requirements in place.

TRDC stated that they were happy for the Festival to go ahead as long as the conditions of the management plan could be met. However the reality is that the management plan makes it impossible for a non commercial, volunteer led Festival to proceed with an event that uses the Aquadrome.

This is a really sad day for our community and I feel for all the other charities, community organisations and small businesses that have lost an opportunity to promote themselves. Thank you for all your help over many years since our very first event in 1993 and for contributing towards a great event. It will be sadly missed.

David Montague

Click here for the site investigation report

Aquadrome a ‘no dig’ zone

Message received Jan 3, 2024 – via Email

Is the Association aware of the council’s decision to make the Aquadrome a ‘no dig’ zone, due to apparent (and, if justified, very belated) concerns about asbestos in the ground?This has already forced the cancellation of this year’s Rickmansworth Festival, with a significant impact on the finances of the Rickmansworth Waterways Trust. It would also seem to imply severe restrictions on other uses of the Aquadrome.The councillors I’ve spoken with were not aware of the council’s decision until it had already been made public, which makes it sound like it was taken without proper consultation or consideration.Does the RDRA have any views on this? And, if so, will we be asking the council to review/explain their decision, in the light of its emerging consequences.

RDRA response:

Many thanks for your email of 3rd Jan. My apologies for the delayed response. As you can imagine this came as a shock to all of us and the last thing to do would be to give a ‘knee jerk reaction’. Of course we are all bitterly disappointed that this much cherished Ricky community event is now not happening. Now we have more information at hand, we are able to formulate a view and response. There’s nothing at this stage that anyone can do to save this year’s festival. TRDC and ALL our Councillors know our feelings. It’s an unmitigated disaster and a massive own goal in PR terms. There’s a meeting on the 31st at the RWT, Batchworth Lock which will be on Zoom. (Details from RWT to follow.) We will hopefully find out what happens next and if we are able to save the festival from 2025 onwards.

Click here for the site investigation report