roving canal traders
The Roving Canal Traders Association is the collective voice of roving canal traders. It aims to give advice to old, new & would-be traders, and holds frequent events giving increased opportunities to all floating traders.
A different floating trader - every one a 'character of the cut' - will be presented in each edition of this magazine.
For more information on the RCTA, or to join, please see Website
featured roving canal trader
Daisy Hampshire - Daisy's Bakin' Butty
I live aboard our historic narrow boat Trout, built in 1936, with my husband Lloyd (aka Bacon Boy!!) Lloyd has been around narrow boats most of his life; he started at 14 helping steer the horse drawn narrow boat Iona in Godalming Surrey.
In 2005 Lloyd convinced me to take a narrow boat holiday for a week and just like that, I was hooked: the peace, the nature, being in the middle of nowhere. I loved it! And the people were all amazing, especially after I had been working in a stressful environment!
Every year we would take a holiday on a boat somewhere in England, until we got to the point and decided to buy our own boat, with a view to retiring in a few years time to live aboard.
However life took a different turn, when we lost 4 friends to different illnesses and realised life's too short. So within 3 months, we had sold our house, left our jobs and moved onto our boat!! The first few years were amazing, travelling to places/villages I never knew existed, meeting some lovely people. At some point we realised in order to maintain this life, we needed to go back to work, which would be challenging. How would we manage moving the boats and travelling to work....
Then Covid hit, which meant we couldn't work. During this time, more people started walking the canals and we realised there were very few places on the canal to grab a coffee and cake. The seed was planted.
After the first lock-down in June 2020, we started looking for another boat and with the help of friends, Norah was purchased!! Norah is an Historic LMS station boat built in 1930.
Lloyd and I worked hard to get her fitted out and looking the part; she needed a lot of work!! But, in March 2021, she was ready!!
And so, Daisy's Bakin Butty was born!! the name comes from; my name, Steve Wright's radio 2 show “Only Jokin” (No G) and the fact that Norah was a Butty.
Our first opening day was the 12th March in Braunston on the Grand Union: the cakes were baked, the coffee machine was on, the flaps were open... The worry was, would anyone come? But come they did, and by the end of the first weekend we knew we were onto a winner.
Since then we have travelled from village to village opening up at weekends. During the summer we open much more, meeting some lovely people. We have customers that have visited us nearly every weekend since we opened; we call them our “Cake Stalkers”. In fact, if you visit more than 4 times, you will become a Cake Stalker!!
In 2022 we attended two festivals and although it was hard work, we had a great time!
The past two years have been amazing, we get to keep the lifestyle, whilst earning money to get by. Believe me, we are never going to be rich!! But we get to meet some lovely people, so life is good!!
Daisy Hampshire and her partner Lloyd have only been roving canal traders since 2021, although they have a long association with boats and the waterway system. They live on board historic narrowboat Trout, with accompanying butty Norah. Their pop up cafe is open every weekend, and longer in summertime.
You can contact them by email: or follow them on Facebook or Instagram
previously featured traders
- GillyFlower - the Narrowboat Weaver (Peri)
Individual and unique handwoven textiles made from a mixture of re-claimed and new wools.
To buy online visit Peri's Facebook
- Jelly Gnomes (Lesley Pearson)
Award winning artist. Illustrated canal maps, cards, prints, mugs & gifts.
Visit Website to buy online
- Floating Dolly Lady (Joanne & Steve)
Amazing range of metal birds as well as Russian Dolls.
Buy online by going to Facebook
- Bird Box & Jenny Wren (Andrea)
Host of loving handmade items such as knitwear alongside other gifts such as Bags, Scarves, Rugs, Hats, Jewellery and handmade wooden items.
For mail order go to Facebook
- Canal Art by Julie
Hand painted canal ware and items of canalia such as tea towels, model boats etc.
Please visit website
- Stitch on the Water (Colin & Gillian)
Making a variety of embroidered gifts including cushions for children and adults, Bags, hand tied keyrings, embroidered earrings, cot quilts etc.
Please see Facebook
- Last Night in Limehouse (Zoe)
Individually hand painted luxury dog collars (predominantly for sight-hounds)
Please visit Etsy shop
- Coalcage (Wayne & Rosie)Easier To Light - Easy To Load - Creates A Deep Fire Bed Using Less Coal
Visit Facebook to buy online
- Artist on the Waterways (Sylvia)
oil paintings, prints, hand made cards, and a fine selection of hand painted canal ware.
Visit Website to buy online
- Paw Prints Afloat (Doggie Boat & Tim Clarke Photography)
All manner of doggie essentials: leads, collars, bandannas, portable water bottles & collapsible bowls, plus toys & healthy treats.
- Visit Website to buy online
- Gangplank (Sam)
Cafe/bar. Creator & seller of foraged fruit spirits (Gangplank Gins) cordials and preserves.
- Julie Weir Art
Wildlife Artist who paints with Watercolours & Acrylic inks. Also Online Watercolour School.
- Fern Floating Fine Art (Shiam Wilcox)
Flora & Fauna Artist, prints framed or unframed, greetings cards.
Browse & buy online
- Dazzle Paws (Sheena Orton)
Dog collars, bandanas and accessories, all lovingly hand made.
Browse and buy online