Roving Canal Traders Association

roving canal traders

roving canal traders associationThe 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

Sue Meades & Colin Shearer Roving Canal Traders

featured roving canal traders

cheese aboard inc mugs afloat

mugs afloat

Sue Meades & Colin Shearer are entering their 4th year as roving canal traders on their narrowboat - That's D'riculous!

We have travelled the Leeds & Liverpool canal, the Shropshire Union, The Staffs & Worcs, The River Severn, The Trent & Mersey, the River Soar, the Grand Union, the Ashby Canal, the Coventry canal & some of the Oxford Canal during the time we have been traders.

We started off selling personalised mugs & mugs printed with our own bespoke designs along with up cycled jewellery.  Gradually we added some wooden goods as Colin started to learn how to do Pyrography.

It soon transpired that Colin's love of Celtic designs was going to be a good seller for us at festivals & markets.

mugs & chopping boardsThis developed into the range of beautiful chopping boards that we currently sell alongside our mugs. We have made many personalised mugs for customers at events & also boaters especially other traders who seem to want mugs with their own logo on.   

After only a few months of trading we joined the RCTA (Roving Canal Traders Association) as they seemed to be a helpful organisation, little did I know that 3 years later I would be a committee member & responsible for organising floating market events for other traders in the Association! Who are currently organising approximately 16 events for their members over the 2020 season.   

We love trading at festivals & floating markets, the atmosphere is wonderful & the camaraderie of the trading community is amazing.  This has been a fabulous journey as I have met many very talented traders, attended & organised lots of events.  

For the past 3 winters we have worked as self employed operators for Calendar Club to boost our income when it is too cold & wet to trade from the boat, they welcome traders as operators & have units all over the country if you need extra winter income.  

We were trying to think of a way of streamlining our stock & the items we sell at the end of last season when we heard that the Cheese Boat that covered the Shropshire area had retired from canal trading. 

With a lot of deliberation, we decided this was a perfect addition to our existing wares. 

Coffee mugs, wine racks, cheese/pizza boards what a perfect combination to add actual cheese to! Hence the birth of Cheese Aboard our new trading name. For the near future we will be Cheese Aboard inc. Mugs Afloat 

We have sourced a fabulous chiller, found a supplier that suits our trading ideas, achieved our 5 star food rating & made the long overdue rain canopy so we are set for the 2020 trading season to start. 

You can find us on Facebook where you will find our trading schedule for the season. 

Sue Meades & Colin ShearerSue Meades and Colin Shearer have been Roving Canal Traders for the last three years, and have become very well known on the cut on their narrowboat D'riculous. Sue volunteers with the RCTA.

You can like and follow them on Facebook: mugs afloat or cheese aboard

previously featured traders

Brian Greaves - floating blacksmith      Lorraine Stevenson - the mad hatter

Caledonia Glass - Illya Price

coming soon...

rNB Hekla Floating Pop Up Gallery




buy online from a roving trader

  • 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
    Canal Art by JulieHand 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)
    Hand painted leather dog collars byZoe Marsden
    Individually hand painted luxury dog collars (predominantly for sight-hounds)
    Please visit Etsy shop
  • 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.
    Visit Website
  • Julie Weir Art
    Wildlife Artist who paints with Watercolours & Acrylic inks. Also Online Watercolour School.
    Visit Website
  • Fern Floating Fine Art (Shiam Wilcox)
    Fern floating art
    Flora & Fauna Artist, prints framed or unframed, greetings cards.
    Browse & buy online 
  • Dazzle Paws (Sheena Orton)
    Hand made dog collar by Dazzle Paws
    Dog collars, bandanas and accessories, all lovingly hand made.
    Browse and buy online